Arizona Cardinals (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. New York Giants (5-1 SU, 4-1-1 ATS), 8:20 p.m. EST, Sunday Night, October 25, 2009, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. TV: NBC (Week 7)
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cardinals +7/Giants -7
Before Sunday’s 48-27 loss to the Saints, the New York Giants looked like an elite team. They were 5-0 and their last three wins were by double digits. Eli Manning was having a career year, Steve Smith was the top wide receiver in the league, and Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs were teaming up to run all over opposing defenses. But the Giants had faced four of the worst teams in the league – the Redskins, Buccaneers, Chiefs and Raiders. Their only win was a nail-biter over the Cowboys. Finally, the Giants could be tested, but the Saints proved that they are the best team in the NFL this season and the Giants are not on their level.
After that embarrassing blowout loss, the Giants will look to bounce back on Sunday night when the host the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals started the season shaky with a 1-2 record. But after their bye week, they have won two straight over the Texans and Seahawks. The Cardinals defense is playing well right now and has only allowed over 21 points in a game once this season, and that was to the Colts.
Cardinals QB Kurt Warner has been very accurate this season, completing 68.7 percent of his passes. The Giants may have the best pass defense in the league, allowing just 147.3 yards per game, but they were picked apart by Saints QB Drew Brees on Sunday. The Cardinals have a similar pass attack with multiple weapons. Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston and Tim Hightower can all catch a lot of passes make plays for the Cardinals. Fitzgerald had a career-high 13 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Seawhawks.
While the Giants have the best pass defense in the league, the Cardinals have the best rush defense in the league, allowing 59.6 yards per game. The Cardinals, though, have the second worst pass defense in the league, giving up 265.2 yards per game. This game could be a defensive battle. The Cardinals need their passing game to be effective for them to win. Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells can run a little bit for the Cardinals, but neither of them has even reached 200 rushing yards for the season yet. The Giants like to run the ball first, but if that’s not working they have proved they can win games through the air. At times, Manning and Smith have dominated games this season. Mario Manningham has also stepped up to be an effective wide receiver for the Giants.
Manning has 1,390 passing yards this season, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. Bradshaw and Jacobs have combined for 811 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The Cardinals haven’t won back-to-back road games since 2001. The Giants defeated the Cardinals at home last season, 37-29. The loss to the Saints was the first ATS loss for the Giants this season. The Giants are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine home games. The Cardinals are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games and 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. The total has gone under in four of Arizona’s five games this season. The last time the Cardinals played on Sunday night, they lost 31-10 at home to the Colts in Week 3.
Ryno’s Pick: This will be an interesting battle between the best pass defense and the best rush defense. The difference could be the fact that the Cardinals also have the second worst pass defense. But, even though the Giants have the best pass defense, they were dominated by Brees and the Saints through the air. And the Giants hadn’t faced much competition before that. They gave up 31 points to Tony Romo and the Cowboys in their only other decent competition this season. On one hand, it looks like this will be a defensive battle because of how successful the Giants have been against the pass and the Cardinals against the run. But on the other hand, both of these teams will be airing it out a lot and they combined for 66 points when they met last season. The Giants are coming off their first loss and will be at home in primetime. The Cardinals are coming off a road win and haven’t done that in back-to-back weeks in eight years. Take the Giants -7.