San Diego Chargers (0-0, 0-0 ATS) @ Arizona Cardinals (0-0, 0-0 ATS)

*ATS= against the spread

Significant Injuries

San Diego: DT Sean Lissemore (questionable– ankle), LB Manti Te’o (questionable– foot), TE Antonio Gates (questionable– hamstring), CB Christopher Davis (out– ankle)

Arizona: S Tyrann Mathieu (questionable– knee), RB Andre Ellington (questionable– foot), LB Alex Okafor (out– thigh)

Recent Trends

San Diego is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games

San Diego is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Monday night games

Arizona is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games

Arizona is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Week 1 games

The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings between these 2 teams

The UNDER is 4-1 in San Diego’s last 5 road games

The UNDER is 4-1in Arizona’s last 5 Monday night games

The UNDER is 8-2 in Arizona’s last 10 Week 1 games

Three reasons to back San Diego

1. The Chargers finished 5th in the league in total offense last season and all 11 starters return, so they’ll be a well-oiled machine on that side of the ball. Philip Rivers in one of the NFL’s 10-best quarterbacks.

2. San Diego has been a great team to back recently when they’re either on the road (4-0 ATS last four) or playing on Monday night (4-1 ATS last five), and in this game we get to ride both trends. Also worth mentioning: Arizona hasn’t covered in Week 1 since the Kurt Warner era.

3. Arizona’s primary strength last season– their defense– won’t be nearly as good without linebackers Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington and lineman Darnell Dockett, all three of whom played integral roles in 2013. This year the middle of the Cardinals defense will feature a mixture of young, unproven players (Kevin Minter) and over-the-hill vets (Larry Foote). This could be problematic when facing a team like San Diego.

Three reasons to back Arizona

1. The Arizona defense was stout last season, finishing 6th in yards allowed and 7th in points allowed, and they’ll be facing a one-dimensional San Diego offense that will be trying to attack where the Cardinals are strongest: the secondary. Ball-hawking corners Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie will have plenty of opportunities, and Rivers has been turnover-prone at times throughout his career.

2. San Diego simply isn’t as good as people think they are. They got hot at the end of last season and snuck into the playoffs, but obvious holes remain on both sides of the ball. Their offensive line is one of those ‘holes’, and they could be in for a long night against the Cardinals’ fearsome defensive front.

3. The strength of the Arizona offense is their passing attack– quarterback Carson Palmer still has elite ‘arm talent’ and receivers Larry Fitgerald and Michael Floyd are both difference-makers. Palmer and Co. should feast on a San Diego defense that ranked 29th against the pass last season.


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