Arizona Cardinals (7-8 SU, 5-9-1 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (9-6 SU, 6-8-1 ATS)
NFL Week 17
Date/Time: Sunday, December 31, 2017 at 4:25PM EST
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ARI +9.5/SEA -9.5
Over/Under Total: 38.5
In week 17 NFC West action, the Arizona Cardinals come to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are playing to get into the playoffs, wile the Cardinals are playing the role of spoiler, while trying to reach the .500 mark. For the Cardinals, that would be great, considering how much they overcame this season. They did well to shut out the Giants on Sunday, 23-0. Seattle stayed alive last week with a 21-12 win over the Cowboys on the road. As NFC West teams, they already played once this season, with the Seahawks winning in Arizona, 22-16, in week ten action.
The Seahawks face a tough spot here, as they could go 10-6 and not make the playoffs. To get in, they need to win this game and hope the Falcons lose to the Panthers. They dont exactly have their destiny in their own hands, but the Panthers have been really hot lately and maybe they can match the Falcons urgency on Sunday and the Seahawks can take care of business on Sunday. Its not that wild of a scenario. Leading to the win over the Cowboys, they had lost to the Jags and were crushed by the Rams in consecutive weeks. We havent seen the same consistency out of the Seahawks on either side of the ball in 2017. But after falling behind going into the second-half against Dallas, what seemed to be a tough game was taken over by Seattle. They were able to pull away despite not making a lot happen offensively, with just 136 total yards. But they made the most of what they had, got a defensive score, and remained alive for the postseason.
Seattle made the most of minimal yardage, with Russell Wilson throwing for touchdowns to Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin. While Wilson has 32 aerial touchdowns this season, with some big games along the way, there is a troubling inconsistency in applying this formula. And despite a gaggle of different backs getting touches, they never really found the right answers at running back, where they have lacked continuity and effectiveness. While they can be prolific on occasion, its not something you can bet on this season.
The Seahawks have made it work with a sometimes-pedestrian offense before, but the erosion on the defensive side of the ball has been a big part of their troubles. Injuries have sapped them of a bulk of their power. They had some big plays that helped on Sunday against Dallas, with KJ Wright and CB Justin Coleman getting interceptions, with Coleman returning his for a touchdown. They got a good pass-rush, with Michael Bennett and Frank Clark among those who got sacks. Bobby Wagner looked a lot better and was in on a lot of plays. They have enough to still resemble themselves in their glory-period, but there are weeks where they are anything but dominant on this side of the ball.
The Seahawks certainly have higher urgency and are at hordinals. At running back, they are deep in the barrel with Kerwynn Williams and practice-squad member Elijhaa Perry handling the running duties. Stanton had two touchdowns on Sunday, hitting the still-reliable Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown with scoring strikes. Its a pretty bare offense, but one that can be effective, despite the lack of horsepower. It would have been nice to see what they could have done at full-power or close to it. But for a team that has been trying to patch something together all season, theyve become pretty adept at it.
The Arizona defense has been through a lot this season, ame, but what makes this hard is the resolve of their opponent. For the Cardinals to even be flirting with a .500 record with the personnel issues they have faced is amazing. They had been forced to dig deep at key positions, yet have remained competitive somehow. This is not the slam-dunk that it might appear to be on the surface. Seattle is not a team on the rise. Theyve lost three of their last four at home. The Cardinals are far from hopeless in this scenario. Getting to .500 would mean a lot for the Cardinals. It would make it hard to fire Bruce Arians and be something to build upon for next year, where theyd have to catch more breaks than this season.
Quarterback Drew Stanton is back behind center for the Cas well. Their recent form, however, should be a concern to the Seahawks and their potential backers this week. They have given up a total of just 27 points in their last three games. Their heavy-hitters on this side of the ball have started coming around, with Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu better of late. Also in the secondary, Antoine Bethea has five picks and Budda Baker is very active in this defense. Chandler Jones is a massive pass-rushing presence and leads the NFL with 15 sacks heading into week 17. Theyre playing well enough to warrant some concern from the favored Seahawks this week.
There is still a lot of championship experience on that Seattle sideline. If they were to pound the Cardinals at home, it wouldnt register that much of a shock. But the reason the Seahawks are in this spot is the reason this might not be as easy as it would seem. The component of urgency hasnt really registered with them this season and they cant just willpower themselves into playing better. Its not like they werent trying when they were beaten up the Jags and squashed by the Rams. I like the Cardinals to make this a bit tough on the Seahawks this week. Ill take the points.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Arizona Cardinals plus 9.5 points. - We care about our readers! And THAT is why we promote the hell out of Intertops! Online since the 90’s, never a payout complaint, 50/100% bonus offers, live betting, fast payouts and the best player loyalty program on the web which gives you points every time you bet. Redeem these points for free bets. It’s continuous. It never expires and there’s no limit to how many rewards you can receive! Get signed up TODAY to start reaping the benefits!