NFL Preseason Picks Week 1

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NFL Preseason Picks Week 1
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Several NFL teams, such as the Philadelphia Eagles tonight, do not engage their players in any contact drills and will be overly cautious in playing any starter in preseason action. 

The result is a murky betting landscape that many sports bettors avoid. But, as you will see over the next three weeks there are many highly profitable NFL betting situations that have done quite well over many preseason games.

New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles

Line: Pick-em | Total: 36 points

7:30 p.m. ET

My predictive models project the Jets offense will average at least eight or more net passing yards per attempt in this game. 

In past preseason games, the Jets are 19-2-1 against the spread (ATS) when averaging eight or more net passing yards per attempt since 1996. 

I am betting on the Jets at Pick-em.

Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals

Line: Bengals –2 | total: 31.5 points

7:30 p.m. ET

I like the Bengals as a 2-point favorite to cover the spread in this game. Cincinnati is on an 8-0 ATS preseason win streak and 6-0 ATS when priced as an underdog in the NFL preseason. 

The Cardinals are 1-7 ATS when priced as a favorite of three or fewer points in the NFL preseason. 

I am betting on the Cincinnati Bengals minus two points.

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers

Line: Steelers –3.5 | total: 36.5 points

7 p.m. ET Saturday

My predictive models expect both teams to score 20 or more points in this game. 

The Steelers are 22-0 on the Over in preseason games in which they and their opponent each scored 20 or more points since 1996. 

The Seahawks are 26-0 Over in preseason games where they and their opponent each scored 20 or more points. 

I am betting the Over 36.5 points.

Carolina Panthers at Washington Commanders

Line: Commanders –3 | Total: 37 points

1 p.m. ET Saturday

The total for this game opened at 35 points and has steadily risen to 37, with 80% of the tickets bet on the Over. But, that accounts for just 60% of the total money bet on the Over. 

This reflects the public betting community is irrationally enamored with the Over in this game and the sharps are betting the Under.

The Commanders are 21-8 Under in home preseason games with a total between 35.5 and 42 points since 1996. They are 45-22-3 Under in all preseason games with a total between 35.5 and 42 points since 1996. 

I am betting the Under 37 points.

Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

Line: Chiefs –1 | Total: 34.5 points

1 p.m. Saturday

The line for this game opened with the Bears priced as a 2.5-point home favorite and action has been dominated by Chiefs' bettors, resulting in the line moving 3.5 points to the Chiefs as a 1-point favorite. 

This is a contrarian bet on Chicago as only 19% of the tickets bet and 20% of the money wagered have been on the Bears. The sentiment is overwhelmingly favoring an easy Chiefs win and I see this game resulting in a Chiefs loss.

The Chiefs are 22-45 ATS in preseason games lined between +3 and –3 points since 1996. They are 18-35 ATS when priced as an underdog in preseason games since 1996. 

I am betting the Chicago Bears at Pick-em or as an underdog getting points.

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John Ryan

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