Arizona (7-4) +2.5, 46.5 O/U at Philadelphia (5-5-1)
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, P.A., 8:15PM Eastern, Sunday
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
The Arizona Cardinals travel across to take on Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles. Or wait, is it Donovan McNabbs team? Last week, for the first time in Donovan McNabbs career he was benched by head coach Andy Reid. McNabb has struggled in recent weeks and last week the Eagles pulled their star QB off the field and questions have been looming around Philadelphia all week. The Eagles host the Cardinals this Thanksgiving Holiday and the all eyes will be on McNabb to see if get control back in the Eagles camp.
The Cardinals have had a solid season much better than last year. The Cardinals are way out in front in the NFC West and would basically nearly have to lose the rest of their games to not clinch the division. With the pressure of making the playoffs being a minimum, the Cardinals can just relax and try to pick up victories. Arizona suffered a tough loss to the defending champion New York Giants last week 37-29. The loss marked the first defeat for Arizona in the month of November considering they had previously racked up 3 straight wins. The Cardinals will try to take advantage of a backpedaling Eagles team this weekend and pick up their 8th win on the season.
The Eagles troubles continued last week when they were trampled by Baltimore 37-6. McNabb started the first half going 8-18 with 0 TDs and 2 picks and was pulled and replaced by backup QB Kevin Kolb. Things did not get any better with Kolb in the game as he would throw another 2 picks and leave the Eagles team and fans shaking their heads. Philadelphia has not had a win since the first week in November after losing two games and having that unheard of tie with Cincinnati. The Eagles look to rebound this Thanksgiving against the Arizona Cardinals.
Arizona has one of the most effective offenses in the NFL led by their passing attack. The Cardinals rank 2nd in the NFL in passing yards averaging 309 yards per game through the air. The Cardinals also rank 2nd in the league in total yards averaging 390 yards per game of total offense. Arizona is also averaging nearly 29 points per game this season placing them as the 3rd best in scoring offense. The Cardinals hope to continue their high power offense this Thursday night.
Philadelphia has had their share of problems this season but on paper they have played well on both sides of the ball. The Eagles rank in the top 10 in the NFL in nearly every major category on offense and defense outside of the Philadelphia rushing offense. The Eagles rush offense has had a tough time moving the ball on the ground only putting together 94 yards per game on the ground. Other than that, Philadelphia is averaging 24 points per game, racking up 350 yards of total offense, and 255 yards per game through the air. The Eagles defense has played well this season. The Philly defense has only allowed 288 yards per game of total offense ranking 6th best in the NFL. The Eagles have played well this season, but have just had a lot of close losses.
Vegas has opened the betting line expecting the Eagles to bounce back this weekend favoring them by 2.5 points over the Cardinals. However, the large majority of the betting public early in the week is siding with Arizona ATS by nearly 80%. The over/under total for the game has been set at 46.5 with a large portion of the betting public favoring the over. ML numbers have Philadelphia listed at -135 and Arizona posted at +105.
The Cardinals have been led by the play of veteran QB Kurt Warner. Warner the once forgotten man in Arizona has had an exceptional year completing 70% of his passes, for 3507 yards, with 21 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Warner has been as solid as a starter can be in a pass happy offense. Warners favorite target this season has been the outstanding play of WR Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has 72 catches this season for 1010 yards with 6 touchdowns. Fitzgerald has some good company at wide receiver in teammate WR Anquan Boldin. Boldin missed two games this season as has still compiled 879 yards this season with 11 touchdowns. Look for Kurt Warner to try and get the ball into these two playmakers hands often.
Philadelphia offense is led by the play of QB Donovan McNabb and running back Brian Westbrook. Westbrook is a multi-purpose back that can move the ball on the ground or by catching passes out of the backfield. The problem has been in recent weeks Westbrook has been hampered by a knee injury but will likely play this Thursday. QB Donovan McNabb is only completing 58% of his passes on the season. McNabb has thrown for 2770 yards with 14 TDs this season; however he has also thrown 10 interceptions which have led to the problems in recent weeks. Expect McNabb to be the guy with something to prove when they battle Arizona.
Philadelphia is 3-5 in their last 8 games and 5-9-1 in their last 15 games in Philadelphia. The Eagles have gone on the under total in 6 of their last 7 games at home as well. Philly is also 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games against Arizona. Arizona is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games and the total has gone on the over side in 6 of their last 8. The Cardinals are also 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games on the road.
Jays Pick: I dont know what to think bout this game, with McNabbs inconsistency. I expect him to come out with something to prove, but will things change? Im going to pass on this one.