Betting NFL Preseason Has Bills as Bullies in Washington

Doug Upstone

Monday, August 22, 2016 8:01 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 8:01 PM UTC

When watching or betting NFL preseason football, Week 3 is regarded as the most important game. Nobody, including me has ever gone back and looked at what the outcomes ultimately meant.

But this we know, this is one and only true dress rehearsal before opening game in which the first team will play into the third quarter and the practices are run in a similar manner to regular game week.

Both Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins are coming off victories last week to square records at 1-1. Here is the news and what to look for in making NFL picks from an expert who is 80-58 ATS in the NFL preseason since 2003.


Credit Buffalo players and coaches for keeping team focused Saturday, after news on RB Karlos Williams (cut), DT Marcell Dareus (4-game suspension) and LB Manny Lawson (possible suspension on conduct policy). The Bills thoroughly dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage in 21-0 shutout of the New York Giants, in which the score could have been much worse.

Coming into Buffalo's first away game, the tandem if Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel does not bring back visions of Joe Montana and Steve Young with San Francisco, but they are two effective quarterbacks, who can utilize the play-action pass. They are even more effective if the Bills running game is churning, where they make plays on third and short.

The defense now has the Ryan's brothers scheming together and while exotic blitzing will not be the same in this matchup as say the regular season, they will certainly run some of their staple blitzes against Washington to see how they react and how effective Bills defenders can be.


In Washington's 22-18 cover as three-point favorites Friday, there were mostly positives. Colt McCoy showed he's ready to step in at a moment's notice as the backup quarterback for Kirk Cousin's, with a complete understanding of Jay Gruden's offense. Tight end Vernon Davis is a blocking machine and his presence will make an average offensive line better and improve the running game. Defensively, the Redskins did allow over 300-yards passing, but not all the regulars played, which no doubt played a part in yardage allowed.

In reviewing the Redskins, this is not a team of superior talent, rather a collection of individuals who have proven they can thrive in particular roles and work cohesively as units. Washington might have won NFC East last year, but were still only 9-7 and if more than two players think this team has arrived, Gruden's group goes back to under .500 in 2016.

Buffalo's physical style and pressure defense is an excellent test for a squad that will want to prove last year was only the beginning, not an exclamation point.


Odds and What to Look For
The NFL odds have Washington at -3, with a total of 43.5. Though not necessarily a fan of either head coach, by appearances Buffalo is a little further along at this time and the Redskins have been out-gained relatively handily in two contests. Washington comes in 2-11 ATS after a game with a turnover margin of +2 or better. Let's make the case for better quarterbacks and squad with Buffalo. 


Free NFL Pick: Buffalo +3

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