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SUNDAY FREE PICK:Dr. Ed Meyer | NFL TotalFree pick476 ARI / 475 SEA UNDER 40.5 5DimesAnalysis:
Since the start of the 2008 football season, the Cardinals are 0-12 OU (-9.5 ppg) when facing a divisional opponent for the first time of the season - all twelve games were under current head coach Ken Whisenhunt. That's 0-3 OU in each of the last four seasons. The SDQL text is:
team=Cardinals and DIV and season=P:season+1 and season>=2008
EVERY single one of the nine games since 2009 has stayed under by MORE than a TD. It is very likely that Whisenhunt takes a conservative approach in key divisional contests in the first match-up of the season.
Another reason for the Cardinals' offense to start conservatively is that John Skelton is atat QB, the first time he has ever opened a season as the starter.
Seattle has a very similar trend in performance. The Seahawks are 0-7 OU when facing a divisional opponent for the first time in the current season, as long as the line is within five points of pickem. The SDQL text is:
team=Seahawks and DIV and season=P:season+1 and -5<=line<=5 and date>=20071001
The line tightener makes sense. If the line is reasonably close to pick, it is more likely that a single costly mistake could cost a team the game. So, we expect both teams to feel each other out - especially early in the contest.
Another reason we expect Pete Carroll's unit to play conservatively is that they have a rookie QB and Carroll will not want to put Russell Wilson in a position where he could make costly mistakes against the Cardinals' improved defense. In the Seahawks' next two games, vs Dallas and Green Bay, he will have to loosen the reins on Wilson, but here he should just be managing the game. Take the UNDER.
MTi's FORECAST: ARIZONA 16 Seattle 17
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