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NFL betting: It's not easy to trust Kliff Kingsbury when looking at Cardinals future bets

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(In conjunction with Yahoo Sportsbook, BetMGM is launching in Arizona on Thursday. Arizona customers can click here to create a BetMGM account and start betting! Be sure to check out Yahoo Sportsbook for the most up-to-date analysis and odds for your favorite teams.)

Last season, the Arizona Cardinals were on their way to the playoffs. 

They were 5-2 after an overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks and 6-3 after DeAndre Hopkins' Hail Mary catch beat the Buffalo Bills. Then the wheels fell off. 

As Kyler Murray dealt with an injury, the Cardinals went 2-5 to finish the season. They suffered a brutal loss to a banged-up San Francisco 49ers team in Week 16. With the chance to win and make the playoffs in Week 17, Murray was banged up again and the Cardinals lost to the Los Angeles Rams. It was a nightmare finish. 

If you want to be optimistic, the Cardinals did spend much of last season looking like a playoff-worthy team. It's just hard to bet on them taking the next step. 

Cardinals' season odds at BetMGM

The Cardinals' win total for the season at BetMGM is 8.5. Their odds to make the playoffs are +165 (betting $100 to win $165). Arizona has the longest odds to win the NFC West, at +600. 

It seems a little odd to have the win total at 8.5 with such high odds to make the playoffs. That's probably due to the Cardinals' low chances of winning a tough division. Still, if you like the Cardinals to go over 8.5 wins, you probably like those odds to make the playoffs. 

Whether the Cardinals can turn that corner is another question. Kliff Kingsbury has come under heat after his first two seasons for some unusual game management and offensive concepts that haven't necessarily adjusted to beat NFL defenses. Kingsbury enters the season on the hot seat, and there's legitimate reason for that. 

If you are grabbing the Cardinals to win nine or more games, make the playoffs or win the NFC West, you're saying you believe in Kingsbury figuring things out in his third NFL season. 

Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is looking for his first NFL playoff appearance. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is looking for his first NFL playoff appearance. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Cardinals have some stars

The Cardinals have some enticing talent on the roster. 

That starts with Murray, who is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback. Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the game. Rookie Rondale Moore could be a complement to Hopkins at receiver. J.J. Watt was added to the defense after he was cut by the Houston Texans, and assuming Chandler Jones plays despite his trade request, the Cardinals defense should be pretty good. 

One problem could be the schedule. Six games against the Seahawks, 49ers and Rams will be hard. The Cardinals play in likely the toughest division in the NFL. That matters when taking any Cardinals future bets. 

The Cardinals are at a crossroads this season. If they don't make the playoffs or get close, major changes could be made next offseason. There's a lot of pressure on Kingsbury this season, and how you feel about him probably mirrors how you'll bet the Cardinals this season. 

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