Join us as we take a closer look at the perception and reality for this Sunday's matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals for your Week 16 NFL picks.
PERCEPTION/REALITY GAME OF THE WEEK
Seattle Seahawks (-8) vs. Arizona Cardinals 8:30 PM EST NBC
Each week in the Point Spread Prognosis, I isolate a contrary selection which I term the PERCEPTION/REALITY play of the week. The basis of the theory is to fade an overvalued team with whom the line maker and public has fallen in love based on their recent performance. When that team is the defending Super Bowl champ, as is the case this week, it makes the selection all the sweeter. Perception/reality plays are 9-5-1 ATS after our selection last week with the 49ers resulted in a point spread push at +10. This week, we again fade an overpriced Seattle team, using a more than touchdown home dog who has the best record in football and is playing with divisional revenge.
Adding to our contrary selection is the fact that Arizona will be starting third string QB Lindley after losing their top two signal callers to injury. But Arizona has not achieved their 11-3 SU, 10-4 ATS record based on their outstanding offense. Rather, it is a defense that allows just 17 PPG and 90/3.8 overland that has been their meal ticket. In the Cards’ 19-3 loss at Seattle on November 23rd, that defense was taken to task. Seattle outrushed Arizona 124-64, and outgained them 293-204. Considering that Arizona was a 7 point road dog in that contest, and has won two games since that time, it is hard to fathom this 15 point line swing. From an NFL technical perspective, know that LHG winning teams with revenge have been a solid 85% play over time when facing winning foes. With the Cardinals a perfect 7-0 SU on their home field, we must like their chances. Finally, HC Arians in his NFL coaching career has been at his best in this role; his teams are 15-1 ATS when facing a foe off a win and cover.
Winning and covering is certainly what Seattle has been doing, especially late in the season. It is their defense, which much like last year, has been a major component of their success. For the season, Seattle is allowing just 17 PPG and only 272 YPG. They have allowed 8 of 9 recent foes to gain less than 300 yards. In their current four game late season winning streak, beginning with the 19-3 victory against this Arizona team, they have allowed a total of only 27 points, while recording four double digit victories. No wonder NFL odds maker and public are in love with them.
As always, the bottom line to any selection is value. We certainly have it in this case. The line maker and public have fallen for the media hype behind the Seattle Seahawks playing against a third string signal caller. Nor does the public and line maker believe this Arizona team to be for real, despite the fact they have the best record in football. Knowing that Seattle is the trailing team adds even more pressure to their performance today. Contrary players find this to be an easy NFL pick. The rest of you should take note.
Free NFL Pick: Take Arizona Cardinals (+8)