The Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals clash in the NFL preseason week 1. Both sides have massive expectations for the upcoming year. Arizona wants to take a step forward and do something big and noisy, while the Bengals want to at least repeat the previous campaign once they reached the Super Bowl. Also, this is a meeting of two young quarterbacks, who are going to run things in the NFL for the next decade.
Arizona Cardinals (+105) had a turbulent summer. Their free agency wasn’t as many expected, and for the moment, the fans aren’t happy with it at all. Cards lost the edge, Chandler Jones, and LB Jordan Hicks, which will be a huge hit for their defense.
Meanwhile, Kyler Murray stayed, but only following a soap opera in which he behaved like a spoiled brat. After eventually getting his contract with the clause that included mandatory studying, another affair emerged, and the franchise backed out, removing the controversial clause. So, the Cardinals’ management made all the wrong moves for the moment.
Regarding this particular game, a big plus for the head coach Kliff Kingsbury is the fact that he has excellent backup QBs, Trace McSorley and Colt McCoy, who will battle for No.2 on the depth chart. They are far better than the Bengals’ options and will possibly make a difference here. Kingsbury, however, limits the variations and snaps during the preseason, not allowing anyone to see what he is up to.
Cincinnati Bengals (-120) are the favorites, but to be honest, we don’t believe that Zac Taylor might use any of his starters. The Bengals had a solid camp, according to all the reporters and journalists who followed them, yet, many of the important players have minor injuries and are banged up.
The previous year had been very exhausting for the Bengals, who went almost all the way, and that was bound to leave some trace. Therefore we expect Brian Allen to play the whole game and not to see Burrow at this point. Overall, Taylor is a guy who isn’t giving too much attention to the preseason. He simply wants that to be over as soon as possible. We can imagine how he feels about that after a lost Super Bowl.
The Bengals lost TE CJ Uzomah, IDL Larry Ogunjobi, and LT Reilly Reiff. Yet, through the draft, Cinci landed TE, Trey McBride, one of the biggest talents in his position, and two DEs in the third round, Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders.
Head to Head
The last time these two teams played was in 2019, when Arizona beat Cinci on the road, 26-23. Overall, in the last five games, Arizona won four times.
This will be a dull game without any superstar power. Defenses will be in focus, as both head coaches lack certain options in that area and want to see if they have some talent that could be used during the regular part of the campaign. That is why we believe that under 32 points, which is the over/under line here, is a perfect choice.
Pick: Under 32 points
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.