Now that NFL preseason week 1 is firmly in the books, let’s recap the entire slate and determine what takeaways from the first full week of football action sports bettors should consider.
On the Betting Front
NFL preseason action closed on Saturday night with all four scheduled games going “under” set totals in NFL betting markets, bringing the sum of games in the first full week of football action to go “under” bookies’ expectations to 13 of 16 games (of 17 games if one includes the Hall of Fame game). Home teams ruled with just two games going to the road teams – Saints and Bills. Saints beat the Rams 26-24 while the Bills upset the Panthers 20-18. Overall, the record was 14-2 straight up with the home teams going 12-3-1 on the spread.
While most games were narrow affairs there were several eye-popping blowouts: Redskins overwhelming a Brady-less Patriots 23-6; Ravens demolishing the Niners 23-3; Chargers stifling the Cowboys 27-7; and, the most concerning of all, Cardinals annihilating the Texans 32-0.
NFL Preseason Week 1 Implications
In-the-know NFL bettors know that preseason is mostly about rookies, rotating line-ups and coaching experiments determining the merit of Team Depth Charts in full action rather than veterans and established playbook strategies, tactics and formations. So the implications of week 1 are debatable. That being said those outcomes can’t be dismissed entirely either, especially not where the Niners, Cowboys and Texans are concerned.
Clearly, of those three the Texans have the most work to do in preseason. The combined efforts of Fitzpatrick, Keenum and Savage left much to be desired, while the Niners and Cowboys have issues on both sides of the ball that need to be improved if they are to compete in the regular season.
Dominating storylines to come out of Week 1 NFL preseason action naturally centred on the rookies. Manziel, who’s enjoyed non-stop media attention since signing with the Browns, pleasantly surprised in his NFL debut against the Lions. He wasn’t amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but he wasn’t the dunce some expected he’d be either.
Cleveland Browns fans have something to look forward to after all, it would seem. So too can Jacksonville Jaguars fans be quietly optimistic about their upcoming season. Blake Bortles went 7-of-11 for 117 yards in Jaguars’ 16-10 win over Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It wasn’t all happy news on the rookie quarterback front though. Teddy Bridgewater barely struck an audible chord in his appearance for the Minnesota Vikings, thoroughly outplayed by Matt Cassel in their opener against the Raiders.
Looking Ahead to Preseason Week 2 Betting
There are many interesting clashes on the books that NFL bettors should spot on their NFL picks. Jacksonville Jaguars open week 2 of NFL preseason action on Thursday when they take on the Chicago Bears on the road, pitting two winners in week 1 against each other. Other winners colliding include the Titans and Saints and the Cardinals and Vikings. Which teams will continue on winning form?
High-octane offenses will be on full display when the Patriots host Eagles and the Niners host Broncos. Meanwhile something is going to have to give when the losers in week 1 collide: Packers @ Rams and Dolphins @ Buccanneers. Finally, the Giants look to make it three in a row when they descend on the Colts in week 2.