NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 9

NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 9

NFL Betting News and Notes
By Tony George

Cleveland @ Detroit  (-2.5) Total 38

Here we go, the Johnny Football debut, and this may grab the highest ratings of the weekend and perhaps the week.  That said do you really expect him to dominate the landscape against the reserves from Detroit?  There is a QB battle in Cleveland that is well documented by all sports media, but at days end there are two good defenses here that are fairly deep,  and an all new coaching staff for both teams, so what they do is totally unpredictable, but in my opinion past the first teams on offense, the game will be ruled by defense and I lean to the under.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 9

Green Bay Packers - Tennessee Titans Preview
Sportspic.com

Saturday marks the start of the Ken Whisenhunt era in Nashville. The Tennessee Titans can’t wait to get started. Whisenhunt has worked his team hard throughout training camp, preaching ethic and dedication as the foundation for future success. The Titans still have a lot of decisions to make with several starting positions still undecided heading in their first preseason game. The same cannot be said about their opponent in the Green Bay Packers, which are focused on staying healthy after injuries derailed their championship aspirations last season.

Aaron Rodgers likely won’t see much action as he continues to get back to top form after suffering a fractured collarbone a year ago, but Matt Flynn returns to the team he was drafted by to challenge Scott Tolzien for the backup duties. Injuries provided some much needed experience for the Packers’ backups last year and they added to the talent base in the offseason through both free agency and a strong NFL draft haul.


Betting Preview: Green Bay Packers

Green Bay upgraded its defense when Julius Peppers inked a free agent deal and while he likely won’t see any time in this game he should help at outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews. The Packers solidified their secondary with first round pick free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to pair with Morgan Burnett, and cornerback Davon House has been talked about a lot after a strong start to his camp as he attempts to carve a role behind Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, and Casey Hayward. Flynn returns for his second stint with Green Bay and should get plenty of snaps in this game along with Tolzien. The Packers want to see what rookie second-round pick Davante Adams can do after drafting him to solidify their depth at receiver after James Jones departed, and he has been talked about as a sleeper pick that could surprise behind Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson.

Betting Preview: Tennessee Titans

The Titans enter the preseason with Jake Locker as their starting quarterback for the third-straight season, but Charlie Whitehurst and Tyler Wilson should get plenty of snaps in this game. Whisenhunt would like to turn up the pace on offense and the key could be rookie second-round pick Bishop Sankey, who is regarded as a potential sleeper stud at the position. Tennessee is also transitioning from the 4-3 to the 3-4 on defense under new coordinator Ray Horton. Horton is a genius, but it will take time for the Titans’ players to adjust to the transition, especially when it comes to the pace of a live game. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Tommie Campbell, and Coty Sensabaugh are competing for the starting cornerback job opposite Jason McCourty, and the Packers will test them in this one.

Outlook & Pick

The Titans will likely open the game with the greater sense of urgency at home and with Whisenhunt at the helm for the first time. However, the Packers have the better depth on both sides of the ball and in particular at the quarterback spot where Flynn and Tolzien each enter this preseason with something to prove. Eventually that will be the difference in what projects to be a closely contested game.

Pick: Green Bay Packers +1

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 9

NFL Preseason Point Spreads and Picks
By: Mike Wilkening
Sportingnews.com

Saturday night in Detroit, a certain Browns rookie quarterback gets to remind us why he’s nicknamed “Football” and not “Social Media Superstar.”

And if you’re quick about it, you might be able to sneak in dinner between kickoff and Cleveland’s Johnny Manziel making his NFL debut against the Lions.

Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer will get the start at Detroit in the first preseason game for both clubs (7:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network). Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and one of the Browns’ first-round picks, is likely to enter the game with the second-team offense, coach Mike Pettine said Thursday.

As of Friday, Detroit is a 1-point favorite at most Las Vegas bet shops, with a total of about 39.5.

Pettine noted he’s been “vague” with the quarterbacks on the number of snaps they will take in an effort to ensure they’re ready for anything. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Hoyer got multiple first-team series, considering the club wants to make a decision on a starter sooner than later.

Pettine is the Browns’ third new head coach in four seasons. This is his first NFL head coaching job. In short, there’s plenty of uncertainty when it comes to Cleveland, which is par for the course.

The Lions also have a new head coach, with Jim Caldwell replacing Jim Schwartz. In his three seasons as the Colts’ coach, Indianapolis was 2-10 straight-up in preseason games, losing all three openers. However, this includes the 2011 exhibition slate, when Peyton Manning was out with a neck injury.

