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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|08-29-21||Patriots v. Giants +3.5||Top||22-20||Win||100||58 h 51 m||Show|
My 9* Rivalry Rout is on the NY Giants at 6:00 ET.
The Patriots are 2-0. They've looked good in both games. Both Cam Newton and Mac Jones dominated in New England's 35-0 destruction of the Eagles in Week 2.
Newton had 103 yards on 8 of 9 passing, while Jones had 146 yards on 13 of 19 passing.
I don't expect Bill Belichick to keep the foot on the gas in this now meaningless Week 3 NFL preseason contest. The Patriots can simply go through the motions here and get ready for their Week 1 matchup at home against the Dolphins (it's interesting to note that the Pats will play their final Week 17 game in Miami to finish out the regular season.)
The Giants are 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS. They lost 12-7 at home to the Jets in Week 1, before then falling 17-13 at Cleveland last weekend.
I say this one just means more to New York. The Giants are coming off a miserable 2020/21 campaign and are looking for any tiny positive thing they can before heading into the regular season.
In the setback to the Browns, Brian Lewerke threw for 108 yards, a TD, and an INT on 11 of 19 passing while third-stringer Mike Glennon had 86 passing yards on 10 of 13 passing.
Does it matter that New England is just 1-4 ATS in its last five on the road and only 1-5 ATS in its last six as a favorite?
How about the fact that New York is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 as an underdog?
It certainly doesn't hurt!
Either way, look for the home side to take this one much more seriously and to walk away with at least the ATS cover.
The play is New York.
|08-29-21||Dolphins v. Bengals OVER 35||Top||29-26||Win||100||102 h 56 m||Show|
My 10* NFLX Total of the Month is on Mia/Cin Over at 4:00 ET.
The Bengals are 1-1 SU in the preseason. They're 2-0 ATS. They won at Tampa Bay by a score of 19-14 in Week 1, and then lost 17-13 at Washington last week, covering with the five points they were afforded in that one.
Both of those games stayed under the posted number as far as the total is concerned. With their only home preseason game today, I believe the Bengals open up the playbook today on offense with their backups, and wannabe's getting one last look.
Miami is 1-1 SU and ATS. It lost 20-13 at Chicago in Week 1 but then rebounded with a convincing 37-17 victory at home over Atlanta last weekend.
Suffice it to say, I believe the Fish are going to try and duplicate that performance here and to keep the positive momentum rolling into the regular season.
I base a lot of my over/under selections on "situations." This one definitely sets up great as an offensive shootout in my opinion.
I'll point out as well that Cincinnati has seen the total go over the posted number in eight of its last 11 after scoring 13 or less points in a SU road loss in its previous outing.
In my opinion, both the situation and the trends point to this one flying over the number.
|08-28-21||Ravens v. Washington Football Team +4||Top||37-3||Loss||-102||58 h 30 m||Show|
My 10* NFLX Game of the Week is on the Was FB Team at 6:00 ET.
Washington is 1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS in the preseason.
Baltimore is 2-0 SU/ATS so far in the preseason.
The Ravens have now won 19 straight pre-season games in a row. That's remarkable, but as the old saying goes, "all good things have to come to an end."
I understand that John Harbaugh takes the preseason more seriously than other coaches. I get it. Clearly, he does with a 19 game winning streak on the line. But I don't think Harbaugh could care less about setting any preseason records.
Tyler Huntley is expected to see most of the time for Baltimore under center in this one. Last week he had 187 yards and an INT.
Washington has much more to work on than Harbaugh and the Ravens. The Football team is off a decent 17-13 win over the Bengals in Week 2 and I believe they'll be out to finish up the preseason strong.
Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to play with a chip on his shoulder, as the veteran finished for 96 yards. Taylor Heinicke had 80 yards passing, while RB Jaret Patterson had 71 rushing yards and a TD.
I think Washington will be out to not only build on their win from last week, but to also snap the Ravens' preseason streak, and make sure they don't get the record here on their own field.
Lastly, note that The Football Team is still 5-1 ATS in its last six as an underdog.
Outright win? Definitely not out of the realm of possibility in my opinion.
However, my official recommendation will be to grab as many points as you can.
|08-27-21||Steelers v. Panthers -3.5||Top||9-34||Win||100||9 h 19 m||Show|
My 9* Weekly Wipeout is on the Car Panthers at 7:10 ET.
It's going to be a different regular season. We now have 17 games in the regular season, while just the three in the preseason.
This though will actually be the Steelers' fourth game. They played in the Hall of Fame Game, and so they come into this meaningless final preseason contest having already gone a perfect 3-0 straight up and 2-1 against the spread.
They beat the Lions 26-20 last weekend but were unable to cover the seven-point spread.
But regardless, I think that Mike Tomlin has seen enough. Look for Pittsburgh to just go through the motions here in Carolina this weekend.
But for the Panthers, they could really use something positive before heading into the regular season after starting out the preseason by going 0-2 straight up and against the spread.
This one simply means MORE to Matt Rhule and the home side.
And in this meaningless Week 3 preseason NFL contest, I think that's going to be the difference-maker.
Mason Rudolph looked pretty good against a poor Lions team last time out for the Steelers. He saw most of the time in that one, meaning that Dwayne Haskins will likely see most of the time today under center for Pittsburgh.
On the other side of the field, the Panthers lost their second straight preseason game, falling 20-3 to Baltimore. Will Grier was efficient though, going 11 of 14 for 144 yards passing.
Pittsburgh faded down the stretch there against the Lions last week as it allowed two meaningless touchdowns really late to let Detroit sneak in through the back door.
And as I said off the top, I think it'll just go through the motions here as well today. There's nothing left to prove, to figure out, or to play for today for the visiting side.
While as I've also outlined, this one sure does mean much more to the winless home side. Albeit winless in the preseason.
That's my read in this one. I expect Carolina to keep the foot on the gas from start to finish.
Lay the short points.
|08-23-21||Jaguars v. Saints -4||Top||21-23||Loss||-108||14 h 42 m||Show|
My 10* MNF Magic Play is on the NO Saints at 8:00 ET.
After this, there's only one week left in the NFLX preseason.
New Orleans is off a tough 17-14 Week 1 loss at Baltimore, but I think it'll rebound and give a bigger effort here in Week 2 at home.
Jacksonsville fell 23-13 at home to Cleveland. Remember, Urban Meyer is the new head coach of the Jaguars.
The Jags' defense looked shaky, allowing 319 passing yards to Cleveland. Last year Jacksonville conceded 264.4 yards passing per game, which ranked 24th in the league.
Jacksonville rookie QB Trevor Lawrence was six of nine for 71 yards.
The Saints can pin their loss on sloppy play last week, as they committed eight turnovers on offense. Last year the Saints averaged just 1.2 turnovers per game last year.
New Orleans' QB Jameis Winston was 7 of 12 for 96 yards and a touchdown.
I think New Orleans will clean up its play here though, and that'll be the differene in the end. Jacksonville has so many things to work on, that it's disorginaztion will lead to another poor collective effort.
Look for the Saints' defense to take advantage at home and for New Orleans' more experienced offensive unit to do the rest.
Lay the points, the play is New Orleans.
|08-21-21||Lions +6.5 v. Steelers||Top||20-26||Win||100||15 h 46 m||Show|
The 3rd pick of my STTP is a 10* on the Det Lions at 7:30 ET.The bottom line for this one is, I think this is a great overall situational play. I believe that after two straight wins to open up the NFLX preseason (Pittsburgh won in the Hall of Fame Game as well), that the Steelers are going to take the proverbial foot off the gas finally. Detroit has opened up the preseason by going 0-1. It fell 16-15 at home to the Bills last weekend. Detroit has plenty to work on in the preseason after the departure of main-stay QB Matt Stafford. The Lions actually scored 12 points in the fourth quarter last week and I think they can carry over that momentum from that final frame, to the opener of this one. Remember, this isn't a regular-season game. You can't use the same logic in this instance as you would normally handicap a regular season or playoff contest. I believe that it's foolish to judge a team based upon its form from the previous week in the preseason. Jared Goff threw for 56 yards on 7 of 9 passing and Tim Boyle had 38 yards on 8 of 15 through the air for the Lions last week. Dwayne Haskins saw the majority of the time under center last week for Pittsburgh, and he had 161 yards passing and a TD. I think he'll have his hands full today though with what I expect to be an aggressive Lions rush. I'm banking on the "hungrier" team with more to work on to at the very least, keep this one competitive down the stretch. Grab the points, the play is Detroit.
|08-21-21||Ravens v. Panthers +3.5||Top||20-3||Loss||-110||14 h 18 m||Show|
The 2nd pick of my STP is 9* on the Car Panthers at 7:00 ET.Outright win? Very possible. But in a contest which could very well be decided late, I'll recommend to grab as many points as you can. The Ravens beat the Saints in Week 1 of the NFL preseason, while the Panthers are looking to rebound after losing to the Colts. The Ravens somehow managed to win last week despite posting 308 yards of offense, while allowing 366. Trace McSorley had 86 passing yards and one interception while Tyler Huntley had 79 yards passing. Once again starting quarterback Lamar Jackson won't see any time. The Panthers looked pretty good through three quarter last week, but then blew it in the fourth. They posted 313 yards and allowed 427. P.J. Walker led the Panthers with 161 passing yards and one touchdown while Will Grier had 31 passing yards. Clearly the focus for the home side will be on the defensive end this week. Last week it allowed 24 first downs. But I think we'll indeed see a better effort here in Week 2 in front of the home town crowd. The bottom line is, this is the preseason. It's not the regular season or playoffs. Judging a team's form from the previous week (whether good or bad), isn't helpful. This one definitely means a lot more to Carolina. As I say, I think the outright is possible, but in the end let's grab the points. Good luck...Larry
|08-21-21||Jets v. Packers +2.5||Top||23-14||Loss||-107||12 h 44 m||Show|
The 1st pick of my STP is a 9* on the GB Packers at 4:25 ET.The Jets are 1-0. The Packers are 0-1. I say that Green Bay is the "hungrier" dog in this fight and while I certainly wouldn't rule out an outright victory, my official call on this one will be to grab as many points as you can. The Jets are coming off a satisfying 12-7 win over the Giants. Mike White had 127 yards passing, while Zach Wilson threw for 63 yards. It was an awkward victory and I think they'll struggle again with consistency today, especially in this difficult road venue, facing a determined Green Bay side that's seeking its first win of the preseason. The Packers have a lot to work on for sure after their 26-7 loss to Houston. I had the Texans in that one. Jordan Love actually looked pretty good, finishing 12 of 17 for 122 yards and a touchdown. He left with an injury though. And then Kurt Benkert would go for 88 yards and an INT the rest of the way for the Packers. Both teams will be playing backups and wannabe's today. New York though is just 1-8 ATS in its last nine as a favorite. Give me the hungrier and more determined home side in this one! Good luck...Larry
|08-20-21||Bengals v. Washington Football Team -4.5||Top||13-17||Loss||-110||55 h 27 m||Show|
My 10* NFLX Game Of the Year is the Washington Football Team at 8:00 ET.
