NFL Picks: Chargers vs. Cardinals Preseason Week 3

Jeff Grant

Thursday, August 22, 2013 2:23 PM GMT

The Arizona Cardinals have won both of their games despite struggles in the red zone. Now they prepare to take on the San Diego Chargers Saturday.

Let’s take a closer look at the NFL betting odds for this preseason matchup in Week 3, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Disappointing start

San Diego has dropped both of its preseason games, including a 33-28 setback to the Chicago Bears as 5.5-point road underdogs last Thursday, while going OVER the betting total in each contest.

The Chargers continue to struggle with protecting quarterback Philip Rivers, who is coming off a year of being sacked an AFC-high 49 times.

Major problem despite perfect record

Arizona may possess a perfect 2-0 straight up and against-the-spread (ATS) record through two exhibition games, but it’s important to point out that the offense has scored just one touchdown in nine combined trips inside the red zone versus the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.

The Cardinals are hoping for better results as quarterback Carson Palmer and the rest of the offense continue to learn a new system, as he’s played 36 total snaps thus far.

Question marks on the roster

NFL handicappers will be watching certain roster battles closely in Southern California, as the Chargers have suffered significant injuries already, while they also continue to search for a starting left tackle.

King Dunlap and Max Starks have done little in trying to win the job in protecting Rivers’ blindside, which is a key angle to handicap when making your NFL picks this week.

Playmakers on defense

The Cardinals forced the Cowboys to commit six turnovers last week—a trend that may continue against a visiting football team that’s obviously struggling early on under first-year head coach Mike McCoy.

Rivers has turned the ball over 47 times in the last two years, with only New York Jets signal-caller Mark Sanchez having more over that span.

[gameodds]16/239560/?r3=349/dec&r-1=349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals for their preseason sports picks, as teams that have won during the 2013 preseason are 31-2 ATS heading into Week 3.

NFL Pick: Arizona Cardinals -4 Bet 365