Last week’s pick was to take the Under of 38 – a winning wager in a game that ended up finishing 24-3 in favor of the Seahawks. I also took the Rams +10 in the first half as noted in the thread of the article, and then Seattle -7 second half with Over 13.5 Seattle team total in the second half to get the taste of cashing a ticket backing the Rams out of my mouth. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
This is when things get pretty dicey in the NFL. Teams with everything to lose playing teams with nothing to gain. Game plans change. Motivations change. And you just don’t know which team will show up on the other side of the field on
Of course, I am talking about the freshly eliminated Arizona Cardinals here, in a game that will only effect draft position for them after their failed season is over — Arizona Cardinals: Failed — Sorry, had to type that out one more time just for kicks. Their season went into a freefall after their 6-6 tie with the Seahawks in Week 7. Including that game, they have gone 2-5-1 SU and a putrid 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games. Arizona’s defense has left them high and dry too, as they come into this game riding a five-game streak of hitting the Overs. Their defensive struggles culminated last week when they gave up almost a fifty-burger to New Orleans at home.
What is odd about the Cardinals defense is that they allow all of those points without giving up much yardage. On the year, they are allowing just 312.1 yards per game overall (4th lowest in the NFL), while allowing 23.2 points per game (19th in the NFL). As Kenneth’s Q&A article outlined, a lot of this is due to Arizona’s kicking game. The Cardinals are dead last in net punting average at 40.8 yards. That’s well below the league average and I look forward to Tyler Lockett busting open a big return in this game.
While Arizona was favored by 2.5-points in the first game that ended in a tie, Seattle opened as 9-point favorites this weekend. Early action has been on the Cards, and now you can find the line on the Seahawks as low as 7.5 points. The total is an interesting proposition with Arizona’s defensive woes and has opened at 43 points.
There are some strong betting trends in this matchup, starting with the road team covering the spread in the last four games; 4 out of the last 5 matchups Seattle covered the spread against Arizona regardless of where the game was played though. In addition to that, the Seahawks are 4-0 ATS at home in their last four tries this season. The Card’s five-game over streak flies in the face of their play against division rivals, which trends towards the Under at a 6-1 clip. The Hawks also play the NFC West to low totals, coming in at 5-1 in their last six games favoring the Under. The head-to-head matchup has cashed the Under in 6 of the last 8 games played in Seattle.
Looking back at the game in October that ended in a 6-6 tie, it is hard not to notice that Arizona outgained the Seahawks to the tune of 443 yards to 257. David Johnson had 171 all-purpose yards and made a mockery of Seattle’s rushing “attack” led by Christine Michael. That wasn’t even the low point of the Seahawks offense on the season, of course. Getting the Cardinals at home should fix this, and get Seattle back to the over 33-point average they were putting up on Arizona the three games before that.
With the Card’s recent defensive woes, what I’m thinking we need here for the Over to cash is for Arizona to put up about 13 points. The only time they haven’t done that this season was against the Hawks at home, but the yards were there. They can take as many risks as they want to because their season is lost, which could lead to short fields for Seattle’s offense – or freak touchdowns. I’m staying away from the side here because of the risk of a garbage time back door cover, making Over 43 the safest play on this game.