This line opened -3.5. Then it was announced that Joe Burrow was not going to be playing at all for the visiting Bengals and the line climbed a few points higher.
Regardless of who is under center for the Bengals, I like Washington to not only win on Friday night but to win by a comfortable margin.
The Bengals are primed for an immediate letdown as well after their big win over Tampa Bay in Week 1 of the preseason, holding on for the 19-14 victory. Backup QB Kyle Shurmur had 108 yards and an interception on 12 of 19 passing while Brandon Allen threw for 77 yards and a pick as well.
Washington is off a loss in New England. It was in contention in the first half, but then it took the foot off the gas. I don't expect the same thing to happen here though at home.
Steven Montez has 108 yards passing, a touchdown, and an interception in the setback, while Taylor Heinicke threw for 86 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick had 58 yards in his first game in a Washington uniform.
Ron Rivera is known for taking the preseason more seriously than others, and in his first home game of the year with fans in the stands, I expect him to have his team fired up to perform.
Expect this to translate into production on both sides of the field for the home side.
Lay the points, the play is the Washington Football Team.
|08-19-21||Patriots v. Eagles +3||Top||35-0||Loss||-105||79 h 57 m||Show|
My 9* Las Vegas Insider is on the Phi Eagles at 7:30 ET.
The preseason has changed. There are now only three weeks being played.
This is significant. Traditionally Week 3 of the preseason has been the "dress rehearsal" for the "real thing." That's the game in which the starters see most of the action.
But with injuries on the rise, the preseason has been cut to just three games. What effect this will have on how or when starters will see action will differ moving forward.
It's going to be a "game to game" thing. And it's going to be different from one team to the next, depending on just which areas they need to work on.
Philadelphia looked great in the first half of its Week 1 matchup against the Steelers, as it went into the break with a 16-7 lead.
The Eagles clearly took the foot off the gas in the second half though, getting outscored 17-0 the rest of the way.
However, having back-to-back home games to open the preseason is not something that I believe the Eagles will take for granted here in Week 2, and before hitting the road in their finale.
Polar opposite situation for the Patriots. They were down 7-6 at home to Washington in their preseason opener last weekend, before then outscoring The Football Team 16-6 in the second half.
With that satisfying come from behind win in front of the home town crowd, I just can't help but feel the Patriots are primed for a major letdown here.
Handicapping preseason NFL games from a "situational" standpoint is a great place to start. And for this pick, it's also where it's going to end.
Regardless of who starts, from a situational standpoint, this one sets up great for the home side in my opinion and while the outright win certainly isn't out of the question, in the end I'll recommend to grab as many points as you can.
The play is Philadelphia.
|08-14-21||Chiefs v. 49ers OVER 37||Top||19-16||Loss||-134||109 h 40 m||Show|
My 10* NFLX Total of the Week is on KC/SF Over at 8:30 ET.
I don't expect to see two awesome offenses on the field of play in Week 1 of the regular season or anything, but more than anything, I don't see a lick of defense being played here today.
The Chiefs finished 14-2 last year and lost in the Super Bowl. Most teams that lose in the Super Bowl, then go on to struggle the next season.
That's almost assuredly not going to happen to Kansas City this season. That said, not many starters (if any?), will be starting today for either team.
San Francisco went 6-10 last year. In the previous season it went 13-3. This is a big season for fifth year head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. I don't think either team will be taking the preseason lightly.
Both have plenty of things to work on on the offensive side of the ball and that's what I expect each to concentrate on in Week 1 of the preseason.
This number is a little low, the play is the over.
|08-14-21||Texans +3 v. Packers||Top||26-7||Win||100||82 h 32 m||Show|
My NFLX 10* Week 1 AFC/NFC "GAME OF THE MONTH" is on the Hou Texans at 8:00 ET.
The Houston Texans are coming off a four win season. Their starting QB DeShaun Watson is embroiled in an off-field controversy which will have a lasting effect on the organization moving forward.
David Culley is the new head coach of Houston and he'll be eager to post a win here and to start a new narrative for the club.
Houston has a decent stable of "backups." Watson isn't expected to play with Houston this year, so Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel will all see time in the preseason.
The Packers have had to deal with plenty of off-field issues as well. Aaron Rodgers has finally decided to stay for at least one more year with the Packers, but he won't be seeing any time today. Instead it'll be Jordan Love and Kurt Benkert getting the snaps.
The biggest weakness last year for Green Bay was on the defensive side. That'll be an issue again this season.
But despite losing JJ Watt in FA, the Texans remain stout on that side of the ball, with veteran Vincent Taylor leading the way.
Both teams have plenty of issues. If this was Week 1 of the regular season, I'd likely be backing the Packers in a blowout.
But it's not Week 1 of the regular season, it's Week 1 of the preaseason.
I think Houston will take this game much more seriously and while the outright is possible, in the end my official call is to grab as many points as you can.
|08-14-21||Saints +3 v. Ravens||14-17||Push||0||81 h 47 m||Show|
My 8* Weekend Wipeout is on the NO Saints at 7:00 ET.
Will the Baltimore Ravens finish with a better record than the New Orleans Saints this year.
While not even in the same Conference, the answer is still probably "yes." And that's because Drew Brees is no longer under center for the Saints.
The thing is, the Ravens aren't going to have LaMar Jackson under center either.
While Baltimore moves ahead into the season with their No. 1 QB secured and locked in, the Saints have themselves a big time competition in the preseason.
And it's this competition which I think will be the difference-maker for the Saints. So who will it be, Taysum Hill or Jamies Winston?
The biggest improvement for New Orleans last year did not come on the offensive side of the ball, but on the defensive, as New Orleans allowd the fourth least yards allowed in 2020.
New Orleans isn't starting its second and third string QB's today. It's starting its first and second string QB's.
In Week 1, I think the "hungrier" team with more to work on finds a way to deliver (that said, make sure to grab as many points as you can!)
The play is the Saints.
|08-13-21||Bills v. Lions||Top||16-15||Loss||-114||51 h 58 m||Show|
My 9* PERFECT STORM is on the Det Lions at 7:00 ET.
The Bills are predicted to be a Top 5 team. However, this Week 1 Preseason game definitely "means" more to the Lions in my estimation.
Remember, in this abbreviated preseason, starters will see even less time. And the time that backups and wannabe's DO have, will be even more precious.
Buffalo is an exciting team. I'm excited for "Bills Mafia." QB Josh Allen just signed a huge contract. Overall last season the Bills averaged 31.3 PPG, while allowing 23.4.
The Lions have a new head coach and a new QB under center. If this was Week 1 of the regular season, I'd likely be on the Bills in a blowout.
But with almost their entire starting line-up resolved, Buffalo doesn't have a lot to work on the pre-season.
David Blough and Tim Boyle are backing up Jared Goff in Detroit, and they'll be in a fight for that No. 2 spot throughout the preseason.
The Lions averaged only 23.4 PPG, while allowing 32.4 last year, a big reason why there have been so many changes in the offseason.
Look for the more determined home side to earn its first victory for its new coach.
The play is the Lions.
|08-12-21||Steelers +1 v. Eagles||Top||24-16||Win||100||43 h 40 m||Show|
My 9* NFLX Rivalry Game of the Month is on the Pit Steelers at 7:30 ET.
I like the Steelers to build off their Hall Of Fame Game victory. They beat the Cowboys by a score of 16-3. In this abbreviated pre-season, the backups and wannabes have even less time to impress, and any tiny advantages these players have is signficant.
With one game under their belts, the Steelers are the savvy move here on Thursday in my opinion.
The Eagles have a new head coach in Nick Siranni, and second-year QB Jalen Hurts is now the man under center with Carson Wentz having departed for the Colts.
The Steelers' offense was shaky in the HOF Game, but the defense sure looked sharp. Mason Rudolph is fighting for a spot behind Big Ben, and will be in a constant competion with Dwayne Haskins and Joshua Dobbs. The defense forced three turnovers and had four sacks.
Joe Flacco and Nick Mullins are going to see the majority of the snaps for the Eagles today. Suffice it to say, I trust neither against this opportunistic Steelers defensive unit.
Yes, Siranni would LOVE to win his "first" game as head coach for his new team. But this is the preason. I say it's Mike Tomlin and the Steelers who are more organized and who will find a way to deliver on Thursday night.
|08-05-21||Cowboys v. Steelers -1||Top||3-16||Win||100||35 h 16 m||Show|
My NFLX 10* Hall of Fame Game play is on the Pit Steelers at 8:00 ET
Neither starting QB will see any action today.
The Cowboys were a complete mess on the offensive side of the ball without Dak Prescott in the line-up last year and I believe that's going to again be the case in the Hall Of Fame Game.
Dallas will also be without WR Amari Cooper.
Garrett Gilbert will be getting the start under center for Dallas tonight (also Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush will see time.) We'll also see the backups and wannabe's under WR and RB.
Ben Roethlisberger won't be under center tonight for the Steelers, meaning you'd better get ready for a healthy dose of Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins.
What I do really like about Pittsburgh in this one though, is that it will be giving RB Najee Harris considerable touches throughout this game and entire preseason.
This is the Hall of Fame Game. Pretty much anything can happen. That said, the key talent that's out on the Cowboys offense is significant and their defense, which was a weak point last season, is also a concern this year.
