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The Kansas City Chiefs -6 (-110) is a bad number and you’re a sucker if you take them to cover against the Arizona Cardinals +6 (-110) in Week 1 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
First of all, there’s a football-handicapping angle where you flip home-field advantage and assess those mock odds. Since TeamRankings.com says a home-field advantage was worth 2.1 points in 2021, the Chiefs would be 10-point favorites if Cardinals-Chiefs was moved to K.C.
There’s no way the Chiefs should be 10-point favorites vs. the Cardinals on any field, which means this line is off. Not only that, but the Chiefs were 3-point favorites on the world-opener and have climbed up to -6 based on no new information.
In fact, more than 80% of the money and 70% of the bets placed at DraftKings is on K.C.’s spread at the time of publishing, per VSIN. Simply put, 70% of bettors don’t win at sports gambling. My knee-jerk reaction to seeing these betting splits is to auto-bet Arizona.
Go over to DraftKings Sportsbook and BET the ARIZONA CARDINALS +6 (-110) hosting the Kansas City Chiefs because it is like stealing money.
Arizona’s Defense Can Handle Chiefs’ Travis Kelce
The Cardinals have a Pro Bowl safety — Budda Baker — and two athletic linebackers — Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins — to throw at Travis Kelce. These players are why Arizona’s defense surrendered the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2021.
Also, Kelce will get the brunt of Arizona’s defensive focus after the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. K.C. allowed WR Byron Pringle to walk in free agency this offseason. Pringle ranked third in success rate for wide receivers and Hill was fourth last season, according to Warren Sharp.
On top of that, it’s going to take time for Patrick Mahomes to trust his new wide receivers. If the Cardinals sick Baker and one of those linebackers on Kelce, Mahomes might throw some shitters (risky throws in traffic).
Give Kliff A Chance
Let’s be clear: I thought Kliff Kingsbury was a terrible head coach hire by Arizona. “This guy didn’t have a winning record in six seasons in the Big XII. He’s going to take over an NFL team?” “Bullshit” was my first thought. Why not poach an Andy Reid or Bill Belichick assistant or something?
That said, we’ve got to give Kingsbury his props. The Cardinals have improved by three wins in each of Kingsbury’s first three seasons. Arizona won five games in Kingsbury’s first year, eight in his second and 11 in his third.
That’s consistent improvement year over year. Arizona started out 7-0 in 2021 and four of those seven wins were by three scores. Including beatdowns of the AFC’s 1-seed Tennessee Titans and the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.
Kingsbury’s biggest knock as a head coach is an inability to make in-game and mid-season adjustments. That won’t be an issue in Week 1. But, the Cardinals overperform expectations early in-season under Kingsbury.
For instance, Arizona is 10-2 ATS as underdogs from Week 1-8 with a plus-8.2 ATS margin since Kingbury’s first season (2019). The Cardinals were 8-3-1 straight up in those games with a 26.9-23.8 final margin.
Kyler Is Elite
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray doesn’t get nearly as much buzz as Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson or Joe Burrow. However, he should. Kyler’s speed and elusiveness are world-class, and he has God-given arm talent. Murray’s main issue is his size and injury concerns.
Certainly, Murray will be at his healthiest and most effective in Week 1 though. More importantly, everyone is talking trash about Kyler’s massive contract extension and that stupid study hall clause. That’s going to fire up Murray and motivate him to ball out to start the year.
Along those lines, the Cardinals have a bunch of veterans in their final hurrah that will play at a high level if healthy. Arizona WR A.J. Green and DE J.J. Watt have never won Super Bowls and balled in limited action last season. Either way, we get an above-average Arizona roster in Week 1 even without Pro Bowl WR DeAndre Hopkins.
Finally, K.C. parted ways with the QB of its defense — S Tyrann Mathieu — this offseason. Mathieu vs. Kyler would’ve been interesting. But, Murray is going to light up K.C.’s weak secondary without Mathieu.
Go to DraftKings Sportsbook, BET the CARDINALS +6 (-110) to cover and SPRINKLE on CARDINALS (+200) to win outright.
- A $110 bet on the Cardinals +6 (-110) pulls a $100 profit if they upset the Chiefs or lose by five or fewer points. Your money is refunded if K.C. beats Arizona by exactly six points.
- A $30 sprinkle on the Cardinals (+200) moneyline nets a $60 profit if they win outright.
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