The Arizona Cardinals stumbled a bit last week, and suddenly their lead is not all that comfortable in the NFC West. So they can be expected to have some focus as they do battle with the Baltimore Ravens in the Monday night NFL game, slated to get underway at 8:30 PM ET at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
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As we come into this game, Arizona has a 4-2 record, both straight-up and against the football pointspread, while Baltimore is just 1-5, also SU & ATS. If the Ravens lose this one, they would almost have to run the table to keep themselves in contention for a wild card spot. They are coming off a disappointing 25-20 loss against San Francisco, while the Cards also experienced something of a downer as they played a Raven nemesis, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and feel by a 25-13 count to a team that wound up being quarterbacked by Landry Jones.
Here are the pro football odds with reduced juice from BetAnySports:
Arizona Cardinals -9 (-102)
Baltimore Ravens +9 (-108)
Over 49 points -105
Under 49 points -105
The Cardinals certainly hope to move the football down the field through the air, and they have some expectation that they can get that done. The cornerback spot has been an ongoing question mark for the Ravens, and they have permitted 25 completions of twenty of more yards – only two NFL teams have allowed more. Carson Palmer has been very accurate (65%) and he has gone down the field as well; he is currently tied with Andy Dalton atop the league in pass connection for 20-plus (27). This is the kind of thing that could give John Harbaugh nightmares.
One of the pleasant surprises for the Cards this year is that they have developed a proficient run game (averaging 4.7 ypc), and Chris Johnson has been a big part of that. BetAnySports customers know that the Ravens have done a good job of stiffening against the run, which might make the Arizona attack one-dimensional. Of course, if that dimension is working, maybe that’s enough.
A potential trouble spot for the Cardinals might be the likelihood of Joe Flacco having time to throw. We say that’s likely, based on the numbers we have before us. Arizona, for all its defensive prowess, which includes posting more interceptions (11) than touchdowns allowed (nine), does not get a big rush on the passer, with only nine sacks in six games. The Ravens’ offensive line has done a good job of protecting Flacco, who has been sacked just eight times. But what Flacco needs is someone other than Steve Smith (36 catches, 510 yards) to deliver some plays from the wideout spot.
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