|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|08-27-21||Colts v. Lions OVER 31.5||Top||27-17||Win||100||60 h 30 m||Show|
NFLX Total of the Week. My selection is on the 'over' between Indianapolis and Detroit a 7 pm et on Friday.
With the Colts being known for their stout defense and the Lions pegged as potentially the worst team in football this season, not to mention coming off consecutive losses to open the preseason, it's not all that surprising that we're dealing with a low total in this 'meaningless' preseason tilt. I think there's reason to expect some offensive fireworks, however.
Indianapolis is preparing to face a brutal early season schedule. The Colts won't be able to catch their breath until mid-October when they get a home layup against the Texans. With that in mind, they need to stay healthy, particularly on the defensive side of the football, coming out of this final preseason tilt. For that reason I wouldn't expect to see much of their defensive starters. That opens the door for the Lions to perhaps go into the season with a good feeling as they try to notch their first victory of the preseason.
There is some continuity on the Lions side with David Blough and Tim Boyle having taken all of the snaps here in August game action. That should continue to be the case on Friday and I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Keep in mind, we did see a spark from the Detroit offense against the Steelers backups last week as they put up 20 points in the fourth quarter.
The Colts have thrown the football around more than you might expect in the preseason as Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger continue to battle it out for the Week 1 starting job (and eventual backup to Carson Wentz, who has returned to practice). After attempting 37 passes in Week 1 of the preseason, Eason and Ehlinger combined to attempt 40 passes in Week 2. Head coach Frank Reich will want to see better execution from the offense here this week after they were held to just 12 points and zero touchdowns in last week's narrow 12-10 win over the Vikings. Indy did move the football in that contest, with the two quarterbacks combining to throw for over 200 yards. Take the over (10*).
|08-23-21||Jaguars v. Saints OVER 39||Top||21-23||Win||100||11 h 60 m||Show|
NFLX First Half Total of the Year. My selection is on the first half 'over' between Jacksonville and New Orleans at 8 pm et on Monday.
Both of these teams are coming off losses in their respective preseason openers. Jags rookie QB Trevor Lawrence admitted he felt some nerves in his debut and it showed as he took a couple of early sacks and showed few flashes of the dominant college quarterback that warranted the number one overall pick in this year's draft. I expect him to settle down and turn in a much better performance on the fast track at the Superdome on Monday night. Lawrence will see the bulk of the early action under center but we should see Gardner Minshew get some first half reps as well. By playing the first half only we avoid getting too deep into the Jags QB rotation which also includes C.J. Beathard and Jake Luton - both threw touchdown passes late in last week's loss to the Browns but I wouldn't count on a repeat effort tonight.
The Jags defense didn't look good against the Browns. Cleveland moved the football up and down the field at will, despite resting most of its key offensive starters. Jacksonville was actually fortunate to only give up 13 first half points in its preseason opener as the Browns lacked some execution at the end of drives. The damage could have been much worse. Here, I expect the Saints to make a concerted effort to push the football down the field with Jameis Winston expected to get the start under center. We saw Winston get more comfortable and start taking some deep shots as the game went on against the Ravens last week and I expect to see carry-over from that gameplan here.
While this is a relatively high first half total by preseason standards, I don't think it's been set high enough. By playing the first half only we'll look to avoid putting our trust in the hands of Saints possible practice squad QB Trevor Siemian, who is expected to see plenty of second half action. Take the first half over (10*).
|08-21-21||Falcons v. Dolphins OVER 36.5||Top||17-37||Win||100||58 h 58 m||Show|
NFLX Total of the Year. My selection is on the 'over' between Atlanta and Miami at 7 pm et on Saturday.
We're being afforded a relatively low total to work with here thanks to 'meaningless' Week 1 preseason results.
The Falcons were absolutely crushed by the Titans by a 23-3 score, at home no less. It certainly wasn't a great look for new head coach Arthur Smith - the former Titans offensive coordinator. Let's not get too excited by that ugly performance though. We didn't see the Falcons offensive starters in that game. It remains to be seen whether the starters suit up for this one but I would expect to see at least some of the Falcons stars to at the very least make a cameo appearance in this one. Regardless, I think Atlanta has enough depth on offense to put up a much better performance than we saw last week. Projected third-string QB Feleipe Franks did do a good job of moving the football on the ground, racking up 76 rushing yards against Tennessee. Here, I think we'll see Smith dial up the offense a little with a more pass-heavy attack as the Falcons use this as a measuring-stick game against a good Dolphins defense.
Miami's offense got off to a fine start against the Bears last Saturday but fizzled in the second half in a 17-13 loss. That certainly wasn't an ideal spot to unleash the offense in a tough matchup on the road against a quality Bears defense. It's a different story here as Miami prepares to face a middle of the road Falcons defense.
Head coach Brian Flores guided his team to a 3-1 record in his preseason debut as a head coach in 2019. That included a 34-27 victory over these same Falcons in their preseason home opener. Flores knows what he has on defense. What he needs to find out here is what he has offensively, and like Smith, I look for him to dial up a more aggressive offensive gameplan in an effort to figure out where his team stands, especially with QB Tua Tagovailoa taking over the reins as the starter this year.
With this total sitting where it is, we don't need an offensive shootout to cash this ticket. That warrants us stepping up to our top rating. Take the over (10*).
|08-20-21||Chiefs -2 v. Cardinals||Top||17-10||Win||100||37 h 8 m||Show|
NFLX TV Game of the Year. My selection is on Kansas City minus the points over Arizona at 8 pm et on Friday.
I'll lay the short number with the Chiefs as they travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals in front of a national ESPN audience on Friday.
Both of these teams were victorious by identical 19-16 scores last week as the Chiefs defeated the Niners in San Francisco and the Cardinals took down the Cowboys here at home. It's worth noting that Arizona's victory came thanks to a pair of Matt Prater field goals inside the game's final two minutes (foiling our play on the Cowboys plus the points).
Kyler Murray is expected to see his first action of the preseason for the Cardinals. He has already stated that he 'hates the preseason' and puts virtually no stock in what happens on the field. With WRs DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green and RB James Conner on and off the field due to various ailments, he may not have his full compliment of weapons during what should be a brief appearance in the first half on Friday. Also note that depth WR Andy Isabella will miss this game due to Covid protocols.
Behind Murray in the QB rotation is the capable but underwhelming duo of Colt McCoy and Chris Streveler.
Note that the Cards went 1-3 in the preseason in their first year under head coach Kliff Kingsbury back in 2019. So they're in uncharted territory in a sense as they look for their second consecutive preseason win here.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has said that he will play his starters for most, if not all of the first half on Friday. While it remains to be seen whether that means we'll see a full half from QB Pat Mahomes (probably not), I still think we're going to see Kansas City put forth a fairly serious effort (by preseason standards) as they look to go 2-0 on the road. The Chiefs offense will be facing a Cardinals defense that won't have the services of J.J. Watt or Chandler Jones.
Kansas City doesn't have a top-flight QB rotation by any means but I do like the veteran presence of Chad Henne and Shane Buechele did show he can move the ball down the field with his arm and his legs in last week's victory (8-of-11 passing and three runs for 13 yards). I simply feel we'll see a little better execution from the Chiefs for four quarters than we will from the Cardinals as Kansas City is a road favorite for a reason. Take Kansas City (10*).