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Seahawks-Cardinals betting line: What to do against the spread in Week 7

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Expect to see a lot of this
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What a tale of halves last week as our Seattle -6 wager looked like an easy win after the first 30 minutes of football. Turned out not to be the case of course, but in losing we have a ‘teachable moment’, simply by the fact that I didn’t lose at all. Or at least, not much. Let me elaborate:

Many wagering sites that you can access on the internets while traveling abroad have what are known as ‘live lines’ available throughout the game to garner more action on a particular event. These lines move from play to play as the game goes on and as players take each side. There is commonly more “juice” involved in these wagers, i.e. a wager may require you to bet $1.25 or more to get $1.00 back. But still, if you have a thesis on how the game will play out ahead of time and see a clue – before scoring occurs - there is considerable value in these lines after waiting for the game to start. There is also the possibility for what happened last Sunday, and the ability to hedge against your original position to create a range of outcomes in which both wagers win without much risk. Let me elaborate some more:

Our original wager was Seattle -6, and boy did it look great halfway through the 2nd quarter. However, with Seattle leading 17-3 and having complete control of the game it led the odds makers to put the Falcons up on the board as a 15.5-point underdog regarding the final score. Considering the initial wager, taking the opposite side at that time created a range of outcomes with a Seattle victory of 7 to 15 points where both wagers won. Landing on the number of 6 you still won one and pushed the other. Atlanta coming all the way back to cover the original -6 would be a push on the entire thing, with the only risk being the juice to the book in the event of that push. Wanting to relax for the rest of the game I took that live wager of Atlanta +15.5 points, and you know how the rest of the game played out.

Moving on to Arizona this week and we find the Seahawks listed as an underdog for the first time this regular season, being spotted 2 points. They were listed as a 3.5-point dog at Kansas City in the first preseason game this year, a 17-16 outright win. You don’t have to go back very far to find the last regular season game in which they were an underdog either. That would be Week 17 at Arizona last year, where the Hawks were instilled as a 6-point underdog. The Seahawks went ahead and covered by 36 points in that game, jumping out to a 30-6 lead at halftime behind touchdowns by Bryce Brown, Will Tukuafu, and Chase Coffman. This game even saw Tarvaris Jackson go 3 for 4 passing after going 1 for 1 on the coin flip, and Drew Stanton come in for Arizona clean up duty. Cards running back David Johnson was held to 25 yards rushing on 11 attempts. It was just total domination by the Seattle defense, and hopefully as foreshadowing to this game, included interceptions by Deshawn Shead, Earl Thomas, and Jeremy Lane.

There is definitely a trend for the Seahawks defense playing very well in Phoenix. In the 2014 season they won 35-6 at Arizona and held them to 29 total rushing yards. In 2013 they won 34-22 on Thursday night on the back of another superior defensive performance were only 30 rushing yards were allowed. You have to go back to 2012 to find a loss at Arizona, 20-16 in Week 1 of the season. And guess what happened there, Seattle only allowed 43 rushing yards.

This is, frankly, incredible. In the last four consecutive meetings at Arizona the Seahawks defense has allowed the Cardinals to rush for 43, 30, 29, and 27 yards in each game. Seattle has forced Arizona to throw the ball at home against their secondary for any shot at winning and they have failed miserably.

There are some trends favoring the Hawks here in the betting markets as well, the most pertinent being that Seattle is 5-2 ATS vs the Cardinals in their last seven, and the road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six matchups. Remember Arizona beating Seattle at home last year? Neither do I. I will also be taking a hard look at the Over sitting at 43, as the Over is 10-2 in the last 12 games played between these two teams in Arizona. 43 doesn’t seem like to high of a hurdle to cross with the Seahawks offense averaging 30 points a game over their last three.

There will be a time when I pick against Seattle against the spread, but this isn’t it. Not when they are being spotted points and have a tendency to play heart attack inducing games. I’m taking the 2-points here and backing the Seahawks, and have a lean on the Over of 43 as well.

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