The NFC West enters Week 11 of the NFL season with three teams tied at the top of the division. Two of them, the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks, meet on Thursday night to determine who will remain on top of the toughest division in the conference. Four days later, the other frontrunners, the Los Angeles Rams, take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.
In Week 10 action, the Cardinals used a last-second Hail Mary pass from quarterback Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins for a walk-off 32-30 win over the Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the Seahawks turned the ball over three times in an ugly 23-16 loss to the Rams.
Cardinals on Hot Streak
After a decent 2-2 start, the Cardinals have won four of their last five games to get to 6-3 on the season. Looking at a great betting site, www.A1PPH.com, the Cardinals are also 6-3 against the spread, but 0-2 in their last two games.
In his second pro season, Murray has accounted for 27 of the team's 32 touchdowns, 17 through the air and 10 on the ground. The former Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma is responsible for 76% of the Cardinals' yardage, averaging 67.1 yards a game and 6.9 yards a carry with his legs.
The Cardinals lead the league in rushing and total yards per game, averaging 169 and 426 yards, respectively. Arizona averages a lofty 6.3 yards per play and puts constant pressure on opposing defenses. The Cardinals' 29.6 points a game is seventh in the league, and they've averaged 33.6 points in their last five games.
Defensively, Arizona is 18th in yards allowed but is very adept at bending but not breaking. The Cardinals are 3-6 against the over/under, mostly due to a defense that's ninth in the league in points allowed with an average of 23.3 a game.
Seahawks Coming Back to Earth
Seattle got off to a 5-0 start and suffered its first loss of the season to the Cardinals, 37-34, in Week 7. The Seahawks were able to outscore their opponents on that season-opening run, but since then, they've given up 32.75 points a game, including 44 to Buffalo, and have a 1-3 record in their last four games.
The betting site www.A1PPH.com shows the Seahawks 6-3 against the spread and 5-4 against the over/under on the season. The 39 total points in the Rams game was the first one to total under 53 points in a Seahawks game this season.
Averaging 405 yards a game, the Seahawks are third in the league in total offense. That ranking is due primarily to their third-ranked passing game, although their 116-yard rushing average is a respectable 13th in the league.
The real problem for Seattle is a porous pass defense that has ultimately made it difficult for them to sustain a shaky 5-0 start. They give up 353 yards a game and 7.3 yards per play through the air. In a pass-happy league, that doesn't leave Seattle much margin for error, and it's cost the team in the last four games.
According to online sportsbook www.A1PPH.com, despite their current slide and the Cardinals' surge, the Seahawks are still 3.5-point favorites with an over/under of 57.5 points. On the moneyline, Seattle is at -180 and the Cardinals are paying +155.
Game Preview and Pick
The difference in this game will be the ability of Arizona to stop or at least slow down the Seattle offense. In a similar matchup last week, the Cardinals were able to beat the team, Buffalo, that scored almost at will against the Seahawks the week before.
The Cardinals should be able to find a way to outscore the Seahawks, and the over/under will be sorely tested. Take the road underdog and the over in what looks like a Cardinals victory.
Free Pick: Cardinals +3.5
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