|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|08-26-22||Chargers v. Saints -150||Top||10-27||Win||100||76 h 24 m||Show|
The Saints are 0-2 in preseason with both losses occurring on the road to the Texans. 17-13, and to the Packers, 20-10. Jameis Winston hasn't seen the field yet. Backup QB Andy Dalton has thrown five passes. It has been third-stringer Ian Book, who has played nearly all the time behind center. Book is a stiff.
Look for Winston to get some game time with the veteran Dalton seeing most of the action against the Chargers. The Saints have a strong defense and excellent depth. Chargers coach Brandon Staley has followed his mentor, Sean McVay, in not caring about preseason games. There's no reason for Staley to play his regulars here. Dalton should do well facing the Chargers' backups.
|08-25-22||Packers v. Chiefs OVER 36||Top||10-17||Loss||-110||19 h 38 m||Show|
No Aaron Rodgers here. Understood. The tradeoff is this low total. If Patrick Mahomes plays then it's way too low of a total. Mahomes has played three series in Kansas City's two preseason games. He led the Chiefs to a touchdown in all three drives.
Andy Reid hasn't ruled Mahomes out. Mahomes played in the Chiefs' final preseason game last year. He was 8-for-9 for 117 yards and two TD's. The Chiefs beat the Vikings, 28-25, in that game. Kansas City won't play again for 16 days following this game. So I'd be surprised if Reid didn't give Mahomes at least a couple of series. Green Bay's defense has improved. However, it's not at the level where it can stop Mahomes.
Even if Mahomes doesn't play, the Chiefs need to establish who their backup QB is, Shane Buechele or Dustin Crum. They also have to get their ground attack going. So I don't see the Chiefs being vanilla here. They have great schemes and methods of attack no matter who is playing. The Packers also have proven vulnerable on special teams. One special teams slip-up can push a total this low to go Over.
The Packers should do their part in the scoring department. Jordan Love has much to prove whether Matt LaFleur wants to admit it or not. The Chiefs ranked 29th in sacks last year. Love should get another extended look. Green Bay doesn't have a superstar wide receiver anymore. But the Packers have good receiving depth and loads of competition. That should ensure a lot of passing.
Third-string Packers QB Danny Etling has played better than expected. He has mobility with the ability to make a big gain out of a busted play. That's a huge trait especially in preseason where there are more busted plays.
|08-20-22||Steelers v. Jaguars -130||Top||16-15||Loss||-130||8 h 52 m||Show|
The Jaguars are the only 0-2 team in preseason. Their new coach Doug Pederson would like to get them a win in front of the home fans trying to build excitement for the upcoming season. Jacksonville's first-unit has looked good this preseason. The Jaguars have been done in by poor play from their reserves and stiff third-string QB Jake Lutton. Lutton has been cut now - hopefully never to suit up again in the NFL - and the Jaguars' main QB rotation will be Trevor Lawrence and CJ Beathard. Most of Jacksonville's starters will play at least through the first half, including Lawrence, Travis Etienne and Christian Kirk. Beathard is a huge upgrade on Lutton. Rookie QB Kenny Pickett is slated to see the bulk of the game for Pittsburgh. Steelers QB's played well in their opener. But that was against the Seahawks, who had a terrible tackling game. The Jaguars have an underrated first-string defense and their backup defensive players have had a better week of practice knowing they must perform at a higher level with jobs on the line.
|08-19-22||Saints v. Packers -3||Top||10-20||Win||100||20 h 20 m||Show|
The teams have been conducting joint practices and the Packers' defense has been getting the better of things, according to multiple reports. Jordan Love has much to prove in this game. So does the Packers wide receiving corps.
Saints coach Dennis Allen has never won a preseason road game as a head coach going 0-7, including 1-6 ATS. New Orleans doesn't put a premium on preseason games. The Saints are 7-14 SU, 6-15 ATS in preseason since 2015. The Saints aren't putting emphasis on this game either.
The Saints aren't going to play many starters here. The few they do won't play long, perhaps a series or two. Jameis Winston is nursing a slight foot injury. He won't play. New Orleans' backup QB's are Andy Dalton and Ian Book, a stiff who figures to draw most of the minutes.
