NFL Picks: Snag Cardinals (-2.5) to Stay Unbeaten Against Bengals

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 8:02 PM GMT

The Bengals suffered their first loss Monday night while the Cardinals celebrated a big win over Seattle. Let’s review this matchup & determine which team is poised to cash in our NFL picks Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals (8-1 SU, 7-1-1 ATS)
If you have been blindly backing the Bengals this season in your NFL picks then you are making beaucoup bucks despite their loss to the Texans last night in their own backyard. It was an uncharacteristic lapse for one of the top scoring teams in the league as they fell 10-6 to a Houston team that has been an enormous disappointment to their fans and anyone who bet them in their NFL futures to win the AFC South. Fortunately for both the Texans and those who backed them, the Indianapolis Colts have had an even more disappointing season based on preseason expectations and both are tied for the division lead with a 4-5 record.

Monday night was all about defense and Cincinnati certainly did their part limiting the Texans to just 10 points. The Bengals are allowing an average of a mere 16.9 points per game which makes them the top rated defense in the NFL. Offensively Andy Dalton had the keys to the car but could not get the engine running as Houston held the Cats in check allowing only 197 passing yards despite Dalton’s 38 attempts. However, there was plenty of blame to go around as 6’6” tight end Tyler Eifert dropped three of Dalton’s passes which was equal to the number he had in his first eight games of this season and the first time in his entire career he had more than one dropped pass. Dalton only converted on 25 percent of his third down attempts which was dramatically lower than his 52 percent average.

 

Arizona Cardinals (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS)
The Cardinals were installed as three-point underdogs by the NFL odds makers but came out on top 39-32 in their Sunday night showdown with the Seahawks in Seattle. It was a game performance from the league’s No. 1 ranked scoring offense and if it were not for a pair of fumbles courtesy of Carson Palmer the game would not have been as close as it was. However, the veteran signal caller redeemed himself with three passing touchdowns and 363 yards through the air. Former Clemson product Andre Ellington capped things off with a 48 yard power run into the endzone to seal the Seahawks’ fate and give the Cardinals their biggest win of the season.

The one major concern for Arizona has to be the immense pressure applied to Palmer throughout the game. The Cardinals’ offensive line did little to protect their quarterback as Palmer was pressured on a whopping 57 percent of his dropbacks , the highest percentage over the last seven seasons. It was because of the relentless Seahawks swarm that Palmer did fumble twice and was sacked three times. Yet, Palmer stood tall even in the face of the onslaught completing 16 completions under duress, the most by a QB over the last six seasons. Larry Fitzgerald had a stellar evening with 10 receptions on 14 targets for 130 yards.

 

NFL Pick
Arizona will get no respite after battling the formidable Seahawks on the highway. The Redbirds fly home to prepare for a scoring juggernaut in the Cincinnati Bengals who suffered their first defeat on Monday night. The Bengals will be working on a short week and have to travel which should tilt this contest in favor of the home chalk. It will be interesting to see how Andy Dalton and Co. respond to their first setback considering pressure situations have not spawned terrific results for Cincinnati (think postseason).

The Cardinals simply do everything better offensively than the Bengals (1st in points scored vs. 5th, 4th in passing yards vs. 11th, 8th in rushing yards vs. 13th) however the Cats do have the best defense in the land but the Cardinals are no slouch either allowing 20.6 points per game. Give me the choice and I will take Carson Palmer over Andy Dalton seven days a week and twice on Sunday. Larry Fitzgerald versus AJ Green is a legitimate debate between two of the very best receivers in the league today but the stats bear out Fitzgerald as the winner in that category with seven touchdowns versus four and 836 yards versus 769.

This matchup should be a dandy but I like the Cardinals to win and cover the number.

NFL Picks: Play Arizona -2 ½ at Heritage 

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