Texans at Cardinals how to watch: TV, streaming, odds, prediction as Arizona seeks first 7-0 start since 1974

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The Arizona Cardinals remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL, continuing as the surprising leader of the NFC West through six games this season. With the way Arizona has played, the start shouldn’t have been surprising considering it has a top five offense in points scored and top five defense in points allowed. 

Texans at Cardinals how to watch: TV, streaming, odds, prediction as Arizona seeks first 7-0 start since 1974
© Provided by CBS Sports

Arizona has received MVP-caliber play from Kyler Murray, who has completed a league-high 73.8% of his passes for 1,741 yards, 14 touchdowns, and four interceptions for a 116.2 passer rating. With 116 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns, Murray is coming into his own in just his third season, becoming one of the league’s elite quarterbacks. 

As the Cardinals are seeking their first 7-0 start since 1974, the Houston Texans are on a five-game losing streak and are one of the worst teams in football. While they continue to try to trade Deshaun Watson, and with Tyrod Taylor still out due to injury, Houston has been using this season to develop rookie third-round pick Davis Mills, who has completed 63.3% of his passes for 912 yards with five touchdowns to seven interceptions (73.2 rating). The Texans have the worst point differential in the NFL (-80) and are seeking to avoid their worst start in franchise history (they also started 1-6 in 2005). 

This may arguably be the most lopsided matchup in the NFL on paper this week, but will it play out that way? Here’s a preview of Sunday’s tilt. 

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Oct. 24 | Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Location: State Farm Stadium (Glendale, AZ)TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)

Follow: CBS Sports App

Odds: Cardinals -17.5, O/U 47.5

Key matchups

Texans rush offense vs. Cardinals run defense

The Cardinals have been one of the easier teams to run on through six weeks, showcasing the way a team can eliminate them from the ranks of the unbeaten. Here’s the underlying issue for Houston — the Texans can’t run the ball. Houston averages just 3.3 yards per carry this season, the second-worst rushing mark in the NFL. David Johnson has been Houston’s most effective runner at 4.0 yards per carry, yet has just 20 carries on the year and has been the Texans’ pass-catching back over a pure runner. Mark Ingram is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry on 86 carries and Phillip Lindsay is averaging just 2.5 yards on 36 carries. There’s a reason Houston ranks just 26th in the league in rushing yards. 

Still, Arizona’s run defense is a problem — for teams that can run the ball. The Cardinals defense allows an average of 5.2 yards per carry, the second-highest mark in the NFL. Despite the Cardinals having problems stopping the run, they have only allowed three rushing touchdowns on the year — the third-fewest in the league. Arizona has an opportunity to improve its run defense against one of the worst run offenses in the league. 

Kyler Murray vs. Houston’s pass defense

Houston is prone to giving up big plays in the secondary, which isn’t a good sign for the Texans to have any shot at upsetting Arizona. The Texans have allowed 25 completions of 20+ yards this season, the sixth-most in the NFL. The big play susceptibility is a problem when going up against a quarterback like Kyler Murray. 16% of Murray’s attempts have been 20+ yards downfield, which is the sixth-highest percentage in the league. His 8.93 yards per attempt is the third-highest in the NFL, proving the Cardinals prefer to attack their opponents in the passing game. 

The Cardinals could look to put the Texans away early with big-pass plays downfield, as Murray has plenty of targets that can make plays. Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals try to build a sizable lead in the first half. 

Prediction 

Latest Odds: Arizona Cardinals -17.5 Bet Now

The Cardinals are heavy favorites in this matchup for a reason, a game they shouldn’t lose — especially to a team as vulnerable as the Texans. This is a game to stay away from on the betting side of things, especially with a spread as large as 17.5 points. The Cardinals should be able to air it out against the Texans, forcing Houston to throw early and often. Mills has been sacked 12 times over the last four games as a starter while the Cardinals have 17 sacks on the year. 

This could be a long day for Houston if the Texans can’t run the ball, something the Texans haven’t done well all year.

Cardinals 38, Texans 18 

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