The Saints' third and fourth-stringers didn't look good in a 17-13 loss to the Texans last week. The Packers are likely to leave some of their starters and second-stringers in longer than the Saints. Green Bay is home and cares more about winning this game than New Orleans does.
|08-18-22||Bears v. Seahawks UNDER 40||Top||27-11||Win||100||23 h 54 m||Show|
The Bears' terrible offensive line has been made worse by a cluster injury problem. Bears coach Matt Eberflus can't risk Justin Fields, or any other Chicago offensive starter getting hurt. So the Bears starters are projected to only play one or two series. That means a lot of Trevor Siemian and Nathan Peterman playing with a heavy dose of third-stringers. This isn't a recipe for a lot of Chicago scoring. The Seahawks will be fired up defensively after a terrible tackling game in their preseason opener against the Steelers. Pete Carroll stressed the Seahawks need to clean up their act on defense.
Geno Smith appears to have won the Seahawks' starting QB spot. He's been in a battle with Drew Lock, who tested positive for COVID-19 and has been ruled out of this game. Smith is likely to start, but third-string QB Jacob Eason is expected to play most of the game.
Don't expect much from Eason. He didn't play against the Steelers last week as Smith and Lock battled it out. Eason has received limited reps in camp. The Seahawks have a bad offensive line and they have multiple wide receiver injuries. Also promising rookie running back Kenneth Walker III is out with a hernia injury.
|08-14-22||Vikings v. Raiders -4||20-26||Win||100||18 h 48 m||Show|
When it comes to preseason, laying more than a field goal is a lot. But it's justified in this case backing the host Raiders. Las Vegas has the huge edge of having played a game, having looked good in beating the Jaguars, 27-11, in last week's Hall of Fame Game. The Vikings won't have Kirk Cousins. Their two other QB's are Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond. This is one of the weakest backup QB rotations in the league. These two are so bad that the Vikings may be forced to acquire a better second-string quarterback. The Raiders are deep at running back and receiver. They hold a backup QB edge, too, with Jarrett Stidham and Nick Mullens. These two were decent against the Jaguars. Decent quarterback play will get the job done for the Raiders, who won't be nearly as rusty as Minnesota.
|08-13-22||Panthers v. Washington Commanders OVER 36||Top||23-21||Win||100||284 h 12 m||Show|
One of the biggest factors in betting preseason totals is quarterback rotation. The Panthers are one of the few teams with a starting QB battle. They also have a deep QB rotation with Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker and promising rookie Matt Corral.
The Panthers need preseason to get Mayfield up to speed in their system. So the Panthers shouldn't be vanilla like many teams are in preseason, especially in their preseason opener. Carolina also needs to see what Corral can do. These QB's could all shine against a vanilla defense full of scrubs.
Washington has one of the better backup QB's in Taylor Heinecke. Sam Howell is an exciting rookie QB, who could fare well playing against backups.
Even though it's a preseason game, Commanders coach Ron Rivera could have motivation having coached the Panthers before coming to Washington for nine years from 2011-2019. The combined average total of Week 1 preseason games under Rivera for the past nine times is 41.5 points.
|08-12-22||Browns v. Jaguars +1.5||Top||24-13||Loss||-100||18 h 38 m||Show|
The announcement that Deshaun Watson is going to start has caused a switch of favorites in this game. Cleveland is now road chalk. The marketplace has this wrong. The Jaguars should win this game.
The Jaguars laid an egg against the Raiders in the Hall of Fame game. But now the Jaguars have played a game and are home here. Those are key situational edges. Watson hasn't played since January of 2021. He's learning a new offense and isn't likely to play very long. The Browns are run-oriented. However, their two best running backs - Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt - are not expected to play.
Jacksonville coach Doug Pederson has more of a sense of urgency than Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. The Jaguars fell behind the Raiders, 20-0, at halftime. Keep in mind, the Jaguars didn't play their top two QB's, Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Beathard, against Las Vegas.
Peterson is going to play a lot of starters here. Lawrence, Travis Etienne and the rest of Jacksonville's first-string offense will get at least a couple of series. Lawrence has looked good in training camp. So has Etienne. The Jaguars upgraded their wide receiving corps. Lawrence needs game time work with them. This is that opportunity. There will be many defensive starters playing, too, for Jacksonville. The Jaguars outscored the Raiders, 11-7, in the second half. Jacksonville had five sacks against Las Vegas.
