Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans
Date and Time: Sunday, August 28, 2016, 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Week 3 Preseason NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Texans -1, O/U 41.5
Cardinals vs. Texans TV Coverage: FOX
With an experienced club built to play in the postseason, Arians isn’t too concerned about the preseason. His record backs that up. The Cardinals have yet to win this year and have gone 6-8 SU during the exhibition games in his career. However, following last week’s 19-3 loss in San Diego, Arians was livid over this teams play. The health episode that put him in the hospital prior to the game was the last thing on his mind.
The Cards did escape the game without any significant injuries, which according to Arians was the only good news. The offense was flat, quarterback Carson Palmer completed 4 of 8 passes for just 37 yards and tossed a pick-six, and the run game was stymied by the Chargers. It caused Arians to say he was “pissed” about the performance.
For the first time under coach Bill O’Brien, the Texans are 2-0 in the preseason. And that’s good news for a team looking to join the elite in the AFC. Houston is also 2-0 SU and ATS in the critical Week 3 preseason game, having knocked off the defending champion Broncos at this point last year.
Matchup To Watch
Seasons aren’t made in the preseason, but they certainly could be lost. And if the Texans don’t get some help on the offensive line, it won’t matter who plays quarterback. The good news is that there are still a few weeks to go before the real games begin. The bad news is that Houston’s line could be damaged for some time. The latest blow came when 2016 second-round pick center Nick Martin discovered his ankle injury is little more serious than originally thought. He missed last week’s game and is out indefinitely.
Martin is one of three projected starters currently on the shelf, joining tackles Duane Brown and Derek Newton, and it’s likely none of them will play before the regular season begins. Greg Mancz stepped into the starting job at center last week with Chris Clark and Kendall Lamm taking over at the tackle spots. The running game wasn’t very effective but the first team offense did score points on three first half drives. According to O’Brian, the makeshift line played well.
New Orleans was working on a number of defensive combinations last week and had several different personnel packages. The Texans will get a much stiffer challenge from the Cardinals this week. Arizona’s defensive front goes eight deep and the rotation of players, who could all be first-stringers in the league, will give the Texans line some trouble.
On the other side, Arizona’s offense has had trouble moving the football and scoring points. The Cardinals scored better than 30 points a game last season and have stumbled this preseason, scoring just one touchdown and 13 total points in two games. After last week’s 19-3 loss to San Diego, Arians was far from pleased about his team’s performance.
Cardinals vs. Texans Free Picks
The Texans have had a successful preseason and opened at -1 for Sunday’s game with the Cardinals. While Arizona has gone winless and looked rather pathetic in both losses, there is all kinds of talent on that team and they have one of the top coaches in the league. It’s time for the Cards to pick it up entering the most meaningful preseason contest, and they will.
Arizona could have several key defenders playing in Tyrann Mathieu and Robert Nkemdiche. And you know the players are just as upset about their preseason performance as Arians is. Carson Palmer should see extended action, and with no J.J. Watt on the other side, the Cards offense should score more points than they did in the first two games combined. You can check the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Cardinals vs. Texans Week 3 Preseason ATS Pick: Cardinals +1 at BookMaker.eu
Cardinals vs. Texans Score Prediction: Cardinals 24, Texans 16