There were several teams that looked sharp in limited action this past week. This could be a nice indicator of their NFL Odds value to come for the rest of the preseason, and possibly the regular season. Here are three teams that won in Week 1, in more ways than just one.
The Cardinals are in a tough spot this season. Their division is the toughest in all of football, and their defense looked like it might not be as tough as last season. However those concerns were lifted just a little bit this past week, as they stomped the Texans 32-0. Carson Palmer looked great in his only drive of the game, going 5/5 with a touchdown. Arizona’s three quarterbacks combined 27/34, with 326 yards passing, three touchdowns and no picks. The Cardinals may not be able to win this division this season, but they were a ten-win football team last season and they could easily repeat it. They were also the best ATS team in the country last season going 11-5 ATS. Don’t sleep on the Cardinals for a second season in a row.
The Bears would have had a better week than the Cardinals if wasn’t for their newly acquired center’s injury. Brian de la Puente suffered an MCL sprain when his knee was rolled up on during the Bears’ preseason game last week. However he looks like he’ll be ready to play by the start of the season. Other than that injury, the Bears’ offense continues to look like one of the leagues best. The Bears’ three QBs combined for 399, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Jay Cutler went 9/13 with 85 yards and a touchdown, and the Bears’ first string defense held the Eagles’ offense scoreless in the first quarter. They also turned the Eagles over twice in the first quarter as well. If this defense can return to form and stay that way, Chicago’s future odds are warranted. Don’t look now, but Chicago might be a Super Bowl contender this season, and with Bet365 offering them at +3300, Bears backers could have a very profitable season.
Not only did the Jags win and cover in Week 1 of the preseason, but also their third overall pick, Blake Bortles looked like a pretty solid quarterback during his first NFL start. Bortles was 7/11 with 117 yards in his time against the Bucs this past week, and if he can string together a couple of good starts, it could easily put him in a position to start early in the season, if not in Week 1. Another odd but bright spot for the Jags was Denard Robinson. The former 5th round pick took some snaps at running back, and even though he didn’t look that great, he busted out the winning 23-yard run in the 4th quarter to give the Jags the victory over Tampa. With the exit of Maurice Jones-Drew this offseason, the Jags are turning to Toby Gerhart to be the workhorse. While Gerhart didn’t plat last week, it looks like he might get his first action with Jacksonville in Week 2 of the preseason. If Robinson can give them a change of pace weapon that can catch the ball as well, it will add a lot to the Jags’ somewhat thin offense.