NFL Preseason Free Picks: Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans 8/23/10

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Monday Night Football betting action will head to the Music City, where the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans will play their second preseason betting duel of the year.

Arizona Cardinals (+3.5) @ Tennessee Titans
Monday, August 23nd
8:30 ET, LP Field, Nashville, TN

Cardinals Notes: Things looked awfully grim for the Cardinals through three quarters of play last week at home against the Houston Texans. They were down 16-0 and really had produced no semblance of an offense and minimal defense. The only thing that kept Arizona in the game was the fact that the red zone defense held Houston out of the end zone the entire night. From that point forward though, the light bulb flicked on and the Cardinals were unstoppable. There probably isn't a legitimate quarterback battle going on right now, as HC Ken Whisenhunt has already declared his man to be QB Matt Leinart. However, the former USC Trojan failed to lead the team to a score on his first attempts of the year. He did go 6-for-7 for 49 yards, but was sacked twice, which ultimately led to his demise with the 'O'. Backup QB Derek Anderson, who came over from the Cleveland Browns in the offseason, went 13-of-22 for 88 yards with a TD and two picks. The man who really looked sharp was third stringer John Skelton, a rookie out of Fordham. Skelton might be playing more this week, as he threw the touchdown pass that proved to make the difference in a 19-16 victory. The rushing attack, which was ranked one of the worst in the conference last year, got off to a poor start in '10, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry against a Houston front that isn't necessarily known for its stellar play against ground games.

Titans Notes: Titans betting aficionados were probably incredibly fortunate to hit the backdoor in a 20-18 defeat last week against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field. The starting offense got off to a good start under the direction of QB Vince Young, as Tennessee found the end zone on its first drive of the game. Young ultimately went 5-of-6 for 78 yards with an INT in his 2010 debut. RB Chris Johnson, who was a 2,000+ yard back last year, only had seven yards on five carries, but he did come up with the lone first quarter TD in the game. The biggest problem the Titans had defensively was trying to stop QB Charlie Whitehurst when he was in the game. Though he is still technically a backup quarterback, Whitehurst looked like a starter against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. He threw for 214 yards and a pair of scores against a Titans 'D' with no answers. It was when Whitehurst left the game that the comeback was on. Trailing 20-7 going into the fourth quarter, Tennessee struck with a field goal and a RB LeGarrette Blount TD run to cut the deficit to two, the final margin of victory. Expect head coach Jeff Fisher to try to get more reps for both QBs Chris Simms and Rusty Smith. Both think they can grab the third roster spot on this team as a signal caller, but odds have it, only one of the two will actually survive final cuts.

The Final Word: The Titans were a bit fortunate last week to hit the backdoor, but Arizona was just as lucky to claim a victory. Neither one of these offenses scare us that much once the starters leave the game, and we tend to believe that a low scoring Monday Nighter is going to be the end result. This one could ultimately go either way, but we'll go with the hosts in a close, low scoring NFL preseason betting encounter.

Prediction: Titans 16 – Cardinals 14

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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