This will be Arizona's third matchup of the preseason – they recently took part in the Hall of Fame game versus the New Orleans Saints – the
Cardinals aim to get on the winning side as both teams look to sort out their respective rosters before early September.
Will it be Oakland or Arizona that grabs their first
preseason victory on Friday? The NFL odds are in and it's the Cardinals that
are favored at home. Sportsbooks have them favored by five points, while
four-and-a-half is also available if you shop around. The line has been slowly
rising after an opening spread of four was released at the top NFL betting
The Cardinals are in the midst of one of the most heated
quarterback battles of training camp. Kevin Kolb was brought in from Philadelphia in hopes that he
would seize the starting job and never let go. That hasn't happened though and
after a shaky 2011/12 season and some early struggles in the preseason this
year, it appears that John Skelton may have taken the lead in the race.
Each quarterback will get a fair chance to shine this Friday
after failing to inspire last week in a 27-17 loss to odds on Kansas City. Kolb was
just 1-of-5 for 21 yards while Skelton was 3-of-6 for 35 yards and an
interception. We're eager to see whether Arizona will have either of their
top two running back options for the game versus the Raiders. Beanie Wells,
recovering from an ankle injury, is hoping to return, while Ryan Williams is
expected to see some game action after missing the first two games. Wells and
Williams are likely to split carries this season. Meanwhile, Arizona's defense really turned it around in the
second half of 2011/12 and Ken Whisenhunt will be wishing for a carryover.
In one of the most thrilling NFL games we've ever seen, the
Raiders fell to the Dallas Cowboys 3-0. Back to reality though. Oakland's defense looked exceptional
in the defeat, but obviously there were concerns about moving the ball down the
field. Carson Palmer got the start and finished 3-of-6 for 33 yards
and a pick, while Matt Leinart (11/16 for 98 yards) and Terrelle Pryor (8/15
for 50 yards and an INT) also saw playing time. The Cowboys went out and
addressed a big need (secondary help) over the offseason and evidently it's
paying off so far, though it's still just preseason action.
At running back, Darren McFadden played just one offensive
series but made the most of it it. He carried the ball two times for 20 yards
and chipped in with a 18-yard reception. As we move into the second week, the Raiders need to adjust
and figure out what went wrong against the Cowboys. It could be difficult once
again on the road against an Arizona team hoping to get their first win of the
You know the deal. Picking preseason winners is as tricky as
it gets out there in the world of sports handicapping.
That said, we think the Cardinals may be a little more fired
up for this one. They have a highly competitive QB battle going on, meaning
both Kolb and Skelton will be doing everything in their power to move the
The Live odds look pretty evens right now but Arizona could also be getting back both of their top two
running back options and they have excellent depth at wide receiver as well.
Larry Fitzgerald is the star, but don't forget about Andre Roberts, Michael
Floyd and Early Doucet too.
All in all, this seems like a decent spot for us to add the Cardinals to our NFL picks, as we expect to cover at home considering the circumstances and situation.
Arizona Cardinals -4.5