NFL Preseason Betting: Insight on All 6 Friday 8/24 Games

NFL Preseason Betting: Insight on All 6 Friday 8/24 Games article feature image

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Russell Wilson

  • The NFL preseason slate on Friday Aug. 24 features six games, including Giants-Jets, Broncos-Redskins and Patriots-Panthers.
  • An overwhelming amount of public money is backing the Raiders spread vs. the Packers.
  • The Seahawks-Vikings' over/under has steadily dropped despite Russell Wilson's strong performance last week.

We get a six-game slate of preseason football on Friday night. And since it’s Week 3, many starters will play for up to a half and maybe even three quarters in some cases. Still, offenses and defenses alike will continue to rely on simplified schemes.

For preseason player projections and daily fantasy analysis, see the FantasyLabs Models as well as our evergreen and slate-specific DFS content.

Now, let’s take a look at key storylines for all 12 teams playing on Friday.

Betting Odds: New York Giants at New York Jets (-2.5)

  • New York Giants Moneyline: +127
  • New York Jets Moneyline: -148
  • Over/Under: 41.5
  • Kickoff: Aug. 24, 2018 – 7:30 p.m. ET

New York Giants

All-world talent Odell Beckham Jr. will likely join Saquon Barkley (hamstring) on the bench, but Beckham is reportedly back to his dominant ways on the practice field.

Coach Pat Shurmur said he wants Eli Manning’s completion rate “bordering on 70” this season, which could lead to plenty of high-percentage passes to Beckham, one of the league’s premiere run-after-the-catch artists.

While Manning will surely welcome his No. 1 WR back with open arms come Week 1, OBJ’s presence hasn’t historically been great for Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard’s fantasy production.

New York Jets

Jets starters are expected to play for at least the first half on Friday night. This should include No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold, who has posted a pristine 72.4% completion rate through two preseason games while consistently moving the offense. Still, his average of 5.4 yards per attempt would have ranked 45th out of 48 quarterbacks last season (minimum two starts). It’s only the preseason, but defenses will force Darnold to beat them downfield at some point.

Landon Collins said the Giants’ starting defense expects to play three quarters.

The total has dropped since opening at 42 despite the over receiving 57% of public tickets (per our Live NFL Odds page).

Betting Odds: Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins (-3)

  • Denver Broncos Moneyline: +130
  • Washington Redskins Moneyline: -150
  • Over/Under: 43.5
  • Kickoff: Aug. 24, 2018 – 7:30 p.m. ET

Denver Broncos

It would seem as though fourth-rounder Royce Freeman is winning the battle for No. 1 RB duties through two preseason games:

  • Freeman: 10 carries, 58 yards, 5.8 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns, 1 reception, 6 receiving yards
  • Devontae Booker: 6 carries, 24 yards, 4 YPC, 1 reception, 10 yards

Both have played 13 snaps with the first-team offense through two games, per Graham Barfield. This committee approach is at odds with Bill Musgrave’s scheme, as his lead back averaged 271.6 carries and 35 receptions per season over his seven full stints as an offensive coordinator since 2003.

Washington Redskins

Coach Jay Gruden has confirmed Chris Thompson (leg) and Jordan Reed (toe) will rest, though both are tentatively expected to be ready to go for Week 1. Jamison Crowder’s (groin) game status is uncertain.

Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson should have plenty of chances to make their case as Alex Smith’s No. 2 WR in 2018. Richardson is one of just 20 receivers with a contract worth at least $40 million, while Doctson is a former first-rounder who has averaged 15.4 yards per reception in 18 games over the past two seasons.

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Betting Odds: New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers (-1.5)

  • New England Patriots Moneyline: +105
  • Carolina Panthers Moneyline: -125
  • Over/Under: 45.5
  • Kickoff: Aug. 24, 2018 – 7:30 p.m. ET

New England Patriots

It’s unclear whether Tom Brady will play after stringing together a successful first half in Week 2, yet the game opened with a slate-high 46.5-point total with 76% of public tickets and 59% of the money coming in on the under.

The Patriots featured Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Julian Edelman in three-receiver sets alongside Brady in the second preseason game. The likes of James White and Rex Burkhead will see plenty of work come Week 1, but Eric Decker and/or Cordarrelle Patterson could see enhanced roles during Edelman’s four-game suspension.

Carolina Panthers

Coach Ron Rivera has clarified that he plans to play his starters all the way into the third quarter to replicate halftime adjustments. Sixty-eight percent of public tickets have come in on the Patriots spread, but 66% of the money is backing the home squad.

