The Arizona Cardinals aim to win the franchise’s second-straight NFL preseason contest on Friday night when they square off against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Glendale.
Sportsbooks in Arizona aren't live just yet, but futures odds for the Cardinals and other games are posted.
Arizona managed to knock off the Dallas Cowboys in the team’s preseason opener, 19-16, last Friday, in large part because of veteran kicker Matt Prater’s performance.
Prater finished Friday’s opener with four makes on as many attempts, including one from 48 yards, scoring 13 of the Cardinals' points in the victory.
How To Bet On Friday’s Game
Fast-forward a week, and Prater and the Cardinals are the underdog against Mahomes and company, with Arizona NFL betting lines varying from +2.5 (DraftKings, BetMGM & FanDuel) to +3 (PointsBet) and +3.5 (Unibet & BetRivers).
The over/under on the contest has been consistent, with BetMGM, Unibet, FanDuel, PointsBet and BetRivers Arizona saying 40, while DraftKings has it at 41.5.
For those looking to place a moneyline wager, DraftKings (+135), BetMGM (+120), Unibet (+132), FanDuel (+125), PointsBet (+130) and BetRivers (+132) all have Arizona as an underdog in the preseason Week 2 contest.
The Cardinals-Chiefs showdown kicks off at 5 p.m. Arizona time (8 p.m. Eastern) on Friday, with ESPN carrying the preseason game nationally.
Arizona sports betting begins on Sept. 9, the start of the NFL season. The Cardinals open the season on Sept. 12 at the Tennessee Titans.
Arizona Cardinals Starters To Watch
A big question about Friday’s contest is, will third-year QB Kyler Murray see any playing time?
Murray, who entered the season with the 10th-best odds to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award (+2000, per DraftKings), is coming off a sophomore season where he threw for 3,971 yards and 26 touchdowns (both career highs).
On the other side of the ball, three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt could conceivably make his Cardinals debut Friday.
Watt is currently +4000 to win his fourth Defensive POY award, per William Hill/Caesars, and could wreak havoc on the Chiefs’ offensive line come Friday evening.
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It isn’t easy to glean much from preseason contests, though it’ll be interesting to see whether Arizona airs it out more against the Chiefs after accumulating 157 yards on 31 attempts against Dallas.
If they do choose to spread the love in the passing game against the Chiefs, one could expect to see wideout Christian Kirk, who finished Friday’s game with a team-high 34 receiving yards, to see a lot more action.
Kirk has averaged 640 receiving yards per season since being drafted by the Cardinals in 2018 and posted a career-high six touchdown catches in 2020.
If Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury chooses to let Murray (or backups Chris Streveler and Colt McCoy) chuck it around, then wideouts like Kirk could be in for big numbers.
Another aspect of Friday’s game to keep an eye on for the Cardinals is which of the team’s running backs gets most of the reps in the backfield.
Last week saw presumed starter Chase Edmonds finish with 10 yards on three attempts, while second-year backs Jonathan Ward and Eno Benjamin combined for 11 carries and 71 yards.
Kingsbury didn’t reveal too much about his plans when asked about whether starters like Murray and Edmonds would see increased playing time in the team’s final two preseason contests.
"It's always a fine line," Kingsbury said. "There is always a risk you take by putting those guys out there. Some teams don't do it, some teams do. I don't know if it is right or wrong, but we try to make the right decisions for this organization and go from there."