12 Nov Pick 2: New Orleans vs. Cincinnati and Arizona vs. Detroit
The Teaser: Pair New Orleans and Arizona
Game 1: New Orleans vs. Cincinnati
The Initial Line:
New Orleans -7 home vs. Cincinnati
Add 6.5 points to New Orleans’ line
The Final Line:
New Orleans -0.5
New Orleans suffered a tough OT loss at home, falling to San Francisco 27-24. On 4th down with only a couple mins left, No gave up a 51 yd pass to keep the drive alive. After a game tying FG, SF caused a fumble and kicked an easy FG to clinch the victory. Mark Ingram contributed 120 yds on the ground, and Drew Brees passed for 292 yds, 3 TD, 2 INTs, and a late fumble. Cincinnati got embarrassed on Thursday Night Football against Cleveland, losing 24-3 at home. This was their first home loss in almost 2 years, and they were only able to muster 165 total yards against a ferocious Cleveland defense. Andy Dalton had perhaps the worst game of his career, going 10/33 for 86 yds and 3 INTs.
The loss on Sunday was the first for New Orleans at home in almost 2 years as well. It seems very unlikely that they lose 2 in a row at home. The emergence of Mark Ingram bodes well against Cincinnati, who ranks 31st in opp. rush yds for the year. They also rank 20th in pass defense, so Drew Brees should be able to put up some yds in the game. NO sits at 4-5 but somehow they are still in first in a weak NFC South division. The fact that they could still clinch a postseason birth with a division title will motivate them to continue to play better. Expect a big bounce back game for them against a struggling Cincinnati team. Take NO at -0.5 as they will win in week 11.
Game 2: Arizona vs. Detroit
The Initial Line:
Arizona -2 home vs. Detroit
Add 6.5 points to Arizona’s line
The Final Line:
Arizona rallied late after an injury to Carson Palmer, defeating St. Louis 31-14. They were losing 14-10 heading into the 4th, but an amazing catch by rookie John Brown and 2 defensive TDs gave Arizona the 21-0 edge in the last quarter. Larry Fitzgerald continues to deliver recently with another 100 yd receiving game (112 total), and Brown added 73 yds with his TD. Andre Ellington was also able to punch it in on the ground. Detroit rallied late to defeat Miami, winning at home 20-16. This was the 3rd game in a row where they rallied late to get the win and they have now won 4 straight. Matthew Stafford threw for 280 yds, 2 TDs and an INT, while Calvin Johnson caught 7 rec for 113 yds and a TD in his return from injury.
This is a battle of 2 great defenses. Detroit has given up the least points this season (15.8/game), while Arizona ranks 3rd (18.9/game). Arizona is undefeated so far at home, but Detroit is now 3-1 on the road. Arizona has the edge in turnover differential, as they are tied for 1st with a +12 compared to Detroit’s +2. Drew Stanton has filled in nicely for Carson Palmer this season, as he has 3 TDs and no INTs. Arizona has the advantage in the run game, as Andre Ellington has 582 yds and 3 TDs on the ground while Joique Bell has only 357 yds and 3 TDs. This should be a tight game, but Arizona is now 11-2 in their last 13 at home and I think they will pull out the victory here. Take them with +4.5 in case Detroit decides to have a 4th straight game with a late comeback.