Seattle Seahawks(5-1SU,4-2ATS) @Arizona Cardinals(3-3SU,2-4ATS)
Date and Time:October 17, 2013 8:35 p.m. EST.
Where:University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ.
byWilson,Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:Sea -6.5/AZ +6.5
Over/Under Total:40.5 (Opened at 42.5)
The Seattle Seahawks won again at home after a tough loss to the Colts on the road a week earlier. Seattle was favored by as many as 13.5 in this home game against the Tennessee Titans but they didnt cover in this matchup. The Titans played the Hawks straight up for most of the game until RB Marshawn Lynch took over in the second half. Lynch, with the help of his QB Russell Wilson and other teammates established himself as a force in the latter part of the game by rushing through and around Titan defenders for crucial yardage. Lynch also drifted out of the backfield opposite of a Russell Wilson roll-out and caught a pass from Wilsonvia across the field for a 55 yard catch and run that helped put the Hawks in scoring position. Tennessee backup QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, threw two INTs, and although he played decent hes no Jake Locker. Seattle moved to 5-1 in the NFC West and have a commanding lead in their division. Despite a few mishaps the Hawks looked good as always at CenturyLink Field.
Seattles defense rose to the occasion and forced two turnovers and put pressure on Fitzpatrick all day. The Hawks D stopped any hope of a running attack as they held Titans RB Chris Johnson to just 33 total yards on 12 carries. Meanwhile, the Hawks racked up 151 total rushing yards with 138 of those yards divided between Lynch (77 yds) and Wilson (61yds), and Robert Turbin had one carry for 13 yards. The rest of the Seahawk offense was the usual token dump passes to Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice as well as TE Luke Willson and WR Jermaine Kearseplenty of options for QB Wilson. But Wilson did his thing as expected by using his now infamous pump fake while scrambling around either end for positive yards or then some. Head Coach Pete Carroll commented about Russell Wilsons decision making skills before the game, Hes always right! For a second year QB Russell Wilson is quite dynamic when it comes to making big-game choices especially late in the contests. The loss at Indy is already a distant memory put on the shelflesson learnedthe Hawks are back on track; not perfect by any miens but back on track regardless.
The Seahawks are now done with a long stretch of games in which two of the last three games were tough on the road at Houston and at Indy but the home win against the Titans is just the spark they need heading into the desert next weekend at the University of Phoenix Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals will not be a laugher for the Hawks as they get back to division play. Arizona QB Carson Palmer is a serious competitor who has a knack for making plays and driving his team down field. Palmer was 25/41 passing with 298 yds, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs against the 49ers in a 32-20 loss at Candlestick Park. Palmers main targets are WR Michael Floyd (21 receptions, 301 yds this season) and veteran WR Larry Fitzgerald who had 6 catches for 117 yds; one for a 75 yard TD reception against the Niners. The Cardinal will need both the run and gun if they want to compete with a tough Seattle D. Arizona had a total of 109 rushing yards between two backs, Ellington (56 yds) and Mendenhall (40) but they need to find more targets in the passing attack if they expect to establish the run against the stingy Seahawk D-line.
Certainly the sports books will consider the home team when they magically determine what the point spread should be in this weeks Thursday night NFL matchup but you can bet that Seattle will be favored by at least a FG or more on the road given they have a tendency to get things going later than earlier especially on the roadthey struggled in week one to scrap out a win at Carolina; then went to overtime at Houston to steal one after they were down 20-3 in the first half; and they lost their only game of the season thus far on the road at Indy to a very good Colts crew. The bottom line is the Seahawks have had their challenges this year on the road. The Hawks offense doesnt seem to be balanced yet and it is week 7? They cant continue to lean on the legs of Lynch and QB Wilson as their sole offensive packagethey need to find consistency in their passing game which will open up an easier work load for Lynch to work from. The Hawks look good at Arizona regardless of their lethargic road efforts. Take the Hawks to cover on the road! Luck to ya.
WilsonsPick to Cover the Point Spread:Arizona is a GREAT home team. Expect a grind Thursday night with the Seahawks pulling off the victory, but the Cardinals covering the point spread. Luck to ya!