The third week of NFL preseason is arguably the most definitive, the one NFL bettors will want to spot as teams seek to answer any lingering questions and starters get NFL ready. Here’s a preview of Friday’s slate of action complete with NFL picks.
Panthers +230 vs. Patriots -280
NFL Line: Panthers +6.5 at Patriots -6.5; total 45.5
NFL Betting Analysis: Cam Newton and the Panthers (1-1, 0-0 away) are flush off a 28-16 victory over the Chiefs in week 2. Newton had the offense clicking after a slow start and he’ll be looking to get into form when he leads the offense against the Patriots. Tom Brady and the backups fighting for the No.2 role will have their hands full with a solid Panthers defense but more snaps for Tom Brady in week 3 should give the Patriots a better chance to win at home.
NFL Picks: Panthers cover +6.5; Patriots win straight up -280; Over 45.5
Giants +105 vs. Jets -125
NFL Line: Giants +1.5 at Jets -1.5; total 43.5
NFL Betting Analysis: This is going to be a close game by all accounts. Both teams are undefeated in the preseason so something is going to have to give. The Giants are still working out the kinks in running the West Coast offense. Jets have a quarterback battle between the incumbent Geno Smith and Michael Vick. It’s a tossup really, but in a matchup that has so many variables, we’re going to go with the home team.
NFL Picks: Jets to cover -1.5 and win straight up -135
Jaguars +160 vs. Lions -180
NFL Line: Jaguars +3.5 at Lions -3.5; total 44.5
NFL Betting Analysis: Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles has raised some eyebrows behind impressive performances in the preseason, silencing naysayers who’ve taken his No.1 draft pick to task. As he’s made such a strong case, he’s likely to get a few more snaps in week 3 than he might have had otherwise. It remains to be seen how well he handles the quicker tempo of the game, the faster blitzes and the pressure that the starters will bring in week 3.
On the other side of the coin, Calvin Johnson is expected to make his preseason debut; his presence should see the Lions to put up some decent points. Both Jaguars (1-1, 0-1 away) and Lions (1-1, 1-0 home) are 2-0 ATS, with the Lions winning a narrow opener over the Browns 13-12 and then losing narrowly to the Raiders 27-26 in the preseason. Meanwhile, the under has cashed in for the Jaguars in their first two warm-up accounts.
NFL Picks: Jaguars to win straight up +160; Under 44.5
Raiders +275 vs. Packers -350
NFL Line: Raiders +7.0 at Packers -7.0; Over 43.5
NFL Betting Analysis: The spread is rather large, one of the larger spreads in week 3 NFL odds. Then again, when you consider the Packers will field most of their starters for the better part of the game, it’s hard not to like Aaron Rodgers and Company to romp the Raiders at Lambeau.
NFL Picks: Packers to win straight up -350; cover -7.0 and Over 43.5
Bears +265 vs. Seahawks -330
NFL Line: Bears +7.0 at Seahawks -7.0; total 45.0
NFL Betting Analysis: This spread is rather large considering the Bears’ offense boasts a lot of talent. The Bears are a perfect 2-0 in the preseason having beaten the Eagles 34-28 and the Jaguars 20-19. The offense is sure to test a Seahawks defense on Friday, which is after thumping a solid Chargers outfit 41-14. This NFL pick could be more of a shootout than bettors would expect as it were.
NFL Picks: Seahawks win outright at -330; Bears cover +7.0; Over 45.00