There will be few NFL betting matchups this weekend that feature perennial playoff teams but that will be the case on Sunday when San Diego hosts Arizona.
Kickoff is set for 4:20 PM Eastern and San Diego opened at Sbg global as 8 point favorites over Arizona with an over/under of 45.5 for the CBS telecast.
The San Diego Chargers are 1-2 both straight up and against the spread and have been sloppy and inconsistent in the process. While they have gone to the playoffs 4 consecutive seasons and are defending AFC West Champions they are a different team with less depth than in the past. The 8 points at first glance seems high.
A Different Bird
But the Arizona Cardinals are also a far different team than what handicappers have been used to making an NFL bet with. Superstar quarterback Kurt Warner is retired and projected new starter Matt Leinart never made it and ended up as a Houston Texan. Derek Anderson, a failed castoff from the Cleveland Browns, emerged as the surprise starting QB after stealing the job from Leinart in preseason. Anderson will not remind anyone of Warner with his 67.6 QB rating but Arizona is 2-1 straight up, although 1-2 with the NFL betting board after their miraculous escape last week in a 24-23 home win over Oakland as 5.5 point favorites as the Raiders missed a 32 yard field goal at the gun.
Special Teams Woes
San Diego allowed 2 touchdown kickoff returns in last week’s loss at Seattle and allowed a touchdown punt return in their opening night loss at Kansas City and that has proven to be the difference. In their only other home game, which also followed a loss, they did destroy Jacksonville 38-13 as 7 point chalks.
San Diego’s All Pro quarterback Philip Rivers continues to be the key component of the team with a 95.3 QB rating and 1087 yards passing with 7 touchdowns. Holdout receiver Vincent Jackson is missed but Malcom Floyd is looking to emerge as the breakout threat with 20.0 yards per catch average on 12 receptions with 2 TD’s.
By the Numbers
In this head to head series the road team has paid off the NFL bet 5 straight times and the dog has covered 4 out of the last 5 meetings.