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NFL Betting – Preseason Week One Preview

Thursday Night Football – NFL Week One Pre-Season Matchups

As we head into the first full week of the 2010 NFL preseason there are some interesting position battles heating up on all 32 NFL teams.

Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game signalled the start of the 2010 preseason.

Here’s a look at the other action on tap this week, starting with the Thursday games.

New Orleans Saints @ New England Patriots

Thursday, August 12, 7:30 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Patriots -1

Neither the Saints nor the Patriots welcome too many significant new faces in 2010; that means their preseason opener will be mostly a battle of the backups. That said, each team has a few open position battles that will warrant watching in this game.

Between Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore and Devery Henderson, there’s quite a logjam at receiver for the Saints. Meachem hasn’t recovered from his offseason toe surgery yet so he could start the season fourth on the depth chart. Patrick Ramsay and/or Chase Daniel will probably spell Drew Brees in this game and will have decent targets given the Saints’ depth at receiver.

Tom Brady and the Patriots’ skill players, especially Randy Moss, shouldn’t see too many reps. But will Bill Belichick unleash Wes Walker to test his surgically repaired knee? Don’t be surprised if the Pats rest Sammy Morris in the backfield and give New Orleans a steady diet of Benjarvus Green-Ellis and maybe Laurence Maroney, who is anxious to show off his new, angrier running style.

Carolina Panthers @ Baltimore Ravens

Thursday, August 12, 8:00 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Ravens -3

It should come as no surprise that the Ravens are favored at home to Carolina this week. It’s not because the Ravens are a better football team – which they are. It’s because the Ravens have a very accomplished group of offensive backups raring to go. Marc Bulger, Willis McGahee, Le’Ron McClain, Mark Clayton…all have been starters for most of their careers. Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

Now, they’ll be relied upon to provide reps so the big guns like Flacco, Boldin and Rice can stay fresh.

The big question on Thursday is whether or not we’ll see Jimmy Clausen in action for Carolina. I’m betting we will, as Matt Moore has distanced himself from the pack for the No. 1 quarterback job. Clausen and Hunter Cantwell should both take plenty of snaps in this matchup.

Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys

Thursday, August 12, 9:00 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Cowboys -5

No rest for the weary, apparently. Just four days after the Hall of Fame Game, the Cowboys will try to bring their preseason record to 2-0. That Tashard Choice got the bulk of the workload – and ran very effectively – against Cincinnati came as no surprise. But did anyone expect Stephen McGee – and not Jon Kitna – to throw 22 passes? He wasn’t very good, completing 54.5 per cent of his passes and getting sacked four times.

Oakland would probably love to get a battle going between Michael Bush and Darren McFadden for the No. 1 running back job but it may have to wait with McFadden (already) nursing a sore hamstring. The Raiders may limit Bush in their preseason opener too just to be safe.

Jason Campbell is the clear-cut starting quarterback, so he won’t need a ton of reps on Thursday. With Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye both hurt, Oakland signed free agent Colt Brennan to take the starter’s workload under center against Dallas.

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