NFL Picks: Seahawks vs. Cardinals Betting the Total

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 3:40 PM GMT

While the overall level of play for these Thursday night games leaves something to be desired, the scores have not been low. Will this trend continue and influence your NFL picks?

Take a look at our NFL Week 7 Betting Odds Report for more insight into this week's football games!

Seattle has to do their homework

Coach Pete Carroll has a short week to figure out how Arizona’s offense will work under first-year head coach Bruce Arians. Previous information is worthless, even if many of the players are same for the Cardinals offense.

It’s not like Seattle cannot dig up data, having seen film on Indianapolis last season when Arians ran the offense or when he was the offensive coordinator with the Steelers.

Carroll realizes Arians is adaptable on offense and will build the model that fits his personnel. With a weak offensive line and lacking an explosive running back, Seattle will expect to see quarterback Carson Palmer throwing the ball a great deal. NFL football handicappers are aware Arizona throws 62 percent of the time and only once this season had a truly balanced attack, which came against Carolina (28 runs, 28 passes).

This would appear to be the kind of matchup the Seattle defensive coaches would prefer, with their outstanding secondary, which is second in the NFL in passing yards allowed at 188.3. The Seattle defensive front should also have a decisive edge.

Follow our complete coverage of this week's Thursday Night Footbal Game! First check out our Opening Odds Report!

Cardinals’ coaches have to help Palmer, who has to help himself

The honeymoon is over in the sun-filled Phoenix area with Carson Palmer. After being pleased to have a veteran signal caller who’s had success in the NFL, those making sports picks are less enamored with the former Bengal and Raider QB, since he’s had nine interceptions to go along with four touchdowns the last month.

This has been an issue particularly early in games, which coach Arians addressed. When asked who is to blame for the picks, Ariens replied: "Have the guys around him (Palmer) play better."

Palmer acknowledges he thought by now he and the receivers would be more cohesive, which is not always the case. Wise guys studying the NFL odds find the Arizona offense, while not Jacksonville-like, is 25th in scoring at 18.5 points a game, which is nine percent less than what their opponents have allowed on the season.

Betting the point spread? Read our Seahawks vs. Cardinals Betting the Spread breakdown first!

The Total is one way action

When it comes to the total for this NFC West showdown, the word ‘shootout’ does not figure to apply. Much like the Godsmack song “Goin’ Down”, that is what the sportsbooks release of 42.5 has done; now sitting at 40.5 points.

One curious element we find is at betting websites which explain wagering patterns, almost 70 percent of bets placed are on the ‘Over’ for this encounter.

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Total Mania

With the consensus of the public playing the ‘Over’, I did further research and found when the total is in the 35.5 to 42 point range and a game is on a Thursday the past five years, the ‘Under’ is a rock solid 24-6, 80 percent.

This makes sense because odds makers do not expect to see two dynamic offenses on display. In addition, Seattle ranks third in points allowed at 15.7 per contest and Arizona is 12th at 21.2 per game.

We already know the Seahawks prefer to run the ball first, being second in the league in rush attempts at 34.2, which shortens the game. The Cardinals would appear to be a big play passing offense with Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, yet Arians offense is more predicated on moving the chains when throwing, which is why the Cards are 23rd in yards per pass attempt at 6.4.

Putting this picture together, I will go against public sentiment and take the UNDER for my NFL picks.

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NFL Pick: Play the Seahawks/Giants game UNDER the 40.5 point total, at Bet365

What are your betting predictions for Week 7? Share them on SBRForum's football message boards!

Take a look at our NFL Week 7 Betting Odds Report for more insight into this week's football games!