Add Cardinals ATS vs. Falcons to Your Week 13 NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:53 PM GMT

Both the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons look to bounce back in week 13 NFL betting. Something is going to have to give on Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Find out what NFL odds are currently trading and what NFL picks we've put together.

Cardinals Slip to Second Defeat
The Arizona Cardinals look to bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat to Seattle Seahawks in week 12 NFL betting. The Cardinals managed only a field goal against the defending champions, all while Drew Stanton and the Cardinals were outplayed, outmuscled and outscored in the 19-3 loss.

Prior to week 12's date with the Seattle Seahawks, the Cardinals were the best team in the NFL by the numbers with a 9-1 SU record and 8-2 ATS record. That they've slipped to 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS hasn't altered their claim to top spot in the NFC West or the NFC Conference standings. It has altered their claim to being "the best in the NFL" though. Now that New England Patriots have drawn level with a 9-2 SU record and have a legitimate stake in that claim.  According to the odds makers, it's the AFC Conference leaders that merit the distinction as they are installed as the team to beat in Super Bowl betting markets. Has been so for some time now, even when the Cardinals were flying high solo.

To put it bluntly, few are willing to buy what the Cardinals are selling. They have a tough schedule ahead with a date against Kansas City, St. Louis. Seattle and San Francisco. Theoretically, their only truly winnable game is their upcoming date with the Atlanta Falcons. Even if the Cardinals somehow manage to navigate a successful course through this schedule to win the division or earn a playoff spot, in a quarterback focused sport, the absence of an elite play-caller will inevitably continue to take the shine off their odds.

 

Atlanta Falcons Still In Play
The Atlanta Falcons are amongst several underachievers this season, ironically, a dubious group that includes all their divisional opponents. Despite a 4-7 SU record on the season, the Falcons are second in the NFC South. They missed a huge opportunity to advance their bid for the contentious NFC South title when they lost to the Cleveland Browns 26-24 at home.

The defeat snapped a two-game winning streak (their only winning streak of the season) and saw them fail to cover as the 3-point home favourites. Overall, the Falcons are 4-7 SU and ATS this season, which includes an average 1.7-point margin of defeat. They are 2-2 ATS mark with a 7.2-point margin of victory, albeit skewed  almost entirely by their lopsided 56-14 win over Tampa Bay in week 3 NFL betting. Since that performance, the Falcons have lost three straight at home, including a 27-13 loss to the Bears and a narrow 22-21 loss to the Lions.

 

NFL Betting Verdict: Cardinals -2.5 over Falcons
Cardinals may not be the ideal NFL team. Sorely lacking an elite quarterback, big names and larger than life stars that would seduce NFL bettors onside, they cut a rather modest figure on the NFL betting floor. What they lack in sports glitterati, they more than make up for by an exemplary team ethos and the dedication and hard work of each and every individual athlete on the roster. At the end of the day, it's not a fluke they reached the AFC summit.

Based on form and stats this season, the Cardinals are correctly tipped as the road favourites. Odds makers opened trading on a 1-point spread (or thereabouts depending on your favourite sports betting exchange). Since early doors, the NFL lines have moved with the Cardinals emerging as the 2.5-point favourites heading into midweek trading.

From the start of the season, the Falcons left much to be desired on both sides of the ball. As we head down the stretch, the O-line seems to be more sluggish than ever and defense regressing further, none of which inspires confidence in their NFL stock. Case-and-point: their abysmal loss to the Browns last Sunday.

Home underdogs can offer angles for profit on NFL picks, but not this lethargic pooch. Cardinals are way better on paper and on the field than the Falcons. They have been consistent from week to week, a reliable bet on the NFL odds board. That they lost last week to the defending champions is neither here nor there in football betting terms, particularly not this week. They should bounce back against a beatable Falcons in week 13 NFL betting. Shade the Cardinals on your NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Cardinals -2.5 at 5Dimes

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