The jury is out on Kliff Kingsbury, Kyler Murray and the new-look Cardinals. Some believe the offence is struggling to figure out the air raid system, but on the flip side, it could be the coach is keeping his cards close to his chest before the season kicks off.
Rookie quarterback Murray has attempted 15 passes over two games, completing nine for 60 yards but he has yet to throw a touchdown. In terms of other QBs taking their first reps in the NFL he ranks 11th in completion percentage and 20th in terms of average yards. This could all just be a smokescreen, playing Minnesota will continue his steep learning curve.
Over their last 24 preseason games, the Vikings are 20-4 and playing at U.S Bank Stadium on Saturday at 6pm BST, Mike Zimmer will be hoping for his fifth consecutive preseason win.
The NFC North side has scored 59 points over two games and the Cards have shipped 46, including 33 last time out against the Oakland Raiders. The visiting side have yet to sort out some issues in their secondary, giving the Vikings the green light to score early and often.
Kirk Cousins should see more snaps as Zimmer and Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski work towards a more run orientated gameplan, which is why I expect the Vikings to easily cover the spread.
Against the Falcons, Sam Darnold completed five of his seven passes for 46 yards, and both he and Adam Gase will be looking for more when he increases his reps before the regular season.
Although Le’Veon Bell won’t play before the opener against the Bills, even the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back is excited to see the second-year quarterback play on Sunday at 12:30am BST.
With 44 points scored over two games and the Jets having converted five of their six red-zone possessions, there’s no reason to expect the production to drop.
Taysom Hill was the star as the Saints beat the Chargers 19-17 last time out, throwing for 136 yards and two touchdowns. He is the unpredictable back-up to Drew Brees this season, but he’s not expected to take snaps with the starters this weekend.
The Saints and Sean Payton will hand stars Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas increased reps for at least one half, but MetLife Stadium will be eager to see more from their own offence and a home victory isn’t as unlikely as the odds suggest.
Week three of the preseason is usually the last chance we get to see the real NFL stars before the campaign kicks off on September 6th, but not if you play for the Broncos.
Head coach Vic Fangio has admitted anyone you consider a ‘starter’ won’t see any minutes against the Rams on Sunday 2am BST.
This is actually the fourth preseason game the AFC West team have played if you include the Hall of Fame induction fixture against the Atlanta Falcons.
Rooke QB Drew Lock is also going to miss time with a thumb sprain, so that leaves Kevin Hogan to lead the attack. In three games, the 26-year-old has thrown for a total of 104 yards in 30 attempts, with zero touchdowns.
Fangio was impressed by Emmanuel Sanders against the loss to the 49ers, making his comeback after a serious Achilles injury. He had one rush for 19 yards and made a single catch. He could be one of the few starters to see some snaps as the wide receiver looks to regain match sharpness.
We already know we are not going to see Joe Flacco, but we also won’t get a glimpse of Jared Goff in preseason. Sean McVay has shut down his Rams starters, knowing he has a team which has the skills to go all the way to the Super Bowl again, he’s not about to risk any of his stars.
When it comes down to matching up the back-ups, you have to fancy the Rams and Blake Bortles to get the job down and they should have no issues covering the spread, even if it is a low scoring game.
Bet summary: A treble on these three bets pays approx 8/1 if all three win at these odds, which are correct at time of posting
*All odds correct at time of posting