Can The Cards Shock The NFL
Wayne Root: Can the Arizona Cardinals Shock the NFL World?
The KING OF UPSETS is always on the lookout for SHOCK THE SYSTEM possibilities. Many here in Las Vegas saw the Arizona Cardinals as a potential darkhorse in the NFC West race this season. We’re almost halfway through the 2014 campaign...and that Cinderella story seems to be coming true.
NFC WEST STANDINGS
San Francisco 4-3
St. Louis 2-4
Many voices I respect here in town thought Seattle was likely to suffer some sort of Super Bowl letdown. Maybe they weren’t going to fall all the way out of the playoff picture (one major online publication now says the Seahawks are an underdog to make the playoffs!). But, they were likely to lose enough fire to fall down to Wildcard level. San Francisco had so many off-the-field problems this past summer, followed by horrible offensive play in the Preseason, that many pundits forecast a fall for them as well.
That left Arizona, furious about missing the playoffs last year with a 10-6 record, positioned perfectly to surge into the void and win the division. So far, so good!
On the plus side for the Cards:
*Arizona beat San Diego...and San Diego looks like a playoff team
*Arizona beat San Francisco, giving them a leg up on tie-breakers
*Arizona learned they can win with their first and second string quarterbacks
*Arizona’s only loss was at Denver, a likely Super Bowl team
On the down side:
*They didn’t get Seattle during the Seahawks early slump
*They still have to play “angry about their slow start” Seahawks twice
*Beating Washington and Oakland doesn’t mean anything
*Catching the NYG early was a lucky break
*Winning with Carson Palmer or Drew Stanton isn’t the same as being a true Super Bowl threat with either quarterback
I have to say I have mixed feelings about the Cardinals postseason hopes heading into this Sunday’s huge home game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The fact that the midweek line was only Arizona -2.5 tells you that the market is skeptical as well. Arizona usually gets at least three points for home field advantage. And, their 2-1 ATS record at home thus far wouldn’t change that. If the line is less than the value of home field, then oddsmakers and smart bettors currently see Philadelphia as the slightly better neutral field team.
And, it’s not like Philadelphia is a consistent juggernaut!
Maybe nobody in the NFC this year is going to come close to what Seattle was last year in terms of Power Ratings and true championship pedigree. Within a watered down field where Dallas, Philadelphia, and Arizona are going to fight with Green Bay and whatever Seattle’s destined to become once they get their heads on straight...the Cardinals certainly have a chance to be the team standing at the end.
If they impress in Sunday’s late kick vs. the Eagles, I’ll think about jumping on that bandwagon (maybe I’ll be driving it!). But, a home loss to Philly, and it will be very hard to take Arizona seriously as a Cinderella with sharp heels. Still ahead:
Road: at Dallas, at Seattle, at San Francisco
Home: vs. Detroit, vs. Kansas City, vs. Seattle
You know...if 5-1 turns to 5-2 with a loss to Philadelphia, then we may be looking at a 9-7 finish that fails to reach the postseason. I think the 2014 pathway will be firmly defined by what happens Sunday vs. Philadelphia, and then the following Sunday at Dallas.
I may or may not be releasing Eagles/Cardinals on Sunday. As I write this late in the week, my final card has yet to be determined. You can always purchase my top plays, including my standout PINNACLE headline-makers right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my programs best suits your individual needs, please talk to one of my representatives in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Be sure to ask about early-bird consideration for my NBA. The regular season starts this coming Tuesday!
I’m the only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the “Walk of Fame” here in Las Vegas. That’s because I’m always planning my moves several steps ahead. You don’t become the biggest name in sports handicapping by taking flyers on hunches and hoping things work out. You study every game. You try to anticipate every possibility. And, you repeatedly hit the oddsmakers where they’re the weakest. And, they’re the weakest when they’re not recognizing and reacting to SURPRISE teams!
I have some surprises in store for everyone this weekend. That means it’s time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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