Arizona Cardinals (2-3) at Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
Coming into the season, I thought the Cardinals were one of the most overrated teams in the league. They went 11-6 last season, but needed a +12 turnover margin to get to that record, which is not predictive, and they ranked just 14th in overall efficiency, barely above average. They also got a lot worse this off-season, losing starting wide receiver Christian Kirk, top edge defender Chandler Jones, top off ball linebacker Jordan Hicks, top cornerback Robert Alford, and their most efficient running back Chase Edmonds, with their only major addition being former Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown, who cost the Cardinals their first round pick in a trade and who isn’t a significant upgrade on Christian Kirk. They’re also without top wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the season due to a suspension.
The Cardinals are off to a 2-3 start, but they’ve been worse than that suggests, as they have a negative point differential, -18, despite a positive turnover margin, +3, tied for 4th best in the NFL. In terms of schedule adjusted efficiency, the Cardinals rank 22nd. Despite that, they are favored on the road against a competent Seahawks team that has been competitive in all but one of their games. My calculated line has the Seahawks favored by a point, with the Cardinals being on the road and only having a slight edge in my roster rankings. The Cardinals are also in a tough spot with a short week next week, with favorites covering the spread at just a 42.7% rate before Thursday Night Football. I wish we were getting the full field goal with the Seahawks, but they’re still worth a bet at +2.5 and the money line is worth a bet as well.
Seattle Seahawks 28 Arizona Cardinals 27 Upset Pick +115
Pick against the spread: Seattle +2.5