NFL Football Betting Preview
Arizona Cardinals (8-4) at San Francisco 49ers (5-7)
Monday December 13th, 8:20PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Arizona -3 ½, 45 O/U
The Arizona Cardinals take to the road this Monday night in a big NFC West battle with the San Francisco 49ers as huge playoff implications will be on the line. Arizona is just 1 win away from clinching up the NFC West Division, but they will have to go through a 49ers team that beat them earlier this year. As for the 49ers, they have not been very hot losing 5 of their past 7 games. However, they are still not mathematically out of the postseason picture and a win over the Cardinals would keep them from taking down the division at least for another week. San Francisco had expectations for the postseason after getting off to a solid start this year, but those thoughts could dwindle away if they can not find a way to win Monday night.
The Cardinals come rolling into the contest fresh off a really big win last week over the Vikings 30-17. In that contest, the Arizona defense played extremely well holding Minnesota to just 315 total yards. It was about this time of the season last year when the Cardinals really exploded and last week’s performance indicated they may have the ability to do the same again. WR Larry Fitzgerald had a solid performance in the victory catching 8 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald was the guy that destroyed defenses late last season and when he is getting his numbers the Cardinals are nearly unstoppable.
However, this year WR Anquan Boldin is having a bigger impact on the offense at this point in the season. Boldin is on track to eclipse the 1,000 yard barrier and it is very critical that he can be just as effective as Fitzgerald on the other side of the field. Of course the heavily favored passing offense is under the direction of QB Kurt Warner. Warner is having just the season you would expect from a veteran completing 67% for 3003 yards 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Warner has also not thrown an interception in 4 games and if that continues this week it will be hard for the 49ers to change the Cardinals momentum.
San Francisco was taken down by the Seahawks in a very disappointing loss last week 20-17 despite the biggest passing day by any quarterback this year as Alex Smith threw for 310 yards and two scores. In fact, the entire 49ers offense has become much more reliable in the passing game towards the end of the year. Earlier this year the 49ers were playing a bit better defense, but they were also controlling the football longer with at least attempting to run the football. San Francisco has had just 174 yards on the ground in the last 3 games combined. However, not to try to take away anything from the offense that has done fairly well over the last few weeks. It is just if the defense is not playing well, then some type of running game must develop to give the defense time to rest and keep the Arizona offense off the field.
The 49ers receiving game had a big outing from TE Vernon Davis who caught 6 passes and 111 yards last week. WR Michael Crabtree has taken over the number 2 spot in receiving yards after missing much of the early season from a contract holdout. However, Crabtree has performed better than most would expect and appears to be a guy that is going to be around for a while. QB Alex Smith is going to have to get another solid effort for the 49ers to have a chance and more importantly keep from turning over the ball. For the 49ers to win, they have to go at this game as they did earlier this season in winning the turnover battle and time of possession war.
Pick – Cardinals performance last week was scary to go against this week. Take Arizona -3.5