NFL Betting News and Notes Friday, August 22

NFL Betting News and Notes Friday, August 22

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

Got a few minutes for football on Friday night? Well, Raiders-Packers at Lambeau Field beckons.

Seriously, it does.

Of Friday’s five exhibition games, Raiders-Packers (8 p.m. ET, CBS) looks like the biggest mismatch. And that makes it compelling, because this is the time for handicappers to learn whether we’ve correctly assessed the 32 NFL teams. August is for learning; October is for sitting back and enjoying the fruits of our labor.

So let’s talk Raiders-Packers.

For starters: the Packers — 7-point favorites in this game — ought to be able to handle Oakland if their first-stringers play anywhere close to their best.

On the other hand, the Raiders bolstered their roster in free agency. They should be better this season.

We know what to expect from the Packers’ offense. But how will their defense fare against the Raiders’ offense? The Raiders’ passing game doesn’t look like one of their strengths. If the Packers can’t pressure slow-footed Oakland quarterback Matt Schaub . . . well, that won’t be a good look (and it surely will please those who take OVER 45 in this preseason contest).

Similarly, if the Raiders’ starters are flat-out overmatched in their last major preseason test, then that will be a big-time red flag. Oakland looks likely to be an underdog in most of its games. We need to know whether the Raiders will fight or fall.

For the record, the Packers are 5-3 overall and 4-4 against the number in penultimate preseason games since Mike McCarthy became head coach in 2006, per Covers.com data. The OVER and UNDER have each cashed four times apiece.

The Raiders are 1-1 in third exhibition games under Dennis Allen, with both contests going OVER.

The Linemakers’ lean: One of our guys in Vegas has a pick on the side, another likes the total. 

Green Bay knows what it has in Aaron Rodgers, and coming off a win last week in St. Louis, its focus is on the regular season. Oakland, on the other hand, has been respectable this season but is still trying to integrate Matt Schaub. Allen, says Kenny White, has the Raiders close to where he needs them to be, while the Packers are quite comfortable ahead of the regular season. Kenny takes the Raiders plus the points.

Micah Roberts, meanwhile, recommends the UNDER, as we don’t expect Rodgers to play more than a few series, and both teams will try to work on their defenses.

Raiders and the UNDER are our plays.

Here’s a look at the rest of Friday’s card. The historical point spread data is from Covers.com, while the lines cited are the Las Vegas consensus as of Thursday evening.  For updated spreads and totals, visit our live odds page.

Jacksonville at Detroit (-3.5, 44.5)

The Jaguars have a compelling QB situation, with rookie Blake Bortles making a case to start sooner than later with his promising play. Bortles will get some first-team snaps on Friday night, but Chad Henne will start.

Both teams are 2-0 against the spread in the preseason. The UNDER has cashed in both Jaguars exhibition games.

Carolina at New England (-5.5, 45.5)

The offense merits a close look in the final major tune-up for the Panthers, who were 24th in yards per play through two preseason games. Quarterback Cam Newton figures to see his most extended action of the summer.

Interestingly, the Patriots are just 6-8 straight-up in next-to-last preseason games in Bill Belichick’s tenure as head coach.

New York Giants at New York Jets (pick 'em, 42.5)

The Giants are 3-0 straight-up and against the spread in the preseason, but quarterback Eli Manning is 7-of-16 for 49 yards in that span. Well, at least the Big Blue backers are happy.

The Jets are 3-2 straight-up against the Giants in exhibition play in Rex Ryan’s tenure, alternating wins (2009, 2011, 2013) with losses (2010, 2012).

Chicago at Seattle (-7, 45)

There are no exhibitions for the Seahawks, just battle royales. The defending NFL champions have won their last six preseason home games dating to 2011, outscoring opponents 171-53 in this span.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll indicated Thursday that star running back Marshawn Lynch will play. That simply adds to the challenges for the Bears, who are playing their first exhibition road game of the summer.

The OVER has cashed in four of six exhibition games in Marc Trestman’s tenure as Bears coach.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Friday, August 22

Friday's Preseason Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

Week 2 Recap: The home teams started strong last week by winning the first five games, but the road clubs rebounded by going 6-5 in the final 11 contests. The 'over' went 10-6 last week, while the 'over' cashed in last night's Eagles/Steelers contest to kick off Week 3 of the preseason.

