Arizona Cardinals (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (4-4 SU, 2-5-1 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date/Time: Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 8:30PM EST
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
by Scott, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ARI +3/SEA -3
Over/Under Total: 45
The Arizona Cardinals meet the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Sunday Night Football in a key NFC West battle. Each team enters this game rested coming off the bye-week. And both teams won their last two games before getting the extra break. The Cardinals are coming off a 34-20 road win over the Cleveland Browns, a win that lifted them to 6-2, comfortably ahead in the division. Seattle has battled to get to .500 at 4-4, earning a tough road win against Dallas two Sundays ago, 13-12. If the two-time defending conference champions are looking to make a second-half push, this would be a great game to start against the division leaders.
Seattle has been an aggravating team this season. The defense has really whipped itself into shape over the course of recent weeks, allowing a meager 15 points over their past 2 games with zero touchdowns. But that would mean so much more if the offense werent such an utter disappointment. There arent any players you could blame for this, other than an offensive line that has clearly reached the level of poor. Its more of an issue with the whole offensive approach. In any event, the Seattle offense is awfully predictable and underachieving. But then again, it wasnt that great when they won the Super Bowl. This team is about defense and in that area, they are starting to round into shape.
Russell Wilson is a tremendous player, who seems to spend most of his effort making sure the offense isnt a total abomination. Hes on the run constantly due to the porous line, as he swashbuckles his way around, trying to make something positive happen. On one hand, Marshawn Lynch could be poised for a big second half to the season. Jimmy Graham hasnt blossomed with his new team, but offers a different passing option that could pay off at least a little. Its just that even with the time off, the O-line suffered some injuries that they could ill afford. What you think this offense should be capable of achieving never seems to pan out and an even more-depreciated line isnt going to help.
Seattle could very well rely on their defense and grind out victories with their offense languishing. But when you place a bet on the Seahawks, especially at home, youre going to need points. This isnt a bottom-line W-L framework with which we bettors work. We need to cover spreads and a team thats been in the past two Bowls isnt prone to get points very often. And when betting on this offense, the experience can be downright excruciating. Seattle has only covered the spread twice in 8 games this season. And their last two wins, which people are citing as evidence for a Seattle surge, came in a one-point win against a Romo-less Dallas team that has lost 6 in a row, along with a win over the Niners. Things should get a lot tougher this week.
Arizona is sitting pretty at 6-2 and coming off a bye week where some aging bodies got to rest their bones as they brace for what should be a difficult second-half of the season. Arizona has shown flashes over the past few years, but this is where they can start to establish themselves as a real contender. After losing two of three and looking a bit ragged, the Cardinals responded with two non-competitive wins before going into the bye.
The Cardinals also boast of a solid defense, which is ranked in the top seven both against the run and the pass. That could be the key if they are able to travel well to a really hostile environment. Its a pretty tough road trip for a divisional game. But if the defense can play the kind of game that theyre capable of, its easy to see them making life really hard on the Seattle offense.
Whereas the Seattle offense looks stuck in the mud, the Cardinals offense is 2nd in the league at 33 points per game. Quarterback Carson Palmers won-loss record over his past 20+ starts with Arizona is phenomenal. Veterans have stepped up, while younger players have improved in this offense. On the old-timers side, Larry Fitzgerald is resurgent this season, with first-year Cardinal RB Chris Johnson coming through big in recent games. Youngster John Brown has stepped up with some huge games, as he becomes a more consistent contributor on offense. Michael Floyd overcame an uneven start to get on the right track against the Browns.
The Cardinals D has been serviceable against a wide array of different offensive styles so far this season. And what makes it really appealing is how they press the issue. They can come up with the timely play and stop. This defense has scored 3 touchdowns and registered 13 interceptions. Its a group that plays with a lot of heart and unity. With the Cardinals, the team-concept is what sets them apart. Its a team without stars looking to do big things.
Seattle is still a team with a championship pedigree. They are going to be vying to not suffer their 5th loss, which would put them in a really bad spot this early in the season. In many ways, this could be a defining game for the Seahawks. Not that it doesnt mean anything for the Cardinals. And sometimes, a team on the heels of recent glory like Seattle is unable to simply will themselves to wins once the mojo runs dry. At the same time, with the Seahawks at home, their defense playing well, and an extra week to work on offensive kinks, its hard to believe that they wont play well on Sunday.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Seattle Seahawks minus 3 points.
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