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Thread: Cnotes 2019 nfl preseason - news - notes - picks !

  1. #1
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    Default Cnotes 2019 nfl preseason - news - notes - picks !

    Broncos edge Falcons 14-10 in HOF Game
    August 1, 2019
    By The Associated Press


    CANTON, Ohio (AP) For a while Thursday, Vic Fangio didn't know if his long-awaited debut as a head coach would happen in the Hall of Fame game.

    Fangio finished team meetings, then headed to a hospital because of a kidney stone. Though determined to lead his new team, the Denver Broncos, against Atlanta, ''I didn't know if I would make it.''

    He did, and he was made a winner thanks to a late rally.

    Fangio, an NFL assistant coach for nearly two decades, saw a late interception set up rookie Juwann Winfree's 15-yard touchdown catch, and his team edged the Falcons 14-10 to open the NFL's preseason.

    Yes, it was an exhibition game - the real first test comes Sept. 9 at Oakland. Still, Fangio was getting his chance to run a team. So this truly was a debut.

    ''Winning has cured more things than penicillin,'' joked Fangio, who still had not passed the stone when he met with the media after the game. ''Nobody is doing backflips and cartwheels like in the regular season.''

    Trey Johnson's interception of Matt Schaub's pass after the Atlanta backup quarterback was pressured set up Denver at the Falcons 38 with 5:21 remaining. A 14-yard pass interference call on fourth down against Rashard Causey kept Denver in it, but the Broncos were hurt by a holding penalty against rookie Ryan Crozier.

    Unfazed, rookie Brett Rypien hurled a pass into the right corner of the end zone, where it was deflected and Winfree latched onto it with 1:26 remaining.

    ''Trey made a nice play at the end, and Winfree made an acrobatic catch,'' Fangio said. ''It's always good to be here for this game. It's always great to be around great ex-players and owners.''

    Fangio also became the first coach to utilize the new rule allowing challenges of pass interference calls. Late in the second quarter, Linden Stephens was called for a 43-yard defensive penalty. Officials upheld the call.

    ''I made a statement I'd be the first to throw the flag on defensive pass interference,'' said Fangio, one of the premier defensive coordinators the league has seen.

    Both teams had eight-play first-half drives for touchdowns. Denver's was finished by Khalfani Muhammad's 3-yard run up the middle. Atlanta tied it with a precise two-minute drill guided by first-year quarterback Kurt Benkert, who is seeking a backup job to Matt Ryan. Benkert took the Falcons 61 yards in 1:17, hitting running back Brian Hill with a 3-yard touchdown pass.

    Benkert conducted another impressive series in the third period, going 56 yards in 12 plays to Giorgio Tavecchio's 27-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead.

    Benkert headed to the locker room early in the fourth quarter with a toe injury. He went 19 of 34 for 185 yards.

    Otherwise, it pretty much was a slopfest marred by dropped passes, penalties and missed assignments. Then again, how much can be expected in such an early preseason game?

    CLASS OF 2019

    The class of 2019 was introduced before the game and walked across the 50-yard line flanked by players from each team. The loudest cheers went to former Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey , which was predictable considering all the orange-clad folks in the stands. Former Chiefs and Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez gestured and joshed with the Atlanta players as he strode through. Ed Reed , Ty Law,Kevin Mawae , Gil Brandt,Johnny Robinson and the family of late Broncos owner Pat Bowlen also received loud ovations from the crowd of 20,802.

    LOCK IT UP

    Drew Lock, Denver's second-round draft pick and perhaps its quarterback of the future - Joe Flacco , acquired from Baltimore, if the starter but sat Thursday night - got plenty of action. He rarely impressed and finished 7 of 11 for 34 yards.

    INJURIES

    Falcons: Atlanta, which was ravaged by injuries last season, saw fourth-year DT Ra'Shede Hageman go down in the first quarter with a groin problem. Hageman has not played an NFL game since 2016. ... WR Marcus Green left in the third period with a groin injury.

