Arizona vs Washington prediction. The Commanders are the safer bet in this Week 1 NFL matchup (Sunday, September 10th, 2023).

The highly anticipated matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Commanders is shrouded in uncertainty. Bettors looking for a so-called “sure thing” won’t really find it anywhere in the world of sports betting. However, the last place to look for Week 1 is at the game between the Cards and Commanders. That doesn’t mean we’re sitting on the fence for this game. Instead, we’re thinking that Washington is the team to back.

Kyler Murray watch: keep tabs on this player

Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 10th, 2023, as this clash kicks off as a part of the early set of games. The burning question on every NFL fan’s mind is whether Kyler Murray will take the field for Arizona.

Murray’s presence, if he’s in top form, could significantly impact Arizona’s performance, making them formidable opponents for any team. Let’s not forget that just two seasons ago, Murray was considered a top contender for the coveted MVP title, highlighting his potential. Entering this upcoming season, he is 80 to 1 with bet365 for the MVP. He is also 100 to 1 as the Comeback Player of the Year. You have to think that he is underrated in this latter market for sure.

What do the Washington Commanders have?

Now, let’s turn our attention to the home team, the Commanders. They’ve made an interesting choice by placing Sam Howell as their QB1, surpassing Jacoby Brissett, who holds the QB2 position. Does this decision speak volumes about the Commanders’ confidence in Howell’s abilities? It’s either a glowing compliment to Howell’s talent or a strategic move to invest in promising young blood.

Howell enters the 2023/24 season with a mere single game of NFL experience under his belt. The only game he has ever appeared in was late last season against the Dallas Cowboys. At that time, Dallas already had a fixed playoff outlook. Accordingly, they were not competitively invested in the game.

Arizona vs Washington Prediction: Commanders’ running backs factor in

If you look past Howell, then Washington has two decent running backs. Brian Robinson Jr. is the team’s RB1. Last season he had 797 rushing yards in just 12 games. Antonio Gibson, the team’s RB2, can rumble a little bit too. He had 1000+ yards two seasons ago. With them in the backfield, defenses will be guessing. You can see how these two running backs might bail out a quarterback that is not passing well in a particular game.

The handicap in this game is -6.0 on Washington. That is the best pick for this game for those looking to bet a month before the games begin.

The quarterback situation with Washington isn’t as bad as it looks. If Sam Howell isn’t good in the preseason or training camp, then Washington has Brissett. Meanwhile, a Murray-less Arizona team might be looking at Colt McCoy. If you applied +6.0 points to McCoy’s games last season, Arizona would have gone 1-3. You can see how it’s a problem to back Arizona in this one without knowing that Murray is playing.

Further reading: Tampa Bay vs Minnesota Week 1 Picks