There are those games that nearly everyone can agree on, and for six days a week, you can win while telling your friends who your money is on.
Problem with these six day wins, is the games are played on the seventh day. If the public is lining up behind a team that is having trouble, but figure they know when they are going to break out, the seventh day is almost always a disappointment for the six-day agreed upon winner.
We’ve got a game tomorrow that meets this criteria, and I think this is the last day people will be boosting that their money is on the Atlanta Falcons when they visit the Arizona Cardinals. The Falcons have won only one game this year, and that was in a perfect motivational spot against the Philadelphia Eagles in second week action.
In that contest, the Falcons were at home, getting points on the spread, and had a double revenge edge against Philadelphia. The Eagles edged Atlanta in the playoffs on their way to a Super Bowl victory two years ago, and beat them in the opening Thursday night game last season. Despite all those motivational and situational edges, Atlanta required a late red zone stand to preserve a four point win, 24-20.
Since that victory, the Falcons have lost to the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans, but everyone figures this is where they snap that losing streak when they meet a suspect Arizona squad. Few things are more crippling to a teams performance than to think they are going to win even though they haven’t in recent weeks.
Motivation for an NFL team does not come from losing with the prospect of a win next on their schedule, it comes from losing and the fear they are about to get beat again.
If the Falcons thought they were going to get beat by the Cardinals tomorrow, they wouldn’t have everyone and their cousin running around town talking up how easy of a win this will be.
As for the Cardinals, they won last week, in Cincinnati, which is their first win of the season. They also picked up a point spread victory on opening day when as a home underdog they battled the Detroit Lions to an overtime tie. This is not an argument on the side of the Cardinals being good, this is a case where a team wouldn’t have to be good to win in this spot, in fact, any team that wasn’t really bad would win here.
So, are the Cardinals really bad?
They did lose their last home game to the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago, 27-10, and the previous Sunday were also slammed at home, that time by the Carolina Panthers, 38-20. There is little evidence for making a case for the Cardinals talent … which is why everyone is so confident in laying points with the Falcons when they visit Arizona.
Sometimes, bad teams land squarely in a great spot, and this year, if they are not the Miami Dolphins or Washington Redskins, they are probably good enough to take advantage. We know one thing for sure, based on results, the Falcons are a low percentage play as a road favorite if Miami or Washington are not their hosts.
Which they are not.
Hope all the six day betters enjoyed their week, because it is likely to come to a sad ending for them on the seventh day.
Qoxhi Picks: Arizona Cardinals (+2½) over Atlanta Falcons