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NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 7

NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 7

NFL Betting News and Notes
By Tony George

Seattle @ Denver  (Pick em) Total 37

Last years Super Bowl Blowout re-visited, Peyton Manning versus a defense that shred him to bits last year.  The problem is he gets 1 series, maybe two to exact revenge with a fairly vanilla playbook for week 1. The story here is MOTIVATION on Denver’s part, no matter what unit is in, because they were embarrassed in the Super Bowl last year and there is no doubt a win here is a moral victory.  This Denver at home should be a favorite but this is a pickem game which scares me as oddsmakers are not baiting you to lay 2 or 3 with Denver as you would think..  If you see Manning and company more than 2 series I would be in shock, and although it is going to be sloppy, as all week 1 games are, Denver's QB’s 3 deep have looked great in camp and no doubt Coach Carrol will be gunning for a win as always.  Might be some scoring in this one in what should be a good match-up so the total of over 37 might be worth a small sniff.  I would lean Denver.

49ers @ Ravens (Pick em) Total 35

The Super Bowl 2 years ago and the brothers Haurbaugh here.  Talk about drama and two coaches who clearly want to beat each other, even in the preseason.  That sets up for some scoring and the total of 35 going over looks a little tasty.  Two things at play here in my mind, and the first one is the travel required for San Fran, which has an affect on a team this early.  Also John Harbaugfh likes to win in the 1st week of the preseason, he has a 5-1 straight up record in week 1, while little brother Jim is 1-2 in week 1 in his 3 years.  It should be noted Jim Hatbaugh has a 6-2 SU record in the preseason as a head coach in his last 2 preseasons.   Lean again to the home team here.

Patriots @ Redskins (-1.5) Toatl 38

A veteran coach versus a new head coach.  I prefer vetran head coaches in the NFL in the preseason to prevail in week 1.  First year head coaches tend not to fare well in Week 1 , and we all know Bill Bilichick’s teams do very well out of the gate, he is 11-4 SU in week 1 of the preseason as a head coach.  I think 3 deep Washington is better at QB, but with lack of depth on defense and an all new coaching staff, the value in this one lies with the visitor who is an underdog and their offensive scheme is more finely tuned at this point.  Lean to New England

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 7

Broncos, Seahawks kick off preseasons with Super Bowl rematch
By: Mike Wilkening

Some may loosely bill Thursday's Seahawks-Broncos exhibition as a Super Bowl rematch.

And indeed, some experienced preseason handicappers might be watching this preseason opener closely to take stock of one of the teams.

But it's not necessary to assess whether Super Bowl loser Denver has improved after an offseason of free agent additions.

On the contrary, it's Seattle's exhibition form that bears watching.

Over the last two years, no team has been better in the preseason than the Seahawks. According to data, the Seahawks have won and covered in their last nine exhibition games, including two routs of Denver. Seattle has outscored preseason opponents 252-83 in this span.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Broncos are 1.5-point home underdogs Thursday night vs. Seattle (9 p.m. ET). The total is 37.5.

So why have the Seahawks been so dominant in the summer?

For one, Seattle has built wonderful depth. Their QB play in the last two preseasons has been sparkling, with Russell Wilson starring in 2012 and Tarvaris Jackson posting a 131.4 QB rating in 2013. The Seahawks are again strong at the position entering 2014, with Terrelle Pryor -- the former Oakland starter -- a third-stringer.

The Seahawks have also dominated the turnover battle, forcing 20 takeaways against five giveaways. Of particular note: Seattle has forced 19 fumbles in the last two exhibition slates, recovering 10.

As for the Broncos: if past form holds, Peyton Manning will see limited work in the opener. He attempted just four passes in his exhibition debut last season. The Broncos are 4-4 straight-up and 3-5 against the number in preseason games in Manning's time with the club, with two of the spread defeats to Seattle.

Here's a quick look at Thursday's other preseason games. All lines are courtesy of the South Point, and all are preseason ATS statistics are from

Indianapolis at N.Y. Jets (-3, 37.5) (7 p.m. ET)

The Jets were 3-1 ATS last year in preseason play after a horrid 2012 exhibition slate (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS). If the Colts follow last season's blueprint, third-string quarterback Chandler Harnish could get a good deal of work.

New England at Washington (-1.5, 38.5) (7:30 p.m. ET)

Washington coach Jay Gruden has indicated the club's starters won't play more than 10 snaps or so. New England has won its last five preseason openers. The teams held joint practices leading up to the game.

