NFL Picks: Cardinals at Home Provide Big Money Value Against Vikings

Teddy Covers

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 8:05 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 8:05 PM GMT

The Arizona Cardinals are 7.5. point favorites for Thursday Night Football Week 14 vs. the Vikings in Phoenix.  Despite the high spread, trends show that Carson Palmers squad is your bet NFL pick.

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NFL Pick: Cardinals -7.5 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Thursday Night Football Preview: Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals
My clients and I lost a BIG bet on the Vikings last Sunday.  I won’t make that mistake again!  The Vikings were in a prime ‘step-up’ spot at home against the Seahawks.  A team that had been clamoring for the opportunity to make a ‘statement’ against a quality foe, made that statement – in a very negative way.

That loss to Seattle wasn’t just a nightmare for Vikings players, fans and betting supporters.  It has real ‘season killing’ potential, making this tough travel spot on a short week even that much harder for Mike Zimmer and his staff to prepare for.

Let me start with the injury problems.  Minnesota has three players in serious consideration for a spot in the pro bowl on the defensive side of the football.  All three of those players got hurt last week, and their defense got absolutely torched by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense.  When a team loses their best lineman (Linval Joseph), linebacker (Anthony Barr) and safety (Harrison Smith), it’s a legitimate problem, especially on a short week against a quality offensive foe!  A rudderless, leaderless defense missed tackles and blew coverages all afternoon; bad news when facing an explosive, big play offense like that of the Cardinals.

The Vikings haven’t just lost their ‘step-up’ games this year – they’ve crashed and burned.  We saw that right from Week 1 when Minnesota looked lost and scared under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, blown out by the 49ers.  We saw that in ugly, non-competitive blowout losses to the Packers and Seahawks on their home field in the last three weeks.  Arizona ranks higher than the Seahawks or Packers in my current NFL Power Ratings. 

In Minnesota’s other loss – at Denver – they had only one ‘down the field’ drive all afternoon, while Teddy Bridgewater took seven sacks.  The only reason Minnesota was in that game?  Peyton Manning interceptions!  Arizona’s Carson Palmer has thrown only nine picks all year, and the Vikings defense now is a shell of what it was two months ago when they faced Denver.

There were two other HUGE red flags regarding Minnesota in that loss to Seattle.  First and foremost, they flat out quit.  Teams that don’t respond well to adversity are not good bets when facing talented, explosive foes like the Cardinals.  QB Teddy Bridgewater’s body language was awful throughout, and he’s not making much progress as a downfield thrower either – this passing game is only completing dinks and dunks right now.  By the time December rolls around, I’m only interested in supporting teams that can take a punch and still bounce back.  I haven’t seen that particular characteristic from the Vikings in recent weeks.

The second red flag comes from the post-game locker room where everybody was throwing everybody else under the bus.  Adrian Peterson ripped the coaching staff, players on offense criticized the defense and vice versa.  For a team with ‘leadership’ issues, the negativity was palpable following last week’s performance.

Meanwhile, all Arizona does is win games by margin at home when Carson Palmer is healthy.  They’re 14-2 SU against the NFL odds in Palmer’s last 16 starts at the University of Phoenix Stadium, with Palmer sporting a 38-12 TD-INT ratio in those games.  With the #1 ranked offense and the #4 ranked defense in the NFL, along with a consistent track record of blowout wins – seven victories this season by more than a touchdown – the Cardinals are the only way I can look with my NFL pick in this matchup. Take Arizona.

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