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PREMIUM PICKS & BEST BETS
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|08-25-19||Steelers v. Titans -3||18-6||Loss||-110||108 h 45 m||Show|
My selection is on Tennessee minus the points over Pittsburgh at 8 pm et on Sunday.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel certainly doesn’t boast a positive preseason track record at 1-5 ATS but we’re obviously dealing with a very small sample size. Last week there were plenty of positives for Vrabel to take away, even in a 22-17 loss to the Patriots. Keep in mind, the Pats have put a strong emphasis on preparing the right way and winning on the road this August after going 3-5 away from home last regular season. I’m not really going to fault the Titans for that hard-fought loss that really could have gone either way last week. The Steelers check in a perfect 2-0 this August but under the guidance of Mike Tomlin, they’re still a losing preseason bet long-term having gone 25-26-1 ATS. We’re not likely going to see the traditional ‘Week 3 dress rehearsal’ gameplan from the Steelers as they’ve generally treated Ben Roethlisberger with kit gloves in the month of August. I simply feel this one means a little more to the Titans at home, and they’re being favored for a reason. Take Tennessee (10*).
|08-24-19||Cardinals v. Vikings -7||9-20||Win||100||77 h 49 m||Show|
My selection is on Minnesota minus the points over Arizona at 1 pm et on Saturday.
While I do expect the Cardinals offense and rookie QB Kyler Murray in particular to perform better than they did in last week’s loss to the Raiders, I’m not convinced their defense can do anything to slow down the Vikings on Saturday afternoon in Minnesota. The Vikings have a tremendous preseason track record under head coach Mike Zimmer, having gone a perfect 2-0 SU and ATS this August and 16-7 ATS since he took over the job. As I’ve mentioned in my analysis of ‘over’ plays on the Vikings first two preseason affairs, they have a sneaky-good preseason QB rotation with Kyle Sloter and Sean Mannion following Kirk Cousins. Both Sloter and Mannion have excelled through two games and in Sloter’s case he’s been a bonafide preseason stud going back to last year as well. I don’t believe there’s any reason to expect a letdown from the Vikings here as they stay home for a second straight game before closing things out in Buffalo next week. This is a lofty pointspread by preseason standards, but it’s warranted in my opinion. Take Minnesota (10*).
|08-22-19||Packers -3 v. Raiders||21-22||Loss||-107||36 h 60 m||Show|
My selection is on Green Bay minus the points over Oakland at 8 pm et on Thursday.
Note that this game will be played north of the border in Winnipeg, Manitoba. If anything that should give the Packers a bit of a home field advantage in terms of fan support (even if this game isn’t well-attended as has been speculated). Green Bay’s gameplan got shifted somewhat last-minute with QB Aaron Rodgers sitting due to a minor injury against the Ravens last week. The Packers ultimately lost that game so come into this one sporting an even 1-1 mark. Rodgers isn’t likely to see a great deal of action in this game either but that’s ok for our purposes as QB Tim Boyle has plenty of preseason upside and has thrown for three touchdowns and 147 yards on just 15 completions through two games. The Raiders took advantage of a depleted Cardinals defense last week to improve to a perfect 2-0 in the preseason. I expect Oakland to face a tougher challenge here, noting that its other victory came over a Rams squad that has looked generally disinterested in winning in the month of August this year. The Raiders have got terrific quarterback play from veteran Mike Glennon in particular so far, but I see his run ending here (Derek Carr and the rest of the Raiders regular starters should see extended action). Take Green Bay (10*).
|08-22-19||Panthers +3.5 v. Patriots||Top||3-10||Loss||-105||35 h 27 m||Show|
NFLX Game of the Year. My selection is on Carolina plus the points over New England at 7:30 pm et on Thursday.
We’ve won with the Patriots in each of the last two weeks, taking full advantage of the fact that they’ve placed a strong emphasis on preparing the right way and winning on the road in this year’s preseason after going a disappointing 3-5 on the road last regular season. Now New England returns home as a favorite against the Panthers, but I simply don’t believe that Bill Bellichick is going to put a lot of stock in whether it picks up a win or suffers its first loss of the exhibition campaign – even if it is the traditional ‘Week 3 dress rehearsal’ game. The Panthers are coming off an ugly 27-14 home loss to the Bills last week, which came on the heels of a 23-13 win in Chicago to open the preseason. We didn’t see many of the Panthers regular starters in last week’s contest but that should change this week. Note that even after last week’s loss, the Panthers have posted a respectable 18-15-1 ATS record in the preseason under head coach Ron Rivera. Take Carolina (10*).
|08-17-19||Lions v. Texans -4||Top||23-30||Win||100||107 h 31 m||Show|
NFLX Game of the Week. My selection is on Houston minus the points over Detroit at 8 pm et on Saturday.