San Francisco at Baltimore (-1.5, 35) (7:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network)

The 49ers are 1-2 straight-up in exhibition openers under Jim Harbaugh, while the Ravens are 5-1 in preseason debuts in John Harbaugh's tenure. Look for both clubs to give their reserve tailbacks plenty of work; the Niners have been hit by injuries at the position, while the Ravens' Ray Rice is suspended for the first two games.

Cincinnati at Kansas City (-2.5, 35.5) (8 p.m. ET)

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has indicated quarterback Andy Dalton will not play much in the opener. Also, recent history suggests Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith won't break much of a sweat, either. Andy Reid-coached teams have won four preseason openers in a row, while the Bengals have won their last two openers under Lewis.

Dallas at San Diego (-3, 37) (10 p.m. ET, NFL Network -- joined in progress)

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will be held out of the preseason opener, leaving Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan to carry to the load. Here's an oddity: the Chargers have lost four straight Thursday preseason games. However, the Chargers appear deeper than they were a season ago.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 7

Thursday's Preseason Tips
By Kevin Rogers

Colts at Jets (-3, 36½)

2013 Preseason Records: IND (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS), NYJ (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: Jets (+3) beat Colts, 31-7 in 2004

QB Rotations:
IND - A. Luck, M. Hasselbeck, C. Harnish
NYJ - G. Smith, M. Vick, M. Simms, T. Boyd*

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Dave Cokin - Colts head man Chuck Pagano is the first to come right out and say this game doesn't mean a whole lot to him. His team has some early injuries, and his "just trying to get through this" comment is telling. The Jets offense has not looked good in scrimmages, which is not shocking at all, but the defense appears to very sharp already. Not necessarily saying the Jets will want this more, but I'm pretty sure the Colts want it less. That's enough to get me to the favorite in this game, laying the points with the Jets.

Patriots at Redskins (-1½, 38)

2013 Preseason Records: NE (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS), WSH (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: Patriots (-3 ½) beat Redskins, 27-24 in 2009

QB Rotations:
NE - T. Brady, R. Mallett, J. Garoppolo*
WSH - R. Griffin III, K. Cousins, C. McCoy

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Bruce Marshall - While the track record of new head coaches (such as Washington's Jay Gruden) in their first preseason games is not particularly illuminating, Bill Belichick's recent marks in preseason openers are worth noting. That's because his Patriots have won five consecutive lid-lifters, as Belichick usually likes to set a winning tone at the outset before inevitably delivering a flat effort or two later in preseason. Play the Patriots.

49ers at Ravens (-1, 35)

2013 Preseason Records: SF (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS), BAL (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: First ever meeting

QB Rotations:
SF - C. Kaepernick, J. Johnson, B. Gabbert, M. Bethel-Thompson, K. Faulkner
BAL - J. Flacco, T. Taylor, K. Wenning*

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Hank Goldberg - The Harbaugh brothers will match wits and I believe John takes the exhibition more seriously. He’s 5-1 against the spread in his last six preseason openers. Plus, I believe it will be very tough for San Francisco, who has to travel cross-country to Maryland.

Bengals at Chiefs (-1½, 36½)

2013 Preseason Records: CIN (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS), KC (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: First ever meeting

QB Rotations:
CIN - A. Dalton, J. Campbell, A.J. McCarron*
KC - A. Smith, C. Daniel, T. Bray, A. Murray*

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Pat Hawkins - I'm taking the Bengals on the money line because taking under a field doesn't help especially when laying odds (-110). Andy Reid has a proven track record of not caring about the first preseason game going 1-8 in his last nine openers while the Chiefs are 6-23 ATS in their last 29 preaseason games. Kansas City is coming off a surprise season in 2013, but look for Reid to address this game as a practice in pads and play very conservatively.

Seahawks (-2, 37½) at Broncos

2013 Preseason Records: SEA (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS), DEN (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: Seahawks (-5) beat Broncos, 40-10 in 2013

QB Rotations:
SEA - R. Wilson, T. Jackson, T. Pryor, B. J. Daniels
DEN - P. Manning, B. Osweiler, Z. Dysert, B. Renner*

Expert Handicapper Analysis: ASA - Seattle’s offense scored a bunch of points in last year’s pre-season schedule (30 PPG), but they were breaking in Russell Wilson at QB and he picked up a lot of playing time. That won’t be the case this year. They know what Wilson can do so look for him to only be in for a series or two. The Bronco defense will be focused in here after allowing 43 points in the Super Bowl and we expect a big effort on that side of the ball. Look for a defensive battle with neither team revealing much offensively here. Take the under.

