Sunday NFL Picks: Arizona Cardinals vs Minnesota Vikings

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 11/7/2010, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Minnesota -8
Current Betting Line:  Minnesota -8
Opening Total:  40
Current Total:  40.5
Current Moneyline:  Minnesota -415 / Arizona +345

The Minnesota Vikings are an eight-point home favorite against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend despite a lackluster record

Arizona is coming off a 38-35 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday in a game that saw starting quarterback Max Hall throw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.  Backup quarterback Derek Anderson entered the game and nearly rallied the team from a 17-point deficit, but he also threw a key interception late in the game.  The play by the man under the center has been a major concern for head coach Ken Whisenhunt.  “We’re not getting what we need out of the quarterback position right now,” he stated.  “Obviously, you can’t have two turnovers that lead to touchdowns and two other interceptions.”  Anderson was named starting quarterback early on Wednesday for this week’s contest against the Vikings, which is nothing new for him considering he started the first four games of the season.  The team is 2-5 ATS this season and the NFL lines page has them listed as a major underdog this weekend.

The Cardinals have also been having issues in the backfield with running back Tim Hightower losing his starting job, touching the ball just twice in last week’s contest.  “Limited?” Hightower commented.  “Was it frustrating?  Yeah, it was frustrating.”  Beanie Wells started in his place and carried the ball 16 times for 50 yards, as he’s averaged just 2.78 yards a carry over the last three weeks.  Arizona is remarkably the NFL’s second-worst offense by averaging just 284.3 yards per game, but may be able to turn things around with receiver Steve Breaston easing the coverage on star wideout Larry Fitzgerald.  He caught eight passes for a career-high 147 yards.

Minnesota has a 2-5 overall record and is coming off a 28-18 road loss to the New England Patriots.  The Vikings also lost a member of their team, releasing wide receiver Randy Moss during the week.  “It was a poor decision,” said head coach Brad Childress.  “I’ve got to stand up and I have to make it right.”  The team will have an important decision to make on wideout Sidney Rice, who remains on the physically unable to perform list, but began practicing on a limited basis on Wednesday.  Minnesota will have a three-week window to activate him to the 53-man roster or leave him on the PUP for the remainder of the season.  The squad is 2-5 ATS this season, but is 2-0 ATS as a home favorite of 7.5 to 10 points.

The Vikings are in a downward spiral and likely not to make the playoffs, but can turn things around due to quarterback Brett Favre’s 10-1 record in his last 11 starts at the Metrodome.  Sunday will be the 21st regular-season meeting between these two squads, with the series tied at 10 games apiece.  Minnesota has won seven of the past nine meetings and nine of 12 since the Cardinals relocated from St. Louis.  Many experts expect a convincing victory from the home team due to the opponent ranking 31st in the league offensively and 27th on defense.

Bettors will find that the Cardinals are 7-22 ATS in their last 29 road games versus a team with a losing home record, but the underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.

We’re getting into the best time of the season and the NFL handicappers at Maddux Sports are ready to take advantage!

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