NFL Betting Picks Week One: San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals

San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Arizona

Monday, September 8, 2014, 10:20 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Arizona -3 1/2 (-105)
Current Line: Arizona -3 (Even)
Opening Total: 44 1/2
Current Total: 46 1/2
Opening Money Line: Cardinals -165 / Chargers +140
Current Money Line: Cardinals -155 / Chargers +135

Arizona is a 3 point favorite at home against San Diego Monday night.
Arizona is a 3 point favorite at home against San Diego Monday night.

The San Diego Chargers went 9-7 last year despite a 5-7 start. They won 4 straight games to get into the playoffs, and then upset the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild card Playoffs. San Diego would lose to the Denver Broncos in the Divisional playoffs. San Diego is coached by Mike McCoy.

The Arizona Cardinals missed out on the NFC playoffs despite going 10-6 last season. They have the misfortune of playing in the NFC West with the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers who have gone to at least the NFC Championship for three straight years. The Cardinals are coached by Bruce Arians.

San Diego has won the last 3 meetings against Arizona in the regular season including a 41-10 blowout in San Diego in 2010. For what it’s worth these two teams played in the last pre-season game two weeks ago in San Diego. The Chargers won 12-9 to improve to 2-2 in the pre-season, while the Cardinals fell to 1-3.

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 4,478 yards with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Running back Ryan Mathews had 285 carries for 1,255 yards with 6 touchdowns, and also caught a touchdown pass. Danny Woodhead had 106 carries for 429 yards and 2 touchdowns last season, along with 76 catches for 605 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Receiver Keenan Allen had 71 catches for 1,046 yards with 8 touchdowns. Tight end Antonio Gates had 77 catches for 872 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hamstring injury. Eddie Royal had 47 catches for 631 yards and 8 touchdowns.

The Chargers are banged up on defense with seven players on the injury report.

Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer threw for 4,274 yards with 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

Running back Andre Ellington is doubtful with a foot injury. He rushed for 652 carries for 8 touchdowns on 118 carries last year and also had 39 catches for 371 yards and a touchdown. Stepfan Taylorand Jonathan Dwyer will likely split the carries if Ellington can’t go.

Receiver Michael Floyd had 65 catches for 1,041 yards and 5 touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald had 82 catches for 954 yards and 10 touchdowns.

San Diego is 4-0 ATS in road games, 4-0-1 in September, 5-1 overall, 4-1 in Monday games and on grass. The road team is 5-1 ATS in this series recently.

Arizona is 4-0 ATS in week one games, 6-1 overall, 5-1 on grass, 6-2 in September, and 0-4 in Monday games.

The loss of Ellington will hurt Arizona as he is not only the feature back but a vital part of the passing game too. Palmer threw way too many interceptions last year, but the Cardinals won most of their games on the strength of their defense. I think the Chargers are a live dog and have a good shot at pulling off the upset.

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