I would rather have Beathard than either of the Browns' third and fourth-string QB's, Josh Dobbs and Josh Rosen. Those two figure to see the bulk of action for Cleveland.
|08-11-22||Giants -145 v. Patriots||Top||23-21||Win||100||25 h 36 m||Show|
Far be it for me to question Bill Belichick's football decisions. I rank Belichick among the top-five NFL coaches of all-time with Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, Paul Brown and Don Shula. But facts are facts and right now the Patriots' rebooted offense is in disarray following the departure of ace offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the Raiders.
McDaniels ran Belichick's power-ground game offense for a decade. McDaniels has been replaced by Matt Patricia with heavy input from Joe Judge. These two failed head coaches didn't make their reputations on offense. Patricia was Belichick's top defensive assistant coach before his failed stint with the Lions, while Judge excelled as a special teams coach. The Giants were a disaster offensively under Judge.
Nothing has clicked so far offensive-wise in the Patriots' training camp. The ground game has yet to get going with the change to more of a zone-block type of scheme, wide receivers haven't been getting open and none of New England's QB's - Mac Jones, Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe - have looked good. The offensive line has been distressingly bad making the transition. The quarterbacks have been under constant pressure during drills and scrimmages.
Yes, it's extremely early in the season and defenses usually are ahead of offenses at this stage. But this is an extremely early game and the Patriots have looked beyond bad offensively, according to multiple camp reports.
New Giants coach Brian Daboll wants to make an immediate good impression. So he won't be holding back any healthy starters. They may not play long, but Daboll is willing to put them in for at least a series or two.
This is a pivotal year for Daniel Jones. The Giants have a good QB preseason rotation with Tyrod Taylor and Davis Webb backing up Jones. New York has plenty of explosive weapons for its quarterbacks along with an improved offensive line and what should be a monster upgrade in coaching from Judge to the highly thought of Daboll.
Daboll was the architect behind Buffalo's offensive prowess. The Bills were 7-0 SU and ATS during the last two preseasons. Fair to say Daboll is putting more emphasis and has higher expectations on this game than Belichick.
|08-29-21||Dolphins v. Bengals UNDER 36.5||Top||29-26||Loss||-110||18 h 10 m||Show|
No Tua Tagovailoa. Joe Burrow is going to play. But the Bengals aren't going to do anything to put him in harm's way. Burrow hasn't played since suffering a torn ACL in Week 11 of last season. Burrow probably will play just a series or two and the Bengals won't let him be aggressive. This puts the backup QB's into play. Miami has Jacoby Brissett and Reid Sinnett. Brissett is one of the better backups in the league. But because of that, Miami may give an extended look to Sinnett. Cincinnati's backup QB's are Brandon Allen and Kyle Shurmer. The Bengals are averaging 16 points in their two preseason games. They have not solved their offensive line woes. Neither team wants to show much during this final and meaningless exhibition.
|08-28-21||Bears -3 v. Titans||27-24||Push||0||9 h 53 m||Show|
The Titans are going to be sitting out their top starters. The Bears won't play Andy Dalton.So it comes down to a battle of reserve QB's and the Bears should hold a winning hand with exciting rookie Justin Fields and veteran Nick Foles against journeyman Matt Barkley and Logan Woodside. The Bears' offensive line is showing signs of jelling. It was a big question mark entering the season. Bears coach Matt Nagy is likely to play his starting offensive line for at least one half. The Titans' defensive line, thin to begin the season, already is dealing with numerous injuries. So I expect the Bears to control the line of scrimmage. The Titans are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that has affected nine players and several coaches, including head coach Mike Vrabel, who won't be at the game since he tested positive this past Sunday. Starting QB Ryan Tannehill also is dealing with COVID. Chicago should be the more motivated team having been embarrassed by the Bills, 41-15, last week.
