Chiefs vs Cardinals Week 1 Picks and Predictions: Murray Makes the Most of Week 1 Matchup

The Chiefs and Cardinals are both going to be down bodies from last year's squad, and KC's offensive onus will keep pressure on Kyler Murray to air it out. See why our NFL betting picks like a big day for the 'Zona QB.

Josh Inglis - Betting Analyst at
Josh Inglis • Betting Analyst
Sep 9, 2022 • 08:25 ET • 4 min read
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals NFL picks
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With the highest total on the board, two very weak secondaries, and a lack of a pass rush from the favorites, will Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals be able to go shot for shot with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1?

The Arizona defense has its own issues, but that should only create more passing opportunities for Murray, who graded as the No. 5 quarterback last season in EPA/play with a clean pocket.

See why our Chiefs vs. Cardinals NFL picks and predictions see it raining points at State Farm Stadium Sunday. 

Chiefs vs Cardinals best odds

Chiefs vs Cardinals picks and predictions

With the state of the Chiefs' pass rush and secondary, Kyler Murray is projected to have a big game through the air just on volume alone Sunday. Thanks to his own team’s issues at cornerback, the Chiefs should be scoring at will, which will keep the Cardinals in pass mode.

Last season, Murray finished as the No. 5 QB in EPA/attempt when facing no pressure, and those skills could be on display with Kansas City struggling to get to the opposing QB one season after finishing with the fourth-fewest sacks. Murray's struggles as an accurate passer are just false.

Even without DeAndre Hopkins and Zach Ertz less than 100%, Murray still has Marquise Brown, who could torch this new KC safety group that's without Tyrann Mathieu and to a lesser extent, Daniel Sorensen. He also has a familiar receiver in Rondale Moore

Last season, opposing QBs averaged over 260 passing yards per game vs. the Chiefs and THE BLITZ has the Arizona signal caller projected for 307 total yards compared to his 262.5 total being offered to bettors. 

There's a reason why sharp money hit the Chiefs this week, and it’s also a reason why I think the Cardinals and Murray will be chasing points Sunday. If James Conner can’t improve on his awful rushing numbers from last year (3.7 yards per carry) and Chase Edmonds' big-play not there, Murray could see a ton of passing volume Sunday.

My best bet: Kyler Murray Over 261.5 passing yards (-110 at bet365)

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Chiefs vs Cardinals betting preview

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Spread analysis Over/Under analysis Game info Injuries Weather Trend to know

Spread analysis

The Chiefs come into the 2022 season with a little less pressure, as the AFC baton has seemingly been passed to the Bills. Andy Reid’s squad opened as 3-point road favorites vs. the Cardinals back in May but saw professional money and a release earlier this week that pushed the line to -6.5. 

The line movement has a lot to do with what team the Cardinals will be rolling out in Week 1. Hopkins is out for the first six games, Ertz was limited on Tuesday and absent on Wednesday’s practice, No. 2 CB Antonio Hamilton is out, their starting center and left guard are game-time decisions, and to cap it off, J.J. Watt is questionable. 

That is a laundry list of injuries that will affect almost every aspect of the Cardinals’ game plan Sunday. Losing Chase Edmonds and replacing him with possibly a heavier dose of James Connor and his 3.7 yards per carry also isn’t inspiring. 

The Kansas City offense will have no issues moving on without Tyreek Hill and Byron Pringle. They’ve added JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is practicing in full this week, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Patrick Mahomes has evolved into a smarter quarterback and has no issues throwing underneath and taking what defenses have been giving him. He averaged 3.8 air yards per attempt a season ago, which was worse than Trevor Siemian, and still finished fourth in total yards. He could eviscerate the starting corners on the Cardinals in Trayvon Mullen (started just five games with the Raiders last season and was dealt for a late-round conditional pick) and Byron Murphy (graded as the 86th corner, per Pro Football Focus, last season).

Arizona will get to face a Kansas City defense that might have taken a few steps back from last season with the loss of both safeties in Mathieu and Sorensen. Kansas City also struggled to get pressure on the opposing QB last year and has only added 30th overall pick George Karlaftis to address this. 

Over/Under analysis

Sunday’s meeting has the biggest total on the board for Week 1 at 53.5. It opened at 53 in May, hit 54 briefly, and has settled at 53.5. 

With the state of the Kansas City secondary and pass rush, this defense could keep Andy Reid’s offense in score mode.

Murray might be down some weapons on offense, but he’ll face a pass rush that finished with the fourth-fewest sacks in 2021 and finished in the Bottom 10 in explosive pass plays allowed. The Chiefs are much weaker at the safety position heading into this season, as well.

Mahomes should also be able to move the ball with ease Sunday afternoon as this is an Arizona defense that finished 23rd in EPA/play from Weeks 10 to 18 a season ago, is thin at cornerback, and could be without their highest-graded D-lineman in Watt. 

This game will see two-way scoring. The Chiefs finished the 2021 regular season on an 8-1 O/U stretch, which included five games with a total higher than 53. 

Chiefs vs Cardinals game info

Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Date: Sunday, September 11, 2022
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET

Chiefs vs Cardinals key injuries

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Chiefs vs Cardinals weather

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Chiefs vs Cardinals betting trend to know

The Cardinals are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games. Find more NFL betting trends for Chiefs vs. Cardinals.

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