Chargers vs. Cardinals Point Spread: NFL Pre-Season Week 1 Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Aug 05, 2019

kyler-murray-arizona-cardinals

The future has arrived in the desert with first-overall pick quarterback Kyler Murray set to take the reigns under center for the Arizona Cardinals this season.

AT
August 08, 2019, 10:00 PM ET
State Farm Stadium
Arizona
5-10
Pointspread +3 -106
Moneyline +139
Over / Under o +38
Pointspread -3 -114
Moneyline -167
Over / Under u +38

Murray has earned high praise from new head coach Kliff Kingsbury and now he gets an opportunity to make a statement when he takes the field for the first time against the Los Angeles Chargers this Thursday night.

Murray is capable of making an instant impact in his rookie year but it will be interesting to see how much he plays and how well he fares against a good Chargers defense in his debut.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

Anthony Lynn has posted 1-3 and 2-2 records in his first two preseasons as head coach of the Chargers, so it seems like he’s lukewarm on these games. Los Angeles has been loaded with veterans in each of those years beginning with quarterback Phillip Rivers, so it makes sense that they haven’t put too much stock in to winning preseason games.

Meanwhile, Kingsbury enters his first year as an NFL head coach with a clean slate. While it might only be exhibition play, there is no doubt that Kingsbury and his young quarterback will want to come out on top in their debuts with the Cardinals.

Los Angeles Chargers

While Rivers will likely be sidelined for this contest, Tyrod Taylor is still hungry to prove he belongs in the NFL. Taylor will have to fend off Cardale Jones and Easton Stick in the backup role this preseason. That could give the Chargers and advantage if he players for a prolonged period of time as Taylor was a starting-caliber quarterback the last couple of seasons.

There’s an open competition at the running back position after Melvin Gordon requested a trade. The Chargers have Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome at camp. However, they could elect to play it safe with Ekeler based on his injury history and the fact that Gordon isn’t available.

Arizona Cardinals

At least on paper, this matchup should be much more meaningful to an Arizona side that is looking to establish a winning culture with plenty of new pieces this season. Kingsbury is an unproven first-time head coach in the NFL. Meanwhile, Murray also has a lot to prove as a first-overall pick. It’s going to take time to see what this tandem can accomplish together.

As for the preseason, Brett Hundley and Charles Kanoff don’t exactly inspire confidence. Neither does the fact that veterans like David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Terrell Suggs will be watching from the sidelines. Still, the Cardinals will be motivated to begin a new era on a winning note in front of a packed house at the University of Phoenix Stadium. In a game that could go down to the wire either way, the smart money is on Arizona to win and cover the two-point spread.

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