After another pre-season winner here at The Sports Geek, we’re back at it on Saturday night to continue your winning ways on the weekend. Last night the Bears cashed pretty easily for us, and we now improve to 4-2 with our August football wagers. Though we’re all eagerly anticipating the opening night of Week 1 on September 5th, for now the best we can do is feature tonight’s match-up between a pair of teams looking to improve on last season. The Cardinals look to be having an upbeat training camp, and their young nucleus seems eager to get the season and the new era underway. Conversely, the new-look Chargers have struggled this pre-season, and last week looked disinterested and unorganized against the Bears. It’ll be an intriguing match-up between two teams looking to head in a new direction. Read on below for further thoughts and tonight’s official game selection.
Chargers at Cardinals Betting Odds:
San Diego Chargers +4 (-110)
@ Arizona Cardinals -4 (-110)
Over 40.5 (-110)
Under 40.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided from Bovada.lv
Chargers at Cardinals Pick:
After last season’s dismal performance from the Arizona Cardinals, its seeming like a reversal of fortunes is in store in the desert. Head coach Bruce Arians has taken over and has his group believing in bigger and better things. Though it’s only the pre-season, the Cardinals look rejuvenated and all players seem keen on making an impact. They enter this game against San Diego undefeated in the exhibition season, and when you’ve struggled like the Cards have in recent years, being unbeaten in two straight is a victory regardless of the season.
The Chargers meanwhile have looked sluggish thus far in August. Injuries have ravaged through their training camp, and their new-look offense under new coach Mike McCoy hasn’t really taken off. San Diego has given away the football six times through their first two contests, and their defense has continually been getting shredded. Going against an Arizona team that looks red-hot on defense, and now has Carson Palmer under centre could add to their woes.
There is currently loads of optimism surrounding the Cards in Arizona. New coach Bruce Arians worked magic with the Colts in 2012, and there is a growing sense he could replicate that in his new surroundings. Their draft class is already proving to pay dividends as much-maligned Tyrann Mathieu has been a standout all month and has made a sizeable impact. After being kicked off his college team at LSU, Mathieu has proven to be a solid defensive back and could push for a key role in Arizon’a revamped defense.
As is often the case in Week 3 games, expect both coaches to allow their starters to play into the third quarter. It’s essentially a regular season dress rehearsal for the first half, and look for the Cardinals to jump out to an early lead in front of their home crowd. The Chargers are ravaged with injuries at the moment and that doesn’t bode well for tonight’s contest. Philip Rivers has already dealt with many injuries to key receivers, and his propensity for making mistakes and turning over the ball likely won’t fare well against the ball-hawks that occupy the Arizona backfield. The Chargers can’t block or protect either, and look for the Cards red-hot defense to apply pressure on San Diego, and force them into even more mistakes.
Carson Palmer finally provides Arizona with a legitimate starting quarterback option. Though the former Bengal isn’t all that great anymore, he’s definitely an upgrade on what the Cardinals have had in recent years. Palmer has looked decent in his opening games and should be eager for a full half of work come Saturday evening. The Palmer-to-Fitzgerald connection should be in fine form tonight, and look for the duo to give the home crowd something to cheer about. Let’s hope to keep the streak going, by rolling with the Cardinals minus the four points tonight.
PICK = Cardinals -4 (-110)