A Closer Look at the 2018 NFL Preseason Schedule

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David Schwab

Monday, April 16, 2018 4:34 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 16, 2018 4:34 PM UTC

The NFL has released this year’s complete preseason schedule starting with its annual Hall of Fame Game. Some of the matchups in the exhibition season have already created any number of interesting storylines for sports bettors eager for some action at 5Dimes.

While the games do not count in the standings, they still count for anyone betting on the games. The Cleveland Browns failed to win a single matchup in the 2017 regular season after going a perfect 4-0 both straight-up and against the spread in four preseason games. New England cruised to another AFC title at 13-3, but it went 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS in its four exhibition games.

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Here's the NFL's full 2018 preseason schedule https://t.co/qpqzycgj8F

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 11, 2018
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Hall of Fame Game

The 2018 NFL preseason kicks things off on Thursday, Aug. 2 with the Chicago Bears squaring off against the Baltimore Ravens in Canton, Ohio. Along with the induction of a Hall of Fame class that includes flamboyant wide receivers Terrell Owens and Randy Moss as well as Ravens great Ray Lewis, the top storyline for this game with be Robert Griffin III’s attempt to resurrect his career as Baltimore’s new backup quarterback.

Preseason Week 1

All 32 teams take to the field the week of August 9-13 with a full state of 16 games. The top storyline for these openers should be the debut of all the quarterbacks that come off the board in the opening round of the draft later this month. Depending on which mock drafts you believe, as many as five signal callers could be starting their NFL career as first-round picks looking to change the fortune of the teams that picked them.

One game in particular that might feature a matchup between two of these top picks is Cleveland on the road against the New York Giants. The Browns have the first pick in the draft followed by New York.

Preseason Week 2

Week 2 of the preseason usually marks the first real playing time for each team’s starters. One of the top priorities in these games is to evaluate talent, but the top priority is keeping all your starters healthy, especially when it comes to the quarterback position.

The big storyline in this round of games could be the return of quarterback Carson Wentz to the Eagles’ offense in a Super Bowl rematch against the New England Patriots. Wentz is reportedly ahead of schedule with the rehab of his injured left knee. If he cannot go, the Patriots will probably get another chance to see Nick Foles run the offense after slicing and dicing New England’s defense in that Super Bowl LII victory.

Preseason Week 3

This round of preseason games is known as the final dress rehearsal for the start of the regular season. Starters will normally play into the third quarter in what will be the first real chance for bettors to get a good look at all 32 teams.

Two teams looking to change their fortunes from a disappointing 2017 campaign face one another in Week 3 with the Arizona Cardinals going on the road to face the Dallas Cowboys. Seattle will be on the road against Minnesota in a featured matchup in the NFC, and Tennessee will square off against Pittsburgh in an AFC battle between two teams looking to make a deeper run in this year’s playoffs.

Preseason Week 4

The final week of the preseason is reserved for filling the final few roster spots on all 32 teams’ opening-day lineup. This final round of exhibition games also renews a few matchups that traditionally close out the preseason.

The Eagles will play host to the New York Jets to get ready for their title defense, and New England will be on the road against the Giants in preparation for a deep run that ends with a Super Bowl victory this time around. Philadelphia is listed as a +550 third-favorite to win the NFC behind Los Angeles (+450) and Minnesota (+500). The Patriots are listed as +250 favorites to win a third-straight AFC title.

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