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Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans - 8/9/14

Houston Texans (2-14) at Arizona Cardinals (10-6)

NFL Football: Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm (University of Phoenix Stadium)

The Line: Arizona Cardinals -3 -- Over/Under: 36.5 See the Latest Odds

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The Cardinals look to take a step forward this season in the competitive NFC West while the Texans look to return to relevance after an abysmal 2013.

Houston heads into Arizona on Saturday looking to start their football season on the right foot after an atrocious campaign a year ago in which they lost the final 14 games of the year and landed the first overall pick in the draft. The Texans shouldn’t be down for long though as they drafted Jadeveon Clowney to go alongside JJ Watt and still have Arian Foster running the ball but the quarterback situation and Andre Johnson’s holdout are still a bit pressing. The Texans are loaded on the defensive side of things and will give their secondary plenty of time to read and react as their front seven is ludicrous and among the best in the game. The big question remains now that Matt Schaub is in Oakland who is going to step up as the team’s leader behind centre and with the selection being in the form of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, and rookie Tom Savage it might be a little tougher than they think.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans - 8/9/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals meanwhile are looking to get their nose in the mix in the ridiculous competitive NFC West which pitted the bitter rivals from San Fran and Seattle in the NFC Championship game last year and a Rams team that is greatly improved and has their starting quarterback healthy. Arizona’s season will be determined by how well Carson Palmer can play and while he can sling with the best of them and has a ton of receiving options and a solid backfield he is prone to turnovers and gets sacked a bunch. Arizona will be a physical bunch and will be tough to pass on with Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie anchoring the secondary but if they’re going to compete with the likes of Seattle and San Fran they’ll have to find their x-factor  as Palmer doesn’t have the versatility of Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. As for tonight’s game I think this preseason means more to the Texans than it does the Cards and I expect Arizona to try and stay geared up for the real football while the Texans need the next few weeks to work out the kinks and blow off some steam. As such, I think the Texans are worth a flier here and in the end I think they get the win.

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Houston Texans M/L

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