Seahawks vs Cardinals Week 18 Picks and Predictions: Seattle Bows Out With a Whimper

Week 18 is the end of Seattle's season and potentially the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson marriage that was so successful. With the Cardinals having plenty of motivation this week, don't expect a happy end for the Seahawks in Arizona, as our picks break down.

Alistair Corp - Publishing Editor at
Alistair Corp • Publishing Editor
Jan 9, 2022 • 15:19 ET • 5 min read
Zach Ertz Arizona Cardinals NFL
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The Seattle Seahawks will draw their season to a close on Sunday, as the team takes their 6-10 record on the road to face the Arizona Cardinals before entering an offseason of uncertainty. 

Fittingly, the likely end to the most successful era in the Seahawks' history will happen at the site of the era's low point, the last-second loss in Super Bowl XLIX at the hands of Malcolm Butler and the Patriots in Glendale.

Seattle heads to Arizona as 6.5-point NFL betting underdogs but can it throw a wrench in its division rival's playoff seeding to close the year? Keep reading for our NFL picks and predictions for Seahawks vs. Cardinals.   

Seahawks vs Cardinals odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Cardinals opened as 6.5-point favorites and have remained as much throughout the week. The total opened between 47.5 and 48, depending on the book, but has since settled at 48 almost across the board.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Seahawks vs Cardinals predictions

Predictions made on 1/7/2022 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Seahawks vs Cardinals game info

Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Date: Sunday, January 9, 2022
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Seahawks at Cardinals betting preview


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Key injuries

Seahawks: Will Dissly TE (Out), Gabe Jackson G (Out), John Reid CB (Out), Brandon Shell T (Out), Bobby Wagner LB (Out), Alton Robinson DE (Out), Al Woods DT (Out), Ryan Neal S (Out), Jacob Eason QB (Out).
Cardinals: Chase Edmonds RB (Out), Rondale Moore WR (Out), Jordan Phillips DE (Out), Zach Kerr DT (Out), JJ Watt DE (Out), Deandre Hopkins WR (Out), Trace McSorley QB (Out), Marco Wilson CB (Out), Joshua Miles OT (Out), Demetrius Harris TE (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Seahawks are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Cardinals. Find more NFL betting trends for Seahawks vs. Cardinals.

Seahawks vs Cardinals picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Seahawks are a mediocre team, or perhaps a good bad team. The Cardinals are a genuinely good, occasionally great team. They exist in very different regions of the NFL landscape.

Arizona's seventh in scoring margin, at +5.7, despite a bizarre 18-point loss to the Lions just a few weeks ago and a recent three-game skid. Seattle, meanwhile, is 14th at +1.3, buoyed by a 22-point win against those same Lions last Sunday.

The Seahawks have, almost exclusively, done their work against bad-to-terrible NFL teams. Against teams with winning records, Seattle's scoring margin is -2.8, which is more indicative of its NFL standing.

Reasons for optimism on defense were quickly squashed by injuries, as Seattle's defense sits in the bottom 10 in both season-long and weighted DVOA, as well as yards allowed per drive and drive success rate.

It will likely enter Week 18 down its best pass rusher (Carlos Dunlap), best linebacker (Bobby Wagner), best safety (Jamal Adams), one of its Top 2 cornerbacks (Tre Brown), and his replacement (John Reid). The offense, meanwhile, has come alive and recovered from Russell Wilson's finger injury far too late.

Arizona, meanwhile, won the Snap Out Of It Bowl against the Cowboys last week, edging out a similarly slumping Dallas team. The performance on offense still wasn't up to previous standards but the Cards' yards and points per drive last week were above their season-long marks (both of which are Top 10 in the NFL).

The Cards' defense has backslid in the past few weeks but remains a Top 10 unit in weighted DVOA and yards and points per drive. While they're coming up against a rolling Seahawks offense, if it comes down to a shootout, Arizona's offense should be favored every time.

The stakes for each team should be acknowledged, too. While no Pete Carroll-coached team will ever be accused of not playing hard, even in a meaningless game, there's only so much juice culture can deliver compared to a situation like Arizona's, who can win the NFC West with a Rams loss

The Seahawks lost by 10 to the Colt McCoy-led Cardinals at the end of November. With Kyler Murray under center, and 49ers-Rams happening simultaneously, Arizona has no reason to let up. The result will be a decisive Cards win. 

Prediction: Cardinals -6.5 (-110)

In a season of frustration for the Seahawks, the final few weeks have only served to bring more thoughts of what could have been. The last month has seen execution on offense not really seen since what proved to be an anomalistic Week 1, with the tenants of offensive coordinator Shane Waldron's scheme and Russell Wilson's play meshing brilliantly for a small moment in time.

Over the last five weeks, excluding a sleepy 10-point performance on a Tuesday afternoon in L.A. against the Rams (who always give Seattle fits), the Seahawks have averaged 34.5 points per game. Of course, games against the Texans and Lions make it a friendly sample size, but there's still undeniable production, regardless of opponent, mixed in, such as nine consecutive scoring drives vs. Detroit. 

That stretch, minus the loss to the Rams, has seen the Seahawks average 3.2 points and 37.4 yards per drive. The former would be, far and away, the best mark in the NFL while the latter would be fifth.

There's a healthy dose of caveats but the fact that Seattle is no longer a broken offense rings true, and it can produce against even solid defenses like the Cardinals. While Arizona ranks ninth in weighted DVOA, the Seahawks produced against the 49ers (eighth) and Bears (14th) in the sample size above.

The Seahawks will be able to move the ball and score against the Cardinals, that much is clear. Seattle's wildly undermanned defense is clear, too, with the Seahawks down multiple corners, Adams, and Wagner. If Arizona's offense wants a get-right spot ahead of the playoffs, it'll have found it here against a Seahawks defense 23rd in weighted DVOA.  

Prediction: Over 48 (-110)

There have been a few pillars of Pete Carroll's Seahawks that have never changed, regardless of the roster's construction, over the last decade. Limit explosive plays. Win the turnover battle. Control possession. Take deep shots. And get absolutely, brutally, endlessly gashed by tight ends. 

Even when the vaunted Legion of Boom was patrolling the backend of Seattle's defense, tight ends have regularly had field days against the Seahawks' cover-3 defense. So, it's only fitting that the era closes with more of the same. 

Seattle's allowed the fourth-most touchdowns to tight ends this year while sitting 13th in receptions and 14th in yards allowed. The first meeting between these two teams was not an exception, as Zach Ertz hauled in eight passes for 88 yards and two scores. 

Worryingly for the Seahawks, that was while Ertz was still a bit-part player within the offense. Since Deandre Hopkins was lost for the year, Ertz has taken on an outsized role. He has garnered a 27% target share over the last three weeks, turning it into 21 catches and 169 yards.

That span has seen Ertz average 56.3 yards per game, while the Seahawks have allowed an average of 55 yards to tight ends per game this year. With his receiving yards total set at 43.5, we're hitting the Over and will comfortably take him to top his receptions total and score a touchdown, too.

Pick: Zach Ertz Over 43.5 receiving yards (-110)

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