NFL handicappers like yours truly are ready to exploit the Point Spread odds again, as preseason enters week 3. We run through the entire slate, serving up NFL picks for each and every game.
Week 2 Betting Recap
Week 2 of the NFL preseason ended with home teams putting in a good show behind an 11-5-0 SU and 9-7-0 ATS mark. Overall, home teams improved to 22-10-0 SU and 20-12-0 ATS through two rounds. Favorites also went 11-5-0 SU and 9-7-0 ATS, improving the overall tally to 22-10-0 SU and 19-13-0 ATS through two weeks of preseason action. Finally, the over-under evened out this week to 8-8-0 after going 9-7-0 in week 1. Combined, the OVER edges UNDER 17-15-0 ahead of week 3 NFL preseason betting.
How Did We Do with our ATS NFL Picks?
We did ok, to be fair. With our ATS NFL picks we went 7-8-1 in week 2 NFL betting, which has us improving to 16-14-2 through two rounds of handicapping preseason games.
Let’s see how we do this week, shall we. Here goes…
Patriots vs. Panthers -1.0
It’s true that Tom Brady had a rather below par account in week 2, failing to march the Patriots down the field in his short stint. Fortunately, backup Jimmy Garoppolo was up for the task as he set up five scoring drives in a 26-24 win. Patriots are 1-1 in the preseason both SU and ATS. Panthers, meanwhile, are off to a perfect start in their warmup campaign with a 2-0 SU and ATS mark. But it was a close call against the Dolphins last week and there were plenty negative takeaways that the Panthers will look to iron out. Appropriately, this game is nestled on a tight NFL betting line and could go either way. We’re backing the Patriots as the 1-point underdogs, but don’t go betting the farm on it.
NFL Picks: Patriots +1.0
Lions vs. Jaguars -2.0
Detroit Lions’ starters looked sharp in week 2 against Washington Redskins. The moment they traipsed off the field, ceding way to the backups, the Redskins rallied. Week 3 NFL betting should see the starters play for a little longer, which could be enough to take this game away from the Jaguars, who are 1-1 in the preseason, coming off a 22-12 loss in NY.
NFL Picks: Lions +2.0
Titans vs. Chiefs -5.0
A real quarterback battle is taking place in Tennessee between Zack Mettenberger and Marcus Mariota. Mettenberger had a standout account in last week’s 27-14 win over the Rams going 7 of 9 for 91 yards and a touchdown and finishing with a 145.8 QBR. Marcus Mariota, meanwhile, went 5 of 9 for 59 yards, finishing with an 84.9 QBR. The Kansas City Chiefs, meanwhile, are a perfect 2-0 in the preseason, beating the Cardinals in week 1 on the road, all while covering as the 4-point underdogs. In week 2, they edged the Seahawks at home 14-13, coming through as the nominal home faves. Home edge tips this game in favor of the Chiefs; Arrowhead is a tough place. Besides, one win in the post-season by the Titans isn’t enough to erase those sepia-toned memories of last season’s forgettable campaign.
NFL Picks: Chiefs -5.0
Steelers vs. Bills -2.5
Steelers finally got their preseason off the mark with a 24-19 win over the Packers in week 2 preseason NFL betting. With big names falling to injury in the postseason left and right, expect the Steelers to be mindful of a stout Rex Ryan-inspired Bills defense. The starters will get more playing time, but it might not be enough to overcome the Bills on the road. What’s more, there’s a quarterback battle in Buffalo that is yet to be decided. That’s incentive for the Bills to risk a little bit more in this game than perhaps the Steelers.
NFL Picks: Bills -2.5
Falcons vs. Dolphins -3.5
Dolphins are winless in the preseason. They have a great opportunity to record a first win of the season at home before their fans. Matt Ryan and the Falcons starters have looked sharp in their limited play time, but is Dan Quinn going to risk them overly against a stout Dolphins defense? Probably not, one would think.
NFL Picks: Dolphins -3.5
Browns vs. Buccaneers -3.0
Cleveland Browns quarterback dilemma continues as Johnny Manziel gives Josh McCown a run for his money. However, the franchise is winless in the preseason. Tampa Bay Buccaneers are after their first home win of the season; heck, of the last two seasons both preseason and regular games going back to 2013. This game could go either way, really. The Bucs will be buoyed by the win over the Bengals and could potentially win a second straight game. Question is will they cover the 3-point spread against a pretty decent Browns defense?
NFL Picks: Browns +3.0
Vikings vs. Cowboys -1.5
Vikings are riding a 7-game winning streak in the postseason under Zimmerman, which includes wins over the Steelers, Buccaneers and Raiders in the lead up to the 2015-2016 NFL betting season. Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, are winless in the postseason, but they don’t appear to be overly concerned. They are taking a rather casual approach to it, resting up before the real deal gets underway next month. Altogether they’ve barely mustered up any offense worth taking stock of and put up a whopping 13 points in two games. It’s hard to back the Cowboys on our NFL picks if they take a similar disinterested approach to this game, against a side that looks to be in midseason form already.
