The Kansas City Chiefs will travel to State Farm stadium to face off against the Arizona Cardinals in a battle of NFL contenders this weekend. While the Cardinals will be without star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of this season due to a PED violation, the Chiefs traded away their ultimate weapon in Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in the offseason. With new faces on both sides of the ball, this week one matchup will be a great test for a reloaded Arizona Cardinals team and a revamped Kansas City Chiefs team.
Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds
The Kansas City Chiefs are -5.5 road favorites against the +5.5 Arizona Cardinals. Playing at home, the Cardinals are +200 home underdogs to the Chiefs’ -250 favorite, and the total is set at 53.5 points. To better understand: if you were to place an $100 wager on the Cardinals, you would yield $200 in profit. If you were to wager $100 on the Chiefs -5.5, the Chiefs would have to win by six or more points.
Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Arizona Cardinals Prediction
No one should be sleeping on the Kansas City Chiefs this season. Yes, losing Tyreek Hill is a big loss, but Patrick Mahomes is still Patrick Mahomes. That being said, it’s also important to remember that the Cardinals can score and keep up with the Chiefs, with the plethora of weapons surrounding Kyler Murray. Without Hopkins though, this game will most likely be a matter of how long the Cardinals can keep up with the Chiefs on the offensive side of the ball. Expect a high-scoring first half but as the game goes on, Frank Clark and the rest of KC’s stellar pass-rush should start breaking-down Murray’s protection more and more often. The Chiefs defense will step up big time in the second half and remind everyone that they are still one of the best contenders in the AFC.
Chiefs take this one by -5.5, the total squeezes over 53, and Murray runs over his total of 32.5 rush yards.
Pick: Chiefs win and cover 31-24
- Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1
- Chiefs are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall
- Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog
- Cardinals are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall
Arizona Cardinals Injuries: WR J. Smith-Schuster (Probable), T. Smith (Probable)
Kansas City Chiefs Injuries: DE J. Watt (Questionable), OLB M. Golden (Questionable), LG J. Pugh (Questionable), C R. Hudson (Questionable), D. Hopkins (OUT)
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Chiefs vs Cardinals below.
The Chiefs Offense vs the Cardinals Secondary
Despite having Pro-Bowler Budda Baker in the backfield, the Cardinals have a problem at the cornerback position. With Marco Wilson and Byron Murphy slated to start, we can assume from the Cardinals recent trade for Raiders’ back-up corner Trayvon Mullen that the situation is indeed bad. The uncertainty at the position should enable the Chiefs wide-outs to find separation on Sunday, especially with Mahomes’ quick trigger off the snap. Because Mahomes may still need to develop chemistry with new receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Skyy Moore, expect Mecole Hardman and Clyde Edwards Helaire to be featured early and often. Travis Kelce, who poses the biggest mismatch amongst all Chiefs pass-catchers, should bulldoze through the Cardinals secondary on his way to a huge night. Against these corners, Mahomes should prove he’s still an annual MVP candidate by night’s end.
Kyler Murray vs the Chiefs Pass-Rush
In the 34-11 season-ending, divisional playoff game loss against the LA Rams last season, the Cardinals offense looked completely anemic against a great pass-rush. That, and the fact that Kyler just stopped running the ball, led the Cardinals to catastrophe and summed up their dismal end to the season. Now with guaranteed money in his new contract, the hope is that Kyler will revert back to his defense-shattering, dual-threat ways. With one of the best pressure and quarterback-hurry rates in the NFL last season though, the Chiefs pass-rush only got better as they added Purdue rookie DE George Karlaftis and veteran DE Carlos Dunlap. Combine these two with Pro-Bowlers DT Chris Jones and DE Frank Clark and this unit is going to be a problem for opposing offensive linemen this season. Given that the Cardinals’ offensive line is relatively banged-up at the moment (see above), expect Kyler to get his legs moving Sunday when his protection starts to eventually break down.