Thursday, September 22, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (Week 3, 2011-2012)

The Seattle Seahawks host their first game since their unforgettable NFC wildcard victory over the New Orleans Saints. Do they still have enough offensive firepower to outlast the Arizona Cardinals and Kevin Kolb?

The early spread on this game is Cardinals (-3.5). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for when betting. All lines from Cooper's Pick and Injury Reports from as of September 22, 2011. Always keep yourself updated with injury lines because they’ll unexpectedly change throughout the week.
#1: Injuries
The Cardinals have a few minor injuries that include LB Daryl Washington and RB LaRod Stephens-Howling. I don’t feel like any of them will make a significant impact on this game.

The Seahawks have one of the NFL’s deeper injury lists. Players who could miss this game include WR Sidney Rice, RB Michael Robinson, OG Robert Gallery and WR Deon Butler. Don’t forget that John Carlson was already placed on IR.

#2: Cardinals v. Seahawks: 2010
The Cardinals were swept by the Seahawks in 2011. The Seahawks won by scores of 36-18 and 22-10.

#3: NFC West on the Road
The NFC West combined to go 6-27 on the road last season. Three of those road victories came when the other NFC West teams played the Arizona Cardinals. One came when the Cardinals beat the St. Louis Rams in Sam Bradford's debut. The Cardinals were 1-7 in road games in 2010.

That trend has continued as the NFC West is 0-4 in road games after two weeks. The Seahawks are 0-2 while the Cardinals are 0-1.

#4: Larry Fitzgerald
The Seahawks allowed 126 receiving yards to Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide-receiver Mike Wallace in Week 2. They’re not going to find life much easier when they’re trying to contain Larry Fitzgerald.

#5: Abysmal Offense vs. Abysmal Defense.
The Seahawks have had the misfortune of facing the San Francisco 49ers and Steelers in the first two weeks. They also had an injury-depleted roster at that time. They’re currently ranked 28th in passing offense and dead last in rushing offense.

The Cardinals are allowing 466 yards per game, good for 29th defensively. They haven’t played against the best offenses either; Cam Newton in his NFL debut and the Washington Redskins under Rex Grossman.

The Cardinals and Seahawks are amongst the four worst teams in time of possession. That means that they can’t get their defenses off the field. In the Seahawks case, it’s because they have no offense. In the Cardinals case, it’s because they have no defense.

Final Predictions:
Seattle is one of the NFL’s biggest home-field advantages. I know that the Seahawks are horrible and their quarterback is Tarvares Jackson. However, I’m not sold on the Cardinals being that great either. I’m going with the home-field advantage here.

Against the Spread: Seattle Seahawks (+3.5)
Straight: Seattle Seahawks 21, Arizona Cardinals 20

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