I really like the way this one sets up for the favored Texans as they try to bounce back from last week’s ‘not as close as it looked’ 28-26 loss in Green Bay. First of all, the Lions are now 1-4 ATS in the preseason since Matt Patricia took over last year. They were a complete no-show in last week’s blowout loss to the Patriots. I don’t see this as an ideal bounce-back spot against an equally hungry Texans squad coming off a loss. Detroit will likely give plenty of time to Tom Savage and David Fales under center again this week, which doesn’t bode well for its offense after they combined to complete 7-of-17 passes for only 102 yards and an interception last week. The Texans have a proven preseason performer at quarterback in Joe Webb. He threw for 286 yards and a touchdown to go along with a pair of interceptions and also ran for 47 yards on six carries last week. Credit Houston for not folding the tent after falling behind 28-10 entering the fourth quarter last week, putting up 16 unanswered points in the game’s final 14 minutes. Note that the Texans are 12-7-1 ATS under Bill O’Brien in the preseason. Take Houston (10*).
|08-17-19||Patriots -3 v. Titans||22-17||Win||100||105 h 13 m||Show|
My selection is on New England minus the points over Tennessee at 7 pm et on Saturday.
I'll lay the points again with the Patriots this week as they once again put an emphasis on winning on the road after going 3-5 away from home during the regular season last year. Last week's blowout win over the Lions was never in doubt and while this one isn't likely to be as lopsided, I still believe we'll see New England win and cover. Even without Tom Brady on the field, the Pats suddenly have a solid QB rotation by preseason standards with veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Jarrett Stidham. Stidham in particular stood out last week, throw for 179 yards on 14 pass completions while also adding a touchdown. Even with the Titans win in Philadelphia last week, they're still just 1-4 ATS in the preseason under the guidance of former Patriot Mike Vrabel. Bill Bellichick's excellent preseason track record with the Pats is well-known. Look for him to school another former subject here. Take New England (10*).
|08-10-19||Cowboys v. 49ers -4.5||Top||9-17||Win||100||24 h 14 m||Show|
NFLX Game of the Week. My selection is on San Francisco minus the points over Dallas at 9 pm et on Saturday.
The 49ers are laying more than the standard field goal here in their home preseason opener on Saturday night, largely due to the fact that two experienced quarterbacks in Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard are expected to split time and play the majority of the game. I believe the line is warranted and look for the Niners to ultimately pull away for the win and cover. Keep in mind, last year the Niners needed a 14-point fourth quarter rally to defeat the Cowboys by a 24-21 score in this same matchup in Week 1 of the preseason. Beathard and Mullens each threw an interception in that game. The fact is, the Cowboys offense didn't do much, and I don't expect much different of a story to play out here. The difference is the 49ers QB duo are more experienced and should be able to take care of the football. While I'm not necessarily on board with the thinking that the Niners will be much improved this season (I have a lot of questions about their defense), I do expect them to prevail here. Take San Francisco (10*).
|08-08-19||Patriots -1 v. Lions||31-3||Win||100||9 h 33 m||Show|
My selection is on New England minus the points over Detroit at 7:30 pm et on Thursday.
All indications are that the Patriots are putting an emphasis on winning this week's preseason opener in Detroit, or as much of an emphasis as you can expect for an exhibition game anyway. After going 3-5 away from home last season, New England is focused on preparing the right way and delivering a complete performance against the Lions. I don't expect Bill Bellichick to make anything easy on his former defensive coordinator - now Lions head coach Matt Patricia. There's never a whole lot to go on this early in the preseason, but here I do expect to see the Pats put their best foot forward. Take New England (10*).
|08-25-18||Saints +2.5 v. Chargers||Top||36-7||Win||100||23 h 56 m||Show|
NFLX Preseason Game of the Year. My selection is on New Orleans plus the points over Los Angeles at 8 pm et on Saturday.
