NFL Free PicksBetting Overview:

The Minnesota Vikings (2-5) are watching their playoff hopes slip away as their hall of fame quarterback gets beat up on a regular basis and their wide receivers cannot seem to stay healthy either. For some reason, the football betting experts are still on the Vikings Super Bowl bandwagon. But that wagon may get derailed if the Vikings lose to the Cardinals.

The Arizona Cardinals (3-4) are a different story. The NFL picks for the NFC West were all over the map before the season started as the division was seen as the weakest in football. The Cardinals are still in there swinging to win the division, and at 3-4 they are only one win away from divisional leaders St. Louis and Seattle.

Offense:

Quarterback Derek Anderson is back under center for the Cardinals as rookie Max Hall still tries to shake the effects of a week seven concussion. Anderson performed about as expected in week eight against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His inability to throw the underneath ball cost the Cardinals the game as Anderson was picked on the last drive of the contest. Max Hall may be back under center this week, and that could be a great relief for the Cardinals.

The Vikings have watched their 41-year-old quarterback Brett Favre get beat up and knocked down all season long. Favre’s most recent problems came in the week eight loss to the New England Patriots when Favre received a helmet hit to the chin. His chin was bleeding, but that is not the main concern. Once x-rays came back negative for a fractured jaw, the tests for a concussion began. What people seem to forget is if Favre cannot go, back up Tavaris Jackson is more than capable.

Defense:

Defense is where the Vikings are supposed to excel, but they do not. Minnesota’s defense is ranked 12th overall allowing an average of 316 yards per game. Most notable is the absence of Jared Allen. Last year Allen had 14.5 sacks. After 7 games this season he only has one. Allen’s inability to get to the quarterback sums up the Vikings problems on defense; everyone is underachieving.

The Cardinals struggle on defense, but they struggle the most against the run. Arizona’s rush defense is ranked 29th in the league at 143 yards per game allowed. If Favre cannot play in this game, do not expect Tavaris Jackson to just hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson all day long. However, Tavaris Jackson is a running quarterback that could be a big problem for the Arizona defense.

The Bottom Line:

This will be an interesting game to watch. Will the Vikings allow Peterson to exploit the weak Arizona run defense? In the end, it could be the ego of the Minnesota quarterback and offensive coordinator that could lose this game for them. But it is unlikely that the Cardinals offense will be able to pick up on the short-comings of the Minnesota defense.

BSN Sports Pick: Minnesota Vikings 35-10

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