Welcome to the Thursday Night Football betting breakdown, where each week I’ll provide a detailed betting overview of the upcoming Thursday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. I’ll also highlight at least one player- or game-based prop each week that I feel has profit potential.
The NFL’s Week 11 Thursday night showcase features an NFC West showdown between the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. This game marks the second meeting of the season between the two clubs. Arizona notched a 37-34 overtime win in the Week 7 clash with Seattle, In that contest, the Cardinals overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit with the help of Kyler Murray’s 427 total yards (360 passing, 67 rushing) and four total touchdowns.
The Cardinals come into the rematch playing excellent football. They’ve won four of their last five games. Moreover, their one loss during that span came by just three points to the surging Dolphins. Conversely, the Seahawks have dropped three of their past four decisions. Their sole win in that stretch came at the expense of a significantly undermanned 49ers squad.
All betting takes will be classified as a “pick”, with considerations such as relevant injuries, past betting trends and recent performances of each team leading up to the game factoring in.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to TNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Thursday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
As just highlighted, these two teams come in heading in opposite directions. However, the Seahawks remain just as much in play for the NFC West crown as their opponent. They’re currently in a three-way tie atop the division with the Cardinals and Rams. Seattle’s current losing streak arguably gives them a bit more urgency than Arizona for this matchup, especially with the Seahawks already having dropped a game apiece to both the Cardinals and Los Angeles.
That said, on paper, the biggest unit-on-unit statistical advantage in this game is the Cardinals passing game versus the Seahawks secondary. Seattle is allowing an NFL-high 353.3 passing yards per game, 7.9 yards per attempt and an NFC-high 69.7 percent completion rate after the Rams’ Jared Goff became the latest QB to rack up a 300-yard effort against its vulnerable secondary Week 10. The ‘Hawks would significantly benefit if starting cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hamstring/concussion) could make it back for this contest. Position mate Quinton Dunbar (knee) is already slated to remain out, so a return by Griffin would at least bring the secondary back to 75% capacity in terms of starters.
In sharp contrast to their work against the pass, the Seahawks have consistently been able to shut down the run. That always gives them a chance to make a team one-dimensional. Seattle limited Kenyan Drake, who’s currently trying to play through a nagging ankle issue, to 34 yards and 2.4 yards per carry in the first meeting. That’s par for the course for the Seahawks’ defensive front. They check in allowing the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game (95.0) and seventh-fewest RB yards per carry (3.69). They’re also ranked in the top 10 in second-level yards (1.06) and open-field yards (0.45) allowed per rush, particularly relevant when facing a speedster like Chase Edmonds, who can certainly wreak havoc in space.
For Seattle, the player who will need to step up his game the most is ironically Russell Wilson. He’s seen his MVP candidacy somewhat sullied recently by throwing a combined seven interceptions in three of his past four games. The Cardinals secondary presents an interesting challenge. They did surrender 388 yards and three touchdowns to Wilson back in Week 7. However, they also picked him off three times in that contest and have done a very good job limiting big passing plays. Arizona is allowing a minuscule 5.9 yards per attempt and a mediocre 61.8 percent completion rate on the road.
The ‘Hawks backfield is likely to remain in flux to a degree in Week 11. Neither Chris Carson (foot) nor Carlos Hyde (hamstring) are guaranteed to return to action. The good news for Seattle is that veteran Alex Collins acquitted himself well with an 11-43-1 line on the ground in Week 10. He could be brought back from the practice squad if needed. Then, Arizona is allowing 127.8 rushing yards per road game and a robust 1.39 second-level yards per rush overall.
With Pete Carroll’s squad in need of a win and already sporting a perfect 4-0 home mark, I’m in the corner of Wilson and the defense putting together a resurgent effort here and pulling out the win.
The Pick: Seahawks moneyline (-175 or better)
TNF Point Spread
The Cardinals are 5-4 (55.6 percent) against the spread this season, including 3-1 (75.0 percent) as a road team and 2-0 in division games.
The Seahawks are 5-4 (55.6 percent) against the spread this season, including 3-1 (75.0 percent) as a home team and 1-2 (33.3 percent) in division games.
As rough as the sledding has been for the Seahawks on both sides of the ball of late, they have enough talent to muster an improved performance on their home field in this spot. Therefore, I lean toward a Seattle cover here.
The Lean: Seahawks -3 or better
TNF Over/Under Total
The Over is 3-6 (33.3 percent) in Arizona’s games this season, including 0-4 in its away games and 1-1 in its games against NFC West opponents.
Then, the Over is 6-3 (66.7 percent) in Seattle’s games this season, including 3-1-1 (75.0 percent) in its home games and 2-1 (66.7 percent) in its games against division opponents.
There’s no questioning the offensive firepower on either squad, but as mentioned earlier, there are a couple of extenuating circumstances potentially at play. One is certainly Tyler Lockett’s knee sprain, and another is the questionable health of Seattle’s backfield. It’s also worth factoring in Drake may still be somewhat limited for the Cards and the Seahawks are already playing close to shutdown run defense.
As such, I see enough potential stumbling blocks for either side to allow the Under on this highly elevated total to hit.
The Lean: Under 57.5 points or better
Best TNF Prop Bet
Russell Wilson Over 30.5 rushing yards (-115 or better)
Wilson rushed for a season-high 84 yards on just six attempts against the Cardinals in the first meeting. He’s also topped the 30.5-mark in four of nine games overall and is facing an Arizona defense that’s allowed 227 rushing yards at 6.5 yards per carry to quarterbacks. The Cards’ ability to limit perimeter receiver production could also lead to more instances of Wilson having to pull the ball down, and even more so if Lockett is limited by his sprain.
ALSO CONSIDER: DeAndre Hopkins Over 6.5 receptions (-150 or better)