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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|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||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.
|08-10-19||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.
|08-18-18||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.
|08-17-18||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.
|08-10-18||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||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.
|08-31-17||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.
|08-24-17||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.
|08-20-17||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.
|08-12-17||Raiders v. Cardinals -3||Top||10-20||Win||100||37 h 15 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Arizona Cardinals (10:00 EST).
Oakland was 12-4 last year and to say it has big expectations this season would be an understatement. QB Derek Carr had a break-out campaign, before then breaking his leg in Week 16.
Third-string QB Connor Cook faltered in the first round of the playoffs. Carr is epxected to see no time tonight. RB Marshawn Lynch is also expected to see limited to no time whatsoever.
Arizona was just 7-8-1 last year and will be looking to regain its 2015 form.
One big advantage that the Cards have today though over the Raiders is that they’ve already played a preseason contest this year, falling 20-18 to the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game (some won, some lost and some pushed on that one depending where/when you got down.)
The preseason will be a time for the Raiders to fill a few holes and to try and not sustain any major injuries to key backups, as they’re already stacked top to bottom with the majority of their team in place.
The Cardinals though have plenty of position battles going on, so combined with having already played a game, I absolutely feel that the value tonight is on the home side.
Lay the points.
|08-11-17||Steelers v. Giants -3||Top||20-12||Loss||-125||58 h 38 m||Show|
My 10* 34-Club Play is on the New York Giants (7:00 EST).
Pittsburgh doesn’t put much stock in the preseason. Or at least it didn’t last year in going just 1-3. The Steelers would then go on to make a run at the AFC Championship.
New York finished 2-2 in the preseason and also made the playoffs last year.
The Steelers will once again have Ben Roethlisberger under center in Week 1 of the regular season, but Big Ben will likely see no time whatsoever tonight.
Pittsburgh was tenth in scoring last year and was led offensively by RB Le’Veon Bell, who will also be sitting this one out.
Bell is in fact holding out right now, which leaves Pittsburgh very thin at RB. De’Angelo Williams was let go and third round pick James Conner is injured. The Steelers were one dimensional without Bell in the line-up in the AFC Championship Game (injured) and without Roethlisberger playing either, I have a hard time seeing where the visitors’ offense will come from today.
Giants’ QB Eli Manning will also be sitting this one out. New York got the job done last year with its defensive play though, finishing second in the league in allowing only 17.8 PPG.
The Giants’ defense will once again be a strength this season and I think its depth will prove to be a big difference maker tonight.
No need to overanalyze this meaningless preseason Week 1 contest. I’m giving the big nod to New York in this one because of its defense.
Lay the points.
|08-10-17||Saints v. Browns -3||Top||14-20||Win||100||36 h 8 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Cleveland Browns (8:00 EST).
Both teams missed the playoffs last year. Both teams have plenty to work on in the preseason.
Cleveland has Brock Osweiler under center and he’ll see a bunch of snaps today.
Osweiler didn’t work out in Texas, but he was solid in Denver and has a big opportunity at redemption this season. He’ll also be sharing time with Cody Kessler.
It’s a classic QB battle to open the year for Cleveland and I think this competition will prove to be the difference maker tonight.
New Orleans knows who will be under center to open the year, as Drew Brees once again had a huge campaign in 2016/17 (5,208 yards, 37 TD’s.) The Saints also signed veteran RB Adrian Peterson (who will see limited to no time whatsoever in this one.)
New Orleans was able to put points on the board no problem last year, so the team will hardly be looking to work on that aspect of its game tonight. Clearly the Saints will be focusing on the defensive side of the ball this preseason after finishing among the bottom feeders in most statistical categories on that side of the ball.
With the Browns focusing on offense and the Saints focusing on defense in this meaningless Week 1 preseason contest, I’m going to give the advantage to Cleveland.
Lay the points.
|08-09-17||Texans +3 v. Panthers||Top||17-27||Loss||-110||100 h 36 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Houston Texans (7:30 EST).
