NFL Preseason Week 2 Odds – Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals

Written by:
Phil Simon
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We should get a good idea of how the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs look when they take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 of the NFL preseason. Andy Reid said his starters will play the first half after mostly sitting out a win over San Francisco last week. That means more of Patrick Mahomes, which is always a good thing for football fans. While the Cards haven’t announced their intentions, there is a good chance we see Kyler Murray for a few series after he and other play makers sat in last week’s cover win over the Cowboys. Even with starters getting more reps, the total came in high at 41.5 with KC a field goal favorite.

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals
Date and Time: Friday, August 20, 2021, 8 p.m. ET
Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Opening NFL Odds: Kansas City -2.5, O/U 41.5
Chiefs at Cardinals TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

What are the odds of both teams winning their preseason opener by the same score? Oh, we’re talking about odds for the game. Well, with the Chiefs planning on playing starters for the first half they opened as a 2.5-point favorite with that number already wagered to -3. With a heavy dose of backups used last week, the Chiefs covered in their 19-16 win over San Francisco. The Cards also used the bottom of the roster last week edging out a cover win over Dallas on a walkoff Matt Prater field goal. We usually don’t see totals go into the 40s in the preseason but I guess having Mahomes and Murray on the field is enough to set the number at 41.5.

Kansas City Chiefs

Reid has always been a straight shooter and when he says something he usually follows through, at least when it comes to his football team. Knowing the importance of first-stringers getting reps this is the ideal time to do it. The next to last preseason game has been used in the past as a dress rehearsal and that looks like the case with Reid saying his starters will play the first half. Does that include Mahomes? Reid wouldn’t say, but I doubt Mahomes plays the entire 30 minutes.

Still, putting the pieces that make the Chiefs one of the highest scoring teams in the league on the field should create some scoring chances. Mahomes played just one series last week taking four snaps and the other skill position starters joined him on the sideline after two series. Only six players played more than 50 percent of the offensive snaps with five of them being linemen.

Reid said it’s important for Mahomes to get live reps with his revamped line that has new starters at every position. That obviously didn’t happen against the Niners so look for the Chiefs to work on their bread and butter passing attack with the starters on the field. The defense bottled up SF’s jayvee team forcing two turnovers that aided in the victory.

Arizona Cardinals

We’re not talking about national security and there is no reason to make lineups top secret in the preseason. That’s kinda what Kliff Kingsbury did last week first saying Murray and other key starters would play against the Cowboys. They did not. Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green all sat and the Cards scored only one touchdown.

Kingsbury is again dodging the question of who will play on Friday. Murray hasn’t reached the level of Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger, or even Dak Prescott for that matter. Those guys can skip a preseason and be ready once the bell rings. Murray and the Cards don’t have that luxury with this being a playoff-or-bust season for the coach. There are changes on the offensive side with Green, James Connor in the backfield and several new faces up front. The Cards have the potential to be better, but finding a rhythm with all the new faces is important.

With Chandler Jones not playing and Markus Golden a question mark, the Cards are missing two important pieces on defense. It promises to be a tight battle for roster spots at linebacker, but the backups are backups for a reason. Stopping KC’s first string offense might be tough.

Bet Chiefs at Cardinals at BookMaker.eu

Even with starters getting more reps the total seems a bit excessive to me. Once the second half starts and reserves take over we’ll see more rush attempts eating up the time. That’s always a good sign for UNDER bettors. The Chiefs have an edge with their starters and they will build a big enough first half lead to get the cover.

NFL Score Prediction: Chiefs 24, Cardinals 13

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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