While the Lions have no QB controversy, they do have a few areas worth studying in the opener. The club has changed schemes on both sides of the ball, and quarterback Matthew Stafford’s play in Joe Lombardi’s offense will be interesting to watch, even if it’s only for a couple series early in the game.

But the main course is Manziel. Get a to-go bag for your entrée, ask for the check and start the car. It’s Johnny Football time.

The Linemakers’ lean: The Browns may have the worst QB rotation of any team in the NFL, while the Lions will put a very formidable group on the field Saturday night. Jim Caldwell’s preseason record in Indy surely doesn’t impress, but he’ll look to get off on the right foot in Detroit. We’ll lay the short price with Detroit and also go OVER the total with the expectations that both teams will want to throw the ball.

Also on Saturday's card ...

Here’s an overview of the other three exhibition games to be played Saturday night, with a selection from the boys in Las Vegas on the Steelers-Giants game. Spreads and totals are the Vegas consensus as of Friday. For updated lines, visit our live odds board.

Pittsburgh at N.Y. Giants (-2.5, 37)

The Steelers have lost their last three exhibition openers, and they are a mere 1-6-1 ATS over the last two seasons, including an 0-4 mark in 2013.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin has indicated his starters will play about as much as they did in Sunday’s Hall of Fame game vs. Buffalo. Quarterback Eli Manning took 20 snaps vs. Buffalo, with the Giants posting drives of three, five and 12 plays in succession. But remember that quality, not quantity, can be a determining factor when it comes to first-team reps in the preseason.

The Linemakers’ lean: With the Giants having already won in the preseason, this game figures to be more meaningful for the Steelers. Also, we give the edge in QB rotation to Pittsburgh. Watch for this line to hit New York -3 or higher, and wait for a number to your liking before firing on the Steelers.

Green Bay at Tennessee (-1.5, 38)

In recent preseason debuts, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has played one or two series. That figures to be the blueprint Saturday. Green Bay’s backup QB play is stronger than a season ago, with Matt Flynn a good fit as the second-stringer and Scott Tolzien a capable third option.

New Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt led Arizona to a 4-2 straight-up mark in exhibition debuts from 2007-2012. He told reporters this week he hadn’t decided how long he would play the club’s first-stringers. But it’s probably safe to assume the starters aren’t going to get much run.

Houston at Arizona (-2.5, 37.5)

The Cardinals were 3-1 straight-up and against the number in the 2013 preseason slate. Starting quarterback Carson Palmer played three series in the exhibition opener a season ago, exiting after throwing a TD pass on the first play of the final drive.

New Texans coach Bill O’Brien hasn’t gone into great detail on the team’s playing time plans for Saturday. However, he has indicated tailback Arian Foster and receiver Andre Johnson will be held out. Also, reserve quarterbacks Tom Savage and Case Keenum will each play with the second-team offense, O’Brien said.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 9

Saturday's Preseason Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

Week 1 Recap: The home teams have won 10 of the first 12 preseason contests, including a 6-0 mark on Thursday. Last night, the Bills and Saints were the only road teams to win, while the 'over' went 3-3 on Friday. The 'under' cashed in five of six games on Thursday night, while eight teams so far this preseason have scored 10 points or less.

Browns at Lions (-1, 39½)

2013 Preseason Records: CLE (3-1 SU, 2-1-1 ATS), DET (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: Browns (-1 ½) beat Lions, 24-6 in 2013

QB Rotations:
CLE - B. Hoyer, J. Manziel*, T. Thigpen, C. Shaw*
DET - M. Stafford, K. Moore, D. Orlovsky, J. Franklin*

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Marc Lawrence - The Browns are 4-0 SU/ATS in preseason openers last four years, and 2-0 SU/ATS last two games in this preseason series. The Lions are 2-4 SU/ATS pin reseason openers as either a dog or favorite of less than 3 points. With Caldwell 2-10 SU and 4-8 ATS during the preseason, including 0-3 SU/ATS in opening games, and the Browns in a heated quarterback battle for the starting job, we recommend a play on Cleveland.

Steelers at Giants (-2½, 37)

2013 Preseason Records: PIT (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS), NYG (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: Giants (+2 ½) beat Steelers, 18-13 in 2013

QB Rotations:
PIT - B. Roethlisberger, B. Gradkowski, L. Jones, B. Kay*
NYG - E. Manning, R. Nassib, C. Painter

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Kevin Rogers - The Giants are just 2-4-1 ATS in their past seven preseason games in the favorite role, while coming off a three-point win over the Bills in the Hall of Fame Game. The Steelers were winless in the preseason last year, but I expect them to put together a better effort to kick off this exhibition campiagn.

