He is replacing Kurt Warner and the Cardinals will likely live or die with Leinart this season. The Cardinals are not given a lot of respect in NFL betting preseason odds because not many people believe in Leinart.
Football betting odds list Arizona as a 35-1 long shot to win the Super Bowl. The Cardinals are not even the favorite in the weak NFC West this season. The Cardinals not only lost Warner but they also lost receiver Anquan Boldin, linebacker Karlos Dansby and cornerback Antrel Rolle. While those three players will be missed, much of the attention will be on the quarterback position.
Leinart has really not taken the starting quarterback job in Arizona and run with it. Had he played well in previous season he would have been the starter, not Warner. This year the job seems to be his and the Cardinals chances of success will probably depend upon how he plays. The Cardinals are not showing a lot of faith as they brought in Derek Anderson as an insurance policy but if the Cardinals have to go to Anderson they are really in trouble.
Leinart has had his chances in the NFL and hasn’t been horrible but he has not been great either. He threw for more than 210 yards per game as a rookie. The Cardinals are not going to throw the ball nearly as much as they did with Warner. They play on giving Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells a lot of work. The Cardinals still have Larry Fitzgerald but they are going to miss the Boldin.
It is not going to take long in NFL betting to see if the Cardinals will win this season with Leinart at the helm. They open up with almost a must-win game at St. Louis to start the season. If they lose that game they are looking at a 0-2 start since they are in Atlanta in Week 2. They host the Raiders in a winnable game in Week 3 before going to San Diego in Week 4. They then host the defending champion Saints in Week 5 before their bye. Realistically, the Cardinals have to hope they can go 2-3 in their first five games. They are unlikely to win at Atlanta or at San Diego and they will probably lose at home against the Saints. That makes the opener at St. Louis and Week 3 at home against the Raiders must-win games.