The second week of the NFL preseason kicks off Thursday night. Let’s take a look at some of the good bets to make on this week’s schedule.
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins (-3)
The Redskins are my favorite bet of the week because of their current quarterback situation unless we hear that they are looking to see their fourth-string QB late in the game, which would truly make no sense. Coming into preseason Week 1, we knew that Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins would see playing time, along with Josh Woodrum. Now, Colt McCoy is still injured and unavailable for this game, and Woodrum suffered an injury during the game last Thursday.
This means that the Redskins would have to throw Jalan McClendon out there as the fourth-string QB after being with the team for just a few days. Maybe they run him out late because they want to avoid Haskins getting killed due to third-string offensive line woes, but I expect virtually none of him in this game.
In the preseason, opportunity is king, and I think that the Redskins are going to run out at least three quarters of clear NFL-caliber quarterbacks that could both start this year. Betting preseason is always nerve-wracking, but betting on two borderline QB1s for the whole game makes me feel very comfortable when picking the Redskins to win this game handily.
Oakland Raiders (+3) at Arizona Cardinals
This is a simple situation where I think that the line is too big. We don’t have concrete news on either team’s starters playing in this game, but I am assuming that we see about a quarter out of both teams’ starters in this game.
I get the hype and talk that Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury are getting heading into year one, but that still does not mean that they are going to be a great football team. Maybe the offense is explosive and wins them games, but I don’t think that this will really affect preseason games.
In his debut, Murray looked sharp, but it also looked like the Cardinals were protecting him and letting him get into a quick rhythm before removing him after the first series. Overall, the Cardinals have one of the worst rosters in the league, and that is something that gets exposed in preseason games where the guys on the field at the end of games will likely not even make the team.
The Raiders’ roster is similar in talent to the Cardinals, but I think that means that the line here is just too big. Give me the Raiders (+3) all day long in this one.
Cleveland Browns (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
This is another really perplexing line when you look at overall roster depth. Last week, the depth of the Browns really impressed me with how they were able to handle the Redskins, especially defensively later in that game. I think that the Browns have a lot of talent, and I think that really shows when looking into their depth.
The Colts also have sound depth, but I don’t understand why they are favored here. Andrew Luck is not going to play, and I would be surprised if we saw Parris Campbell take the field as well. This means that we will likely not see a lot of starters in this game at all for the Colts.
The Browns, on the other hand, have been very healthy to this point and played their starters a series last week. I would expect that workload to increase while the Colts are likely to play a few series with Jacoby Brissett as their QB1 and then call it a day.
The biggest concern here is that I believe that the Colts likely have better QB play in the back half of this game. That being said, the Colts do not have rising young talent at the receiver position that makes me think that their passing game will be great late in the game. The Browns should score twice before the starters come out of the game, and I think that makes them the right play here at +3.