Oakland at Arizona Preseason Week 1 Expert Pick & Lines
The Arizona Cardinals won the NFC West last season and reached the conference championship game, where they were clobbered by Carolina. So the Cardinals are probably ready to officially put that game past them when they open the preseason at home against an Oakland team that could be very good in 2016. Arizona is a slight favorite on NFL lines.
Here’s a Closer Look at the Oakland at Arizona Preseason Week 1 Expert Pick, Lines & TV Info
When: Friday, Aug. 12, 10 PM ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix
TV: NFL Network
Radio: Oakland / Arizona
Opening NFL Lines: Cardinals -3 (37.5)
Oakland vs Arizona Historic Betting Trends
The Raiders open the preseason on the road for just the second time in the last six seasons. It marks the fourth time in the last six years that the Silver and Black have played the Cardinals, but the first trip to Arizona since 2012. Oakland’s last trip to Arizona in the regular season came in 2010, with the Cardinals winning, 24-23. The Raiders will look to stop a four-game skid against the Cardinals in the preseason. Overall the series is tied 7-7 in the preseason.
Why Bet on Oakland?
This will be the Raider debut for several significant offseason additions, as free agents LB Bruce Irvin, S Reggie Nelson, G/T Kelechi Osemele and CB Sean Smith don the Silver and Black for the first time. A number of Raider rookies will make their first appearance for Oakland, including 2016 draft picks S Karl Joseph (first round), DL Jihad Ward (second round), LB Shilique Calhoun (third round), QB Connor Cook (fourth round) and RB DeAndré Washington (fifth round).
There’s probably only one starting job truly up for grabs with Oakland and that’s right tackle. Menelik Watson is currently ahead in that competition. Similar to last season, Watson and veteran Austin Howard have been battling it out for the right to run with the first team. Jamize Olawale is the starting fullback heading into the Raiders’ preseason opener. Usual starter Marcel Reece has three games left on his league-mandated suspension, and although he’s eligible to play in the preseason, likely won’t be able to hit the field until Week 4 of the regular season.
Coach Jack Del Rio said he is “not dead set” on how much the starters will play Friday, but that they figure to see a couple series and no more than a quarter of work.
“The typical way these first preseason games go is the first group will play [to the] end of the first quarter, no more than a quarter probably, and then we’ll get a good look at everybody else on the roster,” said Del Rio.
Why Bet on Arizona?
Bruce Arians enters his fourth season at the helm of the Cardinals, winning 34 regular season games in his first three years in Arizona. The Cardinals potent offense, which finished atop the league in yards per game (408.3), yards per play (6.28) and net passing yards per attempt (8.21), is led by 13-year veteran QB Carson Palmer. The quarterback rotation for Friday will start with Palmer for a series and then Drew Stanton will get reps before Matt Barkley takes over for most of the game. Rookie Jake Coker will play in the fourth quarter.
Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin will call plays on Friday. Arians, the team’s usual play caller, will do it in the third preseason game, traditionally when teams play their starters into the third quarter. Goodwin has called plays in the preseason for the past couple of seasons, but will do it more this year.
For sure out for Arizona in this game are cornerback Asa Jackson, cornerback Mike Jenkins, wide receiver John Brown, offensive lineman Earl Watford, offensive lineman Taylor Boggs, nose tackle Corey Peters, inside linebacker Alani Fua, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and wide receiver Brittan Golden. Arians added that cornerback Cariel Brooks, wide receiver Jaxon Shipley and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre were all “iffy.” In addition to those 12, Arians said the players on the physically unable to perform list — safety Tyrann Mathieu, defensive tackle Frostee Rucker, cornerback Justin Bethel and linebacker Zack Wagenmann — won’t be active in time for the game.
My Expert Pick
Go Cardinals in NFL betting and the under.