NFL Saturday Preseason Betting Action

 

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2010-08-21

The bulk of the NFL Week 2 Preseason action is scheduled for Saturday evening, as 11 different games are on tap, offering up a pretty extensive betting menu. Let’s take a look at some of the more intriguing action, looking for holes in Sportsbook.com’s prices.

Pittsburgh (1-0) at New York Giants (1-0), 7:00 p.m. EDT

Sportsbook.com Line: Pittsburgh -4 Total: 33.5

Tom Coughlin says that Eli Manning will sit this one out after suffering a gruesome cut on his forehead in Monday’s 31-16 win over the Jets. The cut required 12 stitches, but it appears that Manning avoided any serious damage. Backup Jim Sorgi, who used to hold the clipboard for Eli’s brother in Indianapolis, performed admirably in relief, completing 8-of-15 passes for 146 yards and 2 TD. Sorgi, however, is also sidelined, which means second-year QB Rhett Bomar will get most, if not all, of the action under center. Bomar was 6-for-7 for 67 yards and a score on Monday. Former Holy Cross quarterback Dominic Randolph was signed a free agent on Thursday and could end up seeing some fourth-quarter action.

After sitting out the Steelers’ preseason opening 23-7 win over the Lions, Ben Roethlisberger is expected to play against the Giants. Dennis Dixon, third on the depth chart, proved to be more effective than Byron Leftwich. Dixon was 6-for-7 for 128 yards, including a 68-yard scoring toss to Antonio Brown. Dixon also rushed for 31 yards on six carries. Leftwich finished 6-10 with 43 passing yards.

The Steelers are coming into this game with two more days of preparation than the Giants, a factor that could work in their favor. FoxSheets show that the NY GIANTS are 12-27 ATS (-17.7 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest since 1993. The average score was NY GIANTS 17.2, OPPONENT 20.9 - (Rating = 1*).

Baltimore (1-0) at Washington (1-0, 7:00 p.m. EDT

Sportsbook.com Line: Washington -3 Total: 38.5

Donovan McNabb played just two series in the Redskins’ 42-17 rout of the Bills last Friday, finishing off his second drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Anthony Armstrong. McNabb was 5-for-8 for 58 yards and the one score. Rex Grossman stepped in and went 11-for-18 for 140 yards and a pair of TD passes. RB Keiland Williams, undrafted out of LSU, carried the ball 11 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns.

Joe Flacco led the Ravens to 10 points on three drives in their 17-12 win over the Panthers. Flacco was 8-for-12 for 120 yards. He marched the Ravens 96 yards down the field on his third possession, which culminated with a 30-yard strike to Mark Clayton.

The Ravens defense, which did not allow an offensive TD against the Panthers in their opener, should pose a tougher challenge for the Redskins this week. FoxSheets make a compelling case for the Ravens. WASHINGTON is 1-11 ATS (-11.1 Units) in home games off 1 or more straight overs since 1993. The average score was WASHINGTON 16.8, OPPONENT 21.8 - (Rating = 3*).

Houston (0-1) at New Orleans (0-1), 8:00 p.m. EDT

Sportsbook.com Line: Saints -1 Total: 41

Matt Schaub did what elite NFL quarterbacks are expected to do in the preseason opener, a 19-16 Texans loss at Arizona. Schaub, coming off a Pro Bowl season, completed 5-of-6 passes for 78 yards, leading his team to a TD and a FG on his two drives. Schaub connected with his favorite target, Andre Johnson, for a 44-yard score. The Houston defense held strong for three quarters, blanking the Cardinals before allowing 19 points in the fourth quarter.

The vaunted Saints offense struggled in their opener in New England, where they fell to the Patriots 27-24. Drew Brees played three series, the first two of which resulted in punts, before leading a 20-play, 86-yard that was capped off with a 2-yard TD run by Reggie Bush. Brees finished 9-for-13 for 55 yards.

Just as Tom Brady led a pair of scoring drives against the Saints to start last week’s game, there’s a good chance Schaub could do the same and give the Texans another early lead. It will be up to the backups to preserve it. This FoxSheets system favors the Texans as an underdog. Play On - Underdogs or pick (HOUSTON) - off an upset loss as a favorite, in the third week of the preseason. (27-8 over the last 10 seasons.) (77.1%, +18.2 units. Rating = 2*).

Dallas (1-1) at San Diego (1-0), 9:00 p.m. EDT

Sportsbook.com Line: San Diego -3 Total: 36.5

After playing two games in five days, the Cowboys should be well-rested heading to San Diego to take on the Chargers. After defeating Cincinnati 16-7 to open the year in the Hall of Fame Game, the Cowboys let a lead slip away late and lost to Oakland 17-9 on August 12. Dallas has struggled on offense so far this preseason, averaging 12.5 points and 280 yards per game.

Offense wasn’t a problem for San Diego in their preseason opener, a 25-10 home win against Chicago. Philip Rivers tossed a touchdown pass and the Chargers ran for 120 yards, led by Ryan Mathews’ 50 yards on nine carries. San Diego’s defense also stepped up, forcing two turnovers and limiting the Bears to only 216 yards of total offense.

Because of what transpired for each team last week, there is actually a fairly impressive system favoring Dallas in this one:

Play Against - Home teams (SAN DIEGO) - after a win by 10 or more points against opponent after scoring 3 points or less in the first half last game. (27-9 since 1993.) (75%, +17.1 units. Rating = 2*).