Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Arizona Cardinals (0-3)
The Cardinals threw 10th overall pick quarterback Josh Rosen into action late in the 4th quarter down by 2 against the Bears last week, pulling ineffective veteran Sam Bradford and hoping the rookie would spark them to victory. He did not, but that’s not exactly an easy situation for a rookie to be making his debut in, so it’s tough to take much away from his brief performance. He’ll get a full week with the first team this week in preparation for his first career start.
Rosen still is not in an ideal situation for a rookie quarterback, as he will have one of the worst rosters in the NFL around him. He will be at home for his first career start though and he’s facing a Seattle team that is a shell of what it was a few seasons ago. With wide receiver Doug Baldwin and center Justin Britt returning from injury, they are getting healthier, but their defense remains without talented every down linebacker KJ Wright and their offense will likely continue to struggle as long as new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer bizarrely continues to force Russell Wilson into being a pocket passer only (7 carries for 21 yards on the season). They rank 29th in first down rate differential at -5.13% and have been one of the least impressive teams in the league through 3 weeks.
The Seahawks are also in a terrible spot with a home game against the Rams on deck, a game in which the Seahawks are projected to be 7 point home underdogs. Teams understandably tend to struggle before big home games, going 39-82 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 6 or more. Road favorites like the Seahawks are this week are also just 20-39 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs. The Cardinals are one of the worst teams in the league, so we aren’t getting much line value with them as 3.5 point home underdogs, but the Seahawks could easily have one eye on next week’s game and allow the Cardinals to hang around and maybe even pull off the upset.
Seattle Seahawks 17 Arizona Cardinals 16
Pick against the spread: Arizona +3.5