The Panthers enter the regular season with a new-look offense expected to feature Christian McCaffrey in addition to first-round receiver D.J. Moore … and a healthy Greg Olsen! And yet, incumbent No. 1 WR Devin Funchess has been in on all 38 of Cam Newton’s snaps (per Adam Levitan). Funchess was one of only 13 wideouts with at least eight receiving touchdowns last season and is the team’s biggest receiver at 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds.

Betting Odds: Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)

  • Seattle Seahawks Moneyline: +160
  • Minnesota Vikings Moneyline: -185
  • Over/Under: 39.5
  • Kickoff: Aug. 24, 2018 – 8 p.m. ET

Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson accounted for all but one of the Seahawks’ offensive touchdowns in 2017. Still, this season has red flags with Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson gone and the historically pass-averse Brian Schottenheimer taking over as offensive coordinator.

Ultimately, Wilson did everything he could to squash the haters during his 30 minutes of work last week, displaying his patented big-play ability by completing passes stretching 52, 45 and 29 yards. It doesn’t matter who is calling plays or catching passes: Wilson is going to keep running around, chucking the ball downfield and generally making good things happen.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings and Seahawks have each boasted top-five defenses in recent seasons, though the former unit certainly appears to be in better shape entering 2018.

While the Seahawks have to find a way to replace Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett and potentially Earl Thomas, the Vikings are loaded with familiar (and effective) faces.

In a battle between two teams known for dominating on defense, the total has dropped by two points since opening, with 67% of tickets backing the under.

Betting Odds: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)

  • Detroit Lions Moneyline: +145
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers Moneyline: -165
  • Over/Under: 45
  • Kickoff: Aug. 24, 2018 – 8 p.m. ET

Detroit Lions

The Lions’ status as a pass-first offense isn’t expected to change in 2018, but Eric Ebron’s departure leaves a hefty 15.2% target share to fill. Only the Rams utilized three-receiver sets on a higher percentage of snaps than the Lions last season (per Sharp Football Stats), so Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and breakout-candidate Kenny Golladay could all potentially co-exist in fantasy. Golladay surprisingly worked ahead of Tate in the team’s two-receiver sets last week and ranked second among all rookies in yards per reception last season.

While 60% of public tickets have come in on the Lions +3, they’ve received only 28% of the money.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Second-rounder Ronald Jones II was expected to work as the Buccaneers’ featured back entering training camp, but incumbent starter Peyton Barber has significantly out-performed the rookie.

  • Barber: 10 carries, 53 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, 1 touchdown
  • Jones: 12 carries, 11 yards, 0.9 yards per carry, 1 touchdown

Neither has contributed anything as a receiver, so either Charles Sims (knee, questionable) or Jacquizz Rodgers could see plenty of work on passing downs. There could be more than a few goal-line carries to go around Friday night, as the Lions-Buccaneers total is tied for the third-highest mark this week.

Betting Odds: Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders (-6)

  • Green Bay Packers Moneyline: +225
  • Oakland Raiders Moneyline: -278
  • Over/Under: 40.5
  • Kickoff: Aug. 24, 2018 – 10:30 p.m. ET

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers engineered a touchdown on his first drive courtesy of new red-zone BFF Jimmy Graham. The first-team offense won’t be suiting up again Friday night, and 85% of the money has accordingly backed the Raiders spread and helped shift the line from -3 to -6.5 (the largest preseason point spread since 2011).

Rodgers and Co. might not play much, but their brief time on the field displayed their high-upside scoring potential entering 2018. Rodgers has fed multiple receivers double-digit touchdowns in two of the past four seasons and will look to do so again with Graham and Davante Adams.

Oakland Raiders

Coach Jon Gruden has confirmed that the team’s starters will play into the second quarter of their matchup against the Packers. The team’s new-look scheme is still a bit of a mystery, though Gruden noted in February that he plans on running the offense through receiver Amari Cooper.

“He’ll be the focal point of our offense … He has tremendous quickness. I think he’s smart, he’s versatile, he’s a gamer, he likes the bright lights and he’ll be the headliner in our offense.”

The rest of Gruden’s offense features an all-star cast (from 2014) in Jordy Nelson, Marshawn Lynch, Martavis Bryant and Doug Martin.  Cooper should get every opportunity to thrive in 2018 after a disappointing third season.

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