Under the old schedule the next to last preseason game was considered the dress rehearsal for the regular campaign. Coaching strategies have changed with one fewer exhibition contest and more joint practices between clubs. But if the old rule applies we should have fun watching two of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league go at it when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Arizona Cardinals. Patrick Mahomes played one series last week for the Chiefs while Kyler Murray didn’t take the field. Both are expected to play on Saturday, but for how long is anybody’s guess.
The Week 2 NFL preseason game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals will take place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, August 20, and will be televised on ESPN.
Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals Odds
Chiefs -2.5 | Cardinals +2.5 [BET NOW]
Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals Money Line
Chiefs -151 | Cardinals +130 [BET NOW]
Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals Over/Under
Over/Under: 41.5 [BET NOW]
When Andy Reid speaks oddsmakers listen, at least when it comes to who will be playing. Reid announced earlier this week that his starters will play the first half, though I doubt we’ll see Mahomes for the entire time. Still, that was enough to position the visitors as 2.5-point chalk. We also have what is considered a high total for a preseason game of 41.5. That’s also because Murray is expected to take a few snaps after sitting out last week. The first quarter will have the feel of a regular season game with both teams giving starters and key backups a change to work out some of the kinks.
Kansas City Chiefs
There’s a fine line coaches have to walk when it comes to the preseason. Reid has walked it a number of times and he’s done so successfully. The goal on Friday is get his starters some work while getting out of Arizona injury-free. Mahomes played one series in the win over San Francisco throwing two passes with two handoffs. He probably won’t play the entire first half, but he will take more than the four snaps he had against the Niners.
The Chiefs rebuilt their offensive line with five new starters this offseason. One or two newbies wouldn’t be a big deal, but a complete overhaul requires some getting used. Making sure Mahomes stays healthy is the top priority, but he also needs live reps with his new line. “Getting used to those new guys that he’s dealing with is important. Them hearing his voice is important in a game situation,” Reid said of his decision to play Mahomes.
That leaves fewer reps for the backups, especially Shane Buechele and Anthony Gordon in the battle for the No. 3 spot. It’s also important for the Chiefs to shore up things defensively. They allowed 383 total yards last week, but they did come away with two takeaways to thwart San Francisco drives. KC covered the 2.5-point line in the 19-16 victory.
For most of last season the Cardinals had one of the best offenses in the league. A late season collapse prevented them from securing a winning record and playoff berth, though. Much like Mahomes, the Cards need to keep Murray on the field. He didn’t play last week and neither did Deandre Hopkins and A.J. Green. We’ll get a better idea of how they look this week since the Cards are expected to play their regulars.
Matt Prater was the highlight of last week as part of strong special teams performance. He made all four field goal attempts, including a game-winning 47-yarder with no time left for the 19-16 victory. Field goal kicking has been an issue for the Cards for years and the hope is that Prater solidifies the spot.
The Cards will likely need more than field goals to win this game, though, since they will be shorthanded defensively. Chandler Jones will not play due to an undisclosed injury and Markus Golden is likely to sit creating some tension at the linebacker spot. And it’s not a good thing to face KC’s No. 1 offense with a few slugs missing from the chamber.
Chiefs at Cardinals Predictions
Our picks: Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 / UNDER 41.5
If starters for both teams play there will be plenty of offensive firepower on the field. And the Cards could be down a few guys on the defensive side creating opportunities for the Chiefs. Things will cool off once the reserves take over and field goals aren’t going to help the total. The Chiefs have the edge in the first half building a big enough lead to cover the spread, but I don’t think there’s enough points out there so I’m leaning toward the UNDER.
View today’s NFL available odds.