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Arizona Cardinals Embrace Underdog Role for the 2023 Season

Arizona Cardinals preparing for the upcoming season
The Arizona Cardinals face challenges in the upcoming season

The Arizona Cardinals are gearing up for the upcoming season, ready to face every challenge with determination and grit. After a disappointing previous year, where they suffered seven consecutive losses and ended with a 4-13 record, the Cardinals are entering the field as true underdogs. DraftKings Sportsbook’s odds don’t favor them for a single victory this year, painting a seemingly bleak picture. However, underestimating this team might prove to be a grave miscalculation.

When assessing the difficulty of their schedule based on opponents’ winning percentages from 2022, the Cardinals are looking at the 11th toughest lineup. But numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. The talent and potential that reside within the Cardinals’ roster are undeniable, making these odds appear overly pessimistic.

Highlighted among the upcoming games are several matchups where Arizona enters as the underdog:

  • Week 9 against Browns: Odds at +260
  • Week 10 against Falcons: Odds at +120
  • Week 11 against Texans: Odds at +120
  • Week 16 against Bears: Odds at +164

It’s worth noting that the teams the Cardinals are facing collectively achieved a mere 20-47 record last season, amounting to a modest 29.9% win rate. Interestingly, each of these teams finished at the bottom of their respective divisions. Is this a reflection of disrespect from others, or is it a challenging reality that the Cardinals must confront head-on?

Beyond just being seen as unfavored, the Cardinals are facing a pervasive lack of respect. This team, however, refuses to let that define them. The odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook for the Cardinals in 2023 are intriguing to say the least:

  • The win line is set at 4.5, with the Texans trailing at 6.5.
  • Surprisingly, there are +1200 odds for the Cardinals to achieve a winning record, surpassing the Texans’ odds at +330.
  • There are +220 odds for the Cardinals to secure the fewest regular season wins, with the Buccaneers as second-to-last at +700.
  • The Cardinals also face +1600 odds for an 0-17 outcome, with the Colts trailing behind at +4000.
  • As the last winless team, the Cardinals are favored at +400 odds, while the Texans trail at +700.
  • In the NFC West, the Cardinals are predicted to finish last with -270 odds, standing alone as the team projected to end up in 4th place.
  • Despite the challenges, there are +1100 odds for the Cardinals to make the playoffs, while the Texans trail at +475.
  • In terms of coaching prospects, Jonathan Gannon stands at +3500 odds to win Coach of the Year, tied with Titans HC Mike Vrabel, who was previously projected to be fired after last season.

Undoubtedly, the Cardinals are in for an uphill battle, facing adversity at every turn. Yet, some of these odds appear to lean towards the extreme. The Cardinals’ recent history paints a different picture—one of potential and resilience. Just two years ago, they began the season with a remarkable 7-0 record, ultimately finishing 11-6. And let’s not forget the 2020 campaign, during which they achieved an 8-8 record and narrowly missed the playoffs due to a tiebreaker with the Bears.

Looking ahead, despite the absence of DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals’ offense remains strong and capable. While projections place them at the bottom of the NFC West, the margin is wide enough for this team to surprise critics and make a significant impact. It’s not about expecting them to dominate the league, but rather acknowledging their potential to finish with a respectable .500 record or better. The Cardinals are here to prove that being an underdog is just a label, not their destiny.

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