The two top teams in the NFC West will take part in a key clash for playoff positioning and seeding on the final edition of Sunday Night Football this season. It’s been a surprising year for the Arizona Cardinals from the outset. Most knew they’d have a pretty solid team, but nobody expected them to currently possess an 11-3 record and sit atop a division that has both the Seahawks and 49ers. And when you factor in the huge rash of injuries that they have had to endure, it’s all the more impressive. That said, you have to wonder when this bubble will burst, and could just be tonight as the defending champion Seahawks roll into town. Seattle is starting to regain that championship swagger, with their defense and offense firing on all cylinders. This remains an elite group, but they’re one that plays far better at home than it does on the road. Securing homefield advantage is paramount to their playoff success and winning tonight would all but ensure that comes to a fruition. It’s a divisional clash filled with intrigue and we’ve got it covered here at The Sports Geek. Read on below for a game breakdown and our official wager for the Seahawks/Cardinals.
Seahawks vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
Seattle Seahawks -8 (-115)
@ Arizona Cardinals +8 (-105)
Under 36.5 (-105)
Under 36.5 (-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Seahawks vs. Cardinals Pick:
It’s been a great ride for the Arizona Cardinals. The achievements they’ve made thus far have been thoroughly impressive, and head coach Bruce Arians deserves some serious recognition for coach of the year. That said, you get the sense that it could all come crashing down in the next few weeks. This team is banged up, and with Ryan Lindley now calling the shots as the Cardinals’ quarterback, it might just be a matter of time before the implosion hits. Lindley has thrown 7 career interceptions to go along with no touchdown passes. That’s not a good record and going against the Seahawks defense this week will be one of the regular season mismatches of the year. The Cardinals will have very little success moving the chains tonight as Seattle as given up just 27 points over the past four games. That’s 27 total, by the way. Seattle will completely overwhelm the Arizona offensive line, and have mustered a ton of pressure in getting to the opposing QB. The Seahawks have generated 16 sacks in those past four weeks. Add in the fact that Andre Ellington will be out tonight, and Arizona doesn’t have much of a chance moving the ball either on thr ground or through the air. It’s not out of the question to see the Cardinals put up 0 points tonight. I just can’t see how this team scores against the Seattle defense.
On the other side of things, the Seahawks offense is starting to round into form but it won’t be that easy against the Cardinals defense. Arizona has stayed afloat this year due to its stellar defensive record, despite the rash of injuries they’ve had to endure. Arizona has an excellent run defense, only allowing 3.7 yards per carry this season. Marshawn Lynch also won’t have his top blocker in Russell Okung, so it might be difficult for the Seahawks to find running lanes tonight. Losing Okung of course will also hinder the passing game, as the protection surrounding Russell Wilson might be sparse. The Cards bring a ferocious front seven and can get to most quarterbacks in the league, Wilson will be no different. It’ll be difficult for Wilson to move the chains, just like it’ll be for Arizona. The Cards are like the Seahawks, great and prideful on their home field, so even with the injuries their defense will be able to keep things close.
The spread in this game is too high for my liking, but I can’t trust the Cardinals to keep it within single-digits with just how bad their offense is. That’s why I feel the Under in this contest is far better value. Despite the pretty low total for tonight’s contest, both the Seahawks and Cardinals have dominant defenses that will far outplay the opposing offense. Ryan Lindley and Russell Wilson will face relentless pressure and should have all sorts of trouble moving the chains today. And even though I foresee the Seahawks winning, laying 8 in a game this low-scoring doesn’t seem like a wise move. Roll with a very low scoring affair to end out the finale of Sunday Night Football in 2014.
PICK = Under 36.5 (-115)