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Monday Night Football

Monday Night Football

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Oddsmakers currently have the Cardinals listed as 10-point favorites versus the 49ers, while the game's total is sitting at 47½.

The 49ers lost to Seattle 34-13 as a 5.5-point favorite in Week 8. The combined score went OVER the posted over/under total (41.5).

J.T. O'Sullivan passed for 131 yards with an interception for San Francisco and Frank Gore rushed for 94 yards on 18 carries.

The Cardinals defeated St. Louis 34-13 as a 3-point favorite in Week 9. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (50).

Kurt Warner threw for 342 yards with two touchdowns for Arizona, while Tim Hightower rushed for 109 yards with a touchdown on 22 carries in the win.

Current streak:
San Francisco has lost 5 straight games.

Team records:
San Francisco: 2-6 SU, 2-6 ATS
Arizona: 5-3 SU, 6-2 ATS

San Francisco most recently:
When playing in November are 4-6
When playing on grass are 3-7
After outgaining opponent are 6-4
When playing within the division are 4-6

Arizona most recently:
When playing in November are 5-5
When playing on grass are 7-3
After outgaining opponent are 6-4
When playing within the division are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Francisco's last 5 games when playing on the road against Arizona
The total has gone OVER in 7 of San Francisco's last 10 games when playing Arizona
San Francisco is 16-8 SU in its last 24 games when playing Arizona
San Francisco is 2-4-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Arizona
Arizona is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Arizona's last 5 games at home
Arizona is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Arizona is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games

Next up:
San Francisco home to St. Louis, Sunday, November 16
Arizona at Seattle, Sunday, November 16

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Re: Monday Night Football

San Francisco (2-6 SU and ATS) at Arizona (5-3, 5-2-1 ATS)

The 49ers look to snap a five-game SU and ATS losing skid when they travel to Glendale, Ariz., to take on the Cardinals, who haven’t lost in the desert this season and are trying to sweep this season series.

The first game for interim coach Mike Singletary did not go well as San Francisco lost 34-13 to Seattle as a five-point home favorite, sending the team into its bye week with a fifth straight setback. Singletary, who blasted his team in a postgame news conference, has benched starting QB J.T. O’Sullivan in favor of Shaun Hill, who went 15-for-23 for 173 yards and a TD in relief work against Seattle.

Arizona blew out St. Louis last week 34-13 as a three-point road chalk, improving to 3-1 SU (4-0 ATS) in its last four overall. The Cardinals had a 450-231 yard edge in total offense and forced three turnovers as they scored 30-plus points for the fourth time in the last five games. Arizona leads the NFL in scoring offense at 29.3 points per game, and that increases to 34 ppg at home, where the Cardinals have won five in a row (4-1 ATS) and nine of 11 since Ken Whisenhunt took over as head coach last season.

Unlike the 49ers, Arizona has no quarterback issues, as Kurt Warner has turned back the clock, throwing for 2,431 yards this season with 16 TDs and six INTs.

Arizona went to San Francisco in the season opener and got a 23-13 win as a one-point favorite, with Warner throwing for 197 yards. Last year, the 49ers were one of only two teams to win at Arizona, prevailing 37-31 in overtime as a 10-point ‘dog. San Francisco is 3-1 ATS (2-2 SU) in its last four trips to the desert dating to 2004. Also, the underdog is 6-3 ATS in the past nine series battles (4-1 ATS in the last five).

San Francisco is 16-14 SU (19-11 ATS) on the road on Monday nights, while Arizona is 3-6-1 SU (4-6 ATS) in this prime-time showcase under the lights.

San Francisco carries nothing but negative ATS trends into this game, including 2-8 on the road, 2-5 against NFC West rivals, 1-6 against teams with a winning record and 0-4 against NFC teams. Conversely, in addition to their current 4-0 ATS roll overall and 4-0 ATS run at home, the Cardinals are pointspread upticks of 8-3 against NFC West teams and 4-1 after a straight-up win.

For the Niners, the under is on runs of 7-1 in November and 10-4 against the NFC West, but the over is 4-1 in their last five following a non-cover. Arizona is on several over runs, including 22-8 overall, 5-0 at home, 14-4 after a spread-cover, 8-3 against the NFC West and 25-8 against teams with a losing record. In this rivalry, the over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings overall and 4-0 in the last four clashes in Arizona.

