San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds and Pick to Cover the Point Spread

San Francisco 49ers (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS), 8:30 pm EST, NFL Week 12, Monday, November 29, 2010, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

By Scotty L of

Betting Odds: 49ers +1/Cardinals -1
Over/Under Total: 40

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Two 3-7 teams tangle on Monday night, as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Arizona Cardinals. The very fact that this matchup was made for Monday Night Football shows these two teams have underachieved to some extent. The Cardinals at least have a good excusesuffering from a slew of key personnel losses, but the 49ers dont have much to hang their hat on. They have been truly awful.

After winning 3 of 4 and appearing to right the ship somewhat, the 49ers got blanked at home on Sunday by Tampa Bay. It is the kind of loss that ruins seasons. After 10 games, theyve experienced a wide range of emotions. They began the season as a playoff hopeful and supposed up-and-coming team and proceeded to go 0-5. They breathed some wind back into their sails, but getting shut out at home might represent the beginning of another downward trajectory in their spirits that they will not be able to recover from. The Buccaneers are surely a resurgent team, but the 49ers looked poised to make a little second-half spurt. For them to not even be competitive was truly a letdown.

This week they are lucky to draw a team that is also in bad shape. A 3-2 start to this season gave hope that the Cardinals might be able to get through the campaign without the wheels falling off, but that is what appears to be happening. After 5 straight losses and on the heels of an impotent 31-13 losing performance against the Chiefs, the Cards are looking a bit ragged. At least they are home, where they have played better, including wins over the Raiders and Saints. At home, they have averaged almost 27 points a game, as opposed to about 15 per game on the road.

However crazy it might sound in light of losing 5 straight and being 31st in total yardage, the Cardinals offense is showing signs of a little life from time to time. Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston have been one of the only bright spots on the team. On Sunday, despite never being in the game, they each caught 6 balls. Seldom-used Andre Roberts also caught a half-dozen balls, giving hope that Arizona can once again flaunt a versatile receiving crew. Even Timothy Hightower and Beanie Wells combined for 100 yards on the ground.

The 49ers have played the last two games with Troy Smith at quarterback. He did well against the Rams, but struggled mightily in getting goose-egged by Tampa Bay. Smith is undoubtedly a fine athlete, but there are reasons why a Heisman winner (by the biggest margin ever) had to wait years to get an NFL start, and none of them are good. He might be a better fit for this offense in many ways, but his performance on Sunday showed he will likely struggle big-time against the more stout NFL defenses. Alex Smith is listed as questionable for Mondays game. The quarterback situation in San Francisco is a little unsettled at the moment. Neither one is lighting the world on firethats for sure.

Cardinals QB Derek Anderson has been a bit more productive lately, but he has a stubborn case of mediocrity that he cannot shake. Frankly, this offense should be more feared considering some of the weapons at their disposal. Losing Boldin hurt, as did the key defensive losses of Dansby and Rolle, but Kurt Warner is truly missed. Both the offense and defense lack any of their former zip. They are no higher than 26th in any major category in offense and defense. Damning statistics indeed.

Scotty L’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Both teams are suffering, especially on offense. It just seems that the San Francisco defense hasnt totally went to pieces yet. If they can summon another decent performance, they should be able to keep the Cardinals offense from getting on track. The Cardinals defense is fraying at the edges. Look for an irritated 49ers team to be able to put a few drives together and edge the Cardinals for a cover. Take the 49ers plus one point.