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NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 24

NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 24

NFL Preseason Primer: Saturday Game Betting Breakdown
By Bryan Power

Buffalo at Washington (-1, 42.5)

Injuries at the quarterback position are the story here for this late Saturday afternoon start time. Both the Bills and Redskins are 2-0 SU/ATS in the preseason, but the respective moods surrounding both teams are a bit darker than you’d think. In Buffalo, EJ Manuel appeared to be well on his way to winning the starting QB job in his rookie season. But after completing 26 of 33 passes for 200+ yards in two games, swelling was discovered in his left knee & he’s been lost for the remainder of the preseason. This leaves Kevin Kolb to start here. After injuring himself by slipping on a wet practice mat and missing the opener, Kolb didn’t look too good last week, throwing an INT and completing only 13 of 21 passes.

The Robert Griffin III saga has grabbed all the headlines in the Nation’s capital during training camp. Though he reportedly took reps against the starting defense in practice, RG3 has still not been cleared for the regular season opener against Philadelphia on September 9th (Monday night game). This is problematic because backup Kirk Cousins sprained his knee in Monday’s 24-13 win over Pittsburgh. Rex Grossman is the only other QB currently on the roster. The short week certainly is no help to Washington here.

NY Jets at NY Giants (-2.5, 38)

This annual clash is always one of the “most anticipated” games of the preseason, if for no other reason that it’s New York vs. New York. Because they’ve really never accomplished anything since Super Bowl III, the game was always taken more seriously by the Jets, who hold a 14-5 ATS edge since 1993.  However, the Giants dominated last year’s game, winning 26-3. That was actually the second and not the third preseason game for both teams though.

After losing their opener to the Lions, the Jets won last week against the Jaguars 37-13, but that score is somewhat misleading as they outscored Jacksonville 27-0 after halftime. Rookie Geno Smith will get the start at QB this week over Mark Sanchez and this is his moment to try and earn the starting gig. Sanchez has been his usual uneven self this preseason, looking good at times and then turning the ball over like always. Smith did not play last week after injuring his ankle in the first game.

Cleveland at Indianapolis (-2.5, 42.5)

The Browns are 2-0 and have surprisingly looked pretty good for first year head coach Rob Chudzinski. They have beaten both St. Louis and Detroit at home, and the most promising bit of news has been the play of second year QB Brandon Weeden, who has gone a combined 18 of 25 for 229 yards and three touchdowns. To no one’s shock, he was officially named the team’s starter for the regular season, mid-week. In both games the Browns have led 17-0.  Running back Trent Richardson saw game action for the first time last week. Unfortunately, several Cleveland players suffered serious injuries last week, including Richardson’s backup (Dion Lewis) as well as 1st round draft choice Barkevious Mingo.

The Colts responded nicely from a 44-20 drubbing at the hands of Buffalo in their opener to defeat the Giants on the road last week, 20-12. The defense (obviously) played much better, recording six sacks. QB Andrew Luck threw a pair of touchdown passes. Putting Indianapolis at somewhat of a disadvantage here is the fact they will have had two less days to prepare.

Tampa Bay at Miami (-3, 40)

During the week, we all learned how Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton felt about Bucs QB Josh Freeman. Still though, it is widely presumed that he will win the starting job over rookie Mike Glennon out of North Carolina State. Tampa Bay is 0-2 this preseason and last week’s final score vs. New England was somewhat misleading as the team trailed 25-10 going into the fourth quarter. The week previous they were dismantled at home by Baltimore 44-16.

Miami is playing its fourth preseason game, but its first at home. After opening the NFL season with an outright loss to the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, they have split a pair of road games, first winning at Jacksonville 27-3 and then losing last week at Houston 24-17. The worst news of all has been the loss of tight end Dustin Keller for the year on a much debated shot to the knee. On a positive note, second year QB Ryan Tannehill and newly acquired WR Mike Wallace connected on three passes for 58 yards last week.

Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-3, 40)

Both of these teams are 0-2 so far and have scored 13 points in each of their games. Thus, it hasn’t been pretty for either of these playoff hopefuls. The short week does the Steelers no favors here, though they will at least get to play at home. Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell won’t play for the remainder of the preseason after getting hurt last week at Washington, but at least the injury doesn’t appear to be as bad as was originally feared. But it has been a sloppy two games for Mike Tomlin’s team.