    Broncos: Denver third-year LB Joe Jones hurt an arm in the second quarter and did not return.

    Asked for further updates on injuries, Fangio smiled and concluded: ''I am more concerned about my injury update.''

    NEXT UP:

    Broncos: at Seattle on Thursday night.

    Falcons: at Miami on Thursday night.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    WEEK 1

    Thursday, August 8, 2019

    Time (ET) Away Home
    7:00 PM Indianapolis Colts Buffalo Bills
    7:00 PM New York Jets New York Giants
    7:30 PM Jacksonville Jaguars Baltimore Ravens
    7:30 PM Washington Redskins Cleveland Browns
    7:30 PM New England Patriots Detroit Lions
    7:30 PM Atlanta Falcons Miami Dolphins
    7:30 PM Tennessee Titans Philadelphia Eagles
    8:00 PM Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears
    8:00 PM Houston Texans Green Bay Packers
    10:00 PM Los Angeles Chargers Arizona Cardinals
    10:00 PM Denver Broncos Seattle Seahawks

    Friday, August 9, 2019
    Time (ET) Away Home
    7:30 PM Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pittsburgh Steelers
    8:00 PM Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints

    Saturday, August 10, 2019
    Time (ET) Away Home
    8:00 PM Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
    8:00 PM Los Angeles Rams Oakland Raiders
    9:00 PM Dallas Cowboys San Francisco 49ers
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #3
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    Friday’s 6-pack

    — Mets 4, White Sox 0— New York won its last seven games.

    — Cardinals 8, Cubs 0— St Louis leads NL Central by a game.

    — Rays 9, Red Sox 4— Tampa Bay sweeps three games in Fenway.

    — Former Carolina Panthers’ C Ryan Kalil un-retired and signed on with the Jets.

    — Indians’ manager Terry Francona underwent unexpected eye surgery Thursday; he was at the ballpark Thursday night, but didn’t manage the game. We wish him well.

    — If the playoffs started today (they do not):

    NL: Braves-Cardinals-Dodgers. Wild Card: Cubs-Nationals

    AL: New York-Twins-Astros. Wild Card: Rays-Indians

    Quote of the Day
    “Everything we did was so inorganic and unsustainable and, frankly, not fun. I was miserable. Literally the moment we won the championship I knew I was gonna leave. There was no way I was gonna stay for any amount of money.”
    New Orleans Pelican GM David Griffin, on his time in Cleveland

    Friday’s quiz
    Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen starred in a 2003 movie Lost in Translation; where does the movie take place?

    Thursday’s quiz
    SF Giants have won three World Series in this decade; they beat Rangers, Royals, Tigers.

    Wednesday’s quiz
    New Hampshire is known as the Granite State.

    ***************************

    Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….

    13) Looking at Week 1 of the NFL which is only five weeks away, there are four games with a spread of 7+ points. The question occurred to me, how do favorites of 7+ points do in Week 1 of the NFL? So I looked it up.

    Last six years, 16 teams have been favored by 7+ points in Week 1; those teams went 4-11-1 vs spread. Last three years, Week 1 favorites of 7+ are just 6-4 SU.

    Since 2009, in Week 1 games with a spread of 7+ points, over is 18-12-1.

    12) Week 1 favorites of 7+ points this year:
    — Eagles (-9) vs Washington
    — Seahawks (-9.5) vs Cincinnati
    — Cowboys (-7.5) vs NY Giants
    — Saints (-7) vs Houston

    11) Over last 20 years, only five teams haven’t been a Week 1 favorite of 7+ points:
    Bengals, Browns, Chiefs, Giants, 49ers.

    10) New England has been a Week 1 favorite of 7+ points eight times since 2005; they’re 2-5-1 vs spread in those games. Patriots are -6 vs Pittsburgh in Week 1 this year.