|08-27-21||Eagles +4.5 v. Jets||31-31||Win||100||52 h 48 m||Show|
Reserves are going to play a lot in this final preseason tune up. So the Jets have no business laying this big of a price. These teams are familiar with each other since they've had joint practices. The Eagles have been superior inside the trenches. Zach Wilson looked good in leading the Jets past the Packers last week. But Green Bay held out all of its top defensive players, going with third and fourth-stringers. I prefer the Eagles' backup QB rotation of Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens versus the Jets' third-stringer James Morgan and fourth-stringer Josh Johnson as New York second-string QB Mike White suffered a rib injury against the Packers this past Saturday and is unlikely to play.
|08-27-21||Steelers v. Panthers UNDER 36||Top||9-34||Loss||-110||55 h 12 m||Show|
Here's who is not playing: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Najee Harris and Christian McCaffrey. Here's who is going to be playing: Dwayne Haskins, Josh Dobbs, Will Grier and P.J. Walker. That largely explains why I like the Under. Haskins and Dobbs are battling for the No. 3 QB spot on the Steelers. Neither is any good. Mike Tomlin showed how much he cares about this game by holding out his two top QB's plus his best running back, Harris. The rest of the Steelers' running backs are garbage and Pittsburgh's offensive line is a huge work-in-progress. The Panthers are expected to play a number of defensive starters. Carolina coach Matt Ruhle smartly is going to hold out McCaffrey, who is coming off an injury-plagued 2020 and figures to see nearly all of the Panthers' backfield touches when the regular season begins. Sam Darnold may play a quarter. But I'm not worried about that. Darnold's thrown only two passes in preseason with one of the passes being a throw-away. He's rusty and not in sync with his new team yet. The Steelers have one of the better defenses in the league. Grier and Walker are below average backup QB's.
|08-23-21||Jaguars v. Saints -4||Top||21-23||Loss||-110||21 h 23 m||Show|
The Saints had a shot to end the Ravens' preseason win streak, which has reached an NFL record-tying 19 consecutive victories, but fell, 17-14, last week. The Sains turned the ball over six times yet still only lost by three points to Baltimore. Saints coach Sean Payton was not happy with the loss, nor his team's performance. The Saints are one of those few teams who still haven't decided on a starting QB. That means big minutes for Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill as they battle it out. They'll be operating against a weak Jacksonville defense that surrendered nearly 250 yards against the Browns backups during the first half last week. The Jaguars defense proved vulnerable to screen passes. The Saints are a strong screen pass team. Cleveland backups also handled Jacksonville's offensive line recording four sacks. The Jaguars gave up 44 sacks last season and will be without two and possibly three starting offensive linemen against the Saints. Center Brandon Linder and left guard Andrew Norwell are out and right guard A.J. Cann is questionable due to a positive COVID-19 test. The Saints can generate a strong pass rush playing on turf at home in an extremely loud indoor setting against a banged-up offensive line. So Urban Meyer would be wise to limit Trevor Lawrence's playing time.
|08-22-21||Giants +5 v. Browns||Top||13-17||Win||100||31 h 31 m||Show|
The Browns don't care about this game. Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski will be playing very few of his starters and the ones who get into the game will see little action. The Giants don't have that luxury. While Saquon Barkley and Kenney Golladay aren't going to play, Giants QB's will have a number of other weapons plus playing time from their starting offensive line. The Browns' best defensive backs are not healthy and won't be playing. The edge is going to be with the Giants as far as number of starters playing. That's a big edge especially when Stefanski's top priority isn't winning the game. The teams have conducted scrimmages and practices against each other the past four days. During this time, Giants wide receiver Sterling Shephard has been a star against Cleveland's decimated secondary. The person who could take this game the most personally is Giants safety Jabrill Peppers, who played for the Browns before coming to New York. He was extremely animated during the scrimmages.
|08-21-21||Colts v. Vikings -139||Top||12-10||Loss||-139||17 h 47 m||Show|
Mike Zimmer was furious after the Broncos embarrassed his Vikings, 33-6, last week. Expect much better from Minnesota's reserves. Zimmer not only has kicked their butts, but he's going to be playing starters in this preseason game after sitting out 31 players against Denver.The key Viking who is going to play isn't Kirk Cousins. It's star defensive lineman Danielle Hunter, who had a combined 29 sacks in 2018-19 before missing last season with injury. Hunter is going to be a nightmare matchup for the Colts, who are extremely vulnerable at offensive left tackle with Eric Fisher out. Colts coach Frank Reich is going to look at some of his starters, although his incentive to win probably can't match Zimmer's. The Colts just want to come out healthy having already been hit by injuries, including losing Carson Wentz. That has forced a starting QB battle between Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger. Both looked good last week. However, that was against the reserve unit of the Panthers. The Vikings' defense will present much more of a test, so much that Reich may not want to risk too much playing time for Eason and Ehlinger. This would mean minutes for fourth-stringer Brett Hundley, who shouldn't even be on an NFL roster after multiple failures to impress. Minnesota should stay on the attack even after Cousins departs. The Vikings have a backup QB job on the line between Jake Browning and Kellen Mond.
