NFL Picks: Seahawks vs. Cardinals Will Be A Low-Scoring Playoff Warm Up

Jason Lake

Thursday, December 31, 2015 1:33 AM GMT

Expect plenty of shenanigans when the Arizona Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday. How will this mostly-meaningless game affect our Week 17 NFL picks?

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NFL Pick: Under 47

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Jason's 2015 record as of Dec. 30: 51-51-3 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 25-32-1 Total

We were this close to having a dream matchup for Week 17 of the regular season. The Seattle Seahawks will be in Glendale this Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX) to play the Arizona Cardinals in what would normally be an epic NFC West rivalry game – one that could have been for the division title, too. Instead, the Seahawks (9-6 SU, 7-7-1 ATS) have to settle for an NFC Wild Card, while the Cardinals (13-2 SU, 9-6 ATS) have already clinched both the division title and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Both teams can still make minor improvements to their playoff status with a win on Sunday, but really, this will be a warm up game for the postseason. Certainly neither team will want to risk injury, or even expose their playbooks by getting too fancy – gotta save all that for later, in case they meet again in January. So what's a bettor to do? Apparently the Cardinals are the sharp NFL pick, moving from –3.5 at the open to –6.5 as we go to press.

 

Space Seed
We're not about to argue. Our early consensus reports show 52 percent of bettors on Seattle, but with just 27 percent of the action, leaving a tiny average bet of $22 on the Seahawks. Arizona is pulling in $63 a pop, with one $1,000+ bet on our surveys. Too bad we didn't get in earlier, although moving from –3.5 to –6.5 isn't too damaging. It carries about the same weight as moving from –3 to –4.5.

The move seems to be largely in response to Seattle's playoff situation. After last week's 23-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams (+11.5 away), the Seahawks are no longer in control of the No. 5 seed in the NFC, a spot that would lead to a first-round matchup against Washington. Even if the 'Hawks beat Arizona, they need the Green Bay Packers to beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football. Otherwise, it's the No. 6 seed and a trip to Minneapolis. Hardly seems worth fighting for.

 

Relax, Big Guy
The Cardinals still have a chance to nail down home-field advantage all the way to Super Bowl 50, but they need the Carolina Panthers to lose at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That's also a late-afternoon start; if Carolina takes a big early lead, the Cards will have even less incentive to go full-throttle.

Given the situation on the ground, we're looking at that 47-point total on the NFL odds board, and we're thinking about taking the UNDER. That was the right call in each of the first three season finales for the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson regime, and last year for Bruce Arians and the playoff-bound Cardinals as well. Let's all have a relaxing Sunday afternoon, shall we? Take a load off, big fella. How about a nice hot cup of Ovaltine?