A Conventional & Conservative NFL Pick: Cardinals/Raiders

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 6:03 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 6:03 PM UTC

A conventional and conservative betting approach should yield the best NFL pick when the Arizona Cardinals head to Oakland to dance with the Raiders.

Odds Overview for Arizona Cardinals vs. Oakland Raiders
Despite losing again and falling to 0-5 to start the NFL season last Sunday, the Oakland Raiders (0-5 SU, 3-2 ATS) looked pretty darn good on both sides of the ball despite falling late to the San Diego Chargers, 31-28. QB Derek Carr (18/34, 282 yards, 4 TDs) was excellent and his passes can give fans of the Silver and Black hope that they actually have a QB to build a team around. Here on Sunday afternoon in Week 7, Oakland welcomes the underrated Arizona Cardinals (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)—surprise leaders in the brutal NFC West which includes the talented San Francisco 49ers (4-2) and the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (3-2)—to the O.co Coliseum in Oakland for some bruises and a little Gatorade.

Oddsmakers have made the visiting Cardinals 3½-point favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) with the Total Points at 44 with Arizona -162 on the Money Line odds (Paddy Power) and the host Raiders +135 underdogs. The Total Raiders Points is 20 with the Total Cardinals Points posted at 23½ (Stan James). Anytime TD Scorer odds and other various props wagers will be released later in the week.


Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals may surprise a lot of people placing NFL picks this season but they’ll have to earn their chops playing in the NFC West and having out-of-division games against the Eagles, Cowboys and upstart Chiefs on tap as well as two dates with the Super Bowl champion Seahawks (Weeks 12 and 16). QB Carson Palmer (28/44, 250 yards, 2 TDs vs.Redskins) and his health will be a big part of the quotient for Arizona (4-1 SU L5) but this team is well-balanced, plays good defense, has developed a solid fan base and has cut its proverbial teeth on the Seahawks and 49ers knowing it has to be good enough to play them 4 times every season. And that’s a pretty serious thing and something only the St. Louis Rams can say they relate with.

Veteran WR Larry Fitzgerald (6 receptions, 98 yards, TD vs. Redskins) leads a talented receiving corps which includes WR and Notre Dame graduate Michael Floyd (4 receptions, 47 yards, TD), WR John Brown and TE John Carlson. RB Andre Ellington (19 rushes, 67 yards) is not only a threat out of the Cardinals backfield, but is also a fairly decent receiver, as he showed in Sunday’s 30-20 win in Glendale, making 6 catches for 26 yards.

Despite having DE Darnell Dockett (knee) being out for the season, Arizona (5-12 SU L17 Road) is still fairly healthy with LB Glenn Carson (ankle) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) both listed as Day-To-Day.


Oakland Raiders
As mentioned, the Silver and Black played pretty good football here last Sunday against the Chargers, but despite how good QB Carr looked and how competitive the team played as a unit, San Diego still dominated the Time of Possession (37 minutes to 23) so the Raiders still have some ways to go as their rankings in the four major statistical categories prove: 20th in Passing, 31st in Rushing, 11th in Passing Defense and 30th in Rushing Defense. Oakland RB Darren McFadden (14 rushes, 80 yards) had a very solid day against the Chargers as did WRs Andre Holmes (4 receptions, 121 yards, 2 TDs, 30.3 ypc), Brice Butler (3 receptions, 64 yards, TD, 21.3 ypc) and James Jones (5 receptions, 56 yards, TD, 11.2 ypc) and all four will look to click with Carr again this weekend—and the Over 44 Total Points and Raiders Total Points 20 (over) could be wise wagers if these guys can find the end zone as they did here at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland a week ago. One positive for anyone who watched that game against the Chargers was how supportive and confident the Oakland crowd was and how into the game they were from the opening kickoff. It’s hard to find positive things to say about the Raiders, but the way Carr and McFadden and Jones and Butler and the surprising Holmes played can only mean this team hasn’t come close to giving up and with the defense buzzing and a kicker like Sebastian Janikowski, this team seems to have all the working parts to be successful. But, as always, the problem is that they are simply the Oakland Raiders.

On the injury front, CB Keith McGill (groin), T Khalif Barnes (quadricep) and WR Vincent Brown (hamstring) are all listed as Day-To-Day and if Brown can play like he’s capable, Carr will have a nice little receiving corps with which to work, although Oakland could always use one more talented WR on its roster.


Best Approach
The Week 7 NFL betting trends are a somewhat mixed bag here and cases can be made for backing either team and taking or giving the points or this being a low-scoring or high-scoring affair. Arizona is 2-4 SU L6 against Oakland, 1-4 L5 ATS and 0-3 L3 ATS against the Raiders, although the Cardinals are also 3-1 L4 ATS at Oakland, 4-2 SU L6 on the road and 4-1-1 L6 ATS Away. So, who knows (as far as the -3½ point spread goes). The hapless Raiders are 0-5 L5 SU, 0-5 L5 SU at Home, 1-6 L7 ATS in Oakland and 3-6 L9 ATS. The Over is 4-1 in the L5 Raiders Home games and also 4-1 in the L5 in this series. Surprisingly, Oakland is 4-2 SU L6 against Arizona, but with the Raiders are still winless this season and with Arizona knowing that San Francisco  and Seattle are and will be hot on its heels, the Cardinals and former Raiders QB Palmer will be intent on moving to 5-1 here with a Home date against the Eagles (Oct. 26) followed by a Road game at Dallas (Nov. 2) on the immediate horizon. That future scheduling fear and the lurking 49ers and Seahawks pressing them combined with its own talents and the Raiders doubts are enough to suggest taking the visiting Cardinals on the Money Line (-162, Paddy Power) early on in the week at the lowest price you can find them on NFL odds.

Free NFL Pick: Cardinals Money Line -162 (Paddy Power)

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