|08-21-21||Jets v. Packers OVER 30.5||23-14||Win||100||5 h 53 m||Show|
I understand that the Under has covered in 17 of the first 20 preseason games going into today. But a lot would have to go right for this total to stay Under considering how low it is.The Jets and Packers have been scrimmaging against each other. The Jets' ground game has looked decent. Some of that has to do with the Packers missing their two best run defending linemen. This isn't going to change, though, because the Packers are going to play backups in this game. The Jets have to get their passing game working. So they should be airing the ball out. Zach Wilson should see action. The Jets can risk that knowing the Packers won't be using their defensive starters. Wilson has to get some real game experience. Wilson has multiple decent receivers. The Packers, too, have outstanding receiver depth. The Jets have arguably the worst cornerback depth in the NFL. Third-stringer Kurt Benkert is likely to play most of the game for Green Bay. He has a gunslinger mentality rather than a checkdown mindset. Benkert was close to the late Greg Knapp, the long-time QB coach who recently died in a cycling accident. Benkert got to know Knapp when they both were with the Falcons. It wouldn't surprise me to see Benkert play well in this dedication game to Knapp.
|08-20-21||Chiefs -150 v. Cardinals||Top||17-10||Win||100||19 h 47 m||Show|
There's nothing fancy in this one.The Chiefs are going to play their starters for at least half the game against the Cardinals. This comes from Andy Reid, while the Cardinals are hardly going to play their starters. That comes from Kliff Kingsbury.Kingsburgy doesn't want to risk any more injuries with his defense already banged-up with multiple injuries. Reid has game-planned for this matchup more than Kingsbury. He's also the superior coach. The Cardinals have lost and failed to cover four of their last five preseason games.
|08-19-21||Patriots -115 v. Eagles||Top||35-0||Win||100||8 h 55 m||Show|
Mac Jones is pushing Cam Newton for the starting QB spot in New England. That battle could be determined here. This is the second of three preseason games for the Patriots. Bill Belichick may decide not to play his starters much, if any, during the final preseason game. I like the Patriots' QB rotation more than the Eagles, whose top two QB's are raw Jalen Hurts and washed-up Joe Flacco. I certainly would give Belichick a monster edge against the Eagles' new coaching staff. These two teams held joint practices during the week. So Belichick will be familiar with the Eagles. The Patriots are going to have a strong defense. They kept things under wrap in Week 1 of the preseason. They shouldn't be as vanilla this week.
|08-15-21||Panthers v. Colts -130||Top||18-21||Win||100||28 h 45 m||Show|
Now that Panthers coach Matt Ruhle has made it official that he won't be playing Sam Darnold and the rest of his starters, I'm going to take the Colts on the money line. The Panthers are an improving team. But I question their depth. Their backup quarterbacks are P.J. Walker and Will Grier. The Colts are a solid, well-coached team. I like their depth better than Carolina's especially at the skill positions. A key here is the Colts figure to open their playbook much more than the Panthers. There's a strong possibility Carson Wentz won't be ready opening week. The Colts need to find out if either Jacob Eason or Sam Ehlinger are good enough to be an NFL starter for Week 1. They've been splitting first team reps. Both had strong practices on Thursday, according to camp reports. This is noteworthy because that practice was a scrimmage against the Panthers. I trust Frank Reich to guide Eason and Ehlinger putting them in good spots to do well against the Panthers' second and third-string. Being home also is a huge plus for Eason and Ehlinger.