Analysis posted at least six hours before game time.
|09-01-16||Patriots v. Giants -2.5||Top||9-17||Win||100||25 h 25 m||Show|
My 10* SIDE OF THE WEEK is on the New York Giants (7:00 EST).
The NFL preseason is meaningless. And if there was one week more meaningless than any of the others, it’s the fourth week. Teams have by and large made all the big decisions by this point and the final stanza simply offers an opportunity to fill a few “niche” voids.
With starters on both sides of the ball seeing extreme limited to no time whatsoever, I base my fourth week NFLX picks on “situations.” In my opinion, this one simply means more to the Giants than to the Patriots.
The Pats are 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in the preseason and they’re ready to start the year with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. New York though is just 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS so far in the preseason.
With one last chance to impress in front of the home town crowd, I think the Giants are the correct call here as I look for Bill Belichick and the Pats to simply go through motions today. Lay the points.
|08-25-16||Cowboys v. Seahawks -5||Top||17-27||Win||100||34 h 29 m||Show|
My 10* SIDE OF THE WEEK is on the Seattle Seahawks (10:00 EST).
The talk of the preseason so far has been the play of Dallas Cowboys’ backup QB Dak Prescott, who in last week’s 41-14 victory over the Dolphins, would finish 12 of 15 for 199 yards and two TD’s. Both Tony Romo and Prescott will get playing time today, but clearly the competition is going to be ramped up on the road in this extremely hostile environment.
The Seahawks are 1-1 in the preseason winning 17-16 in Kansas City in Week 1 and then falling 18-11 at home to the Vikes last Thursday. Backup QB Trevone Boykin was 10 of 20 for 127 yards and an INT. Russell Wilson is hoping for improved offensive line play this season, so far the unit has looked a little shaky though as he was sacked four times in his limited action last week. Thomas Rawls is the starting RB, but he’s yet to see time this preseason and won’t be in tonight’s game either. Seattle though is blessed in that position right now, we can expect to see a heavy dose of Christine Michael and Troymaine Pope.
Week 3 of the NFL preseason means that the starters will see the most time today. Romo may see a quarter of action, he’s expected to see limited time again this week. Prescott has looked great versus backups and wannabe’s, but is in for a rude awakening in facing this opportunistic Seattle defense.
Wilson should see the majority of snaps in this game and I’m expecting the pro bowler to be the difference maker today (also note that Cowboys’ star WR Dez Bryant has been ruled out for this one because of injury, which is a considerable factor taken into consideration here). I’m laying the points.
|08-20-16||Chiefs +1 v. Rams||Top||20-21||Push||0||30 h 17 m||Show|
My 10* Oddsmaker’s Error is on the Kansas City Chiefs (9:00 EST).
LA would come from behind to beat the Cowboys 28-24 in its preseason opener last week, failing to cover the 5-point spread. I think the home side is going to have a predictable letdown tonight though as I believe it’ll get caught “looking ahead” to its all important Week 3 matchup (the week when the starters see most of the playing time).
Kansas City on the other hand plays with a bit more incentive today after falling 17-16 at home to Seattle on a 37-yard pass from Trevone Boykin with no time left on the clock.
The Chiefs looked pretty good defensively versus the Seahawks and I think they’ll have a big day today as well. Kansas City has a QB battle on its hands, as coach Andy Reid has five pivot’s currently figting it out for the backup roll.
Rams first round pick Goff struggled last week, going 4 of 9 for 38 yards, including an INT. Case Keenum looked decent, going 6 of 7 for 58 yards, while Sean Mannion was 18 of 25 for 147 yards and three TD’s.
LA though looked horrible defensively considering it was up against a rookie QB in Dak Prescott, who finished 10 of 12 for 139 yards and two TD’s.
Kansas City has the upperhand at QB today with Alex Smith and Nick Foles both expected to see time. I’m banking on the Chiefs responding after last week’s last-second setback.
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