Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals Present the Most Fascinating Week 1 Matchup

A tweet sent out by ESPN a few weeks ago caused a stir by simply reminding fans that the weekend past would be the last of 2018 without any football. With the preseason set to kick off on August 10th, eager fans will have a month or so of exhibition matches before bracing for the impact of Week 1, which gets underway with the Falcons at the Eagles on September 7th.

As always, there will be no lack of intrigue as questions posed over the last seven months are finally answered on the field. We will hopefully see just how well Carson Wentz’ knees are holding up. Joe Flacco will have a reasonably generous opponent in the Buffalo Bills to demonstrate that he can keep Lamar Jackson at arm’s length for a while yet. We will get to see exactly what the Cowboys are going to do with Tavon Austin. Many more questions will be answered, and many new ones posed.

Texans and Patriots Thrilled Fans Last Year

On the team level, there are certainly some exciting matchups. The Falcons and Eagles, in what is a rematch of last January’s tight NFC divisional round game, is a perfect season opener. The Texans face the Patriots, with fans hoping they can recapture the magic of last year’s thrilling regular season clash that saw Tom Brady nick yet another win in the dying seconds. The Cowboys and Panthers is another box-office matchup.

But, perhaps going underneath the radar, is the game between the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Let’s be clear: neither side is expected to take the field for Super Bowl LIII in February. The Redskins come in at odds of around 66/1 for Super Bowl LIII, with the Cardinals at 100/1. But that is beside the point in this individual matchup. In short, this one is exciting because, of all Week 1 games, it’s the toughest to call.

Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals Present the Most Fascinating Week 1 Matchup

It is, in fact, so tough to call that the sportsbooks cannot agree on who will win. As an example, the NFL betting odds from Canadian operator Sportingbet, have put both sides at exactly the same odds for the victory, with both sitting at 10/11. Some, like William Hill, have gone even money on the Redskins, with the Cardinals just slightly under. However, playing around with the points spread – with the main pitfall of your bet being the theoretical tie – can lead to even more value.

But there is more at stake than just a Week 1 victory here. Both sides have had fans’ expectations lowered over the past few months, but that doesn’t rule out a galvanizing performance from either team changing the narrative of the season ahead. Sure, tough games will be on the horizon for both sides, but a win in such a tight match can do wonders for morale on and off the field. All eyes will be on the likes of Tom Brady and Carson Wentz, but this too close to call encounter in Phoenix may be the pick of the bunch.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images