Texans vs Cardinals Week 7 Picks and Predictions: No Loss in the Cards

There's no doubt the Cardinals will beat a lifeless Texans team in Week 7. The real question here is, can Arizona cover the massive spread as they host Houston? Find out with our free NFL betting picks and predictions.

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2021 3:14 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals NFL
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Despite not having their coach on the sidelines last week, the Arizona Cardinals moved to 6-0 (5-1 ATS) on the season with a victory over the Browns. They'll look to stay perfect when they host the 1-5 (3-3 ATS) Houston Texans on Sunday.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury is still doubtful for this game but Arizona enters its second home game since Week 3 as 17.5-point NFL betting favorites with the total set at 47.5. 

If you’re betting this game on October 24, then make sure you read our free picks and predictions for the Texans vs. Cardinals first.

Texans vs Cardinals odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

This game was Cardinals -14 on the look-ahead and then opened at -17, hit as high as -18.5 before settling back down to 17.5. The total has dropped a full two points after opening at 49.5 and sitting at 47.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Texans vs Cardinals picks

Picks made on 10/22/2021 at 5:01 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Texans vs Cardinals game info

Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Date: Sunday, October 24, 2021
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Texans at Cardinals betting preview


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Key injuries

Texans: Jaleel Johnson DL (Out), Deshaun Watson QB (Out).
Cardinals: Rashard Lawrence DT (Out), Darrell Daniels TE (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 8-2 in the Cardinals’ last 10 vs. a team with a losing record. Find more NFL betting trends for Texans vs. Cardinals.

Texans vs Cardinals predictions

With the biggest spread on the board in Week 7, the 6-0 Cardinals find themselves as 18-point home favorites with likely no head coach for a second straight week. This didn’t seem to bother Kyler Murray and the Cards in Week 6 as they trounced the Browns 37-14 on the road as 3-point dogs. 

Arizona has yet to see a double-digit spread this season but being massive underdogs is nothing new for the Davis Mills-led Texans. Houston got spanked 31-3 last week in Indianapolis as 11.5-point dogs, as the offense has dried up thanks to a lack of weapons, with Houston dealing with plenty of injuries at the wide receiver position. Outside of Brandin Cooks, there isn’t anyone else on this offense that creates, and with Arizona having the second-best defensive EPA per dropback, this bottom-feeding Houston offense averaging 8.3 points in its last three will struggle to score. 

Realistically, with Houston’s offense No. 31 in success rate, Arizona could score 27 points and still cover easily even with a team total of 33.5. Arizona, however, has a great shot at exceeding that team total, as the Houston defense ranks 30th in success rate. Arizona's offense, which is seemingly loaded at every skilled position and now has Zach Ertz, ranks third in EPA/play.  

Kingsbury missing another game isn’t a game-breaker for us, as last week’s results proved. Arizona seems to have a good system with DC Vance Joseph and special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers splitting the HC duties while offensive line coach/run game coordinator Sean Kugler and assistant wide receiver coach Spencer Whipple are doing the play-calling.

Houston was +13.5 at Cleveland with Tyrod Taylor in Week 2 while Arizona was +3 at Cleveland with no head coach last week. It doesn’t feel like this line is short but even at +15 or +16, this is still a three-score spread. This line moved from 17.5 to 18 on Friday evening and we’re following suit. Houston made just one trip into the endzone last week and if it gets down early, field goals are out the window and fourth down attempts will increase. Houston has scored two or more TDs just once in the last four with Davis Mills under center.  

The Under has hit in three of Mills’ starts with the Texans, as his offense has scored zero, three, and nine points in those Unders. Taking this Over is betting on the Houston offense to score 14 points (its team total) and that’s not something we’re willing to do, with a banged-up receiver group that may feature practice squad pass-catcher Chris Moore as WR2. 

This Arizona defense has been superb this year and has held the Browns, 49ers, and Rams to 20 points or fewer in three consecutive weeks. Only the Vikings, in Week 2, have scored more than 20 points against the Cardinals this season.

Last week’s play-calling featured 37 rushes to 30 passes for the Cardinals. This is important information, as the play-calling was done by Whipple and Kugler without Kingsbury there. If the coach misses Week 7, we can expect another run-heavy approach while playing with the lead. 

Chase Edmonds is questionable, meaning James Conner could see more action. Conner is the less explosive of the two backs but knows how to run downhill and eat the clock. 

Getting this total above 47.5 is important, as 47 is a key number in totals. We’re not crazy about Overs on high spread games, especially with an offense as that has the league's worst success rate. 

Since taking over the offense in Week 3, Mills has posted the 30th QBR ahead of only Zach Wilson and Justin Fields. His 6.6 yards per pass attempt ranks 26th and that’s with all the soft defenses he’s faced late in games, with his team trailing by big numbers. His completion percentage is bottom-five and he has no weapons outside of Cooks. Davis could get burned Sunday, as he locks onto Cooks often. If Arizona gets up early and forces Houston to abandon its league-worst running attack, we’re going to see a lot of Mills and that isn’t good for anyone but the Cardinals.

The Cardinals should also force Mills into some uncomfortable situations. Arizona sits in the Top-10 in pressure percentage, QB knockdown percentage, and it blitzes at the fifth-highest rate in the league. Mills has taken 13 sacks this year and has taken at least three in three of his four starts. The Houston O-line allows pressure at the eight-highest rate in the league and has one of the worst OL vs. DL matchups this week, per Pro Football Focus.

Houston scored zero TDs in Indianapolis last week, three in Week 5, zero in Week 4, and one in Week 3. Since Mills was named the starter, Houston has just made five red zone trips across four games. That is one bad offense and we are doubting them to score more than three times against the Cardinals’ defense.  

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