Arizona had hoped to add a little more clarity to its murky quarterback situation last Friday in Kansas City, but it would appear Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt’s job only got more difficult after a 27-17 loss to the Chiefs. Perhaps, the Cardinals duo of Kevin Kolb and John Skelton can stir some hope this evening when they face the Oakland Raiders at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale (10:00pm ET start time). NFL Preseason Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals odds would suggest they might as the Cardinals are listed as a -4.5 against the spread home favorite. Tonight’s game total is presently set at 37.5 points.
Kevin Kolb’s time in Arizona has not been what one would call pleasant, but after a tumultuous, injury plagued debut with the Cardinals last year, most were willing to see what the former Eagle could do when healthy. The answer through two preseason games is not much.
Kolb was horrendous in Arizona’s exhibition opener, completing 1-of-4 passes for four yards, and one interception. He followed that performance with a 1-for-5, 21 yard effort last week against the Chiefs.
Fortunately for Kolb, but unfortunately for the Cardinals, his backup, John Skelton has not played much better. Skelton, who led Arizona to a 6-2 record in eight starts last season, has completed 7-of-12 passes for 67 yards and one interception in the club’s two preseason games.
Kolb is scheduled to get the start tonight against the Raiders and he will probably get extended time under center in the first half given that he has thrown all of nine passes in the first two games. Some are of the belief that Kolb’s performance tonight will determine who will start for the Cardinals come September 9th.
The Raiders have no such quarterback issues with Carson Palmer firmly entrenched as the starter, but based upon their play on Monday night against the Cowboys, they do have some kinks to work out.
Oakland lost the game 3-0 and they amassed just 253 yards of offense in 67 plays. Palmer completed 3-of-6 passes for 33 yards and a pick in the setback; however, Darren McFadden did appear healthy, notching 20 yards on two carries while also catching one pass for 18 yards.
A positive sign for new head coach Dennis Allen was the play of his defense. Oakland held Dallas to 202 total yards and 2-of-10 on third down.
Tonight’s game marks the fourth preseason meeting (first in Arizona) between these two franchises since the Ken Whisenhunt era got underway in 2007. The Cardinals hold a 2-1 edge in the last three games, beating the Raiders 24-0 in 2008 and 24-18 last year.
Game Notes: Arizona is 7-15 straight up and 8-13-1 against the spread in 22 preseason games on Whisenhunt’s watch. The Cardinals are 3-7 in their last 10 preseason home games, but all three of those victories have come the last two years.
Free Pick: Take the Under 37.5 in tonight’s game.
NFL Preseason Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals Odds:
Oakland Raiders +4.5 (-110), Over 37.5 (-110), +190 (Moneyline)
Arizona Cardinals -4.5 (-110), Under 37.5 (-110), -230 (Moneyline)
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