The Chiefs welcomed the Cardinals to the Show Me State earlier this week with the two clubs participating in joint practices since Tuesday, but they will receive Arizona at Arrowhead Stadium tonight for an official NFL preseason battle (8:00 PM ET start time). The latest NFL Preseason Week 1 Arizona Cardinals vs Kansas City Chiefs Odds have KC listed as a -2.5 against the spread home favorite while the Cardinals are drawing +120 odds ($100 to win $120) to emerge victorious this evening’s contest. The Over/Under in tonight’s game is set at 34.5 points.
For Arizona tonight’s contest marks its second preseason outing as it took part in Sunday’s Hall of Fame game opposite the Saints. Things did not go well for the Cardinals in the game as they fell 17-10 to New Orleans after producing two turnovers and 301 total yards. It was a particularly rough night for beleaguered quarterback Kevin Kolb, who completed 1-of-4 passes for four yards and one interception before leaving the game with a rib injury.
Fortunately for Kolb, he is healthy enough to play this evening; were he not in action tonight his tenuous standing as starter could fall further into question. While current backup John Skelton, who completed 4-of-6 passes for 32 against the Saints, owns less than gaudy career numbers, he has proven himself a capable leader, guiding Arizona to a 6-2 record in eight starts last season.
The Chiefs are, perhaps, most anxious to see the performance of last year’s first round pick, wide receiver Jon Baldwin. Baldwin had a dismal rookie season, but he is drawing rave training camp reviews for what have become routine highlight reel catches. Baldwin’s progression could prove critical to the Chiefs offense rebounding from a horrible 2011, particularly with Dwayne Bowe still sitting out camp in an apparent huff over not reaching a long term deal with the club in the off-season.
Kansas City will also keep a close eye on running back Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry, and tight end Tony Moeaki. All three players missed either all or the majority of last season after suffering ACL tears. The absence of Charles and Moeaki nearly crippled the Chiefs offense as it went from 14th in scoring in 2010 to 31st last year. Head Coach Romeo Crennel has indicated all three players will see action tonight.
Free Pick: Kansas City was absolutely dreadful in the preseason under Todd Haley, but its exhibition ineptitude actually preceded the Haley era. The Chiefs are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight preseason openers and they are 15-29 against the spread in their last 44 preseason games as a favorite. While trends are not the most reliable source for picking a side, particularly since none of the aforementioned numbers apply to Romeo Crennel, Kansas City, as a franchise, has shown little regard for the outcome of preseason games. Take the Cardinals +2.5.
NFL Preseason Week 1 Arizona Cardinals vs Kansas City Chiefs Odds
Arizona Cardinals +2.5 (-105), Over 34.5 (-110), +120 (Moneyline)
Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 (-115), Under 34.5 (-110), -140 (Moneyline)
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