Pittsburgh finished with the No. 3 defense last year.
Rudolph has seen considerable time under center in the regular season and is probably the best QB on the field tonight.
Give me the Steelers to cover the small number.
|08-29-19||Raiders v. Seahawks -2||Top||15-17||Push||0||28 h 47 m||Show|
My NFLX 10* "signature" 36-Club Play is on the Sea Seahawks at 10:00 ET.
Jon Gruden's first season back in the NFL went very poorly in 2018, as the Raiders finished 4-12 (last-place in the AFC West) and 6-10 ATS. Gruden has always had a good preseason record and he's been perfect so far in 2019, going 3-0 SU and ATS. The Raiders opened with a 14-3 home win over the disinterested Rams, then won 33-26 at Arizona in Week 2. Oakland made it THREE straight wins last Thursday with a 22-21 win over the Packers, a game played in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The contest was played on a field shortened to 80 yards for player safety. The end zones were marked by bright orange pylons at the 10-yard lines and there were no kickoffs. The field was reconfigured because of concerns about the areas where the goal posts for the CFL's Winnipeg franchise were removed and covered with turf. Before warmups, game officials and staff from both clubs examined the turf that covered the goal post spots for 110-yard CFL games. The goal posts would have been inside the NFL end zones. Packers coach Matt LaFleur decided to sit 33 players, including star QB Aaron Rodgers, yet the Raiders needed a Daniel Carlson 33-yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining to earn the one point win.
Like Gruden, Seattle's Pete Carroll has an excellent preseason record and the Seahawks are 2-1 SU and ATS in 2019, losing only at Minnesota, another outstanding preseason team under head coach Mike Zimmer. Russell Wilson directed the Seahawks to a pair of TDs and a field goal in five possessions in two preseason games and it's unlikely that he will play in Thursday's preseason finale. Geno Smith seemed well ahead of Paxton Lynch entering the first preseason contest against Denver (Aug 8) but Lynch, playing against deeper Broncos reserves, out-played Smith that night while Smith played on the cyst in his knee. He had it removed the next day. Lynch was 11 for 15 for 109 yards and a touchdown pass. Smith sat out the Minnesota loss, while Lynch was 6 for 15 against the Vikings before he had his 'bell rung.' Lynch sat out Week 3 (concussion protocol) and Smith entered on the fourth series (following Wilson's solid effort), with the score 13-3. He led the Seahawks to scores on his first two drives, the kind of performance that may go a long way toward earning him the backup spot over Lynch. Smith led the Seahawks on drives of 48, 73 and 74 yards the first three times he was in the game, completing 10 of 16 passes for 117 yards and also rushing four times for 26 yards while adding a TD.
Oakland wraps its preseason with this game in Seattle, returning from Winnipeg (won't here that again for awhile). It's hard to see Carr playing much (if at all) and that leaves Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman. For some reason, Gruden likes Peterman but why? Consider this. Peterman is arguably the worst QB in the history of the NFL, as no QB with at least 100 pass attempts in the last 20 years has a lower career passer rating than Peterman's 32.5! Carroll rarely needs motivation in a preseason game but note that the Raiders beat the Seahawks 30-19 in Week 4 of last year's preseason (in Seattle), as E.J. Manuel, a former NFL starter, threw four TD passes (Manuel is long gone). In last year's contest, Carroll's QBs were career fourth-stringer Austin Davis and then-rookie Alex McGough (now 'stinking it up' in Jacksonville). Here, we should see plenty of a highly-motivated Geno Smith (dangerous against non-starters) plus maybe some Paxton Lynch or rookie J.T. Barrett. No 4-0 preseason here for Oakland, as Seattle wins handily
|08-24-19||Broncos v. Rams -1||Top||6-10||Win||100||40 h 11 m||Show|
My 10* NFLX Game of the Year is on the LA Rams at 9:00 ET.
The Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Rams get together Saturday in LA and neither team expects to play its starters very much. "Most of the guys you refer to as ‘starters’ will not play in the game (Saturday),” Denver head coach Vic Fangio said before practice on Thursday. “It’s our fourth (preseason) game, not our third, and we just felt like it’s the best thing to do for our team now.” As for LA, head coach Sean McVay has used his starters sparingly in the team's first two games and there is NO reason to expect him to do otherwise in this contest (more on that in a bit).
The Broncos went 5-11 and 6-10 under Van Joseph and he was 'shown the door.' Vic Fangio was hired in January and it's his first head coaching job. Fangio is known as a terrific DC and his defenses have consistently been among the most productive in the NFL in a number of categories, including scoring defense, total yards allowed and fewest penalties. His defenses have ranked in the league’s top-five in yards allowed in eight of the last 12 years, while placing in the NFL’s top-5 in fewest points allowed seven times over that span. We'll have to wait until the regular season to judge if he was a good hire. The Broncos have played three preseason games, starting out with a 14-10 win over the Falcons in the Hall of Fame Game (needed a TD with 1 1/2 minutes remaining to beat a team which has now lost 12 straight preseason games.) Denver followed with a 22-14 loss at Seattle, before losing this past Monday at home to the 49ers, 24-15
The Rams looked disinterested in Week 1 in a 14-3 loss at Oakland, gaining just 190 total yards with just 10 FDs. Things weren't much better in Wee2, as the Rams lost in Hawaii 14-10 against the Cowboys. LA gained 270 yards (with 14 FDs) in that one but went scoreless in the second half. McVay has treated the preseason as merely exhibition games and it's worked well. He took over a franchise in 2017 that hadn't had a winning season since 2003 and has won back-to-back NFC West titles, going 11-5 in 2017 and 13-3 last year. Some may remember, the Rams almost beat the Pats in last year's Super Bowl.
There can be little argument that McVay's reserves are better than Denver's. Flacco and Lock (team's No.2 QB) will NOT see time here, as Kevin Hogan will start, backed up by Brett Rypien. Hogan may have been 36-10 as Stanford's starting QB but he's played in just eight NFL games (one start), with four TDs and seven INTs (61.5 QB rating. Hogan is 13-of 30 (43.3%) for 104 yards (zero TDs and one INT) in the 2019 preseason. Rypien is a rookie who did throw the game-winning TD pass in the HOF game but hasn't played since. As for the Rams, Blake Bortles should see plenty of action at QB and let's not forget that he was the overall No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft by Jacksonville. He threw for 35 TDs and almost 4,500 yards in 2015 and in 2017, led the Jags to the AFC championship game at New England, where Jacksonville coughed up a 4th-quarter lead.
As noted above, this game will be decided by the reserves but Fangio has made it well-known he has little interest in doing anything but keeping his team healthy. It is hardly a good situation that this will be Denver's fourth game in FOUR different cities this preseason, plus will be back on the field again next Thursday in Denver. Sure, McVay has played it close to the vest in the preseason but his team has gone 3-1 SU in home preseason games the last two years (lone loss came by two points). NOTE: This will be LA's LONE home game of the 2019 preseason.
|08-22-19||Jaguars v. Dolphins -2.5||7-22||Win||100||11 h 35 m||Show|
My 8* NFLX Las Vegas Insider is on the Mia Dolphins at 8:00 ET.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have opened NFLX 2019 at 0-2, getting shut out 29-0 at Baltimore in Week 1 and then losing 24-10 at home 24-10 in Week 2 to the Eagles. The Jags have started so poorly at least in part (maybe largely?) due to the fact that head coach Doug Marrone has decided to sit his starters as much as he can this preseason in the hopes his crew will be fresher on Opening Day. In the team's home loss to the Philadelphia, Marrone sat 31 players , including QB Nick Foles. Foles has yet to play this season but he is expected to make his Jaguars debut here. However, for how long?
The Dolphins are SIX seconds from opening 2-0, as the Bucs edged Miami 16-14 last Friday night in Tampa, by kicking the game-winning FG with six seconds left on the clock (Bucs won, 16-14). The Dolphins beat the Falcons 34-27 in Week 1 (who doesn't beat Atlanta in the preseason, these days?). Rookie head coach Brian Flores has named Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Dolphins starter for this Week 3 game and that generally means Fitzpatrick will start the team's season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, September 8. However, backup (?) Josh Rosen has stated that he just wants to improve and is not focused on the QB battle. “I’m not focusing on the competition at all,” Rosen said after practice Tuesday. “I obviously care about playing and all this, but in terms of where I stand, I really couldn’t care less about the whole competition. I’m really just trying to be the best that I can be. Fitz is trying to be the best that he can be. We’re trying to help each other. A rising tide raises all ships. Either one of us that proves worthy to rise the tide the most, I guess, will be the guy. But it’s about becoming the best quarterback that you can be. It’s not about just kind of one-upping the guy next to you because that sort of defeats the purpose of being a teammate in the first place.”
I believe this sets up an excellent situation here for Miami, as both QBs will be looking to shine. Sure, Foles will see some action for the Jags but why risk him too much? After all, Marrone has seen that neither Minshew nor McCough have shown that they are anywhere near "ready for primetime" the first two weeks. The duo has combined for 63 pass attempts (each has been sacked four times), without a TD pass. Overall, the Jags offense has converted just EIGHT of 28 third-down attempts (28.6%). Miami wins this one going away.
|08-22-19||Giants v. Bengals -2.5||Top||25-23||Loss||-108||10 h 20 m||Show|
My 9* Situational Stunner is on the Cin Bengals at 7:00 ET.
The New York Giants will play their first road game of the preseason on Thursday when they head to Cincinnati to take on the 1-1 Bengals. The Giants have been a big surprise, scoring 31 points in a nine-point win over the Jets on Aug 8 and then beat the Bears 32-13 last Friday. Eli Manning went 4-of-4 against the Bears for 42 yards and a TD, prized-rookie Daniel Jones has looked comfortable through two preseason games. He went 5-of-5 in Week 1 with a TD and the 11-of-14 for 161 yards in Week 2 and another TD. Is there a QB controversy? Reports say that Eli Manning will be the starting QB in Week 1 of action. With that said, expect Jones to get even more snaps and reps with the first unit this week.
