NFL Free Pick: ARI/NE

The Arizona Cardinals have already clinched their division title. The New England Patriots hope to do the same thing, although they need a big win this Sunday at Foxboro.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for Week 16.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Patriots –7.5 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 44.5 total points.

Key Trend: The Cardinals are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games when playing New England. The total has also gone under in four of Arizona’s last five games when playing New England.

Key Stat: The Patriots are averaging 137.6 rushing yards per game this year, while only allowing 21.6 points a game. The Cardinals have only managed 73.1 rushing yards per game this season.

Game Outlook: While Arizona is still playing for betting positioning in the playoffs, they’ve already clinched a spot by winning the weak NFC West. The Patriots, meanwhile, need to win out and have the Jets and Dolphins each lose one of their remaining two games. Both of these teams are heading in different directions as New England blasted the hapless Raiders in Oakland last Sunday and the Vikings trounced the Cardinals in desert. Arizona has yet to beat a quality opponent on the road this year and their defense looked highly susceptible to both the run and the pass last week against Minnesota. The Cardinals simply don’t have the defensive unit to beat a quality Patriot offense in Foxboro and this one could be over by halftime. Sure, Arizona’s passing game is explosive. But wide receiver Anquan Boldin is expected to sit due to an injured shoulder, and the weather for Foxboro should be nasty come Sunday. The Cards’ passing game will be neutralized and New England should roll. For the rest of our Free NFL Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 16 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots game is

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS –7.5

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

New England Patriots 28

Arizona Cardinals 17

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (44.5 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/21/08 7:00AM ET

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