Arizona Cardinals vs. New Orleans Saints
Date and Time: Friday, August 17, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Opening NFL Odds: Saints -3, 42
Cardinals vs. Saints TV Coverage: Local TV
I’m still looking at the box score of the Chargers/Cardinals game and can’t for the life of me figure out how Arizona won that game. They combined for 174 yard of total offense, were outgained by over 200 yards and out first downed 23-11. Oh wait a minute, there it is. LA lost the turnover battle 3:0 and committed 15 penalties for 155 yards. That folks is why you play the game!
Josh Rosen made a decent first impression completing 6 of 13 passes for 41 yards as he continues to learn the game at an NFL level. Likely QB1 Sam Bradford completed his only pass for six yards in limited duty. Expect him to get a bit more burn in Week 2 as he looks to get on the same page with a whole new crop of pass catchers.
With Mark Ingram suspended the first four games of the season and the offense facing a tough Jags pass defense, it came as no surprise to see the running game displayed more often in the preseason opener. Jonathan Williams took a major step forward in cementing himself as Ingram’s replacement at the start of the year rushing for 26 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
Drew Brees didn’t’ see a lick of playing time last week, and it showed with the Saints only racking up a total of 135 passing yards. That said, the New Orleans backups were running up one of the best pass defenses from a season ago that only added to its depth this past offseason. Arizona was just shredded by the Bolts backups for 290 yards and a 57 percent completion percentage. Look for the Saints passing game to take flight in this one.
Player to Watch
David Johnson – Last season was one to forget for those that drafted Johnson as the No. 1 pick in most fantasy football drafts. The stud running back was lost for the year in Week 1 when he went down with a dislocated wrist. He was said to be back to pre-injury form before the game with the Chargers, and he exhibited just that in last week’s opener by ripping off a pair of 14 yard gains on his only two carries. He’s expected to get more reps in this one, but it won’t be that much more. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with them. Either way, it’s great to see No. 31 streaking out of the backfield once again!
Cardinals vs. Saints Free Picks
We hesitantly backed New Orleans in Jacksonville last week and were no doubt lucky to cash the ticket. It took a miracle fourth quarter to get the job done. I was leery of riding the Saints due to Payton’s proclivity to not give a darn about preseason results. Entering that tilt, he was 19-22 SU and 20-20-1 ATS. Now a game over .500, I find it pretty odd to only find New Orleans installed field goal favorites. The heavy juice backing the home team leads me to believe it isn’t sharp money on the home team.
New Orleans is an established team with many position battles a moot point. That’s not the case with the Cardinals who fit the exact mold of the type of team you want to back on the preseason betting lines with so many players looking to lock down a job. Remember, this is a franchise that’s only three years removed from going to the NFC title game. Bruce Arians didn’t leave the cupboard bare in the desert. I expect the Cardinals to be the more determined of the two teams and to find a way to come out with the outright victory.
NFL ATS Pick: Cardinals + at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Cardinals 27 – Saints 21