One would think that the Chiefs would really want to get Andy Reid a win in his first preseason with the team. But then again, they failed to ‘circle the wagons’ last week for QB Alex Smith, who was facing his former team, the San Francisco 49ers. Playing without injured running back Jamal Charles, the only touchdown Kansas City scored last week came via a kick return. Smith did not look very good. Surprisingly, after playing one another, the Chiefs and 49ers made a trade. They exchanged receivers Jonathan Baldwin and AJ Jenkins, both of whom have been considered disappointments in their short careers.

Philadelphia at Jacksonville (+3.5, 43)

Mike Vick has officially been named the starter for the Eagles, which seems to be the right call as his skill set seems better suited to run Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense compared to Nick Foles. This will be Philadelphia’s first road game under Kelly as they split a pair of home games against the Patriots and Panthers. It will be interesting to see how the quarterbacks perform now that the competition has been settled. The defense was much better last week, holding Carolina to only nine points after being shredded by Tom Brady and New England in the opener. Five-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Jason Peters is set to return to the lineup here and is scheduled to play about three quarters.

For the Jaguars, it’s the same old story. This team simply cannot put points on the board. They are 0-2 and have scored only 16 points total. The much maligned Blaine Gabbert has officially been named the starter by 1st year Head Coach Gus Bradley, but I found that interesting as he’s injured and there are concerns about him being ready to practice for the regular season opener. Gabbert did play well last week vs. the Jets and the team did lead 13-10 at halftime before getting blown out in the second half.

Atlanta at Tennessee (-3, 42.5)

Both teams here are 0-2, but with the Falcons that’s a bit misleading as their backups stink and blew a 23-7 fourth quarter lead last week at Baltimore. Both Julio Jones and Stephen Jackson looked good in limited action last week. With the first team offense getting extended playing time this week, you have to like Atlanta’s chances more. However, special teams have been an issue so far as they have given up a touchdown on a punt return each of the first two games.

Tennessee is a team that I don’t have much regard for heading into the regular season and it’s not been a very good first two games for them at all. The first team offense has yet to generate a touchdown and the kicking game was a disaster last week in Cincinnati with three missed field goals. The Titans defense allowed the most points in the league a year ago and again looks suspect coming into 2013. Wide receiver Kendall Wright is injured. Just about the only positive has been the re-tooled offensive line.

St. Louis at Denver (-6.5, 43.5)

Big line here as the injury-riddled Broncos host the 0-2 Rams. After pulling out an ugly 10-6 victory over San Francisco in the opener, the Broncos were flat out embarrassed last week by Seattle, losing 40-10. This will be their first home game of the preseason. Denver defenders have been dropping like flies as of late, most notably now Von Miller, who will be suspended for the first six regular season games. At least Peyton Manning will see his most action of the preseason this week, thereby giving the team a chance.

The Rams issues have been on offense as they generated only seven points last week in a loss to Green Bay, at home. That lone touchdown came in the fourth quarter as once again the first team offense failed to impress. St. Louis was 1 of 14 on third down vs. the Packers and 0 for 3 when going for it on fourth down.

Cincinnati at Dallas (-2.5, 43.5)

The Bengals are becoming a trendy pick to contend not just in the AFC North, but to be one of the very best teams in the conference as well. They are 2-0 so far in the preseason and that’s playing without stud receiver AJ Green, who may play this week here in Dallas. I like what I see from rookie running back Giovani Bernard. The first team offense put up 220 total yards in last week’s win over Tennessee. In two games, the Bengals have averaged 431.5 yards of offense as a whole.

This will be the fourth preseason game for the Cowboys and their first at home. Since winning the Hall of Fame Game, they have lost at both Oakland and Arizona and looked unimpressive in doing so, scoring a combined 24 points. The lone touchdown last week came in the fourth quarter. The first team offense has yet to account for a single point. The ugliest part of last week’s 12-7 loss were the six turnovers.

San Diego at Arizona (-4, 40.5)

If one thing is clear with the Cardinals, it’s that they have a solid defense. In two games, they have given up just seven points and that came on a touchdown in the fourth quarter last week vs. Dallas. As mentioned in the Cowboys writeup, they forced six turnovers. Now 2-0 in the preseason for first year coach Bruce Arians, they host a San Diego team that’s 0-2 and not looked very good. This would seem to be a favorable matchup for the home team.