The Chiefs overwhelmed the Bengals at KC in Week 1, winning 38-17. However, Cincy rebounded in Week 2, winning 23-13 at Washington last Thursday. No. 1 QB Andy Dalton has thrown exactly nine passes in each of the first two games, completing 14 or 77.8%. However, he does not have a TD pass and has one INT. Rookie QB Ryan Finley was terrific in the win at Washington, completing 20-of-26 for 150 yards with two TDs and zero INTs. Dalton should see a little more time here in this Week 3 (dress rehearsal) contest but expect Finley to keep getting significant work.
The Giants have overachieved so far the first two weeks and away from home, expect a drop-off. OBJ is in Cleveland plus the team has all sorts of 'holes' in its receiving corps. WRs Corey Coleman is out of the season with a torn ACL, Sterling Shepard will not be playing in the preseason contests after suffering a broken thumb in last Thursday’s drills and Golden Tate is on suspension in four regular season games for taking banned substances that enhance playing performance.
This marks Cincy's first home game of the preseason and marks the home debut of rookie head coach Zac Taylor. Note that Finley played at NC State and had just as good a year (arguably slightly better) than Daniel Jones had at Duke. Jones was the sixth overall pick by the Giants, while Finley went in the fourth round (104th overall). Will (can) Finley make a point, here? More importantly, expect a let down for the Giants after scoring 63 points in their first two games, while the Bengals win Taylor's home debut.
|08-19-19||49ers v. Broncos -1||Top||24-15||Loss||-110||11 h 33 m||Show|
My 10* NFLX Monday Night Game of the Year is on the Den Broncos at 8:00 ET.
The 49ers had some high hopes for 2018 after finishing hot the previous season, but the team was riddled with injuries to key players, most notably QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo is expected to be available by the start of the regular season and as I noted in taking the 49ers (over the Cowboys) in NFLX Week 1, San Francisco should have one of the better backup QB battles in the league. C.J. Beathard (10 starts) and Nick Mullens (eight starts) have both "had their moments" in regular season action. Beathard was 13 of 17 for 141 yards and Mullens 11 of 17 for 105 vs Dallas, (each had a TDP and an INT). The 48ers' D held Dallas scoreless in the second half and the 49ers won 17-9.
The Broncos went 5-11 and 6-10 under Van Joseph and he was 'shown the door.' Vic Fangio was hired in January and it's his first head coaching job. Fangio is known as a terrific DC and his defenses have consistently been among the most productive in the NFL in a number of categories, including scoring defense, total yards allowed and fewest penalties. His defenses have ranked in the league’s top-five in yards allowed in eight of the last 12 years, while placing in the NFL’s top-5 in fewest points allowed seven times over that span
The Broncos eked out a 14-10 HOF game win over the Falcons but as all know, EVERYONE beats Atlanta in the preseason recently (Falcons are 0-11 since 2017). The Broncos then lost 22-14 in Week 1 at Seattle but as most know as well, Pete Carroll is one of the NFL's best preseason coaches. Joe Flacco will be Denver's starting QB come the regular season but he won't see much time this preseason but I would expect him to see some action in Denver's 'home opener,' which is also Fangio's first home game. Drew Lock completed 17 of 28 for 180 yards (TD and INT) last week and is playing a lot in these preseason games, getting familiar with the offense and what is expected of him.
San Francisco's Kyle Shanahan has now won each of his first three NFLX Week 1 games as the Niners' head coach but note the last two preseasons, he's 1-5 SU the other six. He almost HAS to win to cover in this contest and I believe the motivation all sides with the home team in this one.
|08-16-19||Dolphins v. Bucs -2.5||Top||14-16||Loss||-130||11 h 21 m||Show|
My 10* NFLX Game of the Week is on the TB Bucs at 7:30 ET.
Miami’s rookie head coach Brian Flores picked up a "W" in his debut, as the Dolphins edged the Atlanta Falcons 34-27 last Thursday. It's great to get a win but the Dolphins were fortunate. The Falcons have now lost 10 straight preseason games and it's easy to see why. Atlanta was The Falcons were flagged for 12 penalties (97 yards) and with the game tied at 27-all at the two-minute warning, Atlanta turned it over on downs by failing on fourth-and-nine from its own 16-yard-line! How about that for game-management! Two plays later, Miami scored the winning TD!
Bruce Arians is not new to coaching, as his regular season record is 58–33–1 (.636) and he's earned Coach-of-the-Year honors twice, in 2012 (Indy) and 2014 (Arizona). However, he is new at Tampa. His Bucs’ offense gained 479 yards and gained 31 FDs at Pittsburgh last week but came up on the short end of a 30-28 final (TB went for two after each of its final two TDs, failing both times).
Ryan Fitzgerald had some good games for the Bucs last season and is now expected to be Miami's starting QB (note: he had better skill players to work with at Tampa Bay). Josh Rosen is also looking to win the starting QB job and got plenty of work vs the Falcons. However, he was under pressure regularly by an opponent (Atlanta) that excels in losing preseason games (now 10 straight for the Falcons). In the end, Rosen looked like no more than an average NFL quarterback.
Bruce Arians is loaded with energy and his early press conferences strongly indicate he intends to be aggressive and wants to get a winning attitude established. The Bucs have gone 5-11 in consecutive seasons and Jameis Winston has won only 21 of 56 career starts as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. Winston finished 5 of 6 for 40 yards with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin in his lone series of action vs Pittsburgh. The Bucs faced third down just once during his 12-play, 81-yard drive. "It was a perfect drive," Arians said. "We ran the ball well, and that sets up a lot of stuff for us. I thought Jameis took what was there." I expect to see Winston a little more here and note that the Bucs have beaten the Dolphins in FOUR of the teams' five preseason meetings going back to 2011. Great spot for the home team here vs its in-state rival.
|08-15-19||Packers v. Ravens OVER 37.5||Top||13-26||Win||100||34 h 43 m||Show|
My 10* NFLX Total of the Year is on GB/Bal Over at 7:30 ET.
I had a "Best Bet" win with the Ravens in Week 1 (29-0 over the Jags), saying "What I can't ignore is that John Harbaugh leads his team into the 2019 preseason on a 13-game winning streak, going 11-2 ATS (that's an 85% winning situation). Sure, the Ravens will eventually lose a preseason game but isn't that what a reasonable person would have said entering 2018? However, Baltimore then went 5-0 in 2018's preseason, which began with a HOF game win." So here we go again. The Ravens are now on a 14-game win streak (12-2 ATS), as they welcome the Packers to M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday.
Matt LaFleur’s guided Green Bay to a 28-26 home win over the Houston Texans at Lambeau Field in his head coaching debut for the Packers last Thursday. Aaron Rodgers was nowhere to be found but QB DeShone Kizer somehow managed to not commit any errors, going 8 of 13 for 102 yards and a touchdown, while Tim Boyle had 40 passing yards and two TD passes on 4-for-5 completions. A win is a win but there has to be some concern that the Green Bay D allowed 419 yards (and 29 FDs!), 'escaping' because Houston committed FOUR turnovers (or did Green Bay force those TOs?).
Baltimore has entered the "Lamar Jackson era" and the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner directed two scoring drives in three possessions last Thursday. Speaking of turnovers, Baltimore’s defense had FOUR interceptions, including one that was returned for a TD by cornerback Cyrus Jones. Not sure if the Ravens will use Jackson as much here (he played the entire 1Q in Week 1) and if that's the case, rookie QB Trace McSorely will have a bigger load. McSorely had 85 passing yards and an interception on 9-for-22 completions against the Jags.
The Packers don’t have any urgent reason to play Aaron Rodgers in these exhibition games but the veteran did offer a hint at his upcoming schedule recently by saying, "I'm probably gonna play, I would assume, in the second and third games,” That said, we should expect to see plenty of Kizer, Boyle, and rookie Manny Wilkins sharing the quarterbacking duties. Kizer has been known for his carelessness since joining the NFL, so he could be a 'sitting duck' for Baltimore’s relentless stop unit. I won't back Baltimore here but rather I'm "Goin' Over." Baltimore averaged 25.4 PPG in going 5-0 during last year's preseason and opened by scoring 29 points in 2019's Week 1. Up against a GB defense that allowed 400--plus yards at home (as well as 29 FDs), I don't see the Ravens having much trouble scoring again here, whichever QB is playing. However, the Baltimore D doesn't figure to be quite as stingy this week and let's NOT ignore the fact that the Packers scored 28 points last week, even without Rodgers. Not sure why this total has dropped from the Opening Number but I view this a s 'rocking chair' Over.
|08-10-19||Cowboys v. 49ers -4||Top||9-17||Win||100||58 h 43 m||Show|
My 10* Game of the Week is on the SF 49ers at 9:00 ET.
The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers meet Saturday at Levi's Stadium in the final game of NFLX Week 1 action. Jason Garrett took over as the Cowboys' head coach during the 2011 season,. He went 8-8 in each of the next three years but Dallas has won the NFC East three times over the last five seasons. However, Dallas has yet to advance past the Divisional Round in the postseason. Is this finally going to be a make-or-break season for him? Jim Harbaugh took over at San Francisco in 2011, with the 49ers having suffered EIGHT consecutive non-winning seasons. He led the 49ers to a 36-11-1 record the next three seasons, losing twice in the NFC championship game and once in the Super Bowl. However, after an 8-8 season in 2014, Harbaugh and the 49ers mutually agreed to part ways. The 49ers have followed with records of 5-11, 2-14, 6-10 and 4-12, the last two under current head coach Kyle Shanahan.
There is no doubt that Garrett is under a ton of pressure to win in 2019 but this is the preseason. Dallas was 0-4 in last year's preseason and under Garrett, the Cowboys are just 13-20 SU and 11-22 ATS in the exhibition season. Prescott won't see much if any time in this one and the team's backup QB battle between Cooper Rush and Mike White features players without a single NFL start, with neither having played well in limited opportunities. Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be ready by the start of the regular season but unlike Dallas, San Francisco should have one of the better backup QB battles in the league. C.J. Beathard (10 starts) and Nick Mullens (eight starts) have both "had their moments" in regular season action. Don't be surprised if either (both?) carve up the second and third-unit defenses of the Cowboys.
