Arizona heads to Seattle to face the struggling Super Bowl champion Seahawks in one of the best games of Week 12. Can the visiting Cardinals pull off the upset and be the bet here like they were last season?
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks: One of the most important games this NFL season in both the NFC and its West Division, this meeting between the defending Super Bowl champion and host Seattle Seahawks (6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS) and the Arizona Cardinals (9-1 SU, 8-2 ATS) at CenturyLink Field in Seattle is way more important for Pete Carroll (48-32-1 ATS) and his Seahawks than it will be for Bruce Arians (18-7-1 ATS) and his Cardinals, who still have the best record in the NFL. And did you check out that ATS record for Arians with Arizona? 18-7-1? Il magnifique, Pepe.
Odds makers here, there and everywhere have listed on NFL odds the the host Seahawks 6½-point Favorites—the same number as the Advanced Line released by the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook last week—so the combination of the Cardinals win over the Lions and the Seahawks loss at St. Louis Sunday did absolutely nothing to the perception of the line.
The Money Line (Winner) odds in this game see Seattle as -310 Favorites with visiting Arizona priced at +250 (Paddy Power). The Total Points is set at 42½ (Pinnacle) while the Seahawks Total Team Points is at 25½ (Betfair) with the Cardinals Total Team Points at 17 (Paddy Power). Two random prop bets: This game to go Overtime is +1000 (10/1, bet365; No -2000) while the Total Field Goals prop is set at 4½ Under -300 (bet365; Over +225).
Last year, the Cardinals went into Seattle and handed the eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks their first Home loss of the season, 17-10 (as 8-point Underdogs) and maybe scared them enough to be make that historic championship run. Arizona kept chugging along on Sunday, defeating the Detroit Lions, 14-6 at Home in Glendale to improve its NFL-best record to 9-1. Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (306 yards, 2 TDs) had another serviceable day in his stead of injured starting QB Carson Palmer who is on the Injured Reserve list with a knee injury. Despite many still doubting Arizona and some deeper statistics suggesting this team may be doing it with smoke and mirrors, the Cardinals just keep winning and their NFL-leading +12 Takeaways and +57 Point Differential can’t be denied. Nor can their presence in the dangerous NFC West where these Seahawks and the 49ers live, as well as a gutty last-place team—the Rams—which cut the Super Bowl champs a little slice of humble pie in St. Louis on Sunday afternoon. This team is really good, but the injury to Palmer looms large.
Arizona is 15-8-1 ATS L3 seasons as a Road Underdog—3-1 ATS this year—and although the Cardinals are catching Seattle at the worst possible time and are doing so without Palmer, they’ll go in knowing they can leave the Seahawks with a very precarious 6-5 record, potentially damaging them psychologically for any possible future playoff encounter this season which would be held in Glendale should it actually transpire.
Besides Palmer’s injury and DE Darnell Dockett (knee) being out for the season, Arizona may have a healthier overall roster than the Seahawks heading into this one. LBs Desmond Bishop (hamstring) and Glenn Carson (ankle) were listed as Day-to-Day on Monday morning while WE Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was listed as Probable. Expect all three to be ready come Sunday.
Seattle’s vision of being a dynasty is cooling down as much as a Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte being left outside in Juneau in January and the Seahawks loss at the Chiefs Sunday further cut into the potential for this team to repeat as NFL champions, let alone be able to use the word “dynasty.” For now, this team is just worried about making the postseason and with horrific-looking games still on tap against the 49ers both in San Francisco (Nov. 27) and here at Home (Dec. 14); a return date with these Cardinals in Arizona (Dec. 21); a game at Philadelphia (Dec. 7); and then the regular season finale at Home against the Rams (Dec. 28), seattle will have to be near-perfect over the final quarter of the season and a setback here would surely put a big, fat red-and-black dent in the Seahawks chances of even tasting the postseason. As if 6-5 right now wouldn’t be bad enough, two dates with these division-leading Cardinals and two more with the 49ers before the regular season concludes is enough to make everyone else in the league happy and Seattle fans want to curl up into the fetal position knowing that maybe the 2013-14 was the peak for this franchise.
Seattle does have one of the best homefield advantages in all of sports, but this team has just shown too many cracks this season and the Seahawks have no real talent or depth at WR—Doug Baldwin has just 1 receiving TD heading into Week 12—and with Percy Harvin being traded (to the New York Jets), the Seahawks have put an illogical sense of pressure on QB Russell Wilson (162 completions, 1,841 yards, 11 TDs), RB Marshawn Lynch (153 rushes, 689 yards, 9 TDs) and Seattle’s overworked and highly respected defense, which is #4 in the NFL against the Run (79.8 ypg) and #8 against the Pass (227.2). And even though this is a must-win game and is at Home in the Emerald City, the Seahawks just can’t be trusted anymore and may be in the early stages of disintegration. With so much at stake here, expect Seattle’s defense to be solid as usual in what may turn out to be a low-scoring chess match much like last year’s meeting, and similar to the Cardinals win over the Lions on Sunday.
The Seahawks Injured Reserve list has a plethora of players out including 3 DT’s and 2 DEs as well as sorely missed TE Zach Miller (ankle). C Max Unger (ankle), G James Carpenter (ankle), LB Brock Coyle (lower body) and DB Marcus Burley (hamstring) were all listed as Day-to-Day for Sunday and the injury to Unger could really hamper Seattle, especially if he is out for too long.
Best Betting Approaches
The Seahawks will definitely remember that it was these Cardinals who beat them here in the Emerald City last season to blemish the eventual champions then-clean Home record, so head coach Carroll will likely come at his team preaching equal parts of fear, respect and revenge for these game opponents. And with Arizona (9-1) coming into this game in such great shape in both the NFC and this division—the Seahawks and 49ers (vs. Redskins Sunday) are both 6-4—and in a position where a loss won’t hurt them at all while beating up its starters on an already somewhat beat-up team would hurt this team more in the long run more than would a loss.
Before making your NFL pick, toss in the the fact that the Seahawks are 3-1 ATS L4 at Home against the Cardinals and it’s probably best to stay away from choosing a side in this must-see showdown, and look at the Total and the Under 42½ in a potentially aforementioned low-scoring affair. The Cardinals are 3-6 Under so far this season, while Seattle is 7-3 Over so the relatively low, low-to-mid-40’s Totals the odds makers are posting have been proving to be too low and the perception that Seahawks games may be “Under games” because of its staunch defense have been smashed by that 70% Over mark to date. But with this one being so important and the weather colder in Seattle (48° forecast High on Sunday, Partly Cloudy), expect a low-scoring smashmouth affair. And as it was a 17-10 Cardinals victory last season, a 17-10 Seahawks win here wouldn’t surprise anyone, especially with the hosts facing major embarrassment should they lose and fall to 6-5. Seattle is finding out the hard way that it ain’t easy being on top.
NFL Pick: Under 42½ at BetOnline