Early Top Value Plays For NFL Preseason Week 2

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 10:41 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016 10:41 PM UTC

Oddsmakers released Week 2 NFL preseason lines yesterday, and a few games jump out immediately as value plays. Take a look and read our expert handicapper's impressions.

Giants vs Bills (-2.5)
Rex Ryan’s teams are notoriously slow out of the gates, going 1-7 SU in preseason openers. But the fiery coach is known for his desire to win—even in exhibition games. He even drew criticism from outspoken Colts owner Jim Isray on Twitter following their 17-16 defeat to Indy last week, criticizing coach’s penchant for playing as if it was a regular-season contest.

Sloppy play ultimately doomed Buffalo, including two fumbles and a litany of dropped passes. Expect Ryan to remedy the problem. Moreover, coach told reporters there may be “a little extra there” against New York, implying he hasn’t lost any passion accompanied with the Jets-Giants rivalry from year’s past.

Eli Manning hinted that he could suit up for the G-Men, but expect just a couple of series. New York’s passing game was non-existent in its 27-10 defeat to the Dolphins in the opener. Ryan Nassib and Logan Thomas combined for 87 yards on 9 of 18 passes. Nassib tossed two INTs as well. Overall, the Giants coughed it up four times, which led to 24 Miami points. It's doubtful the offense will turn it around on the road against an aggressive Bills defensive unit.

Ryan is determined to overcome the takeaways and errors. Expect Bills players to cradle the ball as if it were their first-born son, offer a lot more focus in general, and play with added motivation. Lay the 2.5 points.

Free NFL Pick: Bills -3 +100
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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Eagles vs Pittsburgh (-3.5)
Philly put up 17 points in its win over the Buccaneers on Thursday, but it was an anemic offensive performance overall. It capitalized off two Tampa Bay turnovers inside the red zone, scoring touchdowns on each. The unit put up just 188 total yards, 93 rushing, and 95 passing.

Backup QB Carson Wentz, who played the majority of snaps in the opener, is out after suffering a hairline fracture in his ribs. Sam Bradford, who tossed one pass against the Bucs, will see more action, but Chase Daniel and McCleod Bethel-Thompson, who combined went 5-for-11 with 22 passing yards, will captain the offense for the meat of the game. Exhibition contest or not, Heinz Field is not a prime venue to jumpstart a visiting offense.

The Pittsburgh Steelers has some QB questions as well after oft-injured backup Bruce Gradkowski went down with a serious hamstring injury. Landry Jones, with plenty of NFL experience, and Dustin Vaughn will serve as primary backups behind Ben Roethlisberger. A good performance for Vaughn will solidify is spot on the roster. Expect both backups to operate more complex looks as the Steelers look to trim their roster. Big Ben should put in some quality minutes too.

Free NFL Pick: Steelers -3.5 -106
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Jets vs Redskins (-3.5)
Expect Bowles to lean on the pass against the Skins. Although the media is abuzz about the team carrying four quarterbacks, there is no real position battle at stake as coach confirmed yesterday Geno Smith holds the backup role to Ryan Fitzpatrick. It could be an interesting turn of events between Bryce Petty and rookie Christian Hackenburg for the third job, or New York may uncharacteristically carry all four into the regular season. Nonetheless, the Jets have some quality young talent at the wide receiver position, which is the real focus—Including Robby Anderson, Devin Smith, Jalin Marshall, and Charone Peake—and Bowles will likely want a lot of action out of the group to help with making roster decisions.

Penalties doomed Washington in their 23-17 loss to the Falcons in Week 1. The Skins were flagged 14 times for 123 yards. Offensively, it made for an ugly display. The unit had four first downs and 104 total yards in the first half. Expect much better in Week 2. Kirk Cousins will see more action, and backup Colt McCoy, who knows head coach Jay Gruden’s system well, should put in more work than rookie Nate Sudfeld this week.

The over-under opened at 40 points. We’re gonna hold out and see if adjustments to the number head south before wagering OVER the total.

Free NFL Pick: OVER 40 -107
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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