The 49ers are 2-0 in Week 1 preseason games Shanahan, scoring 27 and 24 points in those games (better than most!).
|08-08-19||Jaguars v. Ravens -4||Top||0-29||Win||100||33 h 45 m||Show|
My 9* Situational Stunner is on the Bal Ravens at 7:30 ET.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens meet Thursday at M&T Bank Stadium. The Jags are "all in" with Nick Foles at QB but he is hardly expected to see any real action in this road game (note: Jags host the Eagles, Foles' former team, next Thursday). As for the Ravens, they've officially entered "the Lamar Jackson era." That said, like Foles, Jackson won't be around for long on Thursday night.
We know that second and third-stringers typically determine Week 1 winners (SU & ATS) but what I can't ignore is that John Harbaugh leads his team into the 2019 preseason on a 13-game winning streak, going 11-2 ATS (that's an 85% winning situation). Sure, the Ravens will eventually lose a preseason game but isn't that a reasonable person would have said entering 2018, but Baltimore then went 5-0, which began with a HOF game win.
Why "step in front of the Ravens' winning streak" with a Jacksonville team which will feature QBs Tanner Lee, Alex McGough and Gardner Minshew. That trio has combined for ZERO pass attempts in an NFL game!
|08-26-18||Bengals +1.5 v. Bills||Top||26-13||Win||100||32 h 44 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Cincinnati Bengals (4:00 EST).
The Bengals enter a “make or break” season in 2018/19 and they’ve come out of their corner swinging early with a 2-0 NFLX start. I think Cincinnati keeps the foot on the gas for one more week.
Buffalo enters at 1-1.
Cincinnati scored all of its points in the second half of its 21-13 win over Dallas last week. QB Andy Dalton took a few snaps and finished 5 of 7 for 41 yards, while backup Matt Barkley threw a TD strike as well in the fourth quarter. Third stringer Jeff Driskel had 119 yards and an INT. The Bengals were tough defensively last year and that’s so far been the case in the early going as well this season.
Buffalo has a QB battle going on right now after AJ McCarron suffered a collarbone fracture. Rookie Josh Allen and Nathan Peterman are now duking it out for the No. 1 job. Peterman is 17 of 30 for 231 yards, two TD’s and an INT so far in the preseason, while Allen has gone 18 of 32 for 176 yards and two major scores.
Injury news for the Bills sees DT Kyle Williams out after suffering a knee injury against Cleveland.
This is indeed just the preseason, but I still think it’s worth pointing out that the Bengals are 7-3 ATS in their last ten on the road.
I like the Bengals’ QB’s and Cincinnati’s defense has also impressed early. Grab the points.
|08-25-18||Titans v. Steelers -4||Top||6-16||Win||100||30 h 1 m||Show|
My 10* 35-CLUB PLAY is on the Pittsburgh Steelers (4:00 EST).
Both teams come in off brutal losses, but I think Pittsburgh will be the one to bounce back in Week 3.
Tennessee enters off a 30-14 home loss to Tampa Bay, while Pittsburgh was destroyed 51-34 at Lambeau.
If recent history is any precedence, then the Steelers have to be liking their chances today though because when these teams met in the regular season last year Pittsburgh would smash Tennessee 40-17.
Titans’ QB Marcus Mariota was 4 of 7 for 80 yards and a TD last week. Backup Blaine Gabbert had 116 yards and a major score as well. WR Taywan Taylor had a huge game in a losing cause with 94 receiving yards and two TD catches. Both Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker will be out with injury this week.
I think the Steelers come out and play with aggression from the very start as they look to atone for last week’s beatdown. Mason Rudolph was 5 of 11 for 47 yards, one TD and one INT. James Washington the rookie had four catches for 92 yards, while RB James Conner had 57 yards on five carries.
Whether Roethlisberger plays or not today, I like the home side here. Tennessee simply doesn’t put a lot of stock into actually winning preseason games, as evidenced by the fact that it’s just 1-5 ATS in its last six preseason contests. Besides, the Steelers have put up 65 points already over the first two games with Big Ben on the sidelines anyways.
Conversely, the Titans’ QB’s have mustered a total of two TD’s over the first two games.
Lay the points and expect a rout.
|08-25-18||Chiefs +2 v. Bears||20-27||Loss||-103||27 h 3 m||Show|
My 8* PERFECT STORM is on the Kansas City Chiefs (1:00 EST).
KC comes in off a 28-14 road win over Atlanta in Week 2 and I think it’ll carry that momentum over here at Soldier Field. Chicago returns home after getting the better of Denver 24-23 in Week 2.
The Chiefs have looked good at the QB position so far in the preseason. Last week Pat Mahomes was 8 of 12 for 138 yards and a TD. Overall Mahomes is 13 of 19. Backup QB Chad Henne has 85 yards and a TD so far. RB Kareem Hunt has so far been quiet, but he had a monster 2017/18, going for 1,327 rushing yards and 455 receiving yards. Defense was a strength for KC last year and it should be decent again this season as well.
The Bears saw Mitchell Trubisky go 9 of 14 for 90 yards, one TD and an INT. Back-up Chase Daniel had 189 passing yards and two TD’s. RB Jordan Howard finished with 32 yards on nine carries. The defense though did not look particularly dominant against the Broncos’ reserves.
I think the Chiefs have looked better on special teams and defensively in the early going and I think that’ll be the difference on Saturday afternoon. That said, grab the points.
|08-24-18||Packers v. Raiders -3||6-13||Win||100||128 h 19 m||Show|
The third pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Oakland Raiders (10:30 EST).
Green Bay has looked awfully good in the early going, most recently hammering the Steelers 51-34 at home. Backup QB Brett Hundley was 6 of 9 for 77 yards. DeShone Kizer also looked good with 149 passing yards and two TD’s.
I’ll point out though that the victory did come at a cost, as RB Jamaal Williams was lost with a sprained ankle.
Oakland fell 19-14 to LA in its latest action. Note though that all of the key offensive starters were sitting on the bench in that meaningless contest. Expect to see most of the starters back in tonight for the majority though. Backup QB Connor Cook was just 6 of 12 for 49 yards, but starter Derek Carr, RB Marshawn Lynch and receivers Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson could all see time today.
Ultimately I think that Green Bay knows what it has in its backups. It already knew what it had in Aaron Rodgers. The Packers won’t want to risk anything here,
Oakland on the other hand is a work in progress and with the main offensive stars seeing the majority of time and trying to leave an impression, everything points to a home side blowout in my opinion. Play on the Raiders.
|08-24-18||Lions v. Bucs -2||33-30||Loss||-110||127 h 49 m||Show|
The second pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8*) (8:00 EST).
Tampa lost to Detroit in the regular season last year 24-21. Detroit is so far 0-2 in the preseason, while Tampa is 2-0.
The Lions have scored just 27 points so far in the preseason. That’s total. The ground game has just 77.5 yards total. LeGarrette Blount has 53 yards over the first two games. Matt Stafford is expected to see more time in this one, but I think he’ll struggle in this difficult venue.
Detroit has looked decent defensively in the early going, but once again I believe the unit will struggle on the road against the Bucs up-tempo offense.
Tampa beat Miami 26-24 and then followed that up with a 30-14 road victory at Tennessee in Week 2. Jameis Winston was 13 of 18 for 226 yards and two TD’s last week, while Justin Watson had 54 receiving yards and a TD.
Last year the Bucs were brutal defensively, but so far over the first two preseason games they’ve given up just 19 total points.
I like Tampa to keep the foot on the gas for one more week in front of the home town crowd. Lay the points.
|08-24-18||Broncos v. Redskins OVER 42.5||29-17||Win||100||125 h 19 m||Show|
The first pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the over Broncos/Redskins (8*) (7:30 EST).
Two teams hungry for a victory in Week 3 collide on Friday night and suffice it to say, I think that offensive “shootout” is written all over it.
Denver will be especially motivated tonight after falling 24-23 to Chicago at home last Saturday. Backup QB Paxton Lynch was just 5 for 11 for 39 yards, but Chad Kelly looked pretty good by going 7 of 9 for 90 yards. And in the opener against the Vikes Kelly threw for 177 yards and two TD’s.
Defensively the Broncos were a bit of a mess last week and I think the unit will once again have its hands full here against the Redskins.
Washington enters off a 15-13 win over the Jets in Week 2, as QB Alex Smith would go 4 for 6 for 48 yards. Backups Kevin Hogan and Colt McCoy though were a combined 19 of 27 for 198 yards.
The Redskins looked decent defensively against the Jets backups, but clearly the competition level goes up immensely in Week 3.
I’m banking on these two teams fighting hard all game long and for this total to fly over sooner, rather than later.
|08-23-18||Eagles v. Browns UNDER 42||Top||0-5||Win||100||102 h 4 m||Show|
My 10* TOTAL OF THE WEEK is on the under Eagles/Browns (8:00 EST).
Week 3 of the preseason means that each team will play its starters for the majority of this one. While each side has plenty of offensive talent, neither will be playing their starting pivots long and as such, I’m expecting this one to sneak under the number once it’s all said and done.
Philadelphia looks to atone defensively as well after last week’s 37-20 road loss at New England in a rematch of the Super Bowl.
Overall Cleveland has looked good in the preseason, winning in Week 1, before faltering in last week’s 19-17 home loss to Buffalo. Regardless, the Browns run game and defense have been the stand out units to this point.
Cleveland is trying to figure out who its starting QB is going to be as well, with Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield both looking impressive early. But the run game stole the show last week for the Browns, totalling 164 yards on the ground. Rookie Nick Chubb was impressive with 53 yards and a major score.
The Eagles have gotten superb QB play from third-stringer Sudfeld to this point, but I think he’ll struggle against the Browns’ talented starting defensive line-up.
I believe these offenses will stall on the National stage and I expect the defensive units and special teams to be the main story lines in tomorrow’s summaries. Play the under.
|08-20-18||Ravens v. Colts UNDER 43||Top||20-19||Win||100||33 h 7 m||Show|
My 10* O/U SUPER TOTAL is the under Ravens/Colts (8:00 EST).
It’s the preseason. It’s Week 2 of the preseason. This is arguably the most unimportant game of the entire year for both teams.
Next week though is the “real deal,” as Week 3 is considered the “dress rehearsal” for Week 1 of the regular season.
With two wins already (a victory over the Bears in the Hall Of Fame Game), I think the Ravens are going to go through the motions as they look ahead to the much more important Week 3 match-up.
