Tonight's Solid NFL Pick is Chargers vs. Cardinals Over 46.5

David Lawrence

Monday, September 8, 2014 2:59 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 8, 2014 2:59 PM UTC

The San Diego Chargers will visit the Arizona Cardinals in the final game of Week 1. With a lot offensive weapons on both sides, should we expect this game to go over the posted NFL odds?

Why The Game Will Stay Under
Because both the Chargers and the Cardinals want to establish the ground game. Although most of the attention given to the San Diego Chargers from last season’s success is directed at Philip Rivers, the truth is that the offense was finally balanced thanks to a stellar running game and he was a beneficiary. Same can be said for the Arizona Cardinals as their offense perked up last year because the whole game wasn’t put on Carson Palmer’s shoulder. That means that both teams – especially early in the season – will be trying to pound the rock and bring back that same balance.


Why The Game Will Go Over
Because there’s good weapons on both sides, which means 'over' makes sense. The Cardinals have two of the best receivers in the game and a quarterback with a big arm. As for the Chargers, they have a secondary with two new faces, neither of which are taller than 5-foot-10. That could be a problem against 6-foot-3 receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. There’s also added speed with rookie John Brown, who had a fantastic preseason, and deep threat Ted Gin Jr. With the tight ends upgraded and the offensive line in better shape, the Cards should turn this into a shootout.

The Cards are also in the second year of Bruce Arians system and looked far better in training camp than they did a year ago. They could be ready to carry a team that looks weak on the other side of the ball.

As for the Cardinals defense, they have some significant absences from last year’s stellar unit. They ranked sixth overall in 2013 but tackle Darnell Docket is out for the season with injury, while linebackers Karlos Dansby (free agency) and Daryl Washington (suspension) are also gone. Safety Tyrann Mathieu isn’t likely to play in the opener either. That could be a problem against the Chargers effective, up-tempo offense.


This looks like a solid NFL pick placed over the betting total. The Cardinals defense is weaker. They don’t generate much of a pass rush and it won’t help that John Abraham, who had 11.5 sacks last season, missed most of training camp and showed up out of shape when he finally arrived. Throw in the aforementioned defensive losses of four starters and they figure to have a tough time slowing down the Chargers.

However, the Cards offense should be one of the better ones in the NFL and the Chargers defense is only so-so. Throw in that they’re on the road in this one and we should both offenses work with little resistance. The sharp money seems to agree as the NFL odds total opened at 44 and has climbed to 46.5. You’re in better shape if you got the early number but 'over' is still the play that makes the most sense in this one.

Free NFL Pick: Over 46.5 at 5Dimes Sportsbook

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