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Friday, December 19, 2014

NFL Betting Preview 2014 Week 16: Seahawks Vs Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks Vs. Arizona Cardinals

Market Watch

This point spread has seen a move from -6.5 in the advanced line to -7.5 on the opener. That's what happens when your QB gets injured and you have to start your #3.  The number hasn't moved since, and I'd be surprised if it does.  So far, two out of every three bets are on the Seahawks.

Bottom Line

From a betting perspective, the Cardinals might be the most interesting team this year. Sharp money hasn't respected what they've accomplished, and nor have the stats guys.  Football Outsiders have picked against them in 9 of the 13 games this year.  Last week, money flooded in from the "wiseguys" and steamed the spread from STL -3.5 up to -6.

Yet, despite all the backlash, the Cards are 10-4 ATS, including 6-1 at home.

It's not hard to understand why people think they are "pretenders". By DVOA, they are 18th in the league, but have an 11-3 record and sit atop the NFC standings.

So what do we do with them this week?  Lindley is a replacement level QB going up against one of the best defenses in the league. Can he do enough to stay within a TD? Well, the good news is his OL hasn't given up many sacks this year.  The bad news is the offense hasn't been able to do much of anything since Palmer went down.  The only area where the Hawks D is vulnerable is inside the red zone, where they rank 30th. The problem is the Cards rank 28th in red zone offense.

Instead, like most weeks, the Cards will need to rely on their D. Statistically, they matchup very strong with Seattle's offense. The area that can't really be measured by numbers is the versatility of Wilson. Most of his play-making comes from broken play structures, so it's usually just a matter of time before he makes some magic happen.

Ultimately, I'm gonna pass on this game. The spread is too high and Seattle are just 3-4 ATS on the road this year.  I think they win this game, which makes them a great option for a teaser, but it's hard to say if this will be a comfortable double-digit victory.  Arizona is not an easy place to play, and their defense is legit.

Read more: Week 16 picks.
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