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NFL Schedule Week 5 – Game info

2023 NFL Regular Season Game
Cincinnati Bengals (1-3) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-3)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 8
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Venue: State Farm Stadium, in Glendale, Ariz.
TV Channel: Fox
Live Stream: FuboTV

The Cincinnati Bengals travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals in Week 5 of this NFL season, and I’m not sure anybody expected it to be such a tough game to call. On the one hand, the Bengals have significantly underachieved, and quarterback Joe Burrow has struggled to get beyond his first read before being shut down by the opposition’s pass rush. On the other hand, Arizona journeyman quarterback Josh Dobbs has come in and done a fine job as the starter for the Cardinals so far this year. 

We now find ourselves in a situation where a preseason Super Bowl contender (Cincinnati) and a team many thought might be the league’s worst (Arizona) meet in the middle, and both can reasonably expect to win this game.

So, will Burrow and his Bengals teammates find their feet, or will head coach Jonathan Gannon’s Cardinals make their biggest statement of the season to date? Let’s take a look at this matchup and find out.

Bengals vs. Cardinals Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NFL Odds Week 5

Moneyline: Cincinnati Bengals (-150), Arizona Cardinals (+115)
Spread: Bengals -2.5 (-120), Cardinals +2.5 (-105)
Total: Over/Under 44.5 points

Bengals vs. Cardinals PreviewThe Bengals have been arguably the NFL’s most disappointing team this season. Some of that is likely due to quarterback Joe Burrow being limited in the pocket. The calf injury he suffered before the season got under way is still lingering, and he’s tweaked it once already. Burrow is a statue behind the offensive line with very limited mobility and a clear avoidance issue when it comes to escaping pressure and flushing out of the pocket.

He might not be an explosive dual-threat quarterback, but Burrow’s mobility certainly helps his game. Last year. he had 257 rushing yards in the regular season -- taking off when necessary to secure first downs. He found the end zone five times on the ground, too, but this year is clearly unable to move into open space when the pocket collapses.

Through the first four games of the season, Burrow has a total of three rushing yards. The yards themselves aren’t so much the problem, but they are a good indicator of the lower-body issues Burrow is now facing.

The Bengals were embarrassed by the Tennessee Titans this past weekend and were held to three points on offense for the second time this season. Burrow had 20 completions, but only managed 165 yards. He is now averaging just 4.8 yards-per-attempt in 2023. To put that into perspective, he averaged 7.4 last year when the Bengals were consistently moving the ball down the field. This year … not so much, and it’s a real problem.

Arizona head coach Jonathan Gannon’s defense is missing a lot of pieces in a rebuilding year, and the Cardinals give up a fair number of yards. If the Bengals can’t move the ball against this young secondary, there isn’t much hope for them in any other game this season. Cincinnati’s slow start to the 2022 season now looks like a minor issue compared to the problems they’re facing so far in 2023.

The Bengals defense is struggling with its reloaded secondary, and Cincinnati’s run defense is almost non-existent. The team ranks second from the bottom of the league in run defense, allowing 157 rushing yards per game in 2023. Only Denver is allowing more. Titans running back Derrick Henry ran for 122 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals last weekend and looked like his elite-level self despite struggling through the previous three games. Is Derrick Henry back, or did he just take advantage of a Cincinnati Bengals defense that’s just plain bad?

This is a troublesome game for the Bengals. A loss to Arizona with Josh Dobbs at quarterback for the Cardinals would have Cincinnati fans reaching for the panic button, and with good reason.

Arizona is a rebuilding team. The Cardinals weren’t expected to compete this year and have one of the weakest NFL rosters, as well as a rookie head coach and a sidelined franchise quarterback.

In recent years, the departure of former Arizona wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, defensive ends Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt, cornerback Patrick Peterson, and several other veterans had fans and analysts expecting the Cardinals to be a front-runner for the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, perhaps better known as the Caleb Williams sweepstakes. Four weeks into the season, that’s no longer the case. This Cardinals team is a problem for opponents, and Arizona is now creating trap games for every team it faces.

