By Charles Jay
The Arizona Cardinals have made some changes, one of which came on the sidelines, as Steve Wilks comes in as the new head coach. On Saturday night they are going to make their pre-season debut against the Los Angeles Chargers in a game that will get underway at 10 PM ET at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Remember that if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can place wagers even after the game begins, as you take advantage of what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
Bruce Arians guided the Cards to an 8-8 record last season, even through injuries, including one to quarterback Carson Palmer, who retired. Then Arians retired, and Arizona sought a defensive-minded head coach, reaching out to the Carolina Panthers’ staff for Wilks. And Palmer also hung ’em up, promoting the Cardinals to make a couple of moves. They signed Sam Bradford as a free agent, and spent their first-round draft pick on Josh Rosen, the UCLA quarterback who some believe might be the most “NFL-ready” of all the rookies.
Whether Rosen will get the opportunity to take the reins on a full-time basis in his first season is something that remains to be seen. Bradford is an ideal guy to occupy the seat until Rosen is ready, provided he can stay healthy. And when he started for the Vikings a couple of years ago, he completed 71.6% of his passes, which was an NFL record until it was broken last season by Drew Brees. So Wilks is confident that Bradford can get the job done. There can’t be all that much confidence in Mike Glennon, the third-string quarterback who has a chance to provide the veteran presence and make Mitchell Trubisky sit last season in Chicago, but failed.
In the NFL pre-season odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Cardinals are favored at home:
Arizona Cardinals -3 (-115)
Los Angeles Chargers +3 (-105)
Over 37 points -110
Under 37 points -110
The Cardinals are also really looking forward to having David Johnson back this year. Johnson is a supreme all-purpose back, who totaled over 2100 yards from scrimmage two seasons ago but was shelved with a wrist injury last year. This team struggled in putting together a running game, so that should be better this season. But Mason Cole, the third-round draft choice out of Michigan, will have an extra burden at his center position because AQ Shipley suffered a torn ACL that will eliminate him for the entire season.
The Chargers started their first season back in Los Angeles with four straight losses, three of which could have been won if they could only make some placekicks. They were last in the league with 67% field goals, and they hope they can take care of the problem with the signing of Caleb Sturgis. They are trying to replace TWO tight ends – Antonio Gates was not brought back, and Hunter Henry suffered a knee injury in the spring that put him out for the season. Virgil Green is the guy Philip Rivers has been connecting with in camp, but is he a good enough pass-catcher? He didn’t produce a lot in seven seasons in Denver.
The Chargers, who play in the smallest stadium in the NFL (the StubHub Center in Carson), probably won’t put Rivers out there for that long, and they have Cardale Jones and Geno Smith battling for the backup job. But one of those vets could be sent packing if coach Anthony Lynn sees enough encouraging things out of Nic Shimonek, who played at Texas Tech.
Slight lean to the Chargers here as we continue with Wager WAR, a battle for the World WagerSport Ultimate Championship.
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(The preceding information has been furnished for news matter only)