Cowboys at Chargers (-3, 37)

2013 Preseason Records: DAL (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS), SD (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: Chargers (-3) beat Cowboys, 28-20 in 2012

QB Rotations: DAL - B. Weeden, C. Hanie, D. Vaughan*
SD - P. Rivers, K. Clemens, B. Sorensen

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Tony Stoffo - Going with a highly recommended play on the over in this spot between the Cowboys and Chargers - as first the Chargers with McCoy in his first season as head coach of the Chargers saw 3 of the 4 San Diego preseason games go over the posted total. With his former offensive experience from his Denver days, I look for more of an wide open offensive approach in the preseason this year. I can see the Cowboys offensive numbers going up this preseason with the addition of Brandon Weeden in the offseason.

* - Rookie

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 7

Thursday's NFL Week 1 Preseason Betting Primer

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets (-3, 37)

Colts coach Chuck Pagano doesn't yet know how much Andrew Luck and the first-team offense will play Thursday, and may not come to a final decision until the game is already underway. What is known, however, is that wide receiver Reggie Wayne, still recovering from last season's torn knee ligament, will not be on the field.

Safety Calvin Pryor, the Jets' first-round pick last spring, practiced with the third-team and scout defense this week but will sit out the team's preseason opener after suffering a concussion in late July. Geno Smith will get the start at quarterback over Michael Vick, despite struggling throughout training camp, but it isn't clear how long the first-team offense will play.

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins (-1, 37.5)

Patriots quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo split the majority of reps during Wednesday's practice, a good sign both will see plenty of action in the preseason opener with Tom Brady siitting out Thursday. One guy who likely won't be in action is starting defensive tackle Sealver Siliga, who left practice after suffering a left hand injury and returned to the sidelines in a black cast.

The Redskins suffered a scare Wednesday when wide receiver DeSean Jackson rolled his ankle after having his foot stepped on. He left the field right away and had a trainer apply ice. Despite the injury, head coach Jay Gruden expects Jackson to play Thursday night. Washington was a perfect 4-0 in the 2013 preseason, then proceeded to win just three games during the regular season.

San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-1, 35)

San Francisco appears to be in midseason form already, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Veteran nose tackle Glenn Dorsey suffered a torn left biceps during practice last week and may be lost for the entire 2014 season, while cornerback Chris Culliver was removed from practice for rough play, just two days after wide receiver Anquan Boldin was sent off for starting a fight.

Expect to see a different offensive approach from the Ravens than the one they have employed for most of the century, beginning with the preseason opener. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak says he believes Baltimore can become one of the league's best teams when it comes to screen passes. The Ravens have thrown just 123 screen passes since 2001 - fourth-fewest in the league over that span.

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-2, 36.5)

It could be a dicey opener for newly signed Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who is only expected to play one or two series and will be missing several projected starters on the offensive line against Kansas City. Rookie Russell Bodine will make his debut at center for Cincinnati, while Will Svitek and Marshall Newhouse will start in place of Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith.

The Chiefs have laid out their quarterback plan for the game. Alex Smith will start the opening quarter, Chase Daniel will open the second, Tyler Bray will kick off the second half and fifth-round pick Aaron Murray gets the call for the final quarter. Kansas City will be without safety Sanders Commings indefinitely after the 2013 fifth-round pick suffered a fractured fibula and ankle earlier in training camp.

Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos (+1.5, 37)

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll anticipates his starters will play most of the first quarter, and he's eager to get at least three of his four quarterbacks into the game. B.J. Daniels tweaked his groin earlier this week and may rest as a precaution. Rookie wide receiver Kevin Norwood is out after having surgery to remove a bone spur in his foot, but could be back before the start of the season.

Peyton Manning will take the field in the preseason opener against the team that denied him a second Super Bowl ring last February. But he and the rest of the Denver starters won't play more than the first quarter, according to head coach John Fox. Manning may not have Emmanuel Sanders to throw to, as the veteran wide receiver is considered questionable with a strained quad.

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers (-3, 36.5)

The Cowboys' suspect defense is already in disarray, with defensive end Demarcus Lawrence expected to miss 8-10 weeks with a broken foot and cornerback Morris Claiborne sitting out the preseason opener for the third straight year with a knee injury. Quarterback Tony Romo isn't going to play, leaving the bulk of the work to backups Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan.

The Chargers are dealing with a litany of injuries themselves. Rookie guard Chris Watt, slated to start the exhibition opener, suffered an undisclosed injury Tuesday and is questionable for Thursday, while cornerbacks Brandon Flowers (leg) and Marcus Cromartie (groin) ran on the side earlier this week but won't suit up against Dallas.

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