Monday Night Football NFL Picks: 49ers at Cardinals Betting Odds and Predictions
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 11/29/2010
The 49ers and Cardinals would be battling for positioning in the NFL Draft in most divisions. The NFC West is not most divisions. Both teams are still very much alive for a playoff spot (and a home game in the postseason, no less) thanks to the incredible mediocrity of the NFC West. Some call it parity, but most call it bad football. Regardless, both teams have shown potential at times this season, albeit inconsistently.
Even though the NFC West may be won with seven or eight wins, both 3-7 San Francisco and 3-7 Arizona know there is a sense of urgency, especially with St. Louis winning its fifth game on Sunday. Both teams figured to be battling for playoff spots at this point. Arizona was the two-time defending NFC West champs and San Francisco was the odds-on favorite to win the NFC West.
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This will be the first meeting of the season between the divisional rivals. San Francisco started the season 0-5, putting head coach Mike Singletary’s job in immediate jeopardy. However, they rebounded to win three of four before a demoralizing 21-0 shutout loss at home to Tampa Bay last week.
Arizona is also backpedaling its way into this game. After a 3-2 start and a bye week, Arizona has gone in the tank. They have lost five consecutive games, including last-second meltdowns against Tampa Bay and Minnesota in three-point losses.
Job security is an issue for both coaches and player displeasure has been voiced on both sides. Add it all together and Monday night’s clash in Arizona at 8:30 p.m. ET is as much of a must-win game as 3-7 teams will see. A loss will guarantee a non-winning season for one team, and Arizona has never finished less than .500 under Ken Whisenhunt.
Arizona may have won the NFC West last season, but San Francisco swept the regular-season series against them. Former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith will get the call under center for the fourth consecutive game despite the 49ers offense shutting down against Tampa Bay last week.
For Smith to be successful, the San Francisco ground game will have to come alive. Frank Gore was held to 23 yards on 12 carries last week. This week he gets a welcome respite with Arizona and its 28th ranked defense. Gore loves this matchup; he has averaged 102 yards per game and six touchdowns against Arizona in his five meetings against the Cardinals.
Derek Anderson, who has thrown eight interceptions compared to seven touchdowns, will lead the Cards, and the rushing attack of Tim Hightower (438 yards) and Beanie Wells (270 yards) will have to step up.
San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith is listed as questionable, but he is healthy and still on the bench behind Troy Smith. Two targets for the San Francisco quarterback, Josh Morgan and Vernon Davis, are both listed as probable, but both will play. Veteran San Francisco kicker Joe Nedney will miss Monday’s game. The Arizona defense looks like it will be without cornerback Gregory Taylor (foot) and linebacker Clark Haggans (groin)
49ers at Cardinals Betting Odds and Line Movement
San Francisco enters the game as a two-point road favorite, according to NFL odds. The line originally opened as San Francisco -1 but climbed to -2 during the week. The total opened at 39.5 but has climbed two points to settle at 41.5.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Trends
San Francisco is 17-5 ATS in its last 22 Monday night games
San Francisco is 3-12-1 ATS in its last 16 games as a road favorite
San Francisco is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games as a favorite
Arizona is 20-8-1 ATS in its last 29 games as a home underdog
San Francisco is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in Arizona
‘Over’ is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Arizona
Road team is 8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings
Monday Night Football NFL Picks and Predictions: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco might have the better talent on offense. However, they have been wildly inconsistent, especially on the road.
But this game will come down to defense and Arizona has proven they are just as bad on offense as they are on defense. The San Francisco defense ranks in the top half in the league in every major defensive statistical category while Arizona ranks between 28th and 31st in the same categories. Arizona owns impressive wins at St. Louis and at home against Oakland and New Orleans, but we are nearly two months removed from those and this is a different Arizona team mired in a five-game slump.
The play here is San Francisco giving the points.
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