Both teams are coming off good wins in Week 1 of the preseason, and now they play one another from Cleveland. Week 2 is normally where the starters get at least a quarter of action, and I think we can expect that much from both offenses and probably defenses in this game. For Cleveland, Trent Richardson will come in and play a few series in this game, but I doubt we see too many first team guys play past the first quarter.
With that being said, I have to go with what I know here, and what I know is that Jim Schwartz is a master of winning in the preseason. Including their win last week, under Schwartz, the Lions are 12-5 ATS, and they are 3-1 SU in Week 2 of the preseason. The Browns are good, but they beat up on a Rams team that didn’t put too much effort into the first preseason game. Now against a team trying to win the game, I doubt they’ll be as successful. I see Matt Stafford playing a majority of the first half and getting the Lions out front, and the Browns 2nd string offense will be hard pressed to catch up. I’m on the Lions for my NFL picks in this one.
NFL Pick: Lions +1.5 at Ladbrokes
This is my favorite bet of Thursday, and I am really surprised that this line is as high as it is. The NFL odds favor the Eagles here by -3, even after they looked really bad in Week 1. With the quarterback battle going on, I doubt the Eagles should be favored here, and that’s why I love the underdogs in this one. Nick Foles will get the start at QB for the Eagles while Michael Vick will come in later. As I’ve stated before, a QB battle is not advantageous to winning in the preseason, especially when you’re as bad as the Eagles are.
The Panthers are also installing a new offense, and Mike Shula will want Cam Newton and most of the first string offense to play a quarter of this football game, and if the Panthers jump ahead, I doubt Chip Kelly will spend too much time trying to come back with his short pass offense. I think the Panthers have great value here going up against a very overvalued Eagles team. Underdogs were 10-6 ATS in Week 1, and I think that will carry over to this week.
NFL Pick: Panthers +3 (EV) at Bet365
The Bears are a big favorite in this game, and that tells me it also might be a high scoring affair. The betting odds however have the total set at only 37 points! With these two teams wanting to install new offenses, I see not only the starters getting a long run in this one, but the ball to be put in the air a lot. Even if there are some interceptions, those could easily be returned for scores, or to set up scores.
Both of these teams gave up a bunch of points in Week 1 also, and for the Bears, I expect some of their more important skill players to see the field a little in this game, something they did not do in Week 1. The ‘Over’ was the bet of Week 1, cashing at 11-5, and I also think that trend will carry over into Week 2. Mike McCoy and Marc Trestman will both want to put points on the board early against one another, and this total is just too low for the potential of these two offenses.
NFL Pick: Chargers/Bears OVER 37 at William Hill
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