Add Cardinals to Picks in NFL Preseason Week 3 Against Bengals

Jordan Sharp

Friday, August 22, 2014 6:25 AM GMT

Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 6:25 AM GMT

One of the final Week 3 preseason games this week is the Bengals heading into Arizona to play the Cardinals. The NFL Odds are favoring the Cardinals at -2 ½, with a total of 43 points. However with the Bengals set to play their starters a lot, should Arizona be favored?

Bengals Starters to Play into Third Quarter
In a statement to the media and SB Nation this week, Marvin Lewis said that he will give his starters plenty of work. He also said that if the starters don’t get enough snaps in the first half he will play them some in the third quarter as well. This could pay dividends for the Bengals here on the road, however assuming that every Cincinnati starter is going to play big snaps this week would be foolish.

The Bengals have some key veterans on this roster, especially on defense. I will be very surprised if their entire starting defense plays into the third quarter. On offense though, the Bengals will likely run their young group of guys out longer than the defense. Andy Dalton has shown some flashes this preseason, especially last week where he went a perfect 8/1, with 144 yards and a touchdown.

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Cardinals’ Injuries Issues
Before the offseason got going, the Cards were looking like a very good team, and possibly a contending one. However the injuries and offseason issues keep piling up, and the pile got even higher this week with the injury to Darnell Dockett. Dockett was set to be one of the anchors on defense this season for the Cardinals, and after injuries to some other members of the front seven this offseason, the once mighty looking Arizona defense has some noticeable holes.

This week against the Bengals, the Cardinals will probably give their starters some more time in the game, however risking injury to any more defenders isn’t on the menu for the Cards.

Arizona got some good news this week as safety, Tyrann Mathieu returned to practice. Mathieu had a bad knee injury last season, however less than nine months back from surgery, he is on the practice field. While he probably won’t play this week, nothing is official.

Week 3 NFL Preseason Odds Report with Value on Home Teams!

The Sharp Pick
Either way their personnel goes in this game, the Cardinals have the upper hand, and I see their NFL Odds of -2 ½ having some value. I doubt the Bengals starters on defense will be in the game long enough to hold down the Cards offense, which has looked very good this preseason. I’m sure there will be times where the Arizona offensive starters are getting snaps against some of the second stringers for the Bengals, and in those situations Arizona will likely get the better of the fight. The Cardinals are better on both sides of the ball, and while the starters are in the game, they should hold the lead. As long as they can hold the lead with their bench players, at -2 ½, Arizona is the play.

NFL Pick: Cardinals -2 ½

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