The Lightning Bolts appear to be headed for a long season in their first year under Mike McCoy. While both Cardinals’ preseason games have gone Under, both Chargers games have gone Over. The San Diego defense has allowed 64 total points thus far. On offense, there were four turnovers in last week’s 33-28 loss at Chicago. At least running back Ryan Matthews looked decent, carrying the ball nine times for 45 yards. Don’t forget that both starting receivers are sidelined with injuries.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 24

NFL: Streaks, Trends, Notes

New York Jets at New York Giants

'Over' bettors have enjoyed a solid run this preseason going 21-13-1 O/U split between 12-5 O/U for totals below 38 and 9-8-1 O/U for totals => 38. When Jets and Giants square off this Saturday in their traditional August clash total players will be leaning to the 'Under' knowing Jets-Giants have hit the 'Under' in ten of the past twelve preseason meetings. The betting market pegging Giants 2.5 point home favorite with a 39.5 total sets the table for an 'Under'. Jets-Giants have a combined 0-7 O/U stretch in WK3 with a total set at =>38.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 24

Rams at Broncos: Preview & Pick

In a nationally televised contest, the Denver Broncos play in front of their home fans for the first time this season, hosting the St. Louis Rams.

The sports handicapping experts appear to be under the assumption that the Broncos will have no trouble in this contest, since they’re listed as -7 home favorites, according to Bovada, with a total of 43.5. Given the fact that this is only a preseason matchup, such a betting line makes it virtually the equivalent of being double-digit chalk in a regular season game.

That line of thinking is no doubt based on this combination of factors: the Broncos are coming off on the wrong end of a rout in Seattle last weekend, and the struggling offense of the Rams managed just seven points last week to fall to 0-2 in exhibition games.

In that 19-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers, St. Louis was favored, which for this contest, is a good thing for those placing money on Jeff Fisher’s team. That’s because teams with a losing record coming off a preseason upset loss as a home favorite have a 46-21 ATS mark the following week.

In seeing how the two teams have fared in Week 3 contests over the past five years, the clear edge once again goes to the Rams, who not only have a 4-0 ATS mark in road games since 2008, but are perfect in the final two weeks of these warmup clashes with a 10-0 ATS record. In contrast, Denver has just a 1-4 ATS mark for Week 3, and also is a 1-4 in its last five home games.

The respective records of the teams also plays into a lean for the winless Rams, since 0-2 teams from the NFC that hit the road for their next game have a 5-2 ATS tally since 2008. On the other end, AFC teams playing at home as a 1-1 team over the past five years are a miserable 5-15-2 when it comes to sports handicapping.

One more five-year record that shines for the Rams is that the team has a 6-1 ATS record when it’s coming off an under.

Finally, the betting line once again comes into play when you consider the fact that, going back five years to look at Week 3 games, you uncover this stat: favorites of -2 or less or more than -6 have a 4-14 ATS mark.

We’re not suggesting that the Rams are going to pull off an upset, but there’s enough flexibility in the betting line for the team to cover the pointspread. That means this free football picks will be to

Play St. Louis +7

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 24

Saturday's Betting Notes

Preseason Trends

Road teams are 3-1 in Week 3
Favorites are 3-1 both straight up and against the spread in Week 3
The ‘over’ is 3-1 in Week 3

Quick Hitters

Eight teams will be looking for their first preseason win on Saturday and there are two matchups that pit winless clubs against one another – Kansas City at Pittsburgh, Atlanta at Tennessee.
Five teams remain undefeated (2-0) in the preseason. Buffalo and Washington are two of those and they will square off in a late- afternoon battle from D.C. at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Three teams in action on Saturday, Tampa Bay (69), Jacksonville (64) and San Diego (64) have all struggled on the defensive side.
Philadelphia is the only road favorite listed on Saturday.
All totals are listed above 40 except the Giants-Jets matchup, which is hovering between 38 and 39 points.
Arizona has only surrendered seven points in the preseason.

Who’s the Boss?

Our friend “The SportsBoss” broke down QB rotations at the start of the preseason and listed seven units that he believed to have a distinct advantage in the exhibitions. Through two weeks of exhibition games, those teams were 14-0 SU and 12-1-1 ATS.

Arizona (2-0)
Baltimore (2-1)
Carolina (2-1)
Cincinnati (2-0)
Cleveland (2-0)
New Orleans (2-0)
Washington (2-0)

The record dropped this week automatically with Carolina beating Baltimore 34-27 on Thursday. Even though you have five more possible winners with this angle in Week 3, you might want to tread lightly since starters are expected to receive more minutes in the dress rehearsals. However, Week 4 might present value with the seven teams above.

Week 3 Coaching Angles

New York Giants - Tom Coughlin is 2-7 ATS in his last nine dress rehearsals.
Cincinnati Bengals – Marvin Lewis is 2-8 ATS in his last 10 dress rehearsals.