    9) Day after the trade deadline, baseball GM’s who made trades the day before go on their local TV broadcasts and get patted on the back for the great deals he made the day before.

    On Miami telecasts, one of the worst-run franchises in the sport, they tout the new kids in the organization, even the ones hitting .204 and .206 in the minors. Oy.

    8) Marlins 5, Twins 4 (12)— Miami tied game with three runs in 9th, won it in the 12th.

    7) Baseball stuff:
    — Texas DFA’d IF Asdrubel Cabrera and C Tim Federowicz.

    6) Six players and both managers got suspended after the Pirates-Reds fracas the other night; Keone Kale got 10 games, Amir Garrett 8 games. Cincy skipper David Bell got six games, Clint Hurdle got two.

    According to Hall of Fame writer Jayson Stark, this is the most players suspended for one fight since a 2013 incident involving Ian Kennedy/Zack Greinke.

    5) Longtime kicker Phil Dawson retired from the NFL this week, after a 20-year career where he kicked 441 FG’s, 518 PAT’s- he even punted nine times.

    4) White Sox P Lucas Giolito is from a family of actors; his grandfather appeared in five episodes of Seinfeld, playing Susan Ross’ father. His mother Lindsay Frost lists 49 TV and movie credits.

    3) The other night, I stumble upon this old movie, Guilty As Sin on cable late at night while I’m writing; hard to take a movie real serious when the first character you see in the movie is a judge being played by the guy who was Morty in Meatballs.

    Movie had Jack Warden and Rebecca DeMornay in it, though, so it wasn’t all bad.

    2) San Francisco Giants have won three World Series in this decade; surprising thing is who they beat in those series, the Rangers, Tigers, Royals.

    1) One bettor at the Westgate in Las Vegas placed a $100,500 wager on the 76ers to make the playoffs this coming season at -$5,000 odds; the bet would win $2,010.

    Same guy made/won a similar bet on Golden State last season.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Monday’s Den: NFL knowledge on a summer day…….

    13) Since 1992, Detroit Lions are 0-8 in playoff games; but from 2014-17, Lions were 36-28 in regular season, their best regular season run since a 29-19 run from 1993-95, when they went 0-3 in playoffs those years under Wayne Fontes.

    But the Lions fired Jim Caldwell after going 9-7 in 2017, and went 6-10 last year, scoring 86 fewer points (5.38 ppg) than the year before, under new coach Matt Patricia. Go figure.

    Just because you know Tom Brady doesn’t make you head coaching material.

    12) Arizona Cardinals have a rookie QB and a rookie head coach, a coach who got fired LY by Texas Tech after going 35-40 in six seasons, 16-21 the last three years. He was 1-2 in bowls.

    Kliff Kingsbury is Arizona’s third HC in three years; not sure why they canned Brice Arians, but it was a big mistake. Now they’ve gambled on Kingsbury, who threw two passes (1-2 for 17 yards) in his only NFL game as a player, for the 2005 Jets.

    Kyler Murray threw 42 TD passes in his only year as Oklahoma’s QB; he turned down a baseball contract from the A’s, and now he will be in the national spotlight- his first game is at home against Matt Patricia’s Lions, who are 6-2 in last eight season openers, but lost 48-17 to the Jets in Patricia’s first season opener.

    11) Not to be a pessimist, but Arizona’s backup QB’s are Brett Hundley (3-6 as a starter for the ’17 Packers), Chad Kanoff (Princeton alum who was on Arizona’s practice squad LY) and Drew Anderson, who threw 20 TD’s with 15 INT’s for I-AA Murray State last year.

    Not exactly a stellar group of backups; if Murray stinks or he gets hurt, they’re staring another 3-13 season in the face.

    10) Joe Flacco will be Denver’s QB this year, their 8th different #1 QB in the last 13 years.

    Broncos won the Super Bowl four years ago, but haven’t been back to the playoffs; they went 11-21 the last two years, their first consecutive losing seasons since 1971-72.