|08-14-21||Texans v. Packers -3||Top||26-7||Loss||-108||61 h 42 m||Show|
Much is being made of how untested Jordan Love is. But compared to Houston rookie QB Davis Mills, Love is Aaron Rodgers.Love and Mills figure to be the key storylines in the Texans-Packers Week 1 preseason game. Both figure to play a lot in this game. Aaron Rodgers isn't playing. Deshaun Watson may not even make the trip to Green Bay. He's certainly not playing. Watson has been nothing but a huge distraction during the Texans' training camp with trade rumors swirling around him and lawsuits from 22 women. Tyrod Taylor is Houston's starting QB. The Texans know what he can do. So does every other team in the NFL. They all know Taylor is a journeyman, who has gotten more conservative with each season. The Chargers are still counting their blessing for the inept team doctor who accidentally punctured Taylor's lung allowing Justin Herbert to become their starting quarterback last year. Taylor hasn't looked good during training camp. Mills has looked downright terrible. Mills has had trouble picking up the speed of the NFL game. He threw four interceptions during one red zone-focused practice last week. Not helping Mills is the Texans' lack of talent and overhauled roster with some 50 new players. Houston is breaking in four new starting offensive linemen. Green Bay's defense should be way ahead of Houston's offense. It remains to be seen if Love will be a playmaker, or a checkdown, game-manager type. But the Packers do have a deep set of receivers and the Texans have a weak defense especially in the secondary. Kurt Benkert is Green Bay's third-string QB and figures to see action, too. Benkert has three NFL seasons of experience. He's shown enough for the Packers to cut Blake Bortles, who would not have been a bad third-string quarterback. Even though this is a preseason game where randomness is increased, there's still no need to overthink this. The Packers are the deeper and superior team to the visiting Texans. I would take Love - sight unseen - against any of the Texans QB's except Watson.
|08-14-21||Dolphins v. Bears OVER 34||Top||13-20||Loss||-115||389 h 33 m||Show|
Given that there are only three preseason games now and the depth of each team's quarterback rotation, I find this total short at this number. The Dolphins' top two quarterbacks are Tua Tagovailoa and Jacoby Brissett, who is one of the better backups in the league. Miami is anxious to open its attack more and preseason is the right time to work on that. The Bears go three-deep at QB with Andy Dalton, Justin Fields and Nick Foles. This is one of the best QB threesomes in the league. Dalton and Foles are veterans who know how to pick apart backup defenses, while Fields is an exciting talent.
|08-13-21||Cowboys v. Cardinals UNDER 40||Top||16-19||Win||100||55 h 46 m||Show|
Currently this is the highest total of the Week 1 preseason slate. Yes, these are explosive offenses, but the key pieces aren't going to be seeing much, if any, action.Certainly Dallas isn't risking Dak Prescott for this meaningless exhibition game. The Cowboys managed just three points in last week's Hall of Fame Game against the Steelers. Dallas' backup quarterbacks of Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci were a combined 24-for-43 for just 238 yards and an interception. All three of those QB's stink. I don't expect much from them this time around either. Dallas is traveling for the second straight week and its coach, Mike McCarthy, has a history of being extremely vanilla during preseason not wanting to show anything before the real season starts. As for the Cardinals, they are unlikely to give much - if any - playing time to Kyler Murray. Arizona's backup QB's are perennial game-manager Colt McCoy and former South Dakota QB Chris Streveler. The Cowboys went heavy on defense in the draft headed by linebacker Micah Parsons, who looked great against the Steelers. These defensive rookies will be looking to impress against a second and third-string Cardinals offense with jobs on the line.
