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31 of the 32 NFL teams have named their starting quarterback for week one of the regular season. The Arizona Cardinals still haven’t decided on theirs. The battle between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton will continue in to the final week of the preseason this Thursday when Arizona hosts the Denver Broncos. Competition is usually considered a good thing at NFL camps, but when it comes down to not having a clear No. 1 at the most important position on the roster with the regular season right around the corner, the potential for disaster exists.
The Cardinals would not be in this position if Peyton Manning had signed with the team in the offseason, but the four-time NFL MVP took his talents to the Mile High and now it will be Manning lining up against them this week. How much action he sees will be up to head coach John Fox and his staff, as Manning and the Broncos’ offense continue to make progress.
NFL Betting Preview: Denver Broncos
After throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns through his first two preseason games with Denver, Manning finally broke through in a major way with three scoring drives in the first quarter of a 29-24 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, including two touchdown passes against the top-ranked defense in the NFC from last season. Manning will take a backseat to Caleb Hanie and Brock Osweller this week, and while the Broncos are fine so long as their newest addition is healthy, this week could show why the team will be in trouble if Manning gets injured.
NFL Betting Preview: Arizona Cardinals
Most Cardinals’ fans felt a decision would come following the week-three preseason loss to the Tennessee Titans, but head coach Ken Whisenhunt hasn’t budged. Skelton completed just four of 10 passes for 41 yards with an interception and was sacked once in that game, and while Kolb did have a touchdown after replacing him, he also threw two picks and was sacked twice. Arizona is deep at running back with Ryan Williams, LaRod Stephens-Howling, and Beanie Wells, but injuries and inconsistencies on the offensive line have hurt them. The Cardinals have allowed at least 27 points in each of their last three sports betting preseason games, a testament to their lack of depth on the defensive side of the ball.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
As rough as things have looked in Arizona so far this preseason, there is work to be done in the desert and that should inspire a sense of urgency for the home team. The Cardinals will have both Skelton and Kolb under center for a significant portion of snaps while Manning watches the Broncos’ offense from the sidelines. If Arizona’s No. 1 group can’t beat the Denver backups, then the situation will be even worse than the online sportsbook experts already consider it to be.
NFL Betting Pick: Denver Broncos