    9) Oakland Raiders have had one winning season the last 16 years; they went 12-4 in 2016 thanks in large part to a +16 turnover ratio, but Derek Carr got hurt at the end of the regular season, and backup Connor Cook was overmatched in 27-14 loss to Houston in the playoffs, which is Cook’s only NFL appearance.

    Raiders are moving to Las Vegas next year; they’re 10-22 since that playoff loss, and Gruden has nine years left on his $10M a year deal. They open the season with divisional home games with Denver, Kansas City, then don’t play at home again until November.

    8) Over last 13 years, Washington Redskins are 0-3 in playoff games; QB Alex Smith is out with a broken leg, so this year they’ll have their 11th different starting QB the last 20 years. Keep in mind that New England has had one starting QB since midway thru 2001, except for the year Brady got hurt.

    Case Keenum is playing for his 4th team in four years; he went 21-18 the last three years, but now he is probably the placeholder for yet another rookie QB, Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State.

    Keenum will be able to write a hell of a book someday, and after this year he’ll have made $16M the last four years, but his wife is probably sick of packing.

    7) Eagles were -6 in turnovers LY after going +17 in Doug Pederson’s first two years as Philly’s coach; they still went 9-7, and upset the Bears in a playoff game, but now Nick Foles is a Jaguar and the pressure is squarely on Carson Wentz, who is 23-17 as a starter in his first three years as the Eagles’ QB, but it was Foles who orchestrated the Super Bowl run.

    Under Pederson, favorites are 7-2 vs spread in Philly’s divisional road games, but 5-10 in their non-divisional games. Eagles are 4-2 as a home underdog under Pederson, after going 0-8 from 2010-15.

    6) Deshaun Watson threw for 4,165 yards and 26 TD’s LY, 2nd most TD’s in Texan history (Matt Schaub threw 29 in 2009); Houston was 11-5, after starting season 0-3- they were +15 in TO’s, after going -12 the year before, when Watson got hurt.

    Under Bill O’Brien, Texans are 42-38 in regular season, 1-3 in playoff games; they’re 18-11-1 as a home favorite, 12-5 outside their division, 6-6-1 vs AFC South rivals.

    In O’Brien’s first four years, he had a different QB every year (Fitzpatrick, Hoyer, Osweiler, Watson), so at least now they’re settled at QB, which is no small thing.

    5) New Orleans Saints went 24-8 the last two years, with dramatic playoff losses to Vikings, Rams; Drew Brees will be 41 in January- he threw 184 fewer passes LY than he did in 2016, as Sean Payton takes heat off him by running ball more.

    Last year, New Orleans held six of its last eight regular season opponents to 17 or fewer points, as they became less free-wheeling while going 13-3. Last three years, Saints are 17-7 vs spread on road; since 2014, they’re 12-20-1 vs spread as a home favorite.

    Last five years, over is 26-14 in regular season games in the Superdome.

    4) Miami Dolphins are on their 7th head coach since 2004; they’ve played in one playoff game since 2002- their last playoff win was in 2000, when Dave Wannstedt was their coach. Now the Dolphins’ coach is Brian Flores, another guy who became a head coach because he knows Tom Brady.

    Who will be the QB, much-travelled Ryan Fitzpatrick, or 2nd-year guy Josh Rosen, who went 3-10 LY with 11 TD’s, 14 INT’s for a dysfunctional Cardinal offense. Fitzpatrick will be the first NFL QB to throw a pass for eight different teams- he is 50-75-1 as an NFL starter, wth his only winning season a 10-6 mark for the ’15 Jets.

    Miami plays the Jets in Weeks 9,14; their old coach Adam Gase was hired by Gang Green after the Dolphins fired him. Gase went 23-25 in three years with Miami.