Finally, the over is 8-1-1 in Monday night contests this season.


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Re: Monday Night Football

San Francisco at Arizona
By Brian Edwards

Arizona hasn’t won a division title in 33 years. The Cardinals haven’t started the season 5-3 since 1984. But in 2008, they appear poised to run away and hide in the NFC West.

Arizona (5-3 straight up, 6-2 against the spread) can widen its division lead to a seemingly insurmountable four games with a win over the 49ers on Monday Night Football.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened the Cardinals as 10-point favorites with a total of 48. As of Sunday evening, most books were listing ‘Zona as a 9½-point ‘chalk’ with the total adjusted down to 47. Bettors can take the 49ers to win outright for a plus-325 return (risk $100 to win $325).

Ken Whisenhunt’s team has won three of its last four games, taking the money in all four of those outings. The Cards destroyed St. Louis by a 34-13 count as three-point road favorites last week.

Tim Hightower, the rookie running back that has taken Edgerrin James’s job, ran for 109 yards on 22 carries, including a 30-yard touchdown scamper. Kurt Warner threw for 342 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions, while DB Antrel Rolle had a 40-year interception return for a touchdown.

Anquan Boldin is back to 100 percent, hauling in six receptions for 85 yards and one TD. Larry Fitzgerald had six catches for 81 yards.

San Francisco (2-6 SU, 2-6 ATS) has lost five in a row both SU and ATS, dropping each contest by nine points or more. The 49ers fired head coach Mike Nolan seven games into his fourth season at the helm, replacing him with Mike Singletary, the legendary Hall of Fame linebacker who was the leader of the 1985 Bears, who blew out the Patriots to win the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

Nothing changed in Singletary’s first game as the man in charge. San Francisco looked awful in a 34-13 loss to Seattle as a five-point home favorite. After tight end Vernon Davis was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, Singletary told him to hit the showers.

After the game, he went on a classic rant about Davis and players of his ilk. Singletary barked, “Can’t win with ‘em, can’t play ‘em, can’t coach ‘em, can’t do it!” Then last week, news broke that Singletary pulled his pants down in front of the team at intermission as sort of display to illustrate how embarrassing the team’s play was in the first half.

Only time will tell how the 49ers will respond to Singletary. They have had a week off to digest the tumult lingering from his first game as coach. Singletary is turning to Shaun Hill at QB, benching the ineffective J.T. O’Sullivan, who has been a turnover machine all year long.

What the Niners really want to do is get the ball to their best weapon, RB Frank Gore. The University of Miami product has rushed for 629 yards and four TDs, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

Hightower will start against for James, but Arizona’s offense is all about its prolific aerial attack. Warner is playing like he did with the Rams when he first broke onto the scene by improbably leading them to a victory in the 1999 Super Bowl.

For the year, Warner has connected on 69.9 percent of his passes for 2,431 yards, with a 16/6 touchdown-interception ratio. Fitzgerald has 49 receptions for 742 yards and five TDs, while Boldin has 42 catches for 514 yards and eight TDs despite missing two games.

“I think Arizona has the best wide-receiving tandem in the NFL with Boldin and Fitzgerald,” handicapper Joe D’Amico said on Thursday edition of the Power Hours on VI Radio. “And with Kurt Warner playing like he did during his best days with the Rams, the Cardinals are going to run away with a weak NFC West division. And I think Arizona is the play laying the points this week.”

When these clubs met back in Week 1, Arizona won 23-13 as a one-point road favorite. The 36 combined points fell ‘under’ the 42 ½-point tally.

The ‘over’ is on an incredible 22-8 run in Arizona’s last 30 games. The ‘over’ is 3-0 in the Cards’ home games this season. They own a 3-0 record both SU and ATS at home this year.

San Francisco is 1-2 both SU and ATS on the road in 2008. The 49ers have seen their totals on the road go 1-1-1 for a wash.

The ‘over’ is 7-3 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings between these NFC West rivals.

Kick-off is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--For the fifth consecutive week, I survived in my Eliminator League in a game that went to the final play. I had the Dolphins this week and Seattle certainly made things interesting at crunch time. But just like March Madness, it’s all about one thing – surviving and advancing rather than losing and go home. I live another week!

