The Arizona Cardinals square off with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Here are the three best prop bets for the upcoming game.
The first NFL Sunday of the year is almost with us, and the Arizona Cardinals open the season against one of the NFL’s finest teams, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cardinals have faced a turbulent offseason, to put it generously, and the number of injuries have definitely put a damper on the morale of some fans heading into Week 1.
But the Cardinals are also deep at many positions, and that will be a big help come Sunday. Other tidbits like the trade for Marquise Brown have also helped put the Cardinals in a better spot this weekend. So despite the troubles, the Cardinals remain in surprisingly good shape against Patrick Mahomes and a Chiefs team that has aspirations to return to the AFC Championship.
From a sports betting standpoint, this one appears to have all the makings of a high-scoring contest featuring two of the games best quarterbacks. Especially in the early stages of the season.
So if you are placing a props bet over the weekend, which ones are worth looking at? Keep reading and you will find three of my favorite.
1. Kyler Murray OVER 256.5 passing yards (-114)
This game will entail a lot of scoring. While it is unfortunate Murray will not have Hopkins for this quarterback duel with Patrick Mahomes, he still has quite a few skill position players to turn to. And more than enough capable of producing at a high level.
Last season, the Chiefs had a weak defense to open the season while Murray averaged 318.25 passing yards per contest in Weeks 1 through 4. His completion percentage sat at 75.9%. There is arguably no more productive quarterback in football than a healthy Kyler Murray. And when healthy, he is hard to bet against.
Besides, he also has his old college teammate in Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to serve as an exceptional consolation in Hopkins’ absence. And with no game film on the two college teammates in the NFL, the Chiefs are going to have their hands full trying to stop this dynamic duo.
Look for Brown to line up all over the field, which should consistently confuse the Chiefs. And expect Murray to deliver multiple times in this affair. Given his familiarity with Brown and the way he played early last season, it wouldn’t surprise me if Murray hits 300 passing yards in this one, which brings me to my next favorite prop.
2. Kyler Murray OVER 292.5 pass/rush yards (-114)
Although Murray, in the first four games of last season, only rushed for 99 yards, when you divide that number by four games and add it to Murray’s 318.25 passing total, you get an average of 343 yards.
Further, Murray threw for just nine touchdown passes in those first four games, placing his average at just 2.25 passing touchdowns per contest, which makes his OVER 1.5 passing touchdowns (+102) a riskier bet.
Last season, the Chiefs let teams throw and run all over them before the defense started to mesh around midseason. Quarterbacks like Murray can be a nightmare for defenses so out of sync early on.
The Chiefs, who ranked 27th in total defense last season, allowed an average of 369 yards per game, making this one a potentially-lopsided matchup in Murray’s favor. This isn’t to say that Murray hits the 340-yard mark in Week 1. But it is realistic to believe, based on last season’s statistics and what Murray has done during early stages of the previous two years, that he can encroach the 292.5-yard mark in this one.
3. Clyde Edwards-Helaire OVER 43.5 rushing yards (-114)
It’s the moment of truth for the Arizona Cardinals defense, who gave up a staggering 4.6 yards per carry and finished 20th in rushing defense. And while Clyde Edwards-Helaire has not lived to expectations, we need to take a hard look at what he can do to a Cardinals defense that has given us little reason to believe they can stop the run.
While I expect the Chiefs to come out passing in this contest and passing often, it will open up running lanes for Edwards-Helaire. And who is going to stop him? J.J. Watt has a calf injury and he won’t be 100%. Zaven Collins is riding the bust label. Isaiah Simmons logged over 100 total tackles, but many of them occurred four or five yards downfield.
Despite Edwards-Helaire’s struggles, I can’t justify predicting the Arizona Cardinals defense will hold him in check. Maybe they will, as they did just one year ago with Derrick Henry? But at this point, the odds are in Edwards-Helaire’s favor.
This season, I want to keep track of my own success rate regarding these player prop bets. So following each future props article, I will place my record – hopefully 3-0 at the end of each week – right at the bottom of each article for the duration of the season. And always remember, you are welcome to share your favorite props with me in the comments.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)