NFL Thursday Night Tips: Back defences to play their cards right in Arizona

Not one of the more appealing games on the NFL schedule, but you can turn that to your advantage with our top tips for Denver at Arizona...

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Total Match Points: Under 42.5 – 20/23

Both of these teams will have to try to win with defence. Without their offence clicking, expect drives to stall, and both kickers – or defences – are as likely to put any points on the board as anyone else.

Do not expect any Aaron Rodgers-like heroics here tonight.

The trends on total points are good too. Arizona average just 14 points per game this season, and the average total in their last five home games is just under 28 points. The total has gone under in each of those games.

With the Broncos not all that much better on offence, 42.5 looks very generous so the under is best bet on this game.

Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) and Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) sack Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum (4) in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

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#WhatOddsPaddy: 1+ Field Goal scored in every quarter – 9/2

Neither of these offences is functioning well right now. Arizona are working in their rookie QB Josh Rosen way sooner than they’d planned after Sam Bradford dragged them to an offensively bereft 0-3 start.

The youngster’s talent has flickered – this almost-touchdown in his first start was absolutely beautiful but the receiver couldn’t get his feet in-bounds – though his receiving options and O-line help are limited, especially as Larry Fitzgerald has missed time.

For Denver, Case Keenum is coming under pressure from Denver fans now having been signed for a hefty price in the summer. He’s been sacked 15 times this season after suffering just 20 all last year with Minnesota. The pressure is getting to him too, as he leads the league in interceptions with eight.

All of this suggests that the best chance these teams will have to score is from the boots of their kickers. Both Phil Dawson and Brandon McManus are veterans and can make big kicks when needed. The #WhatOddsPaddy price of 9/2 on a successful field goal in all four quarters is tempting given the limitations of these teams.

Aug 26, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) picks up a fumble and returns it against Atlanta Falcons running back Derrick Coleman (40) in the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Any Time Touchdown Scorer: Arizona D/ST – 11/2

The Cardinals defence ties for second with nine in forced fumbles and has recovered six of them, two of which were for touchdowns. They haven’t returned a pick-six yet on a league-average five interceptions, but the pressure they’re bringing on quarterbacks is likely to pay dividends there over the course of the season.

The Broncos suffer from annual offensive line issues and this season is no different.

Former Patriot Chandler Jones led the league in sacks last year and is continuing to cause chaos in backfields this campaign. At 11/2, his unit are worth a shot as an any time scorer versus a very shaky Denver team.

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