Week 2 of the NFL pre-season often tends to get more minutes from starting players, a welcome sight for fans, fantasy football players, and bettors alike. Friday evening’s match-up focuses on a San Diego Chargers team entering amid some controversy. The Chargers have been rumoured as a franchise to relocate for some time now, and there is definitely some uncertainty within the ranks. There is also the matter of signing first rounder from the spring, Joey Bosa. Bosa remains unsigned weeks before the regular season commences, definitely a worrisome thing for a defense that desperately needs Bosa’s presence.
Meanwhile on the other side of the field are the Super Bowl-contending Arizona Cardinals. Again this season, the Cards are primed for success and have a good shot at defending their NFC West divisional crown. One intriguing thing to note thus far about Arizona in the exhibition games has been head coach Bruce Arians. He has given play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator, but will be gaining them back next week and into the regular season. If last week was any indication, a lot more shots downfield were taken by the Cards offense. It’s always exciting when we are talking football here at TheSportsGeek, so read on below for a full prediction and game preview for the Chargers and Cardinals!
Cardinals vs. Chargers Betting Odds:
Arizona Cardinals +1 (-110)
@ San Diego Chargers -1 (-110)
Over 40.5 (-110)
Under 40.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cardinals vs. Chargers Pick:
When these two squads square off Friday evening they’ll already be quite familiar with one another from the joint practices they’ve been holding throughout the week. One player who stood out for San Diego during these sessions was their new addition at receiver, Travis Benjamin. Benjamin was brought in to alleviate some of the pressure from Keenan Allen and give quarterback Phillip Rivers an additional downfield threat. Benjamin sat out the Chargers’ opening game last week but is expected to suit up tonight. His addition should really open up the passing game.
It’s also worth noting that San Diego head coach Ken Whisenhut will be facing his old team in Arizona. The team has definitely taken off since his departure, but Whisenhut would surely like to show his old group the talent he’s got in San Diego. It is believed that he’ll keep his starters in vs. Arizona for an entire quarter, much more than what they saw against Tennessee. The Chargers do have quite talented and experienced depth at the QB position beyond Rivers – with Kellen Clemens and Zach Mettenberger at the helm. That duo has started before in the NFL and those types of experiences bode well for pre-season handicapping.
Arizona on the other hand has some uncertainity about backing them in the pre-season. Bruce Arians has been in and out of the hospital and isn’t even calling the plays. And they’re coming off a 31-10 defeat last week to the Oakland Raiders. It’s believed their starters won’t be taking this game all that seriously either, considering it’s unlikely they’ll get much more than a series. Arians likes his starters to play a combined 50 reps throughout the four pre-season games, and it is strongly believed that they’ll get most of those next week vs. the Houston Texans. They’ll also be resting key defender Tyrann Mathieu before the regular season.
With the Chargers at home and more to play for – look for San Diego to ride their QB depth and positional battles to a favourable result on Friday evening. Ken Whisenhut knows this game doesn’t count, but there is still some bitterness emanating from his departure from Arizona, and would certainly like to put out a good performance against the Cards. Look for San Diego’s starters to get an early first quarter lead and not relinquish that throughout the game.
PICK = Chargers -1 (-110)