Seattle Seahawks (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
Ordinarily, the rule of thumb is to go against the Seahawks on the road. However, lately they’ve been a covering machine no matter where they are, including a 6-2 ATS record in their last 8 road games. Going back to 2007, they are 22-32 ATS on the road, but they have also never really had a problem covering as road favorites in that time frame, going 8-7 ATS. I don’t think you can go against the Seahawks just because they’re on the road here, even on a short week.
Ordinarily, the home team has an advantage on Thursday Nights because travel time cuts into prep time on a short week. However, that’s not the case when the road team is favored because the road team’s talent level tends to cancel that out. Better teams are at just as much of an advantage on Thursday Nights as home teams are. On top of that, because this is a divisional matchup, the short week won’t matter as much. These two teams are familiar with each other and probably spent extra time on each other in the off-season because they knew they’d be facing them twice in critical games.
Given that, I really have no idea which side to go with in this one. Using rate of moving the chains, I’ve calculated this spread at about Seattle -5, which gives us a tiny bit of value with the underdog, but not enough where I’m going to be confident taking them. The Seahawks are moving the chains at a 78% rate, as opposed to 69% for their opponents, while the Cardinals are moving the chains at a 70% rate, as opposed to 73% for their opponents. The Cardinals are also playing a little bit better of late thanks to the return of Daryl Washington defensively and the utilization of Andre Ellington offensively. Also, this could be a sloppy defensive battle between two good defenses on the short week, so getting 6.5 points does seem intriguing. I don’t like to go against the Seahawks, even on the road, but I’m siding with the Cardinals, even though I’m not confident at all.
Seattle Seahawks 17 Arizona Cardinals 13
Pick against spread: Arizona +6.5