The first week of NFL preseason action is in the books. It was an entertaining week as we saw a number of rookie quarterbacks get in the lineup. Now we look to Week 2 with three games that we like on the board:
Green Bay Packers @ Baltimore Ravens
Thursday, August 15th – 7:30 PM ET
Odds: Ravens -5 at PointsBet
Baltimore has been one of the best teams to bet on in preseason action with John Harbaugh as head coach. After last week’s 29-0 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Harbaugh now owns a 33-12 record in exhibition games. Quarterbacks Lamar Jackson, Joe Callahan, and rookie Trace McSorley combined for 139 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Jaguars.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore defense combined for a pair of interceptions and held Jacksonville’s offense off the score sheet. All things considered, we should see a similar result from the Ravens this week when they host the Packers.
Green Bay got the win last week (28-26 over Houston), but the final score was misleading. The Packers were out-gained 412-237 and 29-16 in first downs, but four Texans turnovers made it easy for them. As long as the Ravens take better care of the ball, they should do well.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Thursday, August 15th – 7:00 PM ET
Odds: Jaguars -3 at PointsBet
The Jaguars didn’t show many signs of life in their preseason opener and it might not get any better for them against Philadelphia. Jacksonville has no reason to give Nick Foles extensive time under center. Meanwhile, the rest of the Jaguars quarterbacks failed to move the ball effectively against Baltimore last week and now they have to face an Eagles defense that will be looking to bounce back after a relatively poor performance in last week’s 27-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Philadelphia’s backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld was injured in that loss. However, the Eagles should give Carson Wentz a look this week anyways with Cody Kessler primed for a larger workload. Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson went 6-2 in his first eight preseason games but is just 1-4 in his last five. Doug Marrone is just 8-10 in preseason games and given the number of injuries the team is dealing with already, he should be conservative.
Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers
Friday, August 16th – 7:00 PM ET
Odds: Panthers -3 at PointsBet
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is known for placing an emphasis on results in preseason action. After posting a 1-3 record in his first preseason as head coach in Carolina, Rivera is 17-11 since in exhibition action. The Panthers went 3-1 in the preseason a year ago and then opened this year’s exhibition slate with a dominant 23-13 victory over the Chicago Bears. Now Rivera will look to build on that early momentum against his former coordinator Sean McDermott and the visiting Bills.
While Buffalo won its preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, McDermott entered this season with a 3-5 record in exhibition play over his first two seasons as a head coach. Rookie third-round pick Will Grier and second-year passer Kyle Allen looked solid in their preseason opener, going a combined 16-of-27 for 153 yards with a touchdown and an interception versus Chicago. Rivera’s emphasis on winning in the preseason combined with Grier and Allen competing for the backup quarterback position should provide the Panthers with a winning recipe versus Buffalo in Week 2.