    3) Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl seven years ago, are 49-47 since then, 1-2 in playoff games; Joe Flacco is in Denver after 11 years as a Raven, and mobile Lamar Jackson is in charge of running the Baltimore offense. Jackson was 6-1 as a starter LY (Flacco was 4-5); he completed only 58.2% of his passes but ran the ball for 695 yards, five TD’s.

    Ravens were -3 in turnovers LY after going +22 the previous two years; last three years, they’re 2-8-1 vs spread as a non-divisional road underdog.

    With a young QB like Jackson, should the Ravens’ QB coach be a guy who played QB in the NFL and can be a mentor? Baltimore’s QB coach is a guy who was a D-3 receiver in college, not sure how much that helps Jackson, and Jackson’s development is essential for the Ravens- this backup Robert Griffin III has a broken thumb.

    2) In four years under Dan Quinn, underdogs are 21-11 vs spread in Falcon home games; Atlanta is 3-0 as a home underdog, 11-18 as a favorite. Falcons slipped to 7-9 LY after going 21-11 the previous two years (3-2 in playoff games). Home teams covered 10 of their last 12 divisional games.

    Falcons don’t play a game outdoors this season until November 17 in Charlotte; their first five road games are all in domes. Last two years, Atlanta is 4-12 vs spread on the road.

    Mike Smith was 56-24 in his first five years as Falcons’ coach, but after 4-12/6-10 years, he was told to take a hike after the ’14 season. Does Quinn need a winning season to keep his job? He went 7-9 LY, after a 29-19 run succeeding Smith.

    1) Minnesota will have same QB starting in consecutive years for the first time since 2014-15, but Kirk Cousins has a 34-37-2 career record with only one playoff game, a 35-18 loss to Green Bay in 2015. Cousins makes $28M a year, now he needs to play like it.

    Last year’s offensive line coach passed away just before training camp, which was a tragedy with lasting effects. Now Gary Kubiak is in Minnesota and the OL coach was in Denver for 15 years. Zimmer is a defensive coach; Vikings are going to run the ball to protect their defense.

    In five years under Zimmer, Minnesota is 22-10-1 as a home favorite, 10-6 as a road favorite, 20-16 as an underdog. He’s been a profitable coach to back.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    AFC West Preview
    August 4, 2019
    VegasInsider.com
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    2019 AFC WEST PREVIEW

    Denver – Broncos played ‘under’ their regular-season win total each of the last three years ... had 5 wire-to-wire losses last year ... +7 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

    Kansas City – Chiefs had a league-high 9 wire-to-wire regular-season wins last year ... will face a league-high 4 opponents with a bye week on deck this year ... played ‘over’ their regular-season win total each of the last six years ... +9 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

    Los Angeles – Chargers will face 3 opponents with a bye week on deck this year ... had 6 double-digit regular-season wins last year ... +1 net turnover in 2018 regular season.

    Oakland – Raiders ... will face a league-high 4 non-division opponents caught in the middle of a division sandwich this year ... suffered a league-high 9 double-digit losses last year ... -7 net turnovers in 2018 regular-season.

    Denver Broncos

    TEAM THEME: OPERATION: OVERHAUL


    Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 7
    Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 135


    Like death and taxes, change is inevitable in the NFL. 2019 will go down as the year of ‘the rebuild’ for the Denver Broncos. It starts with new head coach Vic Fangio, recognized throughout the NFL as a defensive guru. Trading for QB Joe Flacco was a no-brainer, given Denver’s shoddy play at the position the last three seasons. Flacco may be long in the tooth and his best days are likely in the rearview mirror, but he’s a dark horse candidate to earn Comeback Player of the Year honors should the chips fall right for Denver this season. If not, drafting QB Drew Lock (thought to be the best quarterback prospect to come to Denver since Jay Cutler in 2006) in round two is a good relief valve.

