Seahawks vs. Cardinals Expert Pick and Prediction – January 7, 2024
SEAHAWKS VS. CARDINALS EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – January 7, 2024 — Seattle’s got to take care of business in the desert and get a little help if it wants to make the playoffs. Ironically, the Seahawks find themselves in the exact same situation as a year ago: needing to beat a 4-12 opponent and have the Packers lose on the final day to make the postseason.
However, this path might be a bit tougher than last season for two reasons. First, the Seahawks have to do the job on the road this season, as opposed to finishing at home last year. Second, unlike the Rams a year ago, this opponent is still playing with enthusiasm.
Related: Nate’s Week 18 NFL Predictions
The Cardinals have known for a long time that they were going nowhere in 2023, but they haven’t played like it. Arizona’s been a tough out for several teams, covering eight times on the season. The Cardinals tend to play fast at home, leading to a lot of points on both sides of the board. Given the Seahawks’ tendency to play close games, they’ll have to keep up if they want to give themselves a chance at the postseason.
(8-8 SU, 7-7-2 ATS)
(4-12 SU, 8-7-1 ATS)
When: Sunday, January 7 at 4:25 p.m. EST
Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Public Bets: 67% on Arizona
Public Money: 54% on Arizona
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of January 5th, 2024.
Seattle vs. Arizona In-Season Trends
Here’s one thing to know about the Cardinals: Every game played at State Farm Stadium has gone over the total. And usually, that’s not because of Arizona’s offense alone. The Cardinals have played seven home games this season, and they’ve given up an average of 31 points per game in Glendale.
Only Dallas and Atlanta failed to score at least 24 points in the desert. Not coincidentally, those are the two home games the Cardinals won.
The Seahawks have actually played their best football away from Seattle this season. As long as the opponent hasn’t come from the AFC North (which has gone 4-0 ATS against the Seahawks this year), Seattle has dominated away from home. The Seahawks are 5-2-1 ATS in road games, and they went 5-0 ATS in road games against NFC teams.
For whatever reason, Seattle tends to play very well against teams who should know them better.
You aren’t supposed to get rain or 50 degree weather in Arizona. But that’s exactly what the Valley of the Sun is seeing on Sunday, which means the roof is going to be closed and weather won’t play a role.
This game needs to belong to Kenneth Walker. Teams usually have no trouble running on Arizona, as the Cardinals rank dead last against the run. Walker did break 100 yards in the first meeting between the teams, but he needed 26 carries to do it. Seattle has to open things up better than it has to this point and get more from its ground game here.
Seattle doesn’t defend the run well either, and the Seahawks haven’t seen Kyler Murray this season. For whatever reason, Murray’s a different player against Seattle at home compared to how he plays on the road.
Last year, the 67.6 quarterback rating Murray put up at Lumen Field against the Seahawks was his worst of the year, while his 101.5 rating at home was second only to his showing against New England. The Cardinals need Murray’s best to have a chance.
The best play on the board might be the Seahawks’ team total. Seattle has shown no problem hitting this number in Arizona, scoring no fewer than 27 points on its past five trips to Glendale. A number of 25.5 is very doable, especially against this defense.
Backing the spread is harder, but Seattle has more to play for and will likely take control in the third quarter. Arizona should be able to put points on the board, but I don’t see the Cardinals hanging around for four quarters in this spot.
Seahawks TTO 25.5