Seattle Seahawks (5-3) at Arizona Cardinals (3-5)
The Cardinals were at the top of my overrated teams list coming into the season. 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.
The Cardinals are off to a 3-5 start, which is disappointing compared to last season, but I think they are still overrated, as they have had a +3 turnover margin and rank just 25th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 3.5 points below average. Injuries have also become a significant concern, with two starting offensive linemen, Justin Pugh and Rodney Hudson, starting wide receiver Marquise Brown, and feature back James Conner all out indefinitely, hurting an offense that has thus far been their better side of the ball this season and leaving them 6 points below average overall in my roster rankings.
Despite that, the Cardinals are 2-point home favorites in this game against the Seahawks, suggesting these two teams are about even. The Seahawks have been the much more impressive team this season though, ranking 10th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 1.5 points above average. It’s not as if they are significantly overachieving their talent either, as they also rank 1.5 points above average in my roster rankings. My calculated line has them favored by four points on the road, so we’re getting great line with the Seahawks at +2. If this was a full field goal it would be my Pick of the Week, but the Seahawks are still one of my top picks this week as long as they are underdogs. The money line is worth a bet as well.
Seattle Seahawks 24 Arizona Cardinals 20 Upset Pick +115
Pick against the spread: Seattle +2