Week 12 Preview: Cardinals at Seahawks

With a record of 6-4, the Seattle Seahawks desperately need a win as they host the 9-1 Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have the blueprint to win in Seattle, but knocking off the Seahawks at home is still an extremely difficult task. Find out Sunday’s key matchups, a betting guide and a prediction of who’ll win inside.

Preview

With the Seattle Seahawks season virtually on the line, the Arizona Cardinals travel to the Pacific Northwest with the NFL’s best record at 9-1. Should the Cardinals prevail the Seahawks will drop to 6-5 and will more than likely need to win out to make the playoffs. With so much at stake, there’s no doubt Arizona will get Seattle’s best shot. While the Cardinals have the blueprint to win in Seattle, the Seahawks still boast one the league’s best home-field advantages as they’ve lost only two games at Century Link Field over the past two and a half seasons.


Key Matchups

RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Cardinals run defense

Something will have to give here as the Seahawks enter Sunday’s matchup with the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack averaging over 174 yards per game. On the other side, Arizona ranks third in the league against the run allowing 80 yards per contest. During last season’s 17-10 win in Seattle, the Cardinals limited Lynch to less than four yards per carry (18 attempts for 71 yards) so the precedent has been set to slow down Lynch. In addition to Lynch, Arizona will need to keep an eye on QB Russell Wilson and his running abilities. Wilson has made a habit of making plays on the zone read play as well as when the pocket breaks down and he’s forced to improvise.

QB Drew Stanton vs. Seahawks pass defense

For the remainder of the season, the fate of the Cardinals may rest of the performance of Stanton and this contest will be no different. Stanton will get the ultimate test this Sunday as Seattle is extremely tough in pass defense allowing only 215 yards per game through the air. Despite their ability to stop the pass, Seattle’s defense just hasn’t been as productive as last year and previous years. The Seahawks have the second fewest sacks in the NFL (13) and have intercepted only six passes all year (tied for 23rd in NFL). For Seattle to win this battle, it will have to return to its old ways of pressuring the quarterback and forcing mistakes.


Betting Guide (Line: Cardinals +7)

Arizona

Cardinals are 6-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Cardinals are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog.
Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog.
Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC West.

Seattle

Seahawks are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a S.U. loss.
Seahawks are 18-7 ATS in their last 25 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0.
Seahawks are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games following a ATS loss.
Seahawks are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 home games.
Seahawks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite.


Prediction

The trends show that the Seahawks have been very good coming off a straight-up loss and it’s always tough to knock them off at home. That said, Seattle has been vulnerable as the favorite lately with those games ending up being closer than the experts think. Meanwhile, Arizona has made a living of beating quality teams as the underdog, as well as prevailing on the road in tough environments. On paper this game means more to Seattle, but this has been the Cardinals year so far and we don’t see that changing even as a significant underdog this weekend. Take the Cardinals and the points with a little on the moneyline as Arizona prevails for the second straight time in Seattle.

Pick: Cardinals +7, +300 Moneyline

Final Score: Arizona 20 Seattle 19


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