Indianapolis beat the Seahawks 19-17 on the road last week, holding Seattle to just 87 rushing yards on 22 carries. Baltimore looked dominant defensively as well last week in its 33-7 victory at home over the LA Rams, holding them to just 49 passing yards (granted Jared Goff wasn’t playing, but it was still a confidence building performance for the unit nonetheless).
Jacoby Brissett has looked decent in his backup role to Andrew Luck, who was 6 of 9 for 68 yards in the win over the Seahawks. The Ravens got competent backup play as well from Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III.
But I think this one will resemble more of a “chess match” than a run and gun high-scoring “shoot-out.” Play the under.
|08-18-18||49ers +1.5 v. Texans||Top||13-16||Loss||-110||130 h 46 m||Show|
The third pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the San Francisco 49ers (10*)
San Francisco got the better of Dallas 24-21 last week, while Houston beat Kansas City 17-10 on the road.
It was the way the 49ers closed that makes me think they’ll come out fired up here, as they were down 14-0 before then storming back to shock the Cowboys. Nick Mullens was 11 of 13 for 141 yards one INT and one game winning TD. CJ Beathard was 10 of 20 for 181 yards. Jimmy Garoppolo was just 3 of 6 for 34 yards, but he’s expected to see a lot more time today.
Houston is expected to give QB DeShaun Watson a little more playing time in Week 2 after he only saw one snap in Week 1. Backup QB Brandon Weeden struggled in the regular season after Watson went down last year, but he looked decent in the Week 1 victory by going 9 of 11 for 97 yards and two TD’s.
Watson though isn’t expected to play much and the 49ers depth at the QB position makes them the correct call in this meaningless Week 2 contest in my opinion. Play on San Francisco.
|08-18-18||Bengals +3 v. Cowboys||21-13||Win||100||129 h 51 m||Show|
The second pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Cincinnati Bengals (8*) 7:00 EST
The Bengals come in off a 30-27 home win over Chicago last week and I think they’ll carry that momentum over here. Dallas has big expectations on its shoulders this year and it came out in Week 1 of the preseason and lost 24-21 to the 49ers.
Last week Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton was 6 of 8 for 103 yards, two TD’s and one INT. RB Giovani Bernard had 23 yards on four carries. AJ Green had two catches for 48 yards.
Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott was 3 for 3 for 39 yards and one TD last week. Backup QB Cooper Rush had 145 yards and a TD as well. RB Bo Scarbough had 33 yards on nine carries and had two catches for 19 yards.
Neither team’s defense looked very sharp last week, so I’m calling that are a “wash” right now. Cincinnati though has the offensive depth to stretch the home side and keep this one competitive and while I obviously wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can in what I expect to be a battle to the end.
Play on the Bengals.
|08-18-18||Jaguars +4 v. Vikings||14-10||Win||100||123 h 47 m||Show|
The first pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Jacksonville Jaguars (8*) 1:00 EST
Jacksonville looks to bounce back in Week 2 of the NFL preseason after falling 24-20 at home to New Orleans last week, while Minnesota looks primed for a letdown here in my opinion after its 42-28 road win over Denver.
The Jaguars actually had a 13-10 half time lead in Week 1, but they’d be unable to hold on late with the back-ups and wanna-be’s falling short. RB Leornard Fournette had 24 yards, while four different receivers posted at least 20 receiving yards. I think it’s also worthy to note that Josh Lambo kicked a pair of long field goals, connecting from 49 on each.
Minnesota looked great, as Kirk Cousins hit all four of his passes for 42 yards. Backup Trevor Siemian was 11 of 17 for 165 yards, two TD’s and an INT. The Vikings looked average defensively though, and note that they did allow a pre turn for a score law in the first half.
The hungrier team is the one which has more to prove. And the team that has more to prove this week are the defending AFC South champions. While I obviously wouldn’t be completely shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can as I look for this one to come right down to the wire.
Play on the Jaguars.
|08-17-18||Bills +3.5 v. Browns||19-17||Win||100||106 h 30 m||Show|
My 8* Situational Stunner is on the Buffalo Bills (7:30 EST).
Cleveland comes in off a 20-10 win over New York in its opener and suffice it to say, I think it’s primed for a letdown here in Week 2. Buffalo on the other hand will be slightly more motivated in this meaningless Week 2 matchup after falling 28-23 to the Panthers in my opinion.
Nathan Peterman was 9 of 10 for 119 yards, a TD and an INT for the Bills last week. Third-stringer Josh Allen was 9 of 19 for 116 yards. Buffalo got offensive production as well from RB Marcus Murphy with 65 rushing yards and a score, while WR Kelvin Benjamin had 59 yards on four catches with a TD.
The Browns got 212 yards and two TD’s from Baker Mayfield last week. Tyrod Taylor also produced an offensive TD, while WR Antonio Callaway made seven catches for 87 yards.
I think Cleveland’s already seen enough of Mayfield though at this point to know what it’s going to get. The all important dress rehearsal is up next and I believe the Browns get caught looking past here.
Buffalo’s depth on offense though is the difference maker for me though and I look for it carry over its momentum from last week. While the outright win is obviously not out of the question, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can.
Play on Buffalo.
|08-17-18||Giants v. Lions -3||Top||30-17||Loss||-110||105 h 1 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Detroit Lions (7:00 EST).
New York comes in off a 20-10 home loss in Week 1 to Cleveland, while the Lions return home after a 16-10 loss in Oakland last week. When these teams met in the regular season last year, Detroit won 24-10 on the road.
Giants’ starting QB Eli Manning was 4 of 7 for 26 yards last week. Last year he had a poor 19/13 TD/INT ratio. Backup QB Davis Webb was just 9 of 22 for 70 yards. RB Saquon Barkley had 43 yards on five carries, including a 39 yard dash.
Detroit looks to bounce back here after falling in Oakland in Week 1. QB Matt Cassel was 10 of 18 for 81 yards and zero TD’s. QB Jake Durock had 12 passes for 84 yards. RB Kenyon Johnson was a bright spot with 34 yards on seven carries.
A large part of the Lions’ defensive unit sat out last week, but more starters are expected to see action this week, including DE Ziggy Ansah.
Is it relevant that Detroit is 4-1-1 ATS in its last six against the NFC? It certainly doesn’t hurt! And note that the Giants are now just 1-4 ATS in their last five preseason contests.
I think that the home field advantage can’t be overlooked as a very real deciding factor in this particular matchup. Lay the points.
|08-16-18||Steelers v. Packers UNDER 37.5||Top||34-51||Loss||-110||82 h 21 m||Show|
My 10* TOTAL OF THE WEEK is the under Steelers/Packers (8:00 EST).
Last week Pittsburgh won 31-24 over Philadelphia, while Green Bay won 31-17 at home last Thursday night. Note that the Steelers won 31-28 over the Packers in the regular season last year.
These teams have opened the pre-season with a couple of high-scoring games, but I’m expecting more of a “chess match” in Game 2.
Steelers’ QB Landry Jones was 4 for 4 for 83 yards and a TD, while Mason Rudolph had 101 passing yards on seven completions. Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell will not be playing in this one. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t see any time last week, but he should tonight. Big Ben will get his feet wet and hand the ball off a few times before then making way for Jones and company.
The Pack got solid performances from a couple hopeful QB’s in their Week 1 victory over the Titans. Brett Hundley was 9 of 14 for 121 yards and a TD, while DeShone Kizer was 9 of 18 for 134 yards.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers did not see any time last week, but he’s also expected to see a few snaps this week. The Packers offense will primarily be focusing on establishing its run game in the preseason though, last week Jamaal Williams had 16 yards on five carries (last year he had 556 rushing yards in his rookie season.)
Week 2 of the preseason is completely meaningless. These teams are already looking ahead to their Week 3 “dress rehearsal,” where starters will see action for almost the entire game in preparation for Week 1 of the “real deal.”
I think these teams go through the motions late and this one ultimately sneaks under the number once it’s all said and done.
|08-10-18||Falcons +3.5 v. Jets||Top||0-17||Loss||-105||35 h 46 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on the Atlanta Falcons (7:30 EST).
Atlanta went 0-4 in the preseason last year and then went 10-6 in the regular season. New York was 2-2 in the preseason last year and then it went 5-11 in the regular season.
The Falcons are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, including players like Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman and defensive standouts Deion Jones and Vic Beasley. Atlanta has a battle for backup QB position between Kurt Benkert, Matt Schaub and Garrett Grayson this pre-season.
The Jets were a disaster last year, but the organization has hope with draft pick QB Sam Darnold expected to compete for the starters position this season. Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell form a potentially potent backfield. The defense got better in the offseason with the acquisition of Trumaine Johnson. Expect to see a lot of Josh McCown under center tonight.
I think the depth with their secondary players carries the Falcons to solid a cover in their first game of the 2018 preseason. Grab the points.
|08-09-18||Rams +3 v. Ravens||7-33||Loss||-105||33 h 14 m||Show|
The second pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the LA Rams (8*) 7:30 EST
The Ravens held on for a win over the Bears in the Hall Of Fame Game last week, but I think they’ll suffer a predictable letdown here in Week 1 of the Preseason.
LA was 2-2 in the preseason last year, before finishing 11-5 overall, on its way to earning the NFC West Crown and ultimately losing 26-13 to Atlanta in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Baltimore was 4-0 in the preseason last year, before then finishing a disappointing 9-7 overall and missing the playoffs.
Jared Goff is expected to see time under center tonight for the visitors and last year he was 296 of 477 for 3,804 yards, 28 TD’s and seven INT’s. His backup is Sean Mannion. Mannion’s back-up is Brandon Allen.
Todd Gurley won’t see much (any?) time today at RB for the Rams, meaning that we’ll see a battle between Justin Davis and Malcolm Brown for the backup role.
Baltimore elected not to use starting QB Joe Flacco last week and instead got decent production from Robert Griffin III (7 of 11 for 58 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), Josh Woorum (6 of 37) and Lamar Jackson (10 of 33 for a TD and INT.) The defense came up big though, taking advantage of the Bears’ struggling back-up QB’s.
