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Cardinals vs 49ers Betting Odds - Warner wants a division title, Smith wants a job

Posted by Stan Simmons on 12/8/2009 12:01:02 PM

NFL Odds: Pick Cardinals -3

football bettingMonday night’s Cardinals vs 49ers betting odds were supposed to be an epic sportsbook clash for the AFC West division title. After all, the Cardinals drew a powerhouse Vikings team in Week 13 and the 49ers had a relatively easy matchup against the Seahawks. Instead, the Cards surprised and the 49ers flopped, meaning there’s a three-game gap for the West lead.

Cardinals vs 49ers betting Odds: Cardinals -3 (Total: 44.5)
WHAT: NFL betting
WHEN: Monday, December 14, 8:35 p.m. ET
WHERE: Candlestick Park in San Francisco, CA
KEY STAT: Cardinals and 49ers rank 30th and 27th in the NFL against the pass, respectively

Cardinals vs 49ers betting odds maker breakdown: The Storyline
With a gaping three-game lead in the AFC West and the Lions and Rams waiting on the schedule, the Cardinals have the division all but locked up. However, a win would officially clinch so they’ll be motivated to win. Few players on the field may have more to play for than San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith, who has played very well operating out of the shotgun and is auditioning for the 2010 starting job.

Cardinals vs 49ers betting odds maker breakdown: Offense
Beanie Wells could change things a year or two down the road but, for now, the Cardinals are a pass-first and almost pass-only team. Luckily for them, they pass the ball extremely well. Kurt Warner started the year a little rusty but has been positively on fire of late, throwing 12 touchdown passes and no interceptions over his last four games. He’s clicking with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin again and should have another huge day against San Francisco’s No. 27 pass defense.

NFL betting fans have to respect the 49ers’ offense, too. Alex Smith has seven touchdown passes and one interception over his last three starts and is consistently finding Vernon Davis in the end zone. With Michael Crabtree also in the mix as a viable target, Smith is flashing the promise he showed as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft. The Cardinals rank 30th against the pass, so there’s no reason to think Smith can’t post more strong numbers on Monday. The 49ers also have the running back advantage with Frank Gore in the backfield.

These two offenses are much more even than many people realize but Kurt Warner, a borderline Hall of Famer, and the Cards passing game are just too explosive. Advantage Arizona.

Betting Edge: Cardinals

Cardinals vs 49ers betting odds maker breakdown: Defense
Defensively, the Cardinals and 49ers are quite similar. Both seriously struggle to defend the pass but are stout against the run. Patrick Willis is a terror at middle linebacker for the 49ers, maybe the fastest NFL player at his position; meanwhile, the hard-hitting Cardinals held Adrian Peterson to 19 yards on 13 carries last week.

It’s safe to say neither team will run the ball well this week but both may get torched in the secondary.

Betting Edge: Draw

Cardinals vs 49ers betting odds for total: 44.5
With both teams throwing the ball so well and playing in warm weather, it’s fair for sports betting sharps to expect a shootout. I think this game eclipses the total easily.

Pick: Over 44.5

Cardinals vs 49ers betting odds maker breakdown: Notable Injuries
The Cards could be without tackle Mike Gandy again due to a pelvic injury but, if last Sunday’s game against Minnesota is any indication, that won’t be a problem. Jeremy Bridges filled in for Gandy and shut out Jared Allen of all people. Corner Nate Clements has an outside shot to play for San Francisco but he wasn’t even fully starting before he got hurt. If left tackle Joe Staley returns Monday – and it’s a possibility – Frank Gore would get a nice boost.

Betting Edge: Draw

Cardinals vs 49ers betting breakdown: Outlook and Pick
Like the Texans/Titans game a few Mondays back, this could be a surprisingly entertaining matchup. Expect back and forth action as both quarterbacks make plays but the more seasoned Cardinals will eventually pull away and cover the spread. Pick Arizona.

STAN’S PICK: Cardinals -3

For updated Cardinals vs 49ers betting odds leading up to the Monday nighter and other online betting odds, check the BetOnline sportsbook. Keep reading the Sports Betting Edge for more advice from Stan Simmons.



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