Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Rosen, Arizona OC Mike McCoy
Betting Odds: Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)
- Los Angeles Chargers Moneyline: +118
- Arizona Cardinals Moneyline: -138
- Over/Under: 36.5
- Kickoff: Aug. 11, 2018 – 10:00 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Chargers
Per our Live NFL Odds Page, 76% of the public is on the Chargers moneyline, but 82% of the money is on the Cardinals at -138. The sharps apparently are betting against the Chargers, who have already lost tight end Hunter Henry (ACL) and cornerback Jason Verrett (Achilles) for the season. Assuming journeyman Virgil Green fails to break out, much of Henry’s former target share will likely go to wide receivers Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and maybe even last season’s No. 7 overall pick Mike Williams, who could capitalize on extra red-zone targets with his size (6-feet-4, 218 pounds).
Captain checkdown Sam Bradford is unlikely to see much action, so No. 10 overall pick Josh Rosen could play at least a half. Rosen was lauded as the draft’s most pro-ready quarterback, but he’ll have to make do with a group of unproven wide receivers aside from Larry Fitzgerald. Perhaps he’ll target Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 tight end in yards per route run (min. 25 targets) in Ricky Seals-Jones, who has a chance to seize the starting job from Jermaine Gresham (PUP). Second-round receiver Christian Kirk as well as fourth-round back Chase Edmonds should each have opportunities in the preseason to establish themselves as fantasy handcuffs behind Fitzgerald and running back David Johnson.
Chargers-Cardinals OVER 36.5
The sharps seem to be backing the over, which has gotten 69% of the money compared to 46% of the bets. Also, this game presents an opportunity to capitalize on what might be a new trend. It’s possible the theoretically score-inflating impact of the new helmet rules hasn’t been accounted for in the totals: On Thursday, over bettors went a sterling 9-3.