Greg Cote

Greg Cote’s Thursday NFL pick: Cardinals over Vikings

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer throws against the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 6, 2015 in St. Louis.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer throws against the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 6, 2015 in St. Louis. AP

VIKINGS (8-4) AT CARDINALS (10-2)

Line: ARI by 7.

Cote’s pick: ARI 30-20.

TV: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, NFLN (airing in South Florida).

NFL Week 14 — and the four-week stretch run to the playoffs — kicks off with a good one out west. Well, it should be a good one based on the two quality records. But Minnesota has stumbled and is coming off a humbling 38-7 spanking by Seattle that found star Adrian Peterson saying his team got “outcoached,” while Arizona has won six in a row, including last week’s decisive 27-3 rout at St. Louis. Those opposite directions and the venue make it a pretty clear pick. See Vikes as a playoff team, but Cacti a level higher as a threat to reach Super Bowl. Carson Palmer has won eight of past nine home starts. With 29 TD passes, Thursday night should see him tie or break Kurt Warner’s 2008 ’Zona season record of 30.

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