The NFL preseason is finally here! It is a time when we can examine position battles and see how young players perform in their first appearance on the big stage.
One of the intriguing matchups in Week 1 is the Arizona Cardinals versus Cincinnati Bengals, two teams with playoff aspirations this season. Arizona added Marquise Brown, while Cincinnati beefed up their offensive line. It will be interesting to see which starters suit up in Week 1.
In this article, we will dive into our Arizona vs Cincinnati best bets to help you start the preseason with some winners.
Cardinals vs Bengals Odds
The Bengals are favored by 1.5 points, which feels a bit low considering they are last year’s Super Bowl finalists. However, when you look at the rest of the NFL odds, you see that the highest spread is 3.5, so it is more understandable, especially with the unpredictability of preseason football.
Oddsmakers project a low-scoring game with a 31.5-point total, which is the common theme in Week 1 of the preseason. It is hard to envision a lot of points in a game featuring primarily backups.
Cardinals vs Bengals Implied Score
Bengals 16.5, Cardinals 15
The market is projecting the Bengals to edge out the Cardinals narrowly. Meanwhile, this game is tied for the second-lowest total on the slate, mainly because you will not see either team suit up their stars for this one.
Cardinals vs Bengals Pick of the Day
Read more on this Cardinals vs Bengals bet below.
Cardinals vs Bengals Matchup
The main puzzle to decipher when it comes to preseason football is figuring out which players are expected to play. That is the key to finding an edge in this betting market. So we will go through each team to help you better understand.
For Arizona, Kliff Kingsbury has announced that Trace McSorley will start at quarterback. We could see a lot of Eno Benjamin as he competes for the second running back job with Darrel Williams. Andy Isabella will see extended reps at wideout as he tries to stay on this roster.
On the other side, we are likely to see Brandon Allen lead the way at quarterback for the Bengals. While you will not see Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, or Joe Mixon, you may see some of running back Chris Evans and wideout Trent Taylor.
Cardinals vs Bengals Prediction
Cardinals 17, Bengals 14
We are prioritizing quarterback play in selecting the winner of this Week 1 preseason matchup. Colt McCoy could join Trace McSorley for some reps in this one. I also like that we will get to see Eno Benjamin go to work for Arizona.
With the Bengals, you have a team that went to the Super Bowl last year and is going through the motions throughout the preseason. It will be interesting to see them use some of their new offensive linemen in this game, but this is unlikely considering it is Week 1.
We are going to ride with the team that needs to sort out its depth chart more and figure out who is winning the position battles. Arizona has a roster in transition, especially on defense after losing Chandler Jones. But there is more at stake for them in this game, so we are rolling with the Cardinals.
Cardinals vs Bengals Bet Tips
Betting on Week 1 of the preseason is difficult because of roster uncertainty. That is why there is one tip to follow for this market: focus on underdogs. There is no reason to be laying points on favorites when you don’t know how long players will suit up for this game.
Cardinals vs Bengals Best Bets
Cardinals +1.5 (-110) at BetMGM Sportsbook
We will take the Cardinals and the points here as our NFL pick of the day.
It is a great opportunity for Eno Benjamin to demonstrate that he is capable of filling the void left by the departure of Chase Edmonds. We could also see the team use some edge-rushers like Devon Kennard as they try to replace Chandler Jones.