Arizona Cardinals (9-1) at Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
It takes a lot for me to go against Seattle at home, given how consistently good they’ve been there in recent years. Since 2007, the Seahawks are 45-20 at home, including playoffs and they aren’t just having success straight up as they are 43-21-1 ATS. They outscore opponents on average by XX points per game. This is opposed to a 24-42 record away from home (28-37-1 ATS), getting outscored by XX points per game. This home dominance has been even more pronounced over the past 3 seasons, since the start of the Russell Wilson era, as they’ve gone 21-2 straight up and 16-7 ATS at home, outscoring opponents by an average of 14.39 points per game at home and beating the spread by an average of 7.09 points per game. Russell Wilson has also been very good off a loss, going 7-4 ATS since his rookie year in 2012, including 4-1 ATS at home.
However, I’m going against the Seahawks here at home for some very good reasons. For one, I think the Seahawks’ home dominance has been priced into this line, to an extent. Obviously their home dominance is no longer a secret, especially since they won the Super Bowl, so betting them at home isn’t as good of a deal as it used to be. This season, since their Super Bowl run, they are just 3-2 ATS at home and there’s been some pretty steep lines along the way, 7.5 point favorites for Green Bay, 8.5 point favorites for Dallas, 5 point favorites for Denver. This has the looks of another one of those types of lines.
Either that are Arizona is just undervalued by the odds makers. I’ve been calling them overrated for a while and I still don’t think they’re as good as their record, but they had a very impressive performance last week against a solid Detroit team, moving the chains at an 80.00% rate, as opposed to 52.38% for the Lions. That pushed them to 9th on the season in rate of moving the chains differential (including 3rd in the NFC behind only Green Bay and New Orleans), as they move the chains at a 73.18% rate, as opposed to 69.44% for their opponents, a differential of 3.74%. The Seahawks, meanwhile, rank 11th moving the chains at a 76.53% rate, as opposed to 73.22% for their opponents, a differential of 3.31%. This line is too high.
Arizona is very well coached on both sides of the ball and as much as the Palmer loss does hurt their offense, their defense has been helped by the healthy returns of Tyrann Mathieu and Calais Campbell. They rank 3rd in opponents rate of moving the chains differential and they’re coming off their most dominant performance of the year. Whether it’s Seattle’s homefield advantage being priced into the line or Arizona being undervalued, the Seahawks aren’t an auto-bet here at home as 7 point favorites.
With that in mind, the Cardinals are in a much better spot this week and are absolutely the right side here. While the Cardinals have a relatively meaningless game against the Falcons up next, the Seahawks have a trip to San Francisco on deck in 4 days on Thanksgiving. Divisional home favorites are 19-52 ATS before being divisional road underdogs since 2002 and favorites are 36-58 ATS before Thursday Night Football. On the other side, teams are 45-31 ATS as divisional road underdogs before being non-divisional road favorites.
Combining the two, teams are 100-61 ATS since 2010 as underdogs before being favorites when their opponent will next be underdogs. Even crazier, teams are 36-13 ATS since 2002 as road underdogs before being road favorites when their opponents will next be road underdogs, including 7-2 ATS since 1989 as divisional road underdogs before being non-divisional road favorites when their opponents will next be divisional road underdogs. I hate going against Seattle at home and I hate going with a public underdog, but there’s just too much stuff in Arizona’s favor that can’t be ignored. They should be the right side.
Seattle Seahawks 16 Arizona Cardinals 13
Pick against spread: Arizona +7