Jaguars at Lions (-3, 44½)

2014 Preseason Records:
JAX: 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS
DET: 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS

Preseason review: The Jaguars have played a pair of low-scoring affairs, while squandering a 19-7 lead in the fourth quarter of a 20-19 setback at Chicago last Thursday. Jacksonville managed to cover as three-point underdogs, but the Jags have scored just 35 points in its first two exhibition games. The Lions are coming off consecutive one-point decisions, as Detroit lost in the final seconds at Oakland last Friday, 27-26 as three-point ‘dogs.

Last preseason meeting: First preseason meeting ever

Panthers at Patriots (-5½, 45½)

2014 Preseason Records:
CAR: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS
NE: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS

Preseason review: New England outlasted Philadelphia, 42-35 as two-point favorites last week in Tom Brady’s preseason debut, as all six quarterbacks that played each threw at least one touchdown pass. The Panthers cruised past the Chiefs, 28-16 in their second preseason contest at home, one week after falling to the Bills. Carolina has cashed the ‘over’ in five of its past six home exhibition contests.

Last preseason meeting: Patriots beat Panthers, 24-7 as one-point road underdogs in 2007.

Expert Analysis: Pat Hawkins - The Panthers under head coach Ron Rivera have proven over the last two seasons that they take the "dress rehearsal" preseason game very seriously going 2-0 last two seasons. Meanwhile, the Pats under Bill Belichick have gone 0-6 in the last six dress rehearsal games. Look for the Carolina defense to be strong limiting Brady and Company as the Pats treat this game as just a warm-up.

Giants at Jets (PK, 42½)

2014 Preseason Records:
NYG: 3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS
NYJ: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS

Preseason review: The Giants have won their three exhibition games by a combined nine points, while erasing a 26-0 deficit in a 27-26 victory over the Colts. The Jets are also unbeaten in the preseason, as New York rallied from 14 points down in the third quarter to stun Cincinnati, 25-17 as three-point underdogs.

Last preseason meeting: Jets beat Giants, 24-21 in overtime as one-point road favorites in 2013.

Expert Analysis: The Gold Sheet - The Giants, despite their 27-26 fluke win last week at Indianapoils last week, continue to struggle with their new offense, which was scoreless for the first three quarters until Indy played its deep reserves. This is a Jets "home" game tonight in East Rutherford, and they should have the majority of the fans. These preseason Giants-Jets games have always been more meaningful to the Jets against the more established Giants. This year, the Jets are deeper at RB and sounder on defense than the Giants.

Raiders at Packers (-7, 44)

2014 Preseason Records:
OAK: 1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS
GB: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS

Preseason review: The Raiders have looked clunky through two preseason games, losing at Minnesota in the opener, 10-7, while rallying to top Detroit at home, 27-26 last Friday, but failed to cover each time. The Packers put together a solid effort in a 21-7 triumph at St. Louis last Saturday, racking up 386 yards on offense, while cashing as 2½-point road underdogs.

Last preseason meeting: Raiders beat Packers, 24-13 as five-point home favorites in 2001.

Bears at Seahawks (-7, 45)

2014 Preseason Records:
CHI: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS
SEA: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS

Preseason review: The Bears hit the road for the first time this preseason after coming off a pair of close home wins over the Eagles and Jaguars. Chicago erased deficits in each win, including coming back from a 28-17 hole against Philadelphia in a 34-28 victory in the opener. The Seahawks saw their eight-game preseason winning streak come to an end in the opener at Denver, but Seattle rebounded in a huge way by dominating San Diego, 41-14 last week as six-point home favorites.

Last preseason meeting: Seahawks beat Bears in overtime, 29-26 as one-point home underdogs in 2006.

Expert Analysis: Bruce Marshall - Pete Carroll's team looks to have rebounded quickly from its opening loss at Denver with a characteristic solid exhibition romp past San Diego last Friday. That marked the 10th SU win in 11 preseason games and 11th cover in 12 exhibitions for Carroll. Moreover, only one of those ten Seahawks wins was by a single-digit margin, and even that was by seven points and a spread cover last August at Green Bay. We'll stick with recent preseason history and ride with Seattle once more.

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