NFL Picks: Vikings +1.5
Jets vs. Giants -1.5
The inter-state rivalry between the NY Jets and NY Giants is typically a heated clash. Both the Jets and Giants bounced back in week 2 NFL betting and will be looking to extend that form in week 3 of the preseason. Giants have the home edge but they didn’t look exactly sharp in week 2’s 22-12 win over the Jaguars. Jets struggled visibly when they faced the Atlanta starters and not until the backups showed up did they start to make headway. This game as a result is a bit of a tossup on our NLF picks. We’re going with the Giants as the -1.5 point home favorites, but feeling very little joy in our choice.
NFL Picks: Giants -1.5
Bears vs. Bengals -3.5
John Fox and the Chicago Bears are off to a flying start with back-to-back wins, including a somewhat surprising 23-11 win over the Colts. The Bengals were abominable in a shocking defeat to the Bucs in Monday Night Football, succumbing 25-11. Given the contrasting form of both teams in the preseason, we’re backing the in-form Bears.
NFL Picks: Bears +3.5
Redskins vs. Ravens -4.0
Baltimore Ravens will look to clinch their second preseason win after succumbing to the Eagles in a 40-17 loss on the road. Washington Redskins are down a quarterback now that RGIII is on the IR list with a concussion. They’ve had solid backup play, but taking it to the Ravens at the M&T Stadium is no mean trick.
NFL Picks: Ravens -4.0
Colts vs. Rams -1.5
Indianapolis Colts’ preseason leaves much to be desired as they are winless after two rounds. It’s worth noting, that they’ve lost seven straight in the postseason since a win over the Browns in 2013. Clearly, the postseason has no bearing on their regular season performances as they’ve reached the playoffs in each of those seasons. The upshot of which is that they don’t put a lot of stock into these exhibition games. St .Louis Rams aren’t taking many risks either so far, sticking with second and third-string line ups for most of their games. With two sides taking such a casual approach, it’s a coin toss. Home edge tips it to the Rams in our books.
NFL Picks: Rams -1.5
Eagles vs. Packers EVEN
Chip Kelly’s formidable Eagles hit the road this weekend, taking a 2-0 SU and ATS mark to Lambeau field where they’ll take on a Packers side still reeling from the loss of Jordy Nelson in week 2’s 24-19 loss to the Steelers. It’s natural to assume the Packers will take a cautious approach in this game for fear of more key injuries.
NFL Picks: Eagles EVEN
Seahawks vs. Chargers +1.0
Of all the games on the NFL preseason odds board, this is the only that features a home underdog. Chargers are matched as the 1-point underdogs when they host the Seattle Seahawks. That the Seahawks haven’t won a preseason game this season appears not to factor. Fact is the Seahawks haven’t looked as sharp as one might expect, losing to the Broncos and Chiefs in succession. Chargers, meanwhile, are a perfect 2-0 in the preseason and they’ll look to capitalise on home advantage in this game. Take the points with the home side.
NFL Picks: Chargers +1.0
Niners vs. Broncos -5.0
Brock Osweiller has been solid in the preseason, playing the bulk of the Bronco’s games. The Broncos are 2-0 SU and ATS, including a solid 14-10 win over the Texans in week 2 NFL betting. Niners look to be still working a lot of things out. They are a longshot NFL pick to win this game.
NFL Picks: Broncos -5.0
Texans vs. Saints -3.5
Both Ryan Mallet and Brian Hoyer struggled in week 2 of the preseason. However, some consideration must be given to the fact that the Texans were staring down the Denver Broncos, which was never going to be an easy matchup despite the NFL odds (Texans lost 23-10 as the 3-point home faves). In week 3 NFL betting, they take on the Saints at the Superdome, who are winless after two rounds. The Saints lost 30-27 to the Ravens on the road and then 26-24 at home to the Patriots. Drew Brees has seen very limited playing time as Sean Payton rests up his quarterback for the real deal. Brees performance in his preseason debut against the Patriots was encouraging, nevertheless. Given Payton’s mollycoddling ways with Brees, it’s hard to imagine he’d field him against a stout Texans defense for too long.
NFL Picks: Texans +3.5
Cardinals vs. Raiders -1.0
The Arizona Cardinals are winless in the preseason having lost to the Chiefs and the Chargers at home. In week 3 NFL betting, they take on the developing Oakland Raiders on the road as the 1-point underdogs. Look for Cardinals to work things out and record their first win of the preseason.
NFL Picks: Cardinals +1.0 at Bet365