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Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks Free Pick 10/17/13

Seattle Seahawks (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (3-3)

NFL Football: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm (University of Phoenix Stadium)

The Line: Arizona Cardinals 6.5 -- Over/Under: 40.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: NFL Network

The Seattle Seahawks will be on primetime once again on Thursday as Seattle heads to Arizona to face the Cardinals.

The Arizona Cardinals are playing good ball this season, but are just 3-3 on the season.  The Cards fell week one to the Rams on the road, and later to the Saints, and the Niners.  No shame in any of those three losses.  The Cardinals have played the eight toughest schedule to date, so the fact that they are 3-3 on the season says something.  Arizona is coming off a loss to the Niners last Sunday, but the game was actually closer than the 32-20 score indicates.  The Cardinals outgained the 49ers in both total yardage, and yards per play.  The Achilles heel for this team this past weekend was the turnover bug.  Arizona turned the ball over four times to the Niners, twice in the first quarter.  Perhaps the most damaging turnover for the Cards on Sunday was a fumble by Larry Fitzgerald as it looked like the Cardinals would take the lead over the Niners.  San Francisco then went on an 18 play drive that chewed tons of clock and broke the back of the Cardinals will.  Arizona doesn’t have it any easier this weekend as the Cards have to face the Seahawks.  Seattle has one of the best defenses in the league right now, especially in the back end.  The Cards are throwing the ball over 63 percent of the time this season, so look for Seattle to try and take advantage of Palmer, who has a tendency to force throws.  If the Cards have any shot here on Thursday, Arizona will need to play mistake free ball. 

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Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks Free Pick 10/17/13

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks, are, as expected, playing very good ball this season.  Seattle is sitting at 5-1 on the season, with their only loss coming on the road to a solid Indianapolis team.  The Seahawks are allowing just 4.7 yards per play on the season, ranking them fifth in the league.  Seattle’s secondary will be tested against the Cards, and that plays right into the strength of this defense, as Seattle is ranked fourth in the league at allowing just 5.8 yards per pass.  Seattle is also ranked second in the league in interceptions, picking off nearly five percent of opponents pass attempts.  The Seahawks defense is outstanding, but offensively there have been a few issues.  Seattle is still a very good offensive team, ranking eight in the league with 26.2 points per game on average, but the Seattle offensive line is banged up and it is reflecting on Wilson’s play.  The Seahawks can keep pace with anyone in the league this season, but on the road this is a very different team.  Seattle very well could have three losses on the season, all on the road.  Something to consider here on Thursday.

The total has gone over in 7 of the last 9 road games for Seattle.  The total has gone over in 8 of the last nine road games for Seattle when on the road at Arizona.  The Seahawks are just 1-6 in their last seven games on the road against the Cards.  The Cardinals are just 4-14 overall in their last 18 games, and the Cards are 2-4 against the spread in their last six against Seattle.

I’m on the Cardinals here.  Arizona has been outstanding against the run this season, ranking fourth in the league currently, allowing just 3.5 yards on average.  I expect Lynch to have a tough time on the ground here, which will force Wilson to air it out.  The Cardinals have given up some yards through the air, but Arizona has a great pair of corners in Peterson and the Honey Badger.  I don’t know if the Cards have enough to get the outright win, but getting near a touchdown looks solid in this spot.  Also, if you are going to play the Cards, I expect the line to move as more and more action seems to be coming in on Seattle, so you might get better than a touchdown by kickoff.

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