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Friday, October 31, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 9: Cardinals Vs. Cowboys

Arizona Cardinals Vs. Dallas Cowboys: ARI +3.5 (-115) (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

Despite all the injuries that occurred in the Cowboys Week 8 game, there hasn't been much movement in this line. In the look-ahead Dallas was favored by -3.5. When it got put back on the board today it was at -3.25. You have the option of grabbing the home team at -3 for -115, or the dog at +3.5 for the same price. The line hasn't been out long, but 80% of the tickets are coming in on the Cards.

Bottom Line

Simply put, this is a bad matchup for the Dallas offense. Romo hasn't practiced all week, but I'm expecting him to play. Even if he does, I don't like their chances of having a lot of success against this Cardinals defense.

For one thing, the Dallas offensive efficiency ratings drop considerably when they face five or more rushers. The sacks go up and the drive success goes down. The Cowboys have also thrived all year when controlling the ball with their ground game. These are exactly the two things that Arizona do well - blitz the QB and stop the run. So if I was a Cowboys fan, I wouldn't be too excited about putting this game in the hands of a banged up Romo or mediocre Weeden.

On the flip side, yes, Arizona's offense isn't going to scare anybody. They don't dominate teams or excel in any one particular area. They are bad running the ball and below average converting drives into TDs. The good news is Dallas still can't get to the quarterback up front. Since Arians likes the deep ball so much, it's a good opportunity for Palmer to bide time and find those big plays down the field. They might not light it up on Sunday, but their offense should be able to make some things happen - especially with Durant out for this matchup.

Overall, I think Arizona have a really good chance to win this game straight up and I'm a little surprised we have the option of getting the field goal + the hook in this spot. I'd even like it at +3, but at +3.5 it's a no-brainer.

NFL Pick: ARI +3.5.
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