One of the biggest NFL games this week is between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams will play each other on Sunday afternoon at Heinz field in Pittsburgh. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:05 PM. ET.
At 4-1, the Cardinals are sitting on top of the NFC West, and they are looking to increase their lead in the division. With the Seattle Seahawks currently struggling, the Cardinals have a little room for error, but they also know that Seattle will likely turn things around, so they can’t afford to lose games against teams that they should defeat.
Pittsburgh came into the season with high aspirations, but an injury to Ben Roethlisberger and the fact that the Cincinnati Bengals are currently 5-0, means that they will likely be competing for a Wild Card playoff spot. At 3-2, they are currently behind the Buffalo Bills in the playoff standings, and can’t afford to fall further behind because it will make it more difficult to make the playoffs.
Arizona has had a lot of success this season thanks to their passing game led by Carson Palmer. Palmer has thrown for 1,316 yards and 13 touchdowns so far, and if he remains healthy, the Cardinals will be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Palmer has been getting a lot of help from Larry Fitzgerald, who is proving that he still has plenty left in the tank with 490 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in five games.
One of the big storylines going into this game is Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who was the wide receivers coach in Pittsburgh from 2004 to 2006, then the offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2011. He was fired by the team after the 2011 season, and would love nothing more than to stick it to his old team.
Prior to Roethlisberger’s injury, Pittsburgh had one of the most explosive offenses in the league, but since the injury, the offense hasn’t been as explosive. Part of the reason why is backup quarterback Michael Vick was signed late in the offseason, and doesn’t have a full grasp of the offense yet.
Despite the fact that he joined the team so close to the start of the season, Vick has actually played well in Roethlisberger’s absence. The Steelers lost Vick’s first start due to some Josh Scobee missed field goals, and in his second start, he led the team back from a deficit against the San Diego Chargers.
The Arizona Cardinals defense will be the toughest Vick has faced all year, and he will need to continue making smart decisions in order for his team to get the win.
Since teams have been able to successfully run the ball against the Cardinals this year, the Steelers will focus on running the ball in this game, and try to gain some big yards with play action passes. Which will take some pressure away from Vick.
Cardinals vs Steelers Week 6 Betting Lines
BetOnline.ag has the Cardinals favored to win this game by 3.5 points. The over/under on total points scored is 44.5 points. BetOnline is our top rated NFL sportsbook at the moment. You can read our full BetOnline review here.
Right now, the Cardinals are the better team. The fact that Bruce Arians has an axe to grind against his former employers means the Cardinals will be well prepared for this game. I’m picking the Cardinals to cover the spread.
Play: Cardinals -3.5 @ BetOnline.ag