The Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals were playoff teams in 2021, yet each will try to dodge an 0-2 start when they square off Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas.
The Cardinals trailed by as many as 30 points in the second half of their 44-21 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. Arizona’s defense looked completely overmatched by Patrick Mahomes and the high-flying Chiefs, while Kyler Murray only managed 193 yards through the air and 29 of the Cardinals’ 103 total yards on the ground.
It was the Cardinals’ sixth loss in their past seven games, and their sixth straight home loss, dating back to 2021.
Las Vegas lost to the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium, 24-19. Quarterback Derek Carr was 22-for-37 for 295 yards and two touchdowns and three interceptions, including two picks in the fourth quarter. The Raiders have not started 0-2 since 2018.
Here’s a look at the Arizona vs. Las Vegas matchup for Week 2.
Cardinals vs Raiders Odds
The Raiders opened as a 3.5-point favorite based on each team’s Week 1 performance and the fact the game is being played in Las Vegas, but the line jumped to 5 within hours of its open.
Cardinals vs Raiders Implied Score
Raiders 28.5, Cardinals 23
The Raiders put up just 19 points but have a plethora of offensive weapons, and Arizona’s defense is still likely to be short-handed due to injuries. The Cardinals scored 21 points against Kansas City.
Cardinals vs Raiders Pick of the Day
Read more on this Cardinals vs Raiders bet below.
Cardinals vs Raiders Matchup
Las Vegas’ offense was slow to get uncorked Sunday, despite an enormous game from wide receiver Davante Adams, due to its inability to protect Carr. He was sacked by Chargers defenders five times but still targeted Adams 17 times, completing 10 passes for 141 yards to the All-Pro receiver.
The Cardinals do not have the game-wrecking pass rush the Chargers do, particularly if defensive leader J.J. Watt continues to be slowed by a leg injury. The veteran lineman missed the game against Kansas City with a calf injury and isn’t likely to be 100 percent against Las Vegas.
Arizona’s offense had a difficult time against the Chiefs’ defense with Murray posting just 222 yards and running back James Conner totaling 55 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
Cardinals vs Raiders Prediction
Raiders 34, Cardinals 24
The Raiders looked much farther along than the Cardinals in Week 1, and although Arizona seemed thoroughly overmatched by a bona fide Super Bowl contender, the Chargers are widely considered a threat to go all the way out of the AFC, too.
The Raiders looked out of sync in the first half, falling behind 17-3 at halftime. Yet, they still had a chance to win the game — though Carr’s two fourth-quarter interceptions stunted any opportunity for Las Vegas to steal the opener.
Still, as long as the Raiders can protect Carr and he can protect the ball, the Raiders’ offensive weapons should be able to further exploit the Cardinals’ defense, especially through the air with Adams, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, and tight end Darren Waller.
The Cardinals just surrendered 121 yards receiving and a touchdown to All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, and Waller is a Kelce-comp who is coming off a four-catch, 79-yard performance against the Chargers.
So much was made of Arizona’s offensive moves, with Murray signing the fourth-largest contract in NFL history and the Cardinals’ acquisition of wide receiver Marquise Brown, but the offense was mostly held in check until the game was out of reach.
Brown and veteran tight end Zach Ertz each scored a touchdown from Murray, but the Arizona offense is clearly still reeling without DeAndre Hopkins, who will miss the first six games due to a PED-related suspension. Arizona is now 1-5 in its past six games without Hopkins and was 8-2 with him in the lineup in 2021.
One game doesn’t necessarily reveal a lot, but based on the way games were decided and how each team entered the season, the Raiders appear in better shape, especially at home.
Cardinals vs Raiders Bet Tips
The Cardinals are 3-7 against the spread in their past 10 games, with seven outright losses and each coming by at least six points. Arizona has failed to cover its past two road games after starting the 2021 season 8-0 ATS. The Raiders were 4-5 ATS in home games last season and are 8-9 against the line in home games since moving to Las Vegas in 2020.
Cardinals vs Raiders Best Bets
Raiders -5.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
As stated above, the Raiders are farther along than the Cardinals. We can’t completely rule out an upset, mostly due to Carr’s inconsistency and Las Vegas’ difficulty protecting him, but the Cardinals could not get after Mahomes in Week 1, which should ease some of the Raiders’ O-line worries as they try to sort out their unit up front.
We worry about the Cardinals’ offense without Hopkins, and the Raiders’ defense did surprisingly well against Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense. We fully expect 2021 Pro Bowler Maxx Crosby to wreak havoc on Murray and the Cardinals’ offense, especially if the Raiders get ahead.
Crosby had 10 tackles, including one for a loss, in Week 1 and had five of his eight sacks in games played at Allegiant Stadium a year ago.
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Cardinals vs Raiders Props
Darren Waller Anytime Touchdown (+155) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Waller was absent for most of the preseason as he and his camp sought a new contract from the Raiders. Waller finally got his huge deal on the eve of the season opener then balled out against the Chargers, finishing tied for second in targets (six) and with the second-most catches of any Raiders receiver.
We stated Arizona’s struggles slowing a top-shelf tight end in Week 1, and Waller should be ready to eat in Week 2. He has five touchdowns in his 14 career home games in Las Vegas, though injuries kept him to just two touchdown catches in 2021.
With so much attention undoubtedly being given to Adams and Renfrow near the goal line, we expect Waller to find paydirt in Week 2.
Kyler Murray Over Passing Yards 254.5 (-117) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
The Cardinals didn’t seem overly concerned about establishing a running game with Conner, and the lopsided score led to Murray watching the finish from the sidelines as Trace McSorley played the final series under center for Arizona. Still, if the Cardinals are chasing the game, as we’d expect, Murray should be able to put up a bigger passing number than he did in Week 1.
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Cardinals vs Raiders Parlays
Raiders -2.5, Over 45.5 Points, Davante Adams Anytime Touchdown (+260) at Caesars Sportsbook
If you trust the Raiders to win, picking them to cover a field goal should be a no-brainer and will enhance the odds of teasing down the total by six points.
We are dubious about adding player props to same-game parlays, lest a rare off-game be the difference between a no-brainer from hitting or not hitting. Given the fact Adams expects to be Carr’s security blanket — and the fact Arizona’s secondary allowed almost 80 yards to JuJu Smith-Schuster in Week 1 — this one seems pretty safe.