The Spread and Total
Arizona Cardinals (+9.5, Over/Under 39) at Seattle Seahawks (December 31, 2017), odds courtesy of Bovada.
Arizona Cardinals: 7-8 SU (5-9-1 ATS), 3rd NFC West
Seattle Seahawks: 9-6 SU (6-8-1 ATS), 2nd NFC West
Oday Aboushi (shoulder), out; George Fant (knee), out; Cliff Avril (neck), out; Tre Madden (calf), out; Rees Odhiambo (hand), out; Richard Sherman (achilles), out; Kam Chancellor (neck), out; Malik McDowell (concussion), out; Oday Aboushi (shoulder), out; CJ Prosise (ankle), out; Deshawn Shead (knee), questionable; Neiko Thorpe (ankle), questionable; Chris Carson (ankle), questionable; Justin Britt (ankle) questionable; Jarran Reed (hamstring), questionable; Earl Thomas (heel), probable; Jimmy Graham (ankle), probable
Ronald Zamort (knee), out; TJ Logan (wrist), out; David Johnson (wrist), out; Ifeanyi Momah (ankle), out; Mike Iupati (triceps), out; Markus Golden (knee), out; DJ Humphries (knee), out; Jared Veldheer (ankle), out; Adrian Peterson (neck), out; Antoine Bethea (pectorals), out
Nov 9, 2017: Seattle 22, Arizona 16
Dec 24, 2016: Arizona 34, Seattle 31
Oct 23, 2016: Seattle 6, Arizona 6
Jan 3, 2016: Seattle 36, Arizona 6
Nov 15, 2015: Arizona 39, Seattle 32
Dec 21, 2014: Seattle 35, Arizona 6
Nov 23, 2014: Seattle 19, Arizona 3
Dec 22, 2013: Arizona 17, Seattle 10
Oct 17, 2013: Seattle 34, Arizona 22
Significant Betting Trends
The loudest stadium on earth seems to have lost some of its power, Seattle is 1-4 ATS in its last five games at home.
Arizona is also struggling, however, going 1-6 ATS in its last seven road games.
The total has gone over in 12 of Arizona’s last 17 road games.
Despite a disappointing 2017 season, the Seahawks can still make the playoffs. Some things will have to break their way though. In addition to a win over Arizona, they will need some help from the Panthers in their tilt with the Falcons. For Atlanta, it’s a simple win-and-your-in scenario. The Cardinals have no shot at the playoffs, and are stuck in a glut of 7-8 teams that round out the first half of the 2018 Draft. The home favorite has a lot to play for, and the road ‘dog has very little.
Seattle’s the better team, and by some distance. Arizona has a fantastic defense, among the very best in the NFL, but an offense that is understandably lackluster. Losing David Johnson and Adrian Peterson in the same year will hurt anybody’s rushing efficiency. Seattle’s a little more balanced, neither side of the ball is really going to blow your socks off, and each unit has flaws. The offensive line is a running joke. The secondary has lost more to injury than almost any unit in the sport. Nevertheless, the team manages to make do — largely thanks to an (almost) MVP-caliber season from Russell Wilson — and has put together just enough reasonable performances to have the team within striking distance of the postseason.
Arizona’s defense and Seattle’s offense should give you some reason to doubt this spread. Seattle will very likely win this game, but running up a big lead against Arizona will be more difficult than anyone seems to think. With one of the best rush defenses in the NFL, Arizona is absolutely capable of completely staunching Seattle’s rushing attack, and while forcing Russell Wilson to make throws isn’t a hugely attractive strategy, it’s one of very few proven ways to beat the Seahawks. The Cardinals are more susceptible to the pass, but by no means soft: they’re well above league average in terms of efficiency. This defense is coming off a shutout of the Giants, an admirable performance against Washington, and a drubbing of Tennessee. Nobody except the Rams have put up this kind of a spread against Arizona since early October, and their defensive efficiency numbers reflect that.
There’s a reason the over/under is so low in this game: both teams are struggling offensively, and both teams should be commended for their defensive performances. I certainly don’t think this game will be a shootout, and I’m not sure Arizona will be able to score many points at all, not with Drew Stanton leading the offense. The most likely scenario is Seattle taking and maintaining a comfortable lead while checking the Panthers/Falcons score every two minutes on the ESPN app.
This is going to be an ugly game. The weather’s going to be cold, Arizona has very little to play for other than individual statistics and collective pride, and Seattle is a team held together by shoestrings, nanobubbles, and good intentions. Taking the under, and taking the points, is the best approach.
Pick: Arizona (+9.5) and UNDER (39)