NFL Picks: Cardinals vs. 49ers in Week 6

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 12:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 12:46 PM UTC

This is not heard about nationally, but from the real disdain aspect, this is one the better division rivalries in the NFL How can we exploit this in our sports betting for this game?

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Arizona players truly hate San Francisco and the 49ers have the right amount of arrogance to look down on the Cardinals to fuel the hatred.

Where did Arizona defense come from?

The talk this preseason sports betting experts and NFL football handicappers was the Cardinals were finally going to have professional quarterback play for the first time since Kurt Warner retired with Carson Palmer. No more Larry Fitzgerald trying to keep positive body language when a pass was five yards over his head when he was wide open, nope, better days ahead.

Unfortunately, at this point of his career, Palmer can no longer carry a team. He needs a running game and Arizona is in the midst of an 11-game drought with a 100-yard rusher and the former Bengals QB has too often unloaded the ball with the pocket closing on him like a bad nightmare.

What nobody following the betting odds conversed about was the defense.

The Redbirds are tied for 10th in points allowed at 19.0 per game and third overall in stopping the run at 79 yards a contest. The Arizona defensive line is physical at the line of scrimmage, creates pressure in passing downs and with the return of LB Daryl Washington, has more speed and quickness at the second level.

The secondary is a confident bunch, led by Patrick Peterson who is a Top 5 corner and has the skill set to be the best in the league.

All of this matters this week for the Cardinals this week.

A return to basics fixes the 49ers

After losing badly to Seattle and Indianapolis, San Francisco looked like one of the women whose been sent home on ‘The Bachelor’. The Niners were lost, confused, yet trying to be positive after playing in the Super Bowl earlier this year.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh was a flummoxed as anyone and rethought about his team. The 49ers were trying to move up in the next stage of development, with a more potent, faster-paced offense. The problem was trying to speed like a Ferrari, using parts from Auto Zone.

With no Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Vernon Davis not 100 percent, Colin Kaepernick was not equipped for success.

Given his upbringing and playing a good portion of his NFL career with Mike Ditka as his coach, Harbaugh has gone back to what the 49ers do best, run the ball, being conservative in the passing and pick your spots to go deep.

The Niners have outscored their last two foes, 69-14 and been thoroughly domineering in the process.

NFL Betting Odds and Matchup Numbers

Sportsbooks sent out the home team out at -11 and San Francisco is up a point to an even dozen by those setting the NFL odds. The 49ers are 10-3 and 8-5 ATS at Candlestick Park versus Arizona.

The total has wavered slightly from 42 to 41.5, which is the highest it has been in the last six showdowns.


What to Watch For

The Arizona running game cannot be a complete zero, they have to run enough to stay in third down and reasonable and convert enough on the ground to move the chains. If this doesn’t happen, Carson Palmer will be enveloped and rendered useless.

The defensive line has to match strength for strength and if they can force the Niners offense into third and long regularly, they have the ability to cut off Davis and Anquan Bolden.

San Francisco will want to establish the run and pound on the Cardinals to wear them down. If Arizona has to commit safeties closer to the line of scrimmage, this helps free up Davis down the middle for bigger gains.

The 49ers keep losing bodies on defense, but because of their deep roster, they are hanging on. If San Fran wins first and second down, they should make backers very pleased, because they will sack Palmer repeatedly.

Final Outcome

In making NFL picks, the line is accurate and the swing will be the turnovers. Handing out double digits is not fun, however, a couple of Palmer picks helps the home team to cover.

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NFL Pick: Bet the 'Niners on the point spread, -11 (-110) at Bet365

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