NFL Week 14 – San Francisco vs Arizona
A month ago a matchup between the 49ers and the Cardinals would have been laughable. But the Cards have gotten hot – wins in two straight games and four of five.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (10-2) vs. ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-7)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 11, 4:05 PM ET
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix, Arizona
49ers vs. Cardinals Betting Lines from betonline.com
Spread: 49ers -3 ½
Moneyline: 49ers -190: Cardinals +165
Over/Under: 40 points
Are the 49ers due for a letdown after clinching the NFC West? Highly unlikely.
The 49ers have been money in the bank all season – 10-1-1 ATS this year! They are arguably the most balanced team in the NFL. The old adage is in play here – to win in the NFL you have to be able to run the ball and stop the run. San Francisco has the 7th ranked rushing offense and the #1 rated run defense that gives up 71.85 yards per game!
Frank Gore has cooled off a bit for the 49ers but Alex Smith has begun to heat up a little bit. Last Sunday, Smith passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams. The running game and Smith’s rapport with Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis will suit them very well against an Arizona team that is 19th against the run and 25th against the pass.
San Francisco’s run defense is impenetrable but he passing offense is 16th in the NFL. We can hang a bit of that on the fact that teams have to throw against them – nobody can run! A big factor heading into this game is the fact that the 49ers defense will be without Patrick Willis – 2nd on the team in tackles and an incredible run stopper. He is out with a hamstring injury which is good news for Arizona.
The Arizona Cardinals welcomed Kevin Kolb back as the starting QB last week and pulled off a major upset of the Cowboys. Did they play well? Not particularly. Arizona brings a very average 21st ranked passing game and 19th ranked running game into Sunday’s contest. We can basically rule out the Cards running game doing any damage against San Francisco’s insane defense so that leaves the passing game!
The Cardinals have perhaps the best player in the game suiting up for them which could be huge on Sunday. Larry Fitzgerald could be the determining factor – or he should be! The question is if Kevin Kold, I mean Kolb can get him the ball.
Betting Prediction: The San Francisco 49ers are 9-1 SU in their last 10 games and are 10-1-1 ATS this season. The 49ers are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games against Arizona – all wins coming by double digits!
I don’t think that there is anything more that I can add! The San Francisco 49ers are in the elite class of teams in the NFL and they need to be able to beat teams of Arizona’s caliber by 3 ½ points. San Francisco owned Arizona when they weren’t that great a team. Now they are good! This one is easy!
Pick: San Francisco 49ers -3 ½
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