Flacco is expected to see some time today, which I in fact think is a detriment to the Ravens. I like Goff in his limited time to make a significant enough impact early on to turn the tide in favor of the Rams, and while I obviously wouldn’t be completely shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on LA.
|08-09-18||Redskins +3.5 v. Patriots||Top||17-26||Loss||-110||33 h 13 m||Show|
The third pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Washington Redskins (10*) 7:30 EST
New England lost in the Super Bowl last year and I think it’ll stumble in its preseason opener.
Washington was 2-2 in the preseason last year, before then finishing 7-9 overall. The Patriots were 1-3 in the preseason, before finishing 13-3 in the regular season.
Washington acquired Alex Smith in the offseason to replace Kirk Cousins at QB. Sith had 4,042 passing yards and a 26/5 TD/INT ratio. Colt McCoy will see most of the time tonight though and this is his third year in the system. Kevin Hogan will also see some snaps.
The Patriots are one of the most talked about franchises in all of sports, led by QB Tom Brady. Brady will see no time in this one though. In fact, don’t expect to see any of the Pats’ key starters suiting up tonight. That means we’ll be seeing a lot of back-up QB’s Brian Hoyer and Danny Etling. Etling will make his NFL debut tonight, while Hoyer posted a 4/4 TD/INT with the 49ers last year.
Washington’s back-up QB’s are a lot better than New England’s and their familiarity of the current system make the Redskins the correct call in this Week 1 preseason matchup.
Grab as many points as you can, play on Washington.
|08-09-18||Saints +3 v. Jaguars||24-20||Win||100||33 h 54 m||Show|
The first pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the New Orleans Saints (8*) 7:00 EST
I like to keep my Week 1 NFLX analysis succinct. New Orleans was 2-2 in the preseason last year and then 11-5 in the regular season, eventually losing 29-24 to Minnesota in the NFC Divisional round. Jacksonville was 2-2 in the preseason, before finishing 10-6 in the regular season. The Jags would then fall 24-20 to the Pats in the AFC Championship Game.
The Saints have a battle for backup QB between Tom Savage and Tayson Hill. Savage played eight games for the Texans last year and he’d go 125 of 223 with a 1,412 yards, five TD’s and six picks.
Blake Bortles is the starting QB in Jacksonville, meaning we’ll see a lot of Cody Kessler under center tonight for the home side. Kessler has played in 12 games. Note that he’s 0-8, completing 138 of 217 passes for six TD’s and three INT’s while also getting sacked 27 times.
I think Jacksonville is going to take a big step back this season, while the Saints look poised for another deep playoff run. And it all starts in Week 1 of the preseason. While I obviously wouldn’t be shocked the outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on the Saints.
|08-02-18||Bears v. Ravens UNDER 33||Top||16-17||Push||0||83 h 3 m||Show|
My 10* TOTAL OF THE WEEK is on the under Bears/Ravens (8:00 EST).
It’s difficult to completely analyze player match-ups in the pre-season, as not even the coaches know for sure until just before game time who will be suiting up.
This one though will feature plenty of back-up QB’s competing for a job. The Bears will see Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel seeing considerable time with starter Mitchell Trubisky not expected to see any.
The Ravens’ Joe Flacco and company haven’t made the playoffs in three years and he’ll be challenged this season by Robert Griffin III and draft pick Lamar Jackson.
On paper Baltimore has the advantage at QB in this one, but all of these back-up pivots are under a new system and will be working with their units for the first time in a real game atmosphere.
With each offense working through growing pains to open the pre-season, I expect these competent defensive units to become the main story-lines in tomorrow’s summaries.
The main challenge for each offense is that there are so many new faces in the receiving corps. New systems, new QB’s, new faces. It all adds up to a lower-scoring “chess match,” rather than a high-scoring run-and-gun “shoot-out.”
For all the reasons listed above, play the under.
|08-31-17||Seahawks v. Raiders +1.5||Top||17-13||Loss||-105||32 h 54 m||Show|
This is a 10* 34-Club Play on the Oakland Raiders (10:00 EST).
I base my picks on many different things. I consider myself quite adept at picking which team I feel will be the more “motivated” in a particular matchup and that’s the case with Oakland tonight.
No need to overanalyze this selection in my opinion. Seattle is 3-0 SU/ATS in the preseason, while Oakland is 0-3 SU/ATS.
The preseason is meaningless, however the Raiders would love nothing more than to get a single victory before heading into the real thing. A win in front of the home town crowd would be big for the team and the fan base.
Conversely, Seattle has already accomplished what it set out to do in the preseason. I’m expecting the Hawks to simply go through the motions today as the team looks to avoid any serious injuries to any of the back-ups and wannabe’s.
And it’s as simple as that for me on this one. This play is not about who is on the field of play today, or who plays for how long etc, it’s about which of these two clubs is the overall more motivated.
Play on Oakland.
|08-27-17||Bears +3.5 v. Titans||Top||19-7||Win||100||27 h 17 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Chicago Bears (1:00 EST).
Both teams are 1-1 SU/ATS as we head into Week 3 of the 2017 preseason.
Tennessee beat the Jets before then falling to Carolina, while the Bears lost to Denver before then beating the Cardinals
The Bears will once again be getting a good long look at rookie QB Mitch Trubisky in this one, so far he’s 18 for 25 for 166 yards, one TD and no INT’s, while also rushing for 38.
Tennessee is expected to give Marcus Mariota the entire first half, so far he has just 11 passes through the first two games. Note though that Mariota will be without two of his top pass catchers in Eric Deicker and Corey Davis to injury.
I’ll point out as well that Chicago is 4-1 ATS the last five in this series, while Tennessee is just 7-21-2 ATS in its last 30 in front of the home town crowd.
I think Trubisky can take advantage of this Titans defense, which struggled in last week’s loss.
Grab as many points as you can, play on the Bears.
|08-26-17||Raiders v. Cowboys -3||Top||20-24||Win||100||83 h 47 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Dallas Cowboys (8:00 EST).
These are two teams with big aspirations, but I think the Cowboys will find a way to get the job done in their own stadium.
Dallas was 13-3 last year and then fell at home to Green Bay in the playoffs.
Oakland was 12-4, but lost starting QB Derek Carr in Week 16 of the regular season, causing the team to predictably get bounced in the first round to the Texans.
Carr was 7 of 9 for 100 yards and two TD’s last week, but his team would utlimately fall 24-21. Lee Smith and Michael Crabtree caught the TD passes.
Dak Prescott is the man in Dallas now, he’d win 13 of his 14 starts last year and throw 23 TD’s to just four INT’s. Prescott was 7 of 8 for 108 yards and a TD last week, while RB Darren McFadden had 59 yards on nine carries.
I think Prescott outduels Carr in this one and I like Dallas to continue its progression on the defensive side of the ball as well.
Lay the points.
|08-26-17||Bills +3.5 v. Ravens||9-13||Loss||-105||82 h 38 m||Show|
The first 8* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Buffalo Bills (7:00 EST).
I simply feel this one means a lot more to Buffalo as it’s 0-2 to open the preseason.
Conversely, the Ravens are 2-0 and look primed for a bit of letdown in my opinion.
The Bills fell 17-10 to Minnesota and then 20-16 to Philaelphia, while Baltimore won 23-3 over Washington and then 31-7 over Miami.
Buffalo has averaged 385 YPG over the first two games, but managed just 13 PPG average. Tyrod Taylor led an offense which averaged 25 PPG last year and he’d go on to post 3,023 passying yards, 17 TD’s and six INT’s.
The Bills have looked solid on the defensive side of the ball, allowing just 18.5 PPG and 285.5 YPG.
With the majority of the starters finally all playing together on the offensive side of the ball tonight, I’m expecting to see a much more rounded overall performance from Buffalo in this one.
Ryan Mallett will be backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore this year. But Flacco is out with injury right now, meaning Mallett will once again see the majority of time today (also giving way to rookie Josh Woodrum.)
The Ravens have also looked sharp on the defensive side of the ball early, allowing 129 YPG and just 10 PPG over the first two. Clearly these numbers are unsustainable though and I believe the unit will finally get tested today from this focused Bills offense.
I think the more determined team will at the very least keep this one close enough to sneak in through the back door down the stretch. Grab the points, play on the Bills.
|08-26-17||Cardinals v. Falcons -3.5||24-14||Loss||-105||82 h 37 m||Show|
The second 8* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Atlanta Falcons (7:00 EST).
So far Atlanta is 0-2 to open the preseason, but it will play the all important Week 3 “dress rehearsal” at home in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Arizona is 1-2 and comes in off a 24-23 loss to Chicago at home last week.
Atlanta has jumped out to early leads in each of its first two preseason games and then has taken the foot off the gas once the backups and wannabe’s hit the field.
However, NFL MVP QB Matt Ryan will be supported by Tevin Coleman for most of this one and I expect the home side to keep the pedal to the metal from start to finish.
This has been a matchup which has favored Atlanta, as the Falcons are 4-1 ATS the last five in this series.
I like Ryan to lead his team to an early insurmountable lead in front of the home town crowd in the new stadium, as the place is expected to be absolutely rocking from start to finish.
Arizona’s lack of depth on both sides of the ball will prove to be its downfall again this week.
Lay the points with confidence, play on the Falcons.
|08-25-17||Chiefs v. Seahawks UNDER 43||Top||13-26||Win||100||59 h 30 m||Show|
My 10* TOTAL OF THE WEEK is on the under Chiefs/Seahawks (8:00 EST).
A couple of teams with big aspirations go head-to-head in Week 3 of the preseason on Friday night and for a number of different reasons, I think this one will sneak below the posted number once it’s all said and done.
Seattle is 1-1 in the preseason so far and KC is 2-0. The Hawks beat Minnesota 20-13 last week and the Chiefs thumped the Bengals 30-12.
KC got TD passes from three different QB’s last week and the defense also looked sharp in holding the Bengals to four field goals.
The Chiefs are firing on all cylinders right now on both sides of the ball.
The Hawks held a 406-320 yards advantage over the Vikings last wek. The offensive line took a hit though with tackle George Fant being lost for the season with an ACL tear.
QB Russell Wilson played the entire first half and he was 13 of 18 for 206 yards and a pair of TD’s.
