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Conference Title Round: Eagles vs. Cardinals Betting Trends + Pick

NFC Championship – Arizona in the Super Bowl?

No this isn’t a preemptive article for Monday. This is a free-picks article for your degenerate face! The Eagles visit the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday to decide who is going to be the NFC Champion. The Eagles are road favorites heading in to this one, and I can completely understand why. They have a blitz-happy defense that boasts one of the best secondaries in the league. Donavan McNabb is playing like it’s 2003. Brian Westbrook is by and large the best scoring threat in the league. Philadelphia is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games.

So why do I like the Cardinals in this game?

First off, I went to see the Cardinals play the Niners on Monday Night Football in Arizona, and that stadium is insanely loud. McNabb is a quarterback who gets rattled very easily, and he has shown a swagger in the last few weeks that has taken down the former Superbowl Champions and a dangerous Minnesota team.

Truth is that with Gus Frerotte, the Eagles wouldn’t be in this situation. You can’t rely on Tavaris Jackson. Period. Move on, Minny!

The Cardinals aerial attack is the fuel that revs this offensive engine so well. They decimated the Falcons through the skies, and then dismantled the Panthers who were previously undefeated at home. Kurt Warner ranks third in the league in quarterback rating with 96.9 and has a blistering 30 touchdowns this season. He’s a proven winner and a gamer that knows how to rally his troops and get the most out of what he’s got. And when “what he’s got” is a returning Anquan Boldin and a viscious Larry Fitzgerald, Philadelphia fans would be insane to root so vehemently

NFL Betting Trends

-Philadelphia is 12-4 ATS in their last 16 game son the road
-Philadelphia is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games against Arizona
-the total has gone OVER in 7-of-9 when Arizona plays Philadelphia
-Arizona is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games at home
-Arizona is 10-2 SU in their last 12 games at home
-Arizona is 5-2 SU when playing Philadelphia in Arizona

The fact remains that the Cardinals’ defense has had trouble getting off the field. But their secondary has come alive in the past two weeks, shutting down both Matt Ryan and completely embarrassing Jake Delhomme. As one-dimensional as the Cardinals may be on offense, I think their defense is far better than people imagine. They’ve proven it in the past two weeks, especially with a massive victory over the bumbling Panthers.

As creative as Philadelphia’s defensive schemes get, don’t count out the imagination of Ken Wisenhunt when dissecting game tape. He’ll find a weakness and exploit it until Andy Reid has run out challenge flags (which should take all of half a quarter).

 Conference Title Round Trends + Pick

The last time these two teams faced each other, Philadelphia obliterated the then-stumbling Cardinals 48-20. But the stakes are higher, and Arizona was able to lull people in to thinking they were garbage before peaking against Carolina. When you doubted them last time, they burned your wallet in to ashes. Don’t get caught with the same fire brewing in the hot desert of Phoenix.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1) vs. Arizona Cardinals (9-7)

Sunday, January 18th — University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix — 3:00pm EST

NFL Betting Line: Philadelphia -4 (47)

At the end of the day, I stopped trusting Donavan McNabb after he lost Superbowl XXXIX against New England. He’s the kind of quarterback and player that fades when the stakes are high. This is the same guy that lost four straight NFC Championships and the same guy that has thrown everyone under the bus and never taken responsibility for his own actions. Why are you suddenly going to have faith in Donavan when he hasn’t won a meaningful game in his entire life?

On the road, against a proven winner, a creative offensive coach and the most talented wide-receiver arsenal remaining in the playoffs, the Cardinals are the sexy underdog pick of the weekend. Just don’t let me say “I told you so…” when Monday morning comes around. Because I will. I’m that guy.

NFL Free Pick: Arizona +4 (OVER)

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