Arizona (4-9-1) has shown improvement under rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. The Cardinals snapped a six-game losing streak last week with a 38-24 win over the Browns. Kenyan Drake had a breakout game in the win over the Browns rushing for 137 yards with four touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald continues to age like a fine wine and with 711 yards, has surpassed the 700-yard receiving plateau in all 16 of his NFL seasons.
Seattle (11-3) controls its own destiny for the NFC West and can clinch the division with wins in their final two games. Russell Wilson is having an MVP-caliber season with 3,708 passing yards and 21 touchdowns but more importantly, has guided the Seahawks to a 10-1 record in games decided by eight points or less. Chris Carson has recorded his second straight 1,000-yard season. Carson rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 30-24 win over the Panthers.
ESPN’s FPI gives Indianapolis a 79.9% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Sunday’s NFC West matchup between the Cardinals and Seahawks.
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Cardinals vs. Seahawks Game Details
Date: Sunday, December 22
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: CenturyLink Field (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Spread: Seahawks -8
This line opened at Seahawks -9.5 and has been bet down slightly to Seahawks -8 with the majority of the bets and money coming in on the Cardinals. This line is correlated to the action and is moving with the market.
- Cardinals are 4-9 SU and 8-5-1 ATS this season
- Seahawks are 11-3 SU and 7-6-1 ATS this season
- Over is 8-6 in Cardinals games this season
- Over is 8-6 in Seahawks games this season
Analysis & Picks
The Seahawks must avoid a letdown game against the Cardinals. With a monster matchup against the 49ers looming next week, which will likely decide the fate of the NFC West, Seattle must win to keep pace with San Francisco atop the division standings. The Seahawks will be without wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was suspended again by the NFL this week for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. I’m a little concerned about Seattle’s injury report, especially on the defensive side. Jadeveon Clowney is doubtful with a core injury while Griffin (hamstring), Quandre Diggs (ankle), and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) are all questionable. Offensive lineman Duane Brown has already been ruled out. Meanwhile, Arizona seems to be improving every week and put together an impressive performance last Sunday in a wire-to-wire win over the Browns. I like the matchup with Kenyan Drake against a banged-up Seahawks defense. It’s a dangerous spot for rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, but he is starting to become a presence in the running game, and I like getting more than a touchdown in a divisional game.
PICK: Cardinals +8
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith