The Redskins and Titans kick off Week 1 of the NFL preseason, and the NFL odds favor Tennessee in this position at -2.5, with a total of 34.5 points. Which team should you back with your NFL picks? We know our answer.
Even though he probably wouldn’t have played much at all in this game if he were healthy, RG3 is still recovering from his knee surgery. That will mean that the very talented, Kirk Cousins will start in this game for the Skins. While the quarterback depth chart battle from 2-4 is still going on this preseason, a bigger issue for the Skins will be to stay healthy, and to figure out the running back battle behind Alfred Morris.
From 2-4, there are a lot of talented running backs that Washington has, and coach Shanahan loves to find sleeper running backs. I expect Morris to get a few series and then the backups to battle it out for the rest of the game.
With that being said, to have a game where you look at the running a lot, you won’t necessarily be throwing the ball too much. Shanahan has nothing to prove here, and at least for this first game, I see him using this game more as a warm-up, and to evaluate some of his young talent. Shanahan does have a great preseason record at 49-23 SU, but he has more guys coming back from major injuries that he’s had in a while. Besides Griffin, Brian Orakpo, Fred Davis and Pierre Garcon are all coming back from or trying to manage injuries. Shanahan is going to the bench quickly in this game, and I expect he might run on third down some as well, more looking to evaluate and not to win the game.
For more NFL offseason coverage, check out our Redskins Season Win Total Odds report!
Munchak’s hot seat
One more disappointing season in Tennessee might mean Munchak’s job. Coaches in this situation are almost always in search of every win they can get, and that’s why I think he will run with his guys much longer than Shanahan does in this game. Last year in the preseason, he played Matt Hasselbeck the entire first quarter, and then gave the reigns to Jake Locker for the 2nd quarter.
While there isn’t much of a QB controversy in Nashville, I could see Munchak giving Locker a bit of a run, even though he has injury concerns. They have improved the offensive line a lot this season, and even if he doesn’t get more than a few series, Ryan Fitzpatrick is right behind him, and is more than capable of shredding 2nd and 3rd string defenses. The Titans need to see what they have behind Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright in the passing game, and I expect plenty of air time for Locker and Fitzpatrick while they’re in there.
After losing in Week 1 of the preseason last year, Munchak and the Titans went on to win their next three preseason games SU. In his tenure in Nashville, the Titans are 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS.
Don't forget to also review our Titans Season Win Total Odds article!
The Sharp Pick
In a game where one side is without their starting quarterback, their coach has nothing to prove, and they are on the road against a coach, quarterback and entire team that has something to prove, I’m taking the desperate team nine times out of tenm for my sports picks.
Even though Mike Shanahan has a dominant preseason ATS record of 44-34-2, he is going to be into his bench before the ten-minute mark of the first quarter, and I think that will be the difference. There is no need to risk injury to anyone in early August, and even the very cavalier Shanahan knows that.
NFL Pick: Take the Titans at -2.5 points (look around for better odds if you can)Have a different opinion? Share it on our message boards!