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Fan's Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers

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The Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers will meet during Week 9 of the 2012-13 NFL season on November 4, 2012. The game will be played at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. These are some picks against the spread for that contest.

The Packers have a 5-3 record. The Cardinals have a 4-4 record. The Packers have won three straight games. The Cardinals have lost four straight games. This is the first meeting between these teams since January 10, 2010. The Cardinals beat the Packers in overtime, 51-45. The Cardinals are playing on a short week.

The early spread is Packers (-10). The over-under total is 43.5. As of November 1, all odds are from Yahoo! Sports. Click the "Key Injuries" for injury reports from official team websites.

Week 8 Results

Jacksonville Jaguars 15 at Green Bay Packers 24

San Francisco 49ers 24 at Arizona Cardinals 3

Key Injuries: Green Bay Packers (As of October 31)

RB Cedric Benson (Out), FB John Kuhn, WR Greg Jennings (Out), WR Jordy Nelson, WR Donald Driver, TE Jermichael Finley, OG T.J. Lang, DE Mike Neal, DL Jerel Worthy, NT B.J. Raji, LB Nick Perry, DB Charles Woodson (Out), CB Sam Shields

Key Injuries: Arizona Cardinals (As of October 31)

QB Kevin Kolb, TE Todd Heap, S Kerry Rhodes

Keys To The Game

Packers: Injuries

Offensive Line: Pass Protection

Pressuring Quarterbacks

Cardinals Need a Touchdown from Defense or Special Teams

Packers' Secondary vs. Larry Fitzgerald

Can the Packers Handle the Cardinals' Physical Defense?

Aaron Rodgers vs. Patrick Peterson

Packers: Getting Motivated at Lambeau Field

Special Teams

Summary

The Packers and Cardinals are two teams who are going in opposite directions. After a 4-0 start, the Cardinals have lost four straight games. They've failed to score a touchdown in two of those losses. After a 2-3 start, the Packers have won three straight games. With that said, they're coming off a surprisingly difficult game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Packers were more than a two-touchdown favorite. The final score was 24-15.

These teams have some similarities. They're both tied for the NFL lead with 26 sacks. They're also horrible in pass protection. The Packers have allowed 28 sacks. The Cardinals are the only team who have allowed more sacks. They've allowed 39 sacks. Their starting quarterback (Kevin Kolb) is sidelined with an injury. Their No. 2 quarterback (John Skelton) started the season injured.

Both teams pressure the quarterback better than any team. Both teams protect their quarterback worse than any team. Do the math. The Packers have the advantage of a mobile quarterback and home field. The Cardinals are down to their backup quarterback. Skelton isn't the least bit mobile.

The Packers need Jordy Nelson. Despite an uncharacteristically poor performance during Monday Night Football, the Cardinals' pass-defense allows 192.9 yards per game. Only three teams have a better mark. They're also allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 56.5-percent of passes against them. Of course, Alex Smith didn't notice.

The Cardinals had a 16-game streak where they held opponents to fewer than 24 points. That streak ended on October 30, 2012. The San Francisco 49ers scored 24 points against them. What does this mean? The trend suggests that the Packers won't score more than 23 points, especially with an injury-depleted roster that struggled against the Jaguars. If the Cardinals score just 13 points, then the (+10) line is probably at risk.

The Packers need a quick start. Otherwise, they're in for a very tough game against a desperate Cardinals team who is fading away in the NFC West. The Packers have struggled against physical defenses (e.g. Seattle Seahawks and 49ers). If Green bay can jump out to a 7-0 lead, things may unravel for the Cardinals.

The Packers mustn't underestimate this team. The Cardinals have a wealth of talent on both sides of the football. It's just that the offensive skill-position players are useless when the offensive line is so pathetic. If they ever got pass protection, they can beat anybody. They proved that with a win against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

Unfortunately for them, that offensive line won't stop Clay Matthews and the Packers' diverse pass-rush. For Skelton, Halloween is coming four days late.

Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers (-10): The Pick

Against The Spread: Arizona Cardinals (+10)

Straight: Green Bay Packers 17, Arizona Cardinals 10

Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.

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