Packers at Titans (-1½, 38)

2013 Preseason Records: GB (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS), TEN (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: Titans (-3 ½) beat Packers, 27-13 in 2009

QB Rotations:
GB - A. Rodgers, M. Flynn, S. Tolzien, C. Rettig*
TEN - J. Locker, C. Whitehurst, T. Wilson, Z. Mettenberger*

Expert Handicapper Analysis: ASA - This is a much more important game for the host Titans. After winning only three games last year, new head coach Ken Whisenhunt wants this win. They are playing a high profile team in front of the home fans. The Packers are a playoff and Super Bowl contender. They know what they have. They’ve been in the same situation the last few years and haven’t taken the pre-season all that seriously with a 3-5 SU record the last two seasons. Last year, Green Bay was held to 10 points or less in 3 of their 4 pre-season tilts. They don’t care. Tennessee is trying to build some confidence under a new coach.

Texans at Cardinals (-2, 37½)

2013 Preseason Records: HOU (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS), ARZ (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)

Previous Preseason Meeting: Cardinals (+2 ½) beat Texans, 19-16 in 2010

QB Rotations:
HOU - R. Fitzpatrick, C. Keenum, T. Savage*
ARZ - C. Palmer, D. Stanton, R. Lindley, L. Thomas*

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Tony Stoffo - With all the changes going on in Houston, I feel it will take new head coach Bill O'Brien a few preseason games to start to see things run smoothly. So I can see the Texans running into problems here against a solid Arizona squad that won 3 of their 5 preseasons games a year ago under head coach Bruce Arians.

* - Rookie

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Saturday, August 9

Saturday's NFL Week 1 Preseason Betting Primer
By Covers.com

Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions (-1, 39.5)

Browns head coach Mike Pettine isn't telling anyone about how he'll divide up the playing time - not even the players - but it's expected that Brian Hoyer and the first-team offense will see two or three series. Much of the offensive focus will be on rookie running back Terrance West, who is expected to see plenty of playing time as he looks to solidify the backup role behind Ben Tate.

The Lions sport a new-look offense, and will have it on display against Cleveland - though it may not include wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who is questionable for the exhibition opener. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi wouldn't say how much time quarterback Matthew Stafford would see, suggesting that would be dictated by the flow of the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants (-2.5, 37)

The Steelers had a dreadful preseason a year ago, dropping all four games - including an 18-13 decision to the Giants in their opener nearly a year to the day before their next exhibition matchup. As it was a year ago, the early focus will be on quarterbacks Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones, who will both get a chance Saturday to make their case for serving as Ben Roethlisberger's backup.

Even though the Giants are playing their second game of the exhibition season, head coach Tom Coughlin doesn't see the first-team offense playing much more than it did in the opener against the Buffalo Bills. Head coach Tom Coughlin said he's still in the process of evaluating the rest of the roster, which means that quarterback Eli Manning and Co. may only see slightly more than the 15 snaps it had against Buffalo.

Green Bay Packers at Tennessee Titans (-2, 38)

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy expects to give work to all four of his quarterbacks currently in camp against the Titans, so don't expect Aaron Rodgers to see more than one or two series of action. Seven players still in camp didn't make the trip to Tennessee due to injury, including safety Morgan Burnett (oblique strain) and tight end Colt Lyerla (knee sprain).

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt has said both the offensive and defensive starters should expect to play 12-15 snaps against the Packers. With the Titans having emerged from training camp relatively healthy, there should be several areas of focus Saturday - including battles for starting cornerback spots and the duel between Charlie Whitehurst and rookie Zach Mettenberger for the No. 2 quarterback job.

Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals (-2, 37.5)

With No. 1 quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick expected to be limited in the opener, Case Keenum and rookie Tom Savage will see the majority of reps over the final 3 1/2 quarters - and for Keenum, the opportunity is there to perhaps seize the starting role. With wide receiver Andre Johnson sitting out with a hamstring injury, the focus will be on third-year receiver DeVier Posey, who will start in his place.

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians believes the starters on both sides of the ball will see about 15 snaps, though it's unlikely to be any more than that with nearly the entire Arizona roster healthy and available to play. Arizona had a successful exhibition campaign a year ago, rolling to a 3-1 record after going just 1-4 a season earlier.

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