The Seattle Seahawks played a very sloppy game against the Tennessee Titans this past Sunday. Is this an indication of fading form or is it something this team can overcome on short rest? They are a 6.5-point NFL betting favorite on Thursday.
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals
Thursday, October 16th – 8:30 PM ET
University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, AZ
NFL Odds: Seattle -6.5
Why The Seahawks Can Cover The Spread:
They made a lot of correctable errors in their ugly and close win over Tennessee this past Sunday. The Seahawks’ defense allowed just six points to the Titans, but the Seahawks were stuck in a close game because their backup holder botched a snap on a field goal at the very end of the first half. The holder picked up the ball, tried to run with it, and then fumbled the ball while being tackled. Tennessee scooped up the loose ball and ran it all the way to the end zone for a touchdown. That’s a 10-point swing on one play. The Seahawks figured to take a 10-3 lead to the half, but they instead fell behind, 10-7. Seattle’s defense remained strong, but that special-teams error plus an overthrown pass by Russell Wilson and a bizarre fumble by Sidney Rice (who stretched out the ball at the 43-yard line when he was well past the first-down marker) limited the Seahawks’ level of offensive production. These might all be reasons to pick Arizona, but Seattle has a short week of preparation. Within that short week of preparation, it’s only natural that Seattle is going to focus on ball security and taking care of the little things it failed to tend to against Tennessee. As long as Seattle doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes, its defense should be able to overwhelm Carson Palmer and the rest of the Arizona offense, winning a low-scoring game on Thursday night in the desert.
Why The Cardinals Can Cover The Spread:
Their opponent is wobbly when it ventures away from its home stadium. Seattle hasn’t lost a home game since the 2011 season, but when the Seahawks play road games, they’re just not as good a team, especially on offense. Seattle has scored a total of 63 points in its first three road games this season. That seems reasonable until you look below the surface a bit. One of those games went deep into an overtime period, meaning that Seattle has played close to 13 road quarters this season, not 12. Moreover, Seattle’s defense scored a touchdown in one of those games, while the special teams unit scored a safety in another game. The Seahawks’ offense has therefore scored 54 points in close to 13 quarters, an average of under 18 points for every game. Arizona’s defense is the strength of the team. The Cardinals play hard and fast on this side of the ball. Their offense isn’t great, but if they can gain a plus-two turnover margin in this game, they can hold down Seattle’s offense and win with a low-risk strategy on offense. Just a handful of plays from wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald could make the difference.
The Seahawks are not going to play really well on offense, but as long as they don’t turn the ball over, they should be able to win because they should hammer Arizona’s limited offense, especially quarterback Carson Palmer. Seattle wins, but Arizona will cover the NFL spread.
NFL Football Picks: Arizona +6.5