Betting on Green Bay Packers vs Arizona Cardinals SU
When the Green Bay Packers (11-6) take the field at University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday night against the Arizona Cardinals (13-3) in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs, they will be confronting ghosts from a smackdown that took place just three weeks ago. The Packers came to Arizona in Week 16 on a Sunday night and found just about all of their flaws exposed on national television, as the Cardinals rolled, 38-8. The Cardinals had one of the byes in the NFC wild card round, while the Packers found their offensive mojo and sent the Washington Redskins packing, 35-18 after falling down 11-0 early. Let’s take a look at the betting odds, shall we?
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 13, 2016
Why should you bet on the Cardinals?
Carson Palmer continues to defy the trends for quarterbacks in their 30s — particularly those who have had season-ending knee injuries. Even though he has suffered two different ACL tears, Palmer has had the best statistical season of his career, throwing for 4,671 yards this season — and 35 scores with just 11 picks. This was the same promise the Cardinals showed last year before losing their #1 and #2 quarterbacks to season-ending injuries — they averaged almost 31 points per game, ranking second in the league.
The Cardinals are a menace on both sides of the ball. They ranked #7 in the league in points allowed per game and were #5 in total defense. They averaged more than two takeaways per game, and opponents only converted a little more than a third of their third down opportunities.
Why should you put your money on Green Bay?
During the Aaron Rodgers era, the Packers have played their finest games when their backs have been firmly against the wall. We saw it when they were about to lose in Detroit but converted a last-gasp bomb for the win. We saw it in the divisional round when they found themselves down 11-0 to the Washington Redskins but then found their offensive gear to turn a potentially embarrassing defeat into a rout. We saw it in Week 17, when they came into the fourth quarter against Minnesota down 20-3 and still had a chance to tie it on the game’s last play. They will be looking to avenge their Week 16 embarrassment and could continue that high offensive energy they showed in the second half of the wild card round.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Cardinals are simply too strong for the Packers’ razzle-dazzle to carry them late in the game. Arizona has the weapons on both sides of the ball to win — and win easily. I’m picking the Cardinals to win, 31-17.