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Week 3 NFL Spreads: Colts vs. Cardinals

NFL Week 3 – Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals

Herds of unicorns will be be photographed roaming the desert outside Phoenix before the Cardinals turn into a run-oriented team. Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin (as long as he sticks around), Kurt Warner and last year’s march to the Super Bowl pretty much guarantee that for the time being, and beyond, the Cardinals will live and die with the forward pass.

Time: Sunday 8:20 ET
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium
MoneyLine: Colts +125 (-110) / Cardinals -145 (-110)
Spread: Cardinals -2.5
Over/Under: 47.5

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But developing at least a little more balance has been a stated priority in the Southwest, and the Cards emphasized that by taking Ohio State’s Beanie Wells with their first draft pick. There have been stops and staerts in the early going as Wells and Tim Hightower split carries. Wells, for example, fumbled twice in Arizona’s victory over Jacksonville last weekend and has taken grief all week for it. But he did gain 44 yards on 7 carries (6.3 per), and the Cardinals at least paid lip service to the running game by balancing the attack – 28 rushes, 32 passes. And they actually outrushed J-Ville, 118-92, overall, for what that’s worth.

Zona coach Ken Whisenhunt hopes his team’s new-found love for a balanced attack will hold it in good stead on Sunday night when the Indianapolis Colts come calling.Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com The Colts, ironically, have made moves to improve their own running attack, drafting Donald Brown to at minimum light a fire under under-achieving Joseph Addai. Indy still has several good years left from Peyton Manning and doesn’t want to take the ball out of his hands too often, but new coach Jim Caldwell has stated his desire to keep the offense diversified.

All the talk about running the ball might be keeping the O/U number (47.5) a bit lower than we might expect from two teams that live and die with the forward pass and seem more comfortable winning 38-34 than 13-10. The spread opened at Arizona -2.5 and at mid-week stood right there. The over hasn’t budged, either.

In Indy, Caldwell appears to have been given a big gift as he charts his way through his first year as a head coach. Basically, the Colts are pretty much what they have always been, but the other teams in the division appear to have taken backward steps. Houston confounded fans coast to coast with their lackluster opening-day non-effort against the Jets before an equally confusing Week 2 thrashing of … Tennessee (0-2), which has done nothing yet to prove that last season’s NFL-best 13-3 record was not a fluke. J-Ville (0-2) is rebuilding and may wind up in Los Angeles in a few years. All the turmoil below them has given Indy the early high ground in the AFC South.

Arizona has more to lose. The Cards still need to prove that 2008 was no desert mirage, and a victory Sunday night will go a long way dispelling the notion that the Arizona was an average team that simply got on a month-long run at the end of last season. By the time the Cards (1-1) take the field, San Francisco might be 3-0 in the division, and a loss to Indy would put Arizona in a hole that might take 5 or 6 weeks to dig out of.

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel writer from Massachusetts.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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