Both Alex Smith and Wilson are expected to see the majority of time today as well, but I think what each of these offenses really needs to work on is the run game. For these teams to really be effective in the regular season, each will need its run game to improve dramatically from last year.
So with each team putting an emphasis on the run while on offense tonight, all signs do indeed point to the under as the sharp move in this one.
|08-24-17||Dolphins v. Eagles -3.5||Top||31-38||Win||100||35 h 40 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM on the Philadelphia Eagles (7:00 EST).
Both teams come into this one at 1-1 SU/ATS. With Week’s 1 and 2 in the books, Week 3 represents the all important “dress rehearsal.”
These teams are evenly matched on paper, but I think that the home field advantage will prove to be the deciding factor once it’s all said and done.
Miami struggled in a 31-7 loss to Baltimore last week, while Philadelphia enters off a momentum/confidence building 20-16 victory over the Bills.
Miami QB Jay Cutler was three of six for 24 yards. Backup QB Matt Moore had 11 yards on three passes. RB Jay Ajayi had two carries for a loss of two yards.
As horrible as the offense looked overall last week, the defense was even worse.
Which doesn’t bode well in my opinion in facing a focused Carson Wentz this evening. Matt McGloin saw the majority of snaps last week and looked decent under center for Philly, but Wentz will see most of the action today.
The Eagles looked especially quick on the defensive side of the ball and I think the unit will have another big night against this shaky Miami offense that’s still looking for an identity at this point.
Miami only put up 120 yards of offense last week and it doesn’t appear as if it will have any easier of a time in this raucous atmosphere.
I think Philadelphia’s depth at QB and the home field factor prove to be too much for the floundering Fish. Lay the points.
|08-21-17||Giants v. Browns OVER 39||Top||6-10||Loss||-110||33 h 44 m||Show|
My 10* MNF NFLX TOTAL OF THE YEAR is on the over Giants/Browns (8:00 EST).
Both teams come in off lower-scoring unders in Week 1, with the Giants falling 20-12 at home to the Steelers and the Browns pulling away for a 20-14 victory over the Saints.
Suffice it to say, I look for each to open up the playbook offensively and I expect this one to eclipse the posted number as the game comes down the stretch.
New York knows who will be under center in Week 1, so it brought in Geno Smith to backup Eli Manning. Smith was 10 of 16 for 114 yards last week. The ground game produced 73 yards in Week 1.
The Giants had a stellar defense last year (17.8 PPG conceded on average) and the unit will once again be a strength of the team this season.
The focus today for the visiting side though will clearly be on the offensive side of the ball.
And the home side will also be looking to solidy roles on the offensive side of the ball during the preseason. The Browns chose QB DeShone Kizer as their 2nd round pick and he had a good performance last week by going 11 of 18 for 184 yards and a TD.
Brock Osweiller was just 6 of 14 for 42 yards and Cody Kessler was 5 of 10 for 47 yards. Clearly all three QB’s will be looking to build off their Week 1 performances as the competition continues to heat up under center.
Cleveland finished in the very bottom in most offensive statistical categories last year and the team tried to address those issues in the offseason, adding 1st round pick TE David Njoku, as well as WR Kenny Britt and James Wright.
But the Browns were also horrible defensively last year, ranked 31st in the league in yards allowed. Cleveland drafted Myles Garrett first overall and he along with Jabrill Peppers should be the catalyst to start returning the unit back to respectability.
But with both teams putting more of a focus on the offensive side of the ball, I believe the correct call in this matchup is the over.
|08-20-17||Saints +3 v. Chargers||Top||13-7||Win||100||33 h 22 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the New Orleans Saints (8:00 EST).
Both teams are coming off disappointing Week 1 NFLX openers. New Orleans will be eager to atone for a loss to the Browns, while the Chargers were crushed by Seattle in their new home last weekend.
Drew Brees didn’t play last week and is expected to see limited to no time today as well. The Saints have three guys battling for the backup position, as Chase Daniel was four of six for 27 yards over the first two series. Garret Grayson then took over and was 11 of 16 for 126 yards and a 92.2 passer rating, the followed by Ryan Nassib, who was 10 of 14 for 110 yards, a TD and a 98.2 passer rating.
The Saints also looked decent defensively in picking up four sacks.
Philip Rivers connected with Antonio Gates for the Chargers on the opening drive last week, but then everything took a turn for the worse after that for LA.
The Bolts looked especially weak on the defensive side in conceding 458 yards of offense, including 325 through the air.
I’ll point out as well that the Saints are 9-1 ATS in their last ten on the road, while the Chargers are just 5-16 ATS in their last 21 “home” situations.
Rivers isn’t expected to see much time in this one either, which clearly doesn’t bode well for this struggling LA offense. The Saints though have three capable backs which have to be liking their chances tonight against this porous Chargers’ secondary.
While I wouldn’t be stunned by the outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on New Orleans.
|08-19-17||Jets v. Lions -5.5||Top||6-16||Win||100||33 h 40 m||Show|
My 10* Las Vegas Insider is on the Detroit Lions (7:30 EST).
Both teams are 1-0 SU and ATS, as Detroit pulled out a 24-10 victory over Indianapolis, while New York beat Tennessee 7-3 at home.
The Jets were just 5-11 last year and have a laughable QB battle going on right now between Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.
New York looked pretty good defensively, finishing with eight sacks on the night, but will now obviously be tested on a much greater level against the high-flying Lions.
Detroit backup QB Jake Ruddock had two TD passes last week, each to rookie WR Kenny Golladay. Starter Matt Stafford only saw one series, but he is expected to get a few more tonight.
I’ll point out that New York is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven on the road, while Detroit is 5-2 ATS in its last seven at home.
I have a hard time seeing the Jets mustering much of an offense today. Should be a spanking from start to finish, lay the points with confidence.
Play on the Lions.
|08-18-17||Vikings v. Seahawks -2.5||Top||13-20||Win||100||35 h 22 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Seattle Seahawks (10:00 EST).
I use many different techniques to handicap games. For this selection I’m not focusing so much on who will actually be on the field of play tonight, but more on the “situation” that both sides find themselves in coming into this contest.
Minnesota opened the NFL preseason with a convincing 17-10 win at Buffalo in Week 1. Now the Vikes have to travel across the country for a late night West Coaster, before then heading home for Week’s 3 and 4.
With a victory on the road already and with their eyes already onto their Week 3 matchup at home against the 49ers, tonight’s contest in Seattle sets up as a classic “letdown” spot for the Vikings.
The Seahawks absolutely annihilated the Chargers 48-17 in Week 1 and should be even more fired up tonight in the first game in front of the home town crowd. The backups and wannbe’s all looked great for Seattle and we should expect the starters to see even more action this evening.
It’s a great situational play as I’m expecting another Seahawk rout from start to finish. Lay the points.
|08-17-17||Bucs +1.5 v. Jaguars||Top||12-8||Win||100||34 h 39 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:00 EST).
The Bucs will be ready for a much better showing after falling 23-12 to the Bengals on the road last week.
Conversely, it would appear as if this could be a classic “letdown” spot for the Jags after their big Week 1 road victory in New England.
Jameis Winston was 9 of 13 on the opening drive. He should see a bit more time today. The Bucs will also be leaning heavily on WR Mike Evans this year, last week had four catches for 47 yards.
Tampa looked sharp defensively as well, allowing a total of 176 yards.
Jacksonville was playing like it was in the Super Bowl in Week 1 and managed a victory on the road against the defending champs. QB Chad Henne had a 97-yard TD pass to Keelan Cole, while third-stringer Brandon Allen also converted for a major score.
I’ll point out though that Tampa is 6-1 ATS in its last seven on the road, while Jacksonville is just 2-4 ATS in its last six after scoring 30 points or more on the road in its previous outing.
I like the Bucs to find a way to get the better of their contented cross state rivals. Play on Tampa.
|08-17-17||Ravens v. Dolphins -2.5||31-7||Loss||-120||33 h 39 m||Show|
The first 8* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Miami Dolphins (7:00 EST).
Baltimore looks primed for a letdown here in my opinion after beating Washington 23-2 at home on Thursday.
Miami also comes in off a win, getting the better of Atlanta 23-20 at home. With two tough road games to end the preseason, including the all important “dress rehearsal” in Week 3, I’m expecing the Fish to come in focused on the task at hand.
Joe Flacco is sitting out the entire preseason for the Ravens, meaning we’ll see a bunch of Ryan Mallet this evening (finished 9 of 18 for 58 yards.) Taquan Mizzell led the way on the ground in that one for Baltimore with 51 yards on 15 carries.
The defense looked sharp, but I think it’ll have a much more difficult time on the road.
Miami QB Jay Cutler should see time today. QB David Fales was 8 of 17 for 184 yards, two TD’s and an INT last week.
The Dolphins defense looked sharp, completely shutting out the Falcons in the fourth quarter.
I think Baltimore goes through the motions today as it looks to prepare for Week 3, while I expect Miami to take advantage of familar surroundings and find a way to get the job done at the end of the night.
Lay the points.
|08-17-17||Bills +4.5 v. Eagles||16-20||Win||100||33 h 39 m||Show|
The second 8* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Buffalo Bills (7:00 EST).
While I obviously wouldn’t be completely shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can.
Buffalo will be eager to notch its first win of the preseason after falling 17-10 at home to Minnesota last week.
Philadelphia is also looking to get off the schneid after falling 24-9 at Green Bay.
Buffalo starter Tyrod Taylor should see more time today. There is a battle for backup in Buffalo between Nate Peterman and TJ Yates.
The Bills defense looked sharp in the opener allowing 90 yards on the ground to the Vikes and 152 through the air.
Eagles’ starting QB Carson Wentz hit all four of his passes before exiting last weekend. Wentz is also expected to see limited time in this one. With Wentz on the bench, the Eagles managed just a FG the rest of the way.
Philadelphia backup Matt McGloin was 28 of 42 for 205 yards and an INT. The run game managed just 47 yards in the setback.
The Eagles’ defense looked decent, but should be tested much more by this determined Bills’ unit.
Buffalo went toe-to-toe with a tough Minnesota team, while the Eagles were in complete disarray without Wentz in the line-up.
I think this one comes down to the wire, so grab the points!
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