The Saints couldn't follow up on their preseason-opening 24-20 road win over the Jaguars, falling by a 20-15 score at home against the Cardinals last week. I do expect to see Sean Payton's squad bounce back this Saturday, however, as they hit the road to face the Chargers. Los Angeles dropped its opener in Arizona but responded with a 24-14 win over the Seahawks last week. Keep in mind, Drew Brees has yet to play for the Saints this preseason, but he is expected to be on the field on Saturday night. I do expect to see Brees make more than just a cameo appearance here. Note that the Saints have gone a perfect 7-0 SU and ATS when on the road for their second to last preseason game - the so-called 'dress rehearsal' game - since 2004. Take New Orleans (10*).
|08-25-18||Chiefs +2.5 v. Bears||20-27||Loss||-105||16 h 12 m||Show|
My selection is on Kansas City plus the points over Chicago at 1 pm et on Saturday.
Both of these teams have high hopes entering the 2018 season and both have looked impressive, at least at times, during preseason action. I simply feel that the Chiefs are a little further along in their progression at this point and I’m confident they’ll come away with their second consecutive victory on Saturday afternoon in Chicago.
We saw the best of Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes in last week’s game in Atlanta as he threw for 138 yards and a score (to go along with an interception) and also ran the ball for a couple of nice gains. Defensively, the Chiefs have done a pretty nice job through their first two games and will face a Bears offense that is still very much a work in progress.
Chicago did pick up its first win of the preseason in Denver last Saturday night as it rallied late for a 24-23 victory. Expect a different story to unfold on Saturday afternoon at Soldier Field in what should be a fairly entertaining affair by NFL Preseason standards. Take Kansas City (10*).
|08-24-18||Broncos +3 v. Redskins||29-17||Win||100||23 h 1 m||Show|
My selection will be on Denver plus the points over Washington at 7:30 pm et on Friday.
All eyes will be on Redskins newly-signed RB Adrian Peterson on Friday night but I expect him to have little impact on the outcome of this game.
The Broncos have yet to taste victory here in the preseason after giving up a couple of late touchdowns in a 24-23 home loss to the Bears last week. I do feel they’ll put some relevance in grabbing a win here in Landover, even if it is still just preseason football.
Meanwhile, the Redskins picked up their first victory in August last week against the Jets. It was a fairly ugly contest with both offenses struggling to punch the football into the end zone. There are still plenty of kinks to be worked out on offense for QB Alex Smith and the Redskins. I look for the Broncos to prove to be the sharper squad on Friday night. Take Denver (10*).
|08-23-18||Eagles v. Browns -3||0-5||Win||100||24 h 17 m||Show|
My selection is on Cleveland minus the points over Philadelphia at 8 pm et on Thursday.
It’s fairly evident through two preseason games that the Eagles are putting virtually no weight on August victories. Philadelphia’s main concern right now is getting its QB tandem of Carson Wentz and Nick Foles healthy before its regular season opener on September 6th. Foles is expected to see some action on Thursday but how much he plays and how vanilla the offense he is running is remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, the Browns have drummed up plenty of preseason hype despite only splitting their first two games. Both Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield should get extended playing time on Thursday night and while there’s no true QB controversy in Cleveland right now – at least according to head coach Hue Jackson – both Taylor and Mayfield are playing like there is.
I believe the oddsmakers have got it right installing the Browns as the favorite in this matchup and feel the line could be even higher were it not for the two teams’ reputations. Take Cleveland (10*).
|08-16-18||Jets v. Redskins -1.5||13-15||Win||100||71 h 2 m||Show|
My selection is on Washington minus the points over New York at 8 pm et on Thursday.
These two teams had much different experiences in Week 1 of NFL Preseason action. The Jets cruised to a shutout victory over the Falcons at home while the Redskins blew a 17-10 fourth quarter lead in New England - ultimately falling by a 26-17 score. I fully expect Washington to play with more purpose here as it tries to notch its first victory of the preseason. I like the fact that the Redskins employ a solid QB rotation with Colt McCoy and Kevin Hogan seeing the bulk of the action. Even Hogan has had plenty of experience playing in the preseason over the last couple of years. The Jets have a nice QB rotation of their own with rookie Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater following veteran Josh McCown. With that being said, I'm not sure that trio can perform much better than it did last week, completing 21-of-27 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Even with that near perfect preseason performance they still only managed to score 17 points in the victory. After losing rookie RB Derrius Guice to a season-ending injury last week, the Redskins are in desperate need of a positive in the form of a victory this Thursday. Take Washington (10*).