Preseason Betting Trends

Buffalo Bills - The Bills have started a money making preseason trend the last three years having seen the Over be the winning side in their last three dress rehearsal games with 38-7, 35-32, and 35-20 finals. This year’s dress rehearsal game is against the Redskins on Aug. 24th. I have to add here that Washington in their last 2 dress rehearsal games have seen a combined 112 points scored - So this play can turn into a preseason double unit play here on the Over.

Atlanta Falcons - One of my favorite preseason plays goes here on the Falcons as in their 'dress rehearsal' game the last eight years the Falcons have gone a perfect 8-0 outscoring their opposition 187-61 not counting the 2011 abnormal preseason. This year’s 'dress rehearsal' game for the Falcons will be on Aug. 24 when they play Tennessee on the road.

Kansas City Chiefs - Kansas City has been one of the best fade teams in the preseason going an incredible 4-21 (16%) against the spread over the past six years. I definitely look for more of the same this year as I look for new head coach Andy Reid to continue the tradition in Kansas City of not giving a dame about these preseason games. The Chiefs are 0-2 this season with Reid in control.

Expert Thoughts

Below is analysis on a handful of games that you would find in our pro football products on

Washington vs. Buffalo
By Joe Nelson

The Bills have faced some tough luck with rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel getting injured last week and likely to miss the remainder of the preseason, essentially handing the starting job to Kevin Kolb despite his marginal track record. This is a critical game for Kolb to impress as Manuel and rookie Jeff Tuel have provided most of the offensive success so far this preseason for the Bills. Buffalo is playing up-tempo on offense which will be hard for Washington to adjust to on a short week after playing Monday night. Coach Marrone was very upset after the Week 2 game despite a win as penalties were in the forefront. Look for a crisper performance all around this week from Buffalo. Mike Shanahan is known for a strong historical mark in preseason games, 2-0 this season after Monday’s 24-13 win over Pittsburgh. The short week will have a big impact on Washington as starters are only expected to clock about 20 plays in this game before going to deeper reserves and fighting out position battles. Coach Marrone and the Bills are 2-0 in the preseason and the defense has been aggressive, something that is rare in the preseason NFL. Buffalo is mixing looks with a both 3-4 and 4-3 packages and it has been effective at confusing teams through two weeks. The secondary has also been a bright spot for the Bills on defense. With Shanahan and his preseason track record, going 52-30 S/U in preseason games, this line is inflated even with key players likely to see limited time with the awkward scheduling for the Redskins.

Indianapolis vs. Cleveland
By Jimmy Boyd

The Browns have had some solid matchup advantages in the first two games on the preseason schedule. They faced the first string defense from the Rams for just one quarter. In Week 2 they faced a Lions team that has one of the worst defensive secondaries in the league. The Colts are certainly not a defensive powerhouse, but they will be the toughest challenge the Browns have faced, and Indianapolis has the luxury of playing in front of their home crowd. Cleveland's defense is also in for a challenge when they face off against Andrew Luck and his wealth of solid receivers. The Colts have been keeping the starters on the field longer as we progress through the preseason schedule.

Tennessee vs. Atlanta
By Pat Hawkins

The Falcons have excelled over the last several years in Week 3 of the preseason. They take this game seriously and keep the starters in for all of the first half.  They have gone 8-0 ATS in the "dress rehearsal" game in the last eight years, look for the trend to continue as the Falcons have plenty of fire power on offense to extend a nice size lead.

Dallas vs. Cincinnati
By Bruce Marshall

Even in preseason, the old "better team getting the points" theory has a lot of substance.  Here is another case; having watched Dallas in all three games, I have been completely unimpressed, especially the offense which has put almost nothing together.  Dolphin game very fluky, a loss to the lowly Raiders and outplayed worse than the score indicated by Arizona does not bode well.  Perhaps Romo's recovery from the back issues have slowed the progress of the offense throughout summer, but execution has been spotty at best, and not sold on the Kiffin defense, which has faced a couple of sloppy foes and has yet to get severely tested.  The best unit on the field is the Cincy defense, with the first string roughing up both Atlanta and Tennessee, and I really like the Bengals' QB rotation after Dalton goes out in the 3rd Q, as both Josh Johnson (especially Johnson) and John Skelton have moved the team.  Cowboys 1-5 vs. line last six preseason game threes and just 4-7 vs. spread in exhibitions for Garrett since 2011.

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