NFL Preseason Predictions: Expert Betting Preview for Chargers vs. Saints, Patriots vs. Raiders, More
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Bailey Zappe.
NFL Preseason Quarterback Matchups
This will be updated before every slate of preseason games.
Bills vs. Panthers
The Bills are expected to rest their starters and I’m projecting Case Keenum to play the first half, with Matt Barkley to play the second.
The Panthers are expected to play Baker Mayfield and the starters for 1-1 1/2 quarters. I would imagine Sam Darnold will be under center for the following 1-1 1/2 quarters before P.J. Walker closes the game.
The Panthers clearly have the edge in the game, specifically in the first half. I will be looking to back the Bills in the second half if they are getting any points.
Seahawks vs. Cowboys
The Seahawks are expected to start Geno Smith, who will play with the starting unit for roughly a quarter, then Drew Lock is expected to play the rest of the game. They want to allow Lock to play with the starters for at least a drive, meaning the Seahawks will be playing most of their starters for the first half.
The Cowboys are expected to rest Dak Prescott and most of the starters. They will use Cooper Rush, Will Grier and Ben DiNucci under center tonight. Grier will likely see the most playing time tonight, despite being questionable with a hamstring injury.
The Seahawks have the clear edge tonight, so the 7-point spread certainly makes sense. Taking them -5.5 in the first half probably offers the most value, but I’m going to shy away from betting anything pregame for this matchup.
Chargers vs. Saints
The Chargers will rest their starters again tonight, meaning we should see Chase Daniel under center for the first half, with Easton Stick under center for the second.
The Saints might play most of their starters for the opening series in tonight’s game (including Jameis Winston). It’s then unclear if or how long Andy Dalton will be under center before turning the offense over to Ian Book for the rest of the game.
The market seems spot on by having the Saints -4 for the first half and for the game. I’ll be interested in backing the Chargers at +0.5 or better in the second half, considering it should be fairly even by that point in the game.
Patriots vs. Raiders
It’s unclear if the Patriots starters will play in this game, but I would imagine if they do end up suiting up, it wouldn’t be for long. We will likely see Bailey Zappe play the entire second half either way.
The Raiders are resting their starters again, meaning we will see Jarrett Stidham under center for most of the first half, with Chase Garbers likely playing most of the second half.
The Patriots will likely have a slight edge in the second half if it ends up being Zappe vs. Garbers. I will be looking to back New England if it’s +0.5 or better.