NFL

Thursday Night Football Betting Preview: The Seahawks and Cardinals Should Give Us a Shootout

Thursday Night Football brings us a key NFC West clash, and this game could go a long way toward determining who wins the division.

The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals square off tonight in the Pacific Northwest, and both teams hold 6-3 records. Arizona is coming off a miracle win thanks to a last-second Kyler Murray strike to DeAndre Hopkins while Seattle is fresh off back-to-back defeats.

Let's dive into what our model thinks could be some intriguing betting angles for this contest.

Let There Be Points

One thing seems certain in tonight's contest -- a lot of points will be scored.

That's to be expected when you get two big-time quarterbacks squaring off in a game in which neither defense is all that good.

The Seahawks are the worst of the two defenses, and they have been absolutely torched via the air. Per our schedule-adjusted metrics, Seattle is ranked as the fourth-worst pass defense. Arizona, meanwhile, is the 16th-best overall D by our numbers. Even though the total is a whopping 56.5 points.5 points -- the highest of the week -- it doesn't seem crazy at all.

While the 'Hawks will be at home, even newly named Lumen Field may not be able to solve these woes. In their three games prior to last week's contest against the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle allowed a ridiculous 108 combined points.

From a pace perspective, this one should be fun to watch. The Cardinals rank as the second-fastest team, ripping off a play -- on average -- every 25.9 seconds. Seattle is a bit slower (27.9 seconds) but has picked things up by a half-second over the last four weeks.

Interestingly, the betting public has been pretty evenly split on this game, with 52% of bets and 56% of the money coming in on the home Seahawks, per oddsFire.

Bets to Consider

Our algorithm projects this to be a tight affair, forecasting the Seahawks to take the game by 1.32 points -- 27.84-26.52. We give Seattle a 54.86% chance of winning. The current spread of +2.5 points in favor of Seattle appears to be a true 50-50 toss-up by our numbers

While there are reasons to believe a lot of points will be scored, 57.5 points is a lot, even in the 2020 NFL season. As such, our algorithm prefers the under, projecting it hit 60.57% of the time. We have 54.36 total points being scored.

Better betting value can be found with player props, specifically with Russell Wilson. Our model has Wilson throwing for 280.1 passing yards, but his passing yards prop at FanDuel Sportsbook is way up at 314.5, with even -110 odds on both sides.

Historical Betting Trends

-- Inside the division, the Cardinals have been great against the spread, going 13-3-2 in their last 18 such games.

-- Seattle is not nearly as good ATS in the AFC West. Over their last five division games, they are only 1-4 ATS.

-- Recently, Arizona has dominated this series, going 4-1 straight up and 5-0 ATS.