The Cardinals made a statement when they went out and beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3. Until that point, Dallas appeared to be one of the best teams in football. The Cardinals might only have one win, but two of their three losses were settled by margins less than five points.

Dobbs deserves a ton of credit for how he has handled himself in the role of Arizona’s starting quarterback. He arrived a matter of days before the season started, and he’s putting the Cardinals in a position to win.

Through four games, Dobbs has 814 passing yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, and great performances against both the Cowboys and 49ers defenses, which are two of the best in the league.

Wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is enjoying a lead role in Arizona’s offense, while Zach Ertz offers a veteran target at tight end, and rookie receiver Michael Wilson is emerging as one of the best value picks from the 2023 draft. The former Stanford Cardinal caught both of Arizona’s touchdowns against the 49ers and has 237 receiving yards through four games.

The Cardinals have a real shot at winning this game. They’re playing at home, the Bengals are vulnerable, and this matchup is nothing like it was expected to be before the season began.

Bengals vs. Cardinals Predictions and NFL Picks Week 5

Cincinnati is a 2.5-point favorite here, which tells me everything I need to know about the oddsmakers’ confidence in the Bengals winning this game.

Through four games, the Bengals are 0-3-1 against the spread, and it hasn’t even been close. They were 2.5-point favorites against the Titans last week and lost by 24. In Week 1, they were only a one-point underdog against Cleveland on the road and lost by 21. The margins have been dismal, making betting against the Bengals a profitable move this year.

Cincinnati will struggle with Arizona running back James Conner, and the Bengals will also face difficulties against the underrated Cardinals' defensive front, in which players such as Dennis Gardeck have made a significant impact early in the season. I’m backing the Cardinals to not only cover, but win.

The Pick: Arizona Cardinals to win (+115)

While I don’t have faith in the Bengals pulling off a road win, I do think they will score some points. The over/under total for the game is 44.5, and the Bengals absolutely need to be able to score at least 17 points here to avoid a riot among their fanbase.

This Cardinals defense is young, relatively inexperienced on the back end, and allows 242.5 passing yards per game. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and his offense need to be able to find some rhythm here, or we’re looking at far more serious problems than we currently anticipate. 

The Pick: Over 44.5 Points Total (-115)

Best NFL Player Prop Bets Today for Bengals vs. Cardinals

Tyler BoydCincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins suffered a rib injury last weekend and is currently a big question mark for the game against Arizona. He hadn’t practiced early in the week and will likely be a game-day decision for Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. 

When Higgins is out -- if he is indeed out for this game-- we typically see a hefty increase in production from Tyler Boyd, who is one of the most trustworthy WR3s in football.

Boyd has averaged five catches over the past three games despite Higgins also being out there and the Bengals offense struggling to move the football. So, since he’s going up against a lower-ranked passing defense and could potentially have a larger role, I’m backing Boyd to cover his yardage line this week.

The Pick: Tyler Boyd Over # Receiving Yards (odds)

James Conner

Arizona running back James Conner is playing a lot better than I expected him to this season. He’s averaging 5.1 yards-per-carry with 318 total rushing yards and two touchdowns through four games.

Having seen what the Titans did to this Bengals’ front-seven last week, I suspect the Cardinals will work extra hard this week to establish the run early and open up the game for quarterback Josh Dobbs.

Conner ran for 98 yards against Dallas and 106 against the New York Giants -- two significantly better run defenses than Cincinnati’s. Conner should cover the 58.5-yard rushing line with ease in what is one of my favorite player prop lines of the week.

The Pick: James Conner Over 59.8 Rushing Yards (-120)

Best Same-Game Parlay Picks for Bengals vs. Cardinals Week 5: 2-Leg Parlay Pick (+310)


Leg 1: Arizona Cardinals to win (+115)

Total Points

Leg 2: Over 44.5 Points Total (-115)

Odds are subject to change*

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