Cardinals vs Saints

Cardinals vs Saints NFL | Will New Orleans Name Starting QB?

Written by on August 26, 2021

As of this writing, the New Orleans Saints have not named their regular-season starting quarterback between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. Perhaps what coach Sean Payton does in the preseason finale vs. Arizona will provide a hint. The Saints are favored on the NFL odds.

How to Bet Cardinals at Saints NFL Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Arizona?

The Cardinals are 1-1 in the preseason with both games at home. They beat Dallas 19-16 in Week 1 and lost 17-10 last week to Kansas City. Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray saw his first preseason action against the Chiefs, playing the first three series. He was 1-of-4 passing for 2 yards and also gained 8 yards on the ground. The Cardinals didn’t get a first down on any of the possessions. Backup Colt McCoy was 13 of 18 for 113 yards and one interception. The Cardinals managed just 239 total yards.

Running back James Conner made his Cardinals debut and had two carries for one yard. Conner, a fifth-year pro, signed a one-year deal in the offseason, but he spent most of it in recovery mode due to toe surgery. Then, he missed some practices over the last week due to a stay on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

It’s not clear if Murray will play this week. Coach Kliff Kingsbury answered with a definitive “no” when asked if Murray needs more reps against the Saints this week. He isn’t worried about Murray’s lack of preseason game action. “Last year, we played pretty well to start the season. I’m not overly concerned with that,” Kingsbury said.

Arizona activated a few players this week. Wideout Andy Isabella was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list. After completing two stints on the COVID-19 list, Isabella is undoubtedly fighting for his spot on Arizona’s roster. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has already noted that Isabella not getting a preseason last year and missing most of the preseason this year “definitely doesn’t help” his development.

Defensive end JJ Watt and linebacker Dennis Gardeck were both activated off the PUP list. Gardeck tore his ACL in Week 15 last year and there was speculation early in the summer that he would open the year on the reserve/PUP list. Watt tweaked his hamstring in a conditioning test at the end of July. Not likely either plays here.

One key position battle still ongoing is at right guard. Kingsbury said he doesn’t yet know who will start there in the regular season as Brian Winters, Josh Jones and Justin Murray to continue to share reps.

Why Bet on New Orleans?

The Saints are 1-1 in the preseason, losing Week 1 17-14 in Baltimore and winning Week 2 at home vs. Jacksonville, 23-21. The big story vs. the Jags was Jameis Winston clearly outplaying Taysom Hill for the team’s starting QB spot.

Finding wide receiver Marquez Callaway for a pair of highlight-reel touchdowns, Winston completed nine of 10 passes for 123 yards with a 157.5 QB rating as he led the Saints to 14 points over three drives. Hill came on at the end of the first quarter and played into the second half, compiling a line of 11-for-20 passing for 138 yards, a touchdown, no interceptions and a 93.3 rating.

Coach Sean Payton declined to name the team’s starter following that win: “I don’t have a timeframe. When we know what direction we’re going, we’ll let you guys know. We’re not going to try to anticipate saying, ‘Hey it’s gonna be midweek or next week.’ That’s, I think, the best way for us to handle it. It’s kind of how we’ve always handled something like this, but I was pleased with not just the quarterbacks. I was pleased with how we played as a team for the most part.”

Callaway generated just 21 catches for 213 yards in 2020, with a large chunk of that coming in an eight-catch, 75-yard performance in Week 6. The undrafted Tennessee product has improved leaps and bounds in every aspect this offseason and has been great this preseason to where he might be the No. 2 wideout.

“I think [Callaway]’s just an incredible football player,” Winston said. “I mean, the guy was undrafted, right? Who missed out on that guy? I’m happy that we were able to get him. It speaks volumes of our organization and how they see talent. The thing about him, man, it’s like when he’s out there, it’s like we’re playing little league football. He loves it so much; he has no fear in his heart. He has elite energy. He’s out there playing football. It’s fun to have teammates out there that see the game the same way that you see it and just really love taking advantage of these opportunities.”

New Orleans is very thin at tight end right now with both Adam Trautman and Nick Vannett injured. Vannett is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a knee injury suffered Monday. Trautman also was hurt and likely will miss 1-3 weeks. He started the game with the number one unit, but was not targeted.

Trautman was the projected starter at the position. Entering his second season, he had 15 receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown as a rookie. The injury to those two opens the door for Juwan Johnson to step into a potential starting role. The Saints also had cornerback Ken Crawley go down with an injury on Monday and he’s expected to miss time heading into the regular season.

Game Trends

  • Cardinals are 8-3-2 ATS in their last 13 games as a road underdog.
  • Cardinals are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
  • Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
  • Saints are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite.
  • Saints are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 vs. NFC.
  • Saints are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.

Expert Prediction: Saints 26, Cardinals 20


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