Early Betting Value On These Spread Winners For NFLX Week 3

Minnesota Vikings

Matthew Jordan

Monday, August 22, 2016 6:50 PM GMT

Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 6:50 PM GMT

Preseason means little in the NFL, but if there's one week that does matter it's Week 3 as starters should play at least the first half because they probably won't at all in the finale. Here are some early value betting lines for NFL picks.

New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers 
Potential Super Bowl preview on Friday? Certainly possible. But we apparently will not see Tom Brady play. He was to start last week's game against the Bears but sliced open his thumb pregame while trying to remove something from his cleat with a pair of scissors. I mean, do the Patriots not have locker-room personnel to do this for their star quarterback? Maybe the guys who deflated the balls? It doesn't sound like Brady will play here. And while I'm sure Coach Bill Belichick wants to give Jimmy Garoppolo all the reps he can, Belichick also might be extremely cautious with Garoppolo because he if he were to get hurt, then the Patriots are up the creek the first four games of the regular season with Brady suspended for those. 

Here's something interesting to know about Carolina: it has finished at least .500 in the preseason in each of its seven all-time playoff seasons, including a 3-1 mark last year. The Panthers' lone preseason loss in 2015 was 17-16 in the third exhibition game at home to the Patriots. Brady played the first half and was 7-for-13 for 84 yards with two picks and a TD. Carolina's Cam Newton finished 17 of 28 for 160 yards and a touchdown.

No Brady most likely and probably not Rob Gronkowski or Julian Edelman, either. They haven't played yet in the preseason. Plus Panthers can assure at least a .500 record with a win so they are the NFL pick.

 

Free NFL Pick: Panthers -3.5 -105
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Los Angeles Rams vs Denver Broncos 
This matchup is Saturday. The Rams have had the benefit of playing their first two games at home in front of enthusiastic crowds in Los Angeles. And while I'm not going to say that crowd noise makes a big difference in preseason games, it's still different playing on the road and especially in the thin air of Denver. So I could see Rams No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff struggle in his first road action. He reportedly is losing his quarterback battle with veteran journeyman Case Keenum. 

These are two of only three teams to have an ongoing quarterback battle -- with San Francisco the other, although by all appearances Blaine Gabbert will win that job over Colin Kaepernick. Denver coach Gary Kubiak is now saying that rookie Paxton Lynch still has a chance to win the QB job over veteran Mark Sanchez and second-year Trevor Siemian. Both those latter guys have had their struggles this preseason. Sanchez started Game 1 and Siemian in Game 2. Lynch threw two TD passes and looked the best of the three in Saturday's home loss to the 49ers. For what it's worth, the Broncos are 8-2 all time against the Rams in preseason games.

 

Free NFL Pick: Broncos -5 -106
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle 

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San Diego Chargers At Minnesota Vikings 
It's the first game being played in the team's glistening new U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, and this will definitely matter to the Vikings. Somewhat fitting it comes against the Chargers, who are trying to get a new stadium in San Diego and could move to Los Angeles if a ballot measure in November to raise funding for said stadium fails as expected. Will Minnesota QB Teddy Bridgewater start the game? He did in Minnesota's first preseason game but then didn't play at all last week in a minor surprise. He has a minor shoulder injury. 

You might even see Adrian Peterson get a few snaps even though he hasn't played a preseason game in years.  The Bolts, meanwhile, have to deal with a 10 a.m. Pacific time kickoff. And they were clobbered at the University of Minnesota in Week 3 of the 2015 regular season by the Vikings, 31-14 in a game that wasn't that close. Peterson rushed for 126 yards and two scores.

Apparently you should always bet the Vikings in the preseason as they are 10-1 under Coach Mike Zimmer following wins at Cincinnati and at Seattle this year. 

 

Free NFL Pick: Vikings -4 -106
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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