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Betting Insight And Odds For 2019 NFL Preseason Week 2

16th August, 13:01

I provide insight on U.S. sports-betting & information you can bet on.

Preseason football continues into Week 2, and NFL oddsmakers have made the biggest adjustments in the totals market. Every Week 1 preseason game had an over/under posted total of less than 40 points with nearly all of the them between 35-38. Week 1 produced some of the highest scoring games in recent years, and in Week 2 all but one of the 16 games has a total greater than 40 points. Oddsmakers have adjusted the totals upward by an average of at least five points.

Thursday's Week 2 preseason games featured five contests, and ironically the only total of the week less than 40 was bet down sharply from 38 to 34.5. But that Eagles - Jaguars game still finished under the total in Philadelphia's 24-10 road win at Jacksonville.

The Raiders took sharp money as professionals pounded their bets on the Silver and Black and the line fell to Oakland (+1) at Arizona. The sportsbooks at MGM properties took a hit when the Raiders rolled up a 20-point lead in the 4th quarter and coasted to a 33-26 win.

The NFL preseason lines move more on sides than during the regular season, as sharp bettors and professionals make up a larger percentage of bets and force oddsmakers to make quick adjustments on preseason lines and totals. For Saturday's schedule the oddsmakers have moved the lines at least 2 points in favor of the Colts (-3), Cowboys (-2.5), Chiefs (-2.5) and Titans (pk). The Texans (-4.5) have also taken money with a small move.

You can watch all the NFL preseason games streamed live via NFL Game Pass, or tune into the national TV games this Sunday and Monday.

In addition some of the other preseason games on Friday and Saturday are on the NFL Network, including Friday's Chicago at New York Giants (-2.5) contest.

The Saturday, Aug. 17 NFL Network triple-header includes:

It's worth noting that the Indianapolis Colts are taking 67% of the spread bets at a consensus of seven leading online sportsbooks tracked by Sports Insights. The betting line has moved from the opener of Colts -1 to currently -3 across the board at all offshore sportsbooks and legal sportsbooks in Las Vegas. History of more than 20 years in NFL preseason football shows that preseason Week 1 losers (0-1) vs. Week 1 winners (1-0) have covered nearly 63% of Week 2 contests. That situation applies to the Colts and also the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) Friday against the Miami Dolphins.

Many sports books have a maximum risk of $1,000 to $2,000 on preseason games, and some take a maximum bet of $500 including online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag. The head linemaker, Adam Burns, noted that bettors are already betting against the New York Giants this season and some are also betting that second-year head coach Pat Shurmur will be the first coach to lose his job during the regular season (fired, resigned, retired). Shurmur's odds are 5-1, just behind the favorite, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden (3-1). Sharp bettors and professionals don't like the Giants prospects of a successful season, and have been betting under 6 wins (-140).

"Gamblers are betting the 'under' for the Giants season win total of 6, and they were quick to pounce on Shurmur being the first coach fired," Burns told me.

Despite some positive takeaways from the Giants' 31-22 win over the NY Jets last week, bettors are betting against the Giants Friday night as well when New York hosts the Chicago Bears at Met Life Stadium. The Giants are a 2.5-point favorite, but 61% of the bets are on the Bears according to Sports Insights. Those percentages change as more bets come in towards game time.

Sports Insights provides free live NFL odds, and Thursday the Baltimore Ravens were bet up to -4 by game time and took the highest percentage (69%) of side bets from a consensus of seven leading online sportsbooks, including BetOnline.ag, an affiliate of SportsBetting.ag.

The bettors beat the bookmakers with the Ravens 26-13 win over Green Bay. That second straight home win this preseason improved the Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh's preseason record to 15-0 straight up (SU) and 13-2 against the spread (ATS) over the past four seasons. The Ravens play their next two preseason games on the road at Philadelphia and Washington. Odds are that remarkable winning streak is going to end.

At the start of preseason, former NFL executive and current VSiN analyst and NFL insider Michael Lombardi told Vegas Stats & Information Network listeners (SiriusXM channel 204) to avoid the LA Rams in the preseason.

"Bet against the Rams in the preseason because they are not really trying to win," said Lombardi. "Avoid teams that are just trying to get through it."

The Rams then went through the motions in a Week 1 preseason loss to the Raiders 14-3, as Los Angeles gained just 190 yards on offense. Now the LA Rams have seen the biggest line move of Week 2, as Los Angeles opened a 3-point home favorite over Dallas, but the Cowboys are now a 2.5-point favorite. Buyer beware however, as Dallas has covered just over 30% of their preseason games the past eight years, and NFL head coaches preseason records show Dallas is just 12-22 SU under Jason Garrett. Seems the Cowboys don't play to win much either, and neither the Rams or Cowboys are expected to play key starters much or at all. That's also a reason why the total has been bet from 42.5 down to 40 with a near Week 2-high of 77% of the over/under bets placed 'under' the total according to Sports Insights.

Sharp bettors may not like the Rams during the preseason, but LA Rams management and marketing teams are engaging their fans with a new sports betting app that features a free-to-play mobile game to allow fans to make real-time predictions during the football contests. Over time, this may become a platform that would allow live-action real-money wagers placed on Rams games and throughout the league with other teams.

Losing more in the preseason apparently also applies to the Atlanta Falcons, who lost again in Week 2 Thursday 22-10 to the New York Jets. Three turnovers proved problematic for the Falcons, who out-gained the Jets 340-199 on their home turf. That dropped the Falcons and head coach Dan Quinn's record to 0-11 SU/ATS over the past 3 seasons.

Evaluating coaching tendencies, quarterback rotations and late week information are some of the tips and strategies to handicapping and betting preseason football. The Lines is a newer sports betting site that offers sharp takes and analysis from sports betting industry experts, and a preseason betting guide to assist those that try to tackle NFL preseason.

Quarterback rotations and NFL depth charts and rosters are available at sites like ourlads.com. For comprehensive player grades and evaluations, Pro Football Focus has you covered and provides key analysis, research and advice that can assist not only sports bettors, but also fantasy football enthusiasts. For example, if you're wondering which teams will likely have the strongest offensive lines, Pro Football Focus provides their 2019 offensive line rankings. The Eagles, Cowboys, Steelers, Titans and Colts are expected to have among the leagues best offensive lines.

That may not be the case as more starters rest or get limited playing time during preseason games. But you'll learn plenty about players and teams and gain valuable information through grading, stats, analysis and recaps if you follow Pro Football Focus news and analysis.

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