Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals
Date and Time: Saturday, August 12, 2017, 10 p.m. ET
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Preseason NFL Week 1 Opening Odds: Check Back Later
Raiders vs. Cardinals TV Coverage: Local
Is Carson Palmer even going to get a serious look at this preseason? Bruce Arians hasn't tipped his hand as of yet, but after giving Palmer and the rest of his starters the night off in the Hall of Fame Game against the Cowboys, we have to wonder if this is going to be a second straight week without seeing much, if anything at all, of the No. 1s.
Even Drew Stanton sat out of the opener against Dallas, and that figures to change in this one. Stanton is going to need some time once again to be ready in case anything happens to Palmer during the season. Still, this figures to be a game for Blaine Gabbert and rookie Trevor Knight to do the most work.
Knight was awful against Dallas, going just 5-of-14 for 68 yards with a 52.1 QB rating. Gabbert actually looked pretty good, going 11-of-14 for 185 yards, an average of 13.2 yards per pass attempt.
The Oakland offense figures to be in great shape again this year. It's another season of Derek Carr throwing passes to Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper with some Seth Roberts thrown into the mix as well. Carr won't be around for long in this one, though it'll be nice to see one of the richest players in NFL history back in the saddle, knowing that the last time we saw him was on a gurney at the end of the regular season as he was carted off the field.
After Carr will come Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel. We know that Cook is going to need some work after he was awful in the playoff game last year against Houston, while this is probably Manuel's last shot to truly impress and stick around as a backup in the NFL after a failed couple years as a starter.
Even though the Raiders have done what they can to protect Carr, they do have a lot of moving pieces this year in the offense. They're subtle changes for sure, most notably the additions of Marshall Newhouse and David Sharpe as the projected starting offensive tackles with Jared Cook taking over as the top tight end.
But the biggest position battle will be at the tailback spot, something that could cause Jack Del Rio to run the ball frequently in the preseason just to see what he has. Marshawn Lynch will be the starter for sure, but Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and Elijah Hood are competing to be the second in command. Hood, a seventh round pick, is an interesting project, as he has the raw speed to be the "lightning" to Lynch's "thunder" in the right situation. We'll have to see how this all pans out in the weeks to come.
Raiders vs. Cardinals Free Picks
Normally, the Hall of Fame Game adds a little boost to the resume of teams versus those who haven't played yet in Week 1. Yet the Cardinals were so bad defensively with their deep reserves that it's a wonder if the oddsmakers are going to treat them poorly.
Still, as you shop around at NFL sportsbooks, Arizona should be the betting favorite. The Cook/Manuel combination as the quarterbacks who will play most of this game for Oakland does nothing for us. Arians should get a better effort out of his reserve defense in this game, and that should be enough to lead the hosts to a victory.
Raiders vs. Cardinals ATS Pick: Play the Cardinals at BookMaker.eu
Raiders vs. Cardinals Score Prediction: Cardinals 23, Raiders 13