Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Nicholas GossCorrespondent INovember 18, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 13:  Kendall Hunter #32 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes seventeen yards for a touchdown against the New York Giants during an NFL football game at Candlestick Park November 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 27-20. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers can take another step closer to clinching the NFC West title with a win over the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park on Sunday.

The 49ers are 8-1 and are coming off a tremendous win over the New York Giants last week. The Cardinals are also coming off an impressive victory, a 21-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

San Francisco needs to wrap up the division as soon as possible so they can have the luxury of resting key players who have battled injuries this season, including star running back Frank Gore.

Let's look at everything you need to know about this exciting NFC West matchup.

Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

When: Sunday, Nov. 20 at 4:05 p.m. ET

Watch: FOX

 

Spread: 49ers -10 (via Bodog.eu)

A spread of 10 or more is risky in the NFL because any team can win on the right day. The Cardinals played surprisingly well against the Eagles last week and their defense was impressive.

The 49ers are a much better team than the Eagles, especially defensively, and San Francisco did score 27 points on a talented Giants defense in Week 10.

I would take the 49ers in this matchup because they have a good enough offense to score at least 21 points in this game and their defense could easily hold the Cardinals to just seven or 10 points.

 

Over/Under: 41 (via Bodog.eu)

This is another tough one, and even though the 49ers could score more than the 27 points they did last week against the Cardinals on Sunday, Arizona won't score 21 like they did on the Eagles last week against the 49ers on Sunday.

I would definitely take the under in this case. 

 

Key Injuries

Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb is questionable for Sunday's game with a toe injury; he did not play last week and also did not practice this week.

49ers running back Frank Gore is questionable with a knee injury but will likely play; he was a limited participant in practice this week.

 

Fantasy Big Plays

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes and racked up 146 receiving yards last week against the Eagles, and even against a strong 49ers defense Fitzgerald will perform well again on Sunday. The 49ers do not have an elite cornerback who can take Fitzgerald out of the game.

49ers backup running back Kendall Hunter is a smart start this week against a Cardinals defense that allows 123.1 rushing yards per game. Hunter should see more carries after his impressive performance against the Giants last week and since Gore is battling an injury.

 

Keys to a 49ers Win

If the 49ers can contain Fitzgerald and the Cardinals passing attack they will win easily on Sunday. Arizona's starting running back Beanie Wells is questionable this week, and even though he will probably play he will likely be ineffective against a strong 49ers run defense.

Forcing turnovers would be a great way for San Francisco to get an early lead on the Cardinals and make them one-dimensional.

 

Keys to a Cardinals Win

Arizona needs Larry Fitzgerald and the passing game to dominate on Sunday because without a running game the 49ers defense will have an easier time winning.

The Cardinals need to score first and put the pressure on San Francisco to respond early, and a quick touchdown would also take the 49ers crowd out of the game.

 

Prediction: 49ers win 24-10

The 49ers will use an effective rushing attack to dominate the time of possession and wear down the Cardinals run defense.

Arizona will not be able to score enough points through the passing game to keep up with San Francisco, and against a 49ers defense allowing just 73.2 rushing yards per game, the Cardinals are in for a tough challenge this week.