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NFL Betting: Cardinals, Vikings Have Their Own Issues To Deal With On Friday

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/13/2014 8:56:54 PM

After blowing out and shutting out the Houston Texans, the Arizona Cardinals might find it easy to relax in week two of the NFL preseason. However, the preseason is built on the back of position battles, and a lot of players fighting for the paychecks that go with roster spots. There’s too much on the line for too many of the players in preseason games. Arizona has to get production from its backups when it takes on the Minnesota Vikings.

Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings – Saturday, August 16

Sports betting line: Vikings -3

Why Arizona Will Win

This is a situation in which the casual sports betting observer might be inclined to say, “Well, Arizona pitched a shutout last week, so in the preseason, it’s going to relax this week.” That’s not how preseason games often work. It’s true that Arizona might not play as well as it did last week. That’s certainly possible. However, the Cardinals and other NFL teams are still at a point in week two of the preseason when they need to see a lot of players fight for positions on the roster. It’s in the third preseason game when you see the starters get in about one half of play, maybe one and a half quarters, as something which approaches a dress rehearsal for the season. In week two, though, it’s still all about the backups and the third guys on the depth chart. There’s too much to play for on these rosters. There’s very little that has been decided. It’s a long road to the final roster cuts after week four of the preseason, the final round of cuts that bring rosters to their 53-man configuration for the regular season. Arizona still has plenty of reason to push forward in this game. You might not see the Cardinals at their best, at least not relative to last week, but you’ll still see a strong effort, and that could easily be good enough to beat the Vikings, given their sputtering offense, which did barely anything last week against the Oakland Raiders.

Why Minnesota Will Win

When you look at the Vikings, you’re looking at a team that’s trying to figure things out on offense. It’s true that this is going to be a work in progress, so you should not have expected a high level of production from Minnesota in its preseason opener last week against Oakland. However, now that Teddy Bridgewater has a game under his belt in the NFL, and now that the team has had a chance to go look at game film and study what went wrong on offense against the Raiders, you should see an improved performance against Arizona. Bridgewater and all of Minnesota’s quarterbacks, as they compete for the starting spot, should be sharper and more on top of their games. Arizona will play hard, but the Cardinals are likely to experience a drop in form compared to what they did last weekend against the Houston Texans.

Who Will Win

The Vikings are still behind the curve on offense, and Arizona has a relentless defense which, even in the preseason, will probably have enough depth to consistently stymie Minnesota’s offense throughout this game, not just in the first half.

NFL Betting Pick: Cardinals +3


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