Preseason Picks of the Day, August 13th

Jay Pryce

Sunday, August 13, 2017 1:48 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017 1:48 PM UTC

Our NFL Preseason Picks of the Day likes two reigning postseason teams squaring off against non-playoff foes. Click here to read why the Lions and Seahawks will come out winners versus the Colts and Chargers on Sunday.

Lions vs. Colts

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told reporters on Saturday his first-team “needs a little work,” but gave no indication they would play more than a series or two on Sunday versus the Colts. “Every case is going to be different. Some you may see in there, some you may not.”

The lead-up is very similar to last season’s exhibition opener when the Lions beat the Steelers 30-17. The two held joint practices together prior to the matchup, and some healthy Detroit starters didn’t touch the field. Star quarterback Matt Stafford made a brief appearance, tossing for 58 yards on 4 of 6 passing before fumbling on his final possession. The Lions and Colts practiced together on Thursday and Friday. Stafford may or not play in this one. Jake Rudock, Stafford’s backup, and rookie Brad Kaaya will see the most reps under center.

If the joint practices are any indication, don’t expect much production out of the Colts’ offense in this one. Head coach Chuck Pagano called the passing game “sloppy” after the fact. The O-line is riddled with injuries and throwing downfield problematic. Quarterback Scott Tolzien is serving as starter until Pro Bowler Andrew Luck returns from offseason shoulder surgery. Tolzien should see a good run-out with Stephen Morris and Phillip Walker getting the lion’s share of snaps. Morris has served on the practice squad the last two seasons, while Walker has never tossed an NFL pass.

The Lions defense reportedly bossed the Colts in the pair of workouts, exposing many of Indy’s flaws offensively. Look for the unit to dominate again. Caldwell has won his last three preseason openers, holding teams to 10.7 points per game. Pick Detroit PK for your best bet.

Free NFL Pick: Detroit PKBest Line Offered: at JustBet

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 Seahawks vs. Chargers

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll believes his roster is better top to bottom than it has been the last few years. Pairing down 90 players to the final 53-man roster will be difficult. One can expect a competitive environment with intense player evaluations to dominate the preseason.

One vital area up for grabs is back-up quarterback. Carroll remarked preseason performances between Trevone Boykin and Austin Davis will dictate who he chooses to serve as No. 2 to Russell Wilson. Each will get plenty of opportunities versus the Chargers.

The O-line is where the biggest battle will take place. It ranked dead last in the NFL last season. There has been a new lineup in camp nearly everyday. Expect first and second-unit personnel to see a lot of action as Carroll and his coaches experiment with specific combinations in search of starting crew.

The Chargers enter the game with a lot of new coaching. You can expect a few errors, a little confusion, and plenty of growing pains early on. Rookie head coach Anthony Lynn is the man in charge with veteran Ken Whisenhunt and Gus Bradley running the offense and defense.

Bradley, who comes over form leading the Jaguars, switched the team to a 4-3 defensive scheme. Whisenhunt likes to spread the defense horizontally and vertically via the passing game. This requires superb quarterback vision and execution. Philip Rivers will excel, but is slated to play one series Sunday—as with most starters according to Lynn. Kellen Clemens, Cardale Jones, or Mike Bercovici will get the most snaps under center. Whether they can execute in the new system will likely determine the winner.

The Seahawks’ depth and free-for-all preseason approach will make the difference in this matchup. Carroll is 5-2 SU in Week 1 of the preseason, his team averaging 22.4 points per game. Since 2004, not including this year, postseason teams from the prior season catching points versus non-playoff opponents cover the spread at a 58 percent clip (100-73) in the exhibition period. Take the points with Seattle in the NFL Odds.

Free NFL Pick: Seahawks +1.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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