NFL Preseason Best Bets, Aug. 12
Finally, a slate of games that isn’t Central American soccer or the Moscow Liga Pro table tennis league. At long last, there are games that you can not only watch on television, but games where investing two to three hours of your time is actually worth doing. Even though it is only preseason, this is a great opportunity to see all the highly anticipated draft picks and young players and what is to come from them in the season.
Starting in Foxborough, the Patriots take on the Football Team of Washington in a game where both teams have a lot to find out about themselves. The line opened up with the WFT favored at -2, but since then, the line shifted over to the Patriots making them currently a 1-point favorite. Starting tonight for the Patriots was their quarterback last year, Cam Newton, who seemingly has a lot to prove against first round draft pick out of Alabama, Mac Jones. During the offseason, the Patriots bulked up their offensive stature with additions like Hunter Henry and Nelson Agholor to add some much needed versatility to their scheme. This one-two punch of quarterbacks for New England easily surpasses the skill and depth Washington has at the position, and as long as the Patriots defense holds up, their offense should outscore starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and company with ease. Although there are uncertainties surrounding the Washington offense, expect to see them struggling to move the ball because of the lack of playmakers on the Football Team’s offense.
The second and final NFL exhibition of the evening pits rookie running back from Alabama, Najee Harris, and the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Philadelphia Eagles and former teammate, second year QB Jalen Hurts. The current spread remains set at the line it was opened at with the Eagles being favored at -1. Although the Steelers offense and defense showed flashes in the Hall of Fame game, the Eagles are loaded with young talent who have a lot to prove including their underrated playmaker at quarterback. They will have their guns blazing on offense with the tandem of Hurts/Sanders in the backfield with a talented, young receiving core. Without Ben Roethlisberger again, the Steelers have to rely on the volatile play of Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins. In the first half of the Hall of Fame game against a below average second and third string Cowboys team, the Steelers struggled mightily to find any flow offensively and the game was a toss up going into the second half. The Cowboys missing two field goals didn’t hurt the Steelers chances either, and I don’t see their luck continuing against an Eagles team who is pumped to play their first preseason game at home. While the Eagles will have most if not all of their regular starters playing, Pittsburgh will have a lot of second-string players starting the game, especially on defense.