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NFL Preseason Week 2 Preview & Early Odds

Some wild endings to open the NFL preseason had bettors sitting on the edge of their seats with 12 of the 16 games decided by 7-points or less and five by a field goal or less. Can we expect more of the same during Week 2 of the NFL preseason? It’s hard to say, but oddsmakers made adjustments to the lines and totals ahead of the action that starts with a Thursday night contest between the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks.

At least one NFL game will be played for five straight days beginning with the contest between NFC squads and culminating with a Monday Night Football tilt between the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets. Betting options for every game on the NFL schedule are available at

I guess the biggest takeaway from Week 1 was the scoring with 24 teams tallying at least 20 points and 13 of the 16 games cashing the OVER. Based on recent history we haven’t seen a lot points on the board early in the preseason with the highest Week 1 total being just 38.5 points. In Week 1 of the 2021 preseason teams cashed the OVER in just three games. And another big note is the Baltimore Ravens, who won their 21st straight exhibition contest beating Tennessee 23-10 while covering the line to go 19-2 ATS during that run. As a result they have the biggest spread on the board laying 6-points to the Arizona Cardinals in their Sunday clash.

Four of the five rookie head coaches had a triumphant debut with Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell the only loser in the bunch. Of course preseason success doesn’t always translate to the regular year. Baltimore, Cleveland, Indianapolis and the Jets all went undefeated last preseason and missed the playoffs. But Kansas City and Buffalo also went unbeaten and won division titles.

NFL Preseason Week 2 Schedule and Odds

Thursday, August 18

Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks ( -5, 42.5 )

Friday, August 19

Carolina Panthers ( -2, 41 ) at New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers ( -3, 40 )

Houston Texans ( -3, 38 ) at Los Angeles Rams

Saturday, August 20

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills ( -5, 41.5 )

Detroit Lions ( -1.5, 42.5 ) at Indianapolis Colts

Washington Commanders at Kansas City Chiefs ( -3, 42.5 )

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans ( -3, 38.5 )

Las Vegas Raiders ( -1.5, 40.5 ) at Miami Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings ( -3.5, 41 )

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars ( -3.5, 43 )

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5, 38 )

Sunday, August 21

Philadelphia Eagles ( -2, 37 ) at Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants ( -5, 38.5 )

Baltimore Ravens ( -6, 41.5) at Arizona Cardinals

Monday, August 22

Atlanta Falcons ( -1, 39.5 ) at New York Jets

The betting week opens with a pair of teams that aren’t expected to do much once the regular season opens. But at least the Bears have a starting quarterback in Justin Fields while the Seahawks are still trying to figure things out after parting ways with Russell Wilson. Few teams have competition for QB1 with Seattle among them. Drew Lock and Geno Smith split duties last week and were even on the stat sheet, though Lock threw a pair of scoring passes in the loss to Pittsburgh. The Bears offered little resistance to Patrick Mahomes last week and could have a tough time against guys working for the starting job.

The QB battle is heating up in Carolina as well. The darlings of the 2018 NFL Draft are trying to save their careers at this point. Baker Mayfield, taken first overall by Cleveland, appears to have the edge over Sam Darnold, who was drafted third by the Jets. They played sparingly in the opener but expect the competition to heat up on Friday when the Panthers visit New England. One or both will get reps against defenders well down the depth chart allowing Carolina to cover.

It will be interesting to see how teams with an established QB game plan. With the penultimate exhibition game considered in the past to be the dress rehearsal, we’re seeing a change in thinking spurred by Rams’ coach Sean McVay. LA starters didn’t play a down last preseason and the Rams won the Super Bowl. Everyone sat last week in a win over the Chargers and don’t expect things to change Friday against Houston. That’s why the Rams are catching 3-points.

Favorites and dogs split the games evenly last week going 8-8 with only three spreads closing higher than 3.5-points and the Broncos having the biggest gap at -5 in their contest with Dallas. As of Monday night four games had a line of at least five points with Baltimore the biggest favorite. Seattle, Buffalo and the Giants are all 5-point home favorites for their matchups.

Making money on preseason games requires some effort and waiting is always a plus since information about a team’s game plan is usually revealed closer to kickoff. The biggest thing to note is if and how long coaches plan to play starters. A little extra effort can pay off in the long run.

View today’s NFL Preseason Week 1 betting lines.

George Newman
George Newman
Covers NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL for George is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy sports fan.

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