The Arizona Cardinals (11-5) look to head into the playoffs on a high note against the Seattle Seahawks (6-10) in the NFC West’s undercard matchup.
Arizona can still win the NFC West with a win in this game combined with a loss by the Rams to the 49ers. Below, we’ll take a look at the early NFL odds.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, January 9, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at State Farm Stadium
The Cardinals (10-6 ATS) are a 7-point favorite over the Seahawks (8-8 ATS) at many of BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. Arizona was able to end its three-game losing streak with a 25-22 win in Dallas. The Seahawks scored a season-high 51 points against the Lions, and Russell Wilson sure would like to end his Seattle tenure on a high note should this be his final game with the team.
Week 11 Recap: Cardinals 23, Seahawks 13
There have been many low points in 2021 for the Seahawks as they endure the first losing season of the Wilson era. But one of the lowest was in Week 11 when they lost to the Cardinals at home by 10 points despite Arizona missing Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins.
Colt McCoy dinked and dunked his way to 328 yards and two touchdowns in an efficient performance despite Arizona averaging 2.9 yards per carrying. The Seahawks did not turn the ball over, but they were 2-of-10 on third down, a huge problem for the offense this season. The Seahawks rank 27th in third-down conversion rate (35.4%) this year.
On the bright side, Wilson was not pressured that often by the Cardinals that day. It was just effective pressure as he took four sacks to match his season-high in his second game back from the finger surgery. But the Seahawks also had four dropped passes that day, also a season-high for a Wilson started.
Wilson: Going Back to the Start?
This division rivalry has been an odd one for Wilson. Most of his best games against the Cardinals have come in Arizona while most of his worst games were in Seattle. At home against the Cardinals, Wilson is 4-6 with a 58.8% completion mark. But in road games, Wilson is 6-2-1 with 66.1% completions and half as many sacks taken.
Wilson has only lost one game in regulation in Arizona, and that was the very first game of his NFL career in the 2012 opener. Maybe things are coming full circle if the site of his first Seattle game also ends up being his last with rumors swirling about his future.
But the rest of the team is playing for pride at this point. Running back Rashaad Penny has been outstanding as of late. He has 481 rushing yards and five touchdowns in his last four games, including three games with at least 135 rushing yards. Arizona has been vulnerable against the run but did allow just 45 rushing yards in Dallas.
Arizona’s win in Dallas was the most complete game the offense has had since Murray returned in Week 13. It was the first time Murray threw for over 200 yards and multiple touchdowns in a game since Week 7 when the Cardinals got off to that great 7-0 start before injuries started to pile up.
While Hopkins is still not coming back, the Cardinals have seen a career year from Christian Kirk (939 yards) and A.J. Green has been much better than he was in his final season with Cincinnati. James Conner hopes to return to the backfield, but Chase Edmonds has been solid in his absence. But throwing the ball has been the way to beat Seattle this season.
The Seahawks rank 26th in net yards per pass attempt allowed compared to the second-lowest yards per carrying on the ground. Even Detroit’s Tim Boyle passed for 262 yards in Seattle last week. Boyle had 264 passing yards combined in his first two starts this season.
Murray may not fully replicate McCoy’s pass-happy approach from Week 11, but the Cardinals should be throwing the ball frequently in this game. Antoine Wesley has stepped up with three touchdown catches in his last two games after narrowly missing one in the shocking upset loss in Detroit in Week 15.
The Seahawks are 0-7 at game-winning drive opportunities this season, tied with Cleveland for worst in the NFL. This must be killing Wilson and head coach Pete Carroll because they live for these close games. Arizona is only 2-5 ATS as a home favorite this year.
While there is still a decent chance the Seahawks keep Wilson and move on from Carroll, if this is the final Seattle game for Wilson, I am going with a close one. Take the Seahawks to cover for your NFL picks this Sunday.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.