--I wasn’t involved with the Atlanta-New Orleans total, which closed at 50 ½ at most books. For gamblers that backed the ‘over,’ you collected a thrilling victory. With 1:17 left in the final stanza, Atlanta had a 27-13 lead with New Orleans threatening to score. Still, ‘under’ backers appeared to be in business. But that’s when Chevis Jackson intercepted a Drew Brees’ pass and raced 95 yards for a touchdown. Then on the final play of the game, Brees connected with Lance Moore for a 32-yard scoring strike to make the final 34-20 in favor of the Falcons.

--This is certainly a lost season for Kansas City, one that might cost Herm Edwards his job. But there is a bright side. The Chiefs have found their quarterback of the present and future, and his name is Tyler Thigpen. The second-year QB from out of Coastal Carolina has been nothing short of sensational in the last three games, producing the following numbers: 66-of-102 for 710 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. Not bad for a QB making his second, third and fourth starts of his career.

--With apologies to Jeff Fisher and the Titans, who stayed unbeaten Sunday with a 21-14 win at Chicago, I think the G-Men are the best team in the NFL right now.

--Although Carolina won 17-6 at Oakland to stay in first place in the NFC South, John Fox had to be concerned by Jake Delhomme’s four interceptions.

--Tom Cable nearly hooked up Oakland backers with a miracle cover when he elected to attempt a 57-yard field goal with 13 seconds left. Regardless of the spread, it was the correct move by Cable since three points would’ve cut the deficit to eight. Therefore, the Raiders would have time for a Hail Mary pass if they recovered an onside kick after making the field goal. But the FGA by Sebastian Janikowski hit the crossbar and bounced back, allowing Carolina backers to collect the cover laying 10 points.

--ESPN’s switch from Sean Salisbury to Trent Dilfer as an NFL analyst was a stroke of genius.

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Re: Monday Night Football

What's in the line: 49ers vs. Cardinals

Sometimes a game can look good on paper when the schedule is set, but by the time it’s played things have changed and it isn't all that exciting.

The Dallas-Cleveland game is a perfect example of that. Other times, though, you just have to wonder why anyone would ever think that a national TV audience would need to watch a game in the first place.

The Monday Night Football tilt between the Niners and the Cardinals is one of those times. I was higher on the Niners than most were coming into the season (oops), but even I didn't think that they were worth watching. Given San Francisco's struggles, there are only two reasons to watch this game - to see Kurt Warner throw another shovel full of concrete on Matt Leinart's career with every completion, and to see the fancy new stadium. Other than that, chances are pretty good that Gossip Girl will provide more Monday night drama than this game.

Thank goodness for betting. And betting is just what people are doing.

The volume is as high for this game as it would be for a good one, and the public, not surprisingly, likes the Cardinals. Three quarters of bets have been placed on Arizona. It's noteworthy that the line opened at the key number of 10 at some betting shops but has since dropped to 9.5. That indicates that books aren't scared of action on the Cardinals despite the lopsided bet totals.

That suggests that the money isn't flowing towards Arizona at the same rate as the bets are. In other words, it would appear that some big bets are on San Francisco. If that's the case then those bettors would need recent history to change in order to cash their tickets - San Francisco has neither won nor covered in its last five, while Arizona has covered four straight.

The Cards have covered five of the last seven between the two teams, including one this year.

There was finally a MNF game that went under the total last week. Can we see another one so soon? The public doesn't seem to think so.

The total sat at 46 and has climbed to 46.5 and even 47 in some places. The public is, as always on a Monday night, heavy on the over. That's not as ill-advised as the public's leanings can often be. San Francisco has gone over in three of the team’s last four and Arizona has managed it in four of its last five. The Cardinals' passing offense is particularly suited to being at home - every home game this year has gone over.

The stark difference between these two teams, besides their records and the sanity of their head coaches, is that passing offense. San Francisco is actually a little more effective than the Cardinals in running the ball this year, but the passing games come from different planets.

Arizona has the second best aerial output in the league, while the Niners managed almost 90 fewer passing yards per game. Any level of success for the Niners will depend upon their ability to control the passing game. The chances of that seem mixed.

On one hand, San Francisco held Warner to just 197 yards last game - his second lowest total of the season. Over the last five weeks, though, the San Francisco defense seems to have largely forgotten how to stop an opposing offense - opponents are averaging 33 points per game.

Warner has had more than 340 yards two weeks in a row. There is more than a small chance that that streak could continue.

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