When the Arizona Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday (2:25 p.m. MT, Fox), they won’t be giving a thought to the possibility that it could be an end of an era for the team on the other side of the ball. Nor are the oddsmakers feeling sentimental toward Seahawks QB Russell Wilson or head coach Pete Carroll.
Wilson and Carroll combined to lead a golden age for the Seahawks that included a Super Bowl victory. It was lowlighted by the one that got away after a questionable decision to have Wilson throw on the goal line instead of handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch secured another Super Bowl for the New England Patriots.
Now, though, it will surprise no one if either Wilson and/or Carroll are gone after the season. Wilson has a no-trade clause in his contract but could waive it in order to chase a Super Bowl elsewhere. Carroll’s contract goes through 2025, but that doesn’t mean the team won’t make a change if one is deemed necessary.
Arizona, meanwhile, will be focused on sending the Seahawks to another loss. If the Cardinals win, and the Los Angeles Rams lose to the San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinals will clinch the NFC West title and a home game to open the playoffs.
ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Cardinals a 23% chance to win the division, but the chance of securing a home game is worth giving the starters more than just a cameo appearance. Two starters who may see little to no action, however, are running backs James Conner (heel) and Chase Edmonds (toe/ribs).
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said both need to be healthy entering the playoffs, the Arizona Republic reported, meaning the Seahawks could see plenty of reserves Jonathan Ward and Eno Benjamin.
Despite the uncertainty, the oddsmakers opened the Cardinals as 5-point favorites, which has grown to 6.5 points. The total opened at 46.5 and has grown to 47.5 or 48 points depending on the sportsbook.
Arizona Cardinals (11-5 SU, 10-6 ATS)
Quarterback Kyler Murray helped the Cards snap a three-game losing streak with a 25-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Murray completed 26 of 38 passes for 263 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for 44 yards.
Snapping the losing streak was important, but Murray says heading into the playoffs with some momentum is as important as snapping a four-game home losing streak at State Farm Stadium.
“I think we just gotta play better at home. I think that’s what it comes down to. Nothing more, nothing less,” Murray said. “I definitely feel like as (a) team, it’s about getting hot at the right time and going into the playoffs.
“You wouldn’t want to go into the playoffs feeling how we felt three weeks ago, that’s for sure. I think that was a good head start to win this past Sunday and hopefully get the job done this weekend that we can feel even better going into the playoffs.”
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Seattle Seahawks (6-10 SU, 8-8 ATS)
If only for one Sunday, all appeared well where the Seahawks are concerned. Then again, the Detroit Lions weren’t the most imposing opponents as Wilson completed 20 of 29 passes for 236 yards and 4 touchdowns.
On Thursday, Wilson said his priority is winning more Super Bowls – which he says he wants to accomplish with the Seahawks.
“What I’m really super passionate about, obviously my goal is to win more Super Bowls,’’ Wilson told the Seattle Times. “And my plan is to win them here. It’s that simple. There’s really nothing else out there other than that.’’
First, though, Wilson gets to conclude the 2021 season in Arizona.
Cardinals Vs. Seahawks Prop Bets
Outcome Of First Seattle Drive
If you think Wilson is going to pick up where he left off against the Lions, you can get the Seahawks’ first possession ending in a touchdown for +325 at Caesars.
If You Think The Cardinals Will Win A Low-Scoring Game
If you think Arizona will prevail in a squeaker, you can pick a final score of Cardinals 16-13 at +31,000 at FanDuel.
Cardinals Vs. Seahawks Betting Pick
If the Rams are comfortably in front of the 49ers, look for Kingsbury to start resting key players in the second half. And the Seahawks are playing solely for pride, so this could be a game where the under is the way to go.