The Patriots opened as 13.5-point favorites as they host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2.
This line is tremendous, enormous, mammoth and colossal all at the same time. Why? Part of the reason Arizona is getting no respect from the public is due to their quarterback situation. Watching Skelton and Kolb duke it out for the starting gig this summer was like staring at two Double Whoppers in front of Vince Wilfork – you know the likely result, and you also know that it won’t be pretty to watch. And now the “winner” of that competition is out several weeks with an ankle injury, thrusting the least desirable option into action. For Arizona fans, it’s gotta feel like banging the second-thinnest girl in Houston. And lest we forget the struggles of teams who are forced to travel from west to east to play an early game. Given these factors, and coupled with New England’s thrashing of the Titans, it’s easy to justify spotting the Cards two TDs before these teams ever take the field.
The public is likely to back New England in this one, and the bookmakers know it. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the Cardinals haven’t lost a game to a non-playoff team since October 9 of last year. Five of their eight losses last year were by 7 points or less, and they scored quality wins last fall against the Eagles and Cowboys. If Kolb can complete enough passes to his own players and limit turnovers, the Cardinals should be able to keep this one from becoming a laugher. And go ahead and raise your hand if you’re looking forward to seeing Devin McCourty try to cover Larry Fitzgerald, particularly in the late stages of the game if the Patriots happen to be nursing a two- or three-score lead.
Bettors who wade into the murky seas of impossibly large point spreads know all too well the sinking feeling as the underdog marches down the field in the final minutes for a score that is meaningless in the win column, but significant in terms of the spread. I have a feeling we’ll see that scenario play out this week. I like the Patriots to win comfortably, but the Cardinals to just barely cover the spread.no comments