Arizona Cardinals (3-12) at Seattle Seahawks (9-6)
Unlike other games this week, I am confident the Seahawks will play their starters the whole way in this game, unless they jump out to a huge lead, in which case covering this spread shouldn’t be a problem. The Seahawks are locked into either the 5th or 6th seed, but they’ve never rested starters in the past even when they’ve had nothing to play for and I think they’d much rather go to Dallas next week than either Chicago or Los Angeles. Winning this game assures they will face the Cowboys, easily the weakest of the four division winners.
Given that the Seahawks will be treating this as a real game, I like their chances of covering as 13-point home favorites. The Cardinals are horrible, ranking dead last in first down rate differential at -8.41%, and they’ve been even worse over the past 8 weeks at -9.49%, as injuries have piled up on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have gotten better as the season has gone on, just as they have in almost every season in the Russell Wilson era, going 37-17 ATS in the final 8 games of the regular season since 2012.
I haven’t picked them much in recent weeks because they went just 3-5 ATS in the final 8 games of last season and because they don’t have the same talent level they had from 2012-2016 when they always finished the season dominantly, but Russell Wilson is playing at an MVP level and Pete Carroll seems to have once again gotten his team playing at a high level at the end of the season. They should run over the worst team in the league.
Seattle Seahawks 27 Arizona Cardinals 10
Pick against the spread: Seattle -13