|08-12-21||Steelers +1.5 v. Eagles||24-16||Win||100||53 h 4 m||Show|
Coaching history and backup quarterbacks are two keys in accessing preseason football. We know Mike Tomlin likes to win these exhibition games. The Steelers have won 63 percent of their preseason games under Tomlin, including defeating the Cowboys, 16-3, in the Hall of Fame Game last Thursday. Having already played a game is a plus, too, for the Steelers here. Pittsburgh won't be so vanilla with its offense as it was against the Cowboys. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada is featuring rookie running back Najee Harris, who looked good against Dallas, and more motion in Pittsburgh's attack. I highly doubt Ben Roethlisberger sees any action. I doubt, too, the Eagles will put Jalen Hurts on the field. The Steelers have three decent backup quarterbacks as far as preseason goes with Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and Joshua Dobbs. Pittsburgh's No. 2 job is open so there should be good competition between these three. The Eagles have a new head coach, Nick Sirianni, and a new coaching staff. Their backup QB's are veteran Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens. Flacco has no incentive. He's a veteran with a monster contract. Mullens is coming off a season-ending elbow injury he suffered last year with the 49ers. Mullens hasn't looked good in camp, by various reports. Philadelphia is inexperienced at wide receiver. The ones that are healthy haven't impressed. The Eagles got a bad break when first round pick DVonta Smith, the Heisman Trophy winner, suffered a knee injury. He may have to miss the entire preseason. Look for Flacco just to game manage things before turning it over to Mullens. So I give a strong check mark to the Steelers' defense. The Eagles also could find themselves constantly starting in poor field position if Pittsburgh rookie punter Pressley Harvin III performs as well as he did against the Cowboys. Harvin dropped one punt on the Dallas 1. Another punt went out of bounds at the Dallas 11 and another Harvin punt was fumbled by the Cowboys. These weren't fluke occurrences. I considered Harvin to be the best punter in the draft.
|08-12-21||Washington Football Team v. Patriots OVER 33||Top||13-22||Win||100||394 h 8 m||Show|
New this year is having only three weeks of preseason. That's not much game time to find out about backups. So the offenses shouldn't be so vanilla even during Week 1 of preseason. Oddsmakers traditionally set a low total for the first full week of preseason. That's the case in this matchup and I believe it's a mistake. Ryan Fitzpatrick entered Washington's camp as the nominal starter. But Ron Rivera said nothing is guaranteed. He'll want to take a good look at Taylor Heinicke, who was last seen throwing for 306 yards while accounting for two touchdowns in a 31-23 playoff loss to the Buccaneers. Kyle Allen isn't a bad third-string QB, but he may not be 100 percent yet recovering from a broken ankle suffered last season. The Patriots have a strong quarterback rotation with Cam Newton, Mac Jones and veteran Brian Hoyer. I doubt Newton plays, but Bill Belichick didn't invest a first-round pick on Jones to watch him hand off. Hoyer could be very effective matched up against second, third and fourth-string defenders. New England has averaged 28.7 points during its first preseason game the past four times.
|08-29-19||Chiefs v. Packers -140||Top||20-27||Win||100||28 h 57 m||Show|
Due to bad stadium conditions, the Packers held nearly all of their starters and top backups out last week against the Raiders in Canada. New Packers coach Matt LaFleur needs to see more to know about his team especially viewing a spirited battle between Tim Boyle and DeShone Kizer for the backup QB spot. The strength of the Packers is their wide receiving depth, which has eight players worthy of roster inclusion. The Chiefs' major weakness is cornerback depth. Indications are the Chiefs are taking this final preseason game much less serious than the Packers. Kansas City won't risk its starters, nor many of its backups either. The Chiefs just lost backup QB Chad Henne to a broken ankle. They signed veteran Matt Moore, but he won't be ready to play Thursday. That leaves the QB rotation to Kyle Shurmur and Chase Litton, neither of whom is good enough to likely make the Chiefs roster. Their combined preseason passing figures are 40-for-72 (55 percent) completions for 387 yards.
|08-23-19||Browns v. Bucs +3||Top||12-13||Win||100||58 h 10 m||Show|
Beating preseason football is about finding teams who care meeting those who don't while also getting value on the line. This pattern fits the Buccaneers right now in their Friday home game against the Browns. Tampa Bay has been preparing for this matchup like it were a regular-season game. Jameis Winston figures to see his most action. The Buccaneers have a deep set of quality wide receivers and a preseason superstar in backup quarterback Ryan Griffin, who has thrown for 531 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in Tampa Bay's first two preseason contests. Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said he won't reveal how much his starters are going to play Friday, but indications are the Browns won't be treating this exhibition as serious as Tampa Bay. Cleveland is sitting at 2-0 with nothing to prove. The Browns aren't likely to use Odell Beckham Jr. and Myles Garrett because they aren't 100 percent. Cleveland is a false favorite here based on perception with its unbeaten preseason record and tremendous hype. The Bucs are home and the likely team to treat this game more serious than the Browns.