    They also plugged a huge hole at right tackle with the signing of Ja’Wuan James. In addition, second-round draft selection Dalton Risner figures to start at left guard. New OL coach Mike Munchak is a perfect fit for the new additions. Meanwhile, new OC Rich Scangrello comes over from the Kyle Shanahan QBs coaching tree and insisted on nabbing TE Noah Fant in the first round. And to satisfy his defensive thirst, Fangio was quick to sign DB Kareem Jackson from Houston while CB Bryce Callahan followed the coach over from Chicago. Now that’s an overhaul.

    STAT YOU WILL LIKE:
    Denver is 20-4 SU in its first four games of the season the last six years.

    PLAY ON: as a dog vs. Kansas City (10/17)

    INSIDE THE STATS: The Broncos are 33-10 ITS in their last 43 division games.


    Kansas City Chiefs

    TEAM THEME: PSALM 57


    Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 10.5 (under -120)
    Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 132


    Safe to say the 2018 season was a coup for Andy Reid’s troops. Not only did they manage to win back-to-back division titles for the first time in the 57 years of KC’s franchise history, but they also unveiled the league’s MVP in QB Patrick Mahomes, who took the NFL by storm last year. The question remains whether or not Mahomes will suffer a case of the “sophomore blues” now that there is game film on him, or if he can lead another charge in 2019 sans the service of his biggest weapon with Pro Bowl RB Kareem Hunt gone.

    Nonetheless, the Chiefs were obsessed in ‘going young’ on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, with 26-year old S Tyrann Mathieu and 25-year old DE Frank Clark in, and a pair of 30-year-olds out in S Eric Berry and DE Justin Winslow. Meanwhile, Kansas City will face 4 opponents with a bye week on deck – the most in the league. After finishing 31st in the league in overall team defense, new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. Forced to take on the saltiest non-division strength of schedule in the league this season (87 projected total wins), Reid could be hard-pressed to hold off the L.A. Chargers while in quest of a third straight division title in 2019. Stay tuned.

    STAT YOU WILL LIKE: Andy Reid is 9-0 ATS away off an ATS loss of more than 12 points before Game Eight of the season.

    PLAY ON: at New England (12/8)

    INSIDE THE STATS: The Chiefs are 67-36 SU the L6Y but only 46-57 ITS in those games.


    Los Angeles Chargers

    TEAM THEME: NUTS AND BOLTS


    Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 9.5 (over -140)
    Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 128.5


    After making the NFL Playoffs for the first time in five years in 2018, the Los Angeles Chargers (yes, it still sounds strange) are no longer just a team on the brink. Truth be known, the Lightning Bolts shared a joint-best record in the AFC last season with Kansas City but were forced to play in the Wild Card round as the Chiefs owned a better divisional record. It’s part of the collateral damage that occurs when you’ve lost nine of the last 10 games against Kansas City. And while the schedule is a tad more difficult this year than last (foes projected season win total was 124.5 in 2018), it’s not nuts to think they can overtake the Featherheads this season.

    Operating behind veteran QB Philip Rivers, the Chargers inked the future Hall of Famer to an extension this summer. They also signed Tyrod Taylor and drafted Easton Stick this offseason as they begin to get ready for life APR – after Rivers. To which we say it doesn’t hurt knowing that Rivers resides inside our STAT YOU WILL LIKE below. To their credit, they did a fine job of adding talent during the offseason, including stud LB Thomas Davis. And they capped it off with a sterling draft in which six of the seven players were ranked higher than their actual draft position. The Bolts figure to challenge for division honors this season.

    STAT YOU WILL LIKE: Rivers is 14-3-2 ATS as a division dog away from home in his NFL career.

    PLAY ON: as a dog at Denver (12/1)

    INSIDE THE STATS: The Chargers are 29-19 ITS away during the regular season the L6Y.


    Oakland Raiders

    TEAM THEME: WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON HERE?


    Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 6
    Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 135


    When Oakland owner Mark Davis hired Mike Mayock as his new GM, he rolled the dice. Mayock’s expertise had been featured within the NFL Network’s extensive coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft, so Davis gave him free rein in this year’s draft – despite having zero previous experience in an NFL front office. Mayock promptly came away with eyebrow-raising choices. Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell was a huge over-reach, while Alabama RB Josh Jacobs is a first-round risk, and Mississippi State S Jonathan Abram has issues in coverage. Ironically, Mayock’s first eight draft picks came from Clemson or Alabama, who faced one another in last year’s College Football Playoff championship game. Fortunately, the Raiders landed the biggest fish in the NFL free-agent market when WR Antonio Brown signed with Oakland. He’ll help QB Derek Carr stretch defenses vertically as he figures to dramatically improve on last year’s 7.3 yards per pass attempt.

    From a scheduling standpoint, the Raiders catch 4 non-division foes in the middle of division sandwiches this season – the most in the league. That’s good news. Regrettably, the Black-and-Silver will play consecutive away games before crossing the pond to play the Bears in London. FYI: Only two teams in NFL history have done the same and each was trounced, 20-0 and 33-8, in England. Forced to fly the most miles in 2019, they were also given one of the most brutal travel stretches in the history of the NFL. After playing in Oakland in Week 2, the Raiders won't return home until Week 8, which means they have to go 49 days without playing at their home stadium. It’s an ugly situation, for sure.

    STAT YOU WILL LIKE: Jon Gruden is 0-11 SUATS away in his career with a losing record when coming off a SU win.

    PLAY ON: as a dog vs. Kansas City (9/15)

    INSIDE THE STATS: Oakland is 1-7 SUATS in its L8 games following a zero turnover game.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Hot & Not Report - Week 1
    August 5, 2019
    By Matt Blunt


    Who's Hot and Who's Not

    Week of August 5th


    The month of August means that football is nearly here, and with the HOF game having already come and gone – one that was tough to take for Atlanta bettors – we are at the point where we get a full slate of preseason games later this week.

    Preseason NFL betting can be a gold mine to your bankroll if you stay on top of current roster news, what coaches say in press conferences regarding playing time for guys, and understanding which teams/coaches put more of an emphasis on the W/L result in these games then others.

    In general terms rookie head coaches do tend to have a bit more to prove in terms of win/loss results this time of year as they'd prefer to get that first win out of the way even if it is a game that doesn't count. At the same time, it's these rookie head coaches who can spend most of the time in the preseason learning on the fly to the intricacies of the game in terms of things that are easy to over look. Whether it be finding a ref near by prior to calling a time out, having the final say in the decision making process, or any of those other little things that come with being a head coach, you can find them costing these teams yards/points and ultimately a wager should they learn those important lessons the hard way.

    Furthermore, preseason NFL football is one where market moves are are not shy about being bashful, as they come in a hurry and can pack some major swings with them as well. Larger moves do tend to deal with how information comes out regarding playing time for key guys on teams, and just like mainstream media members reporting on trades or free agency signings, everyone wants to be first in order to grab a piece of what they perceive to be the best number. Generally speaking, early moves are solid to follow as long as the number doesn't get out of hand, but 'middling' games is another practice that will have more success in the preseason as opposed to any other time of the year.

    “Middling” is betting Team A at a pick'em and then taking Team B at +3.5 after a substantial line move and having the game land on a 3-point or less win for Team A.

    So it's not like there isn't plenty of potential for profit this preseason no matter how many different approaches you end up taking. However, for this opening week that's a full slate of games, there are a few organizational angles that need to be considered as well.

    Who's Hot


    Looking for ATS wins in Game 1 of the Preseason? Lean on the NFC North Division

    Detroit 5-1 ATS last six years; Green Bay 4-0 ATS last four years; Minnesota 5-0 ATS last five years

    On the one hand there is always the argument to be made that what the Packers team from the 2016 season did in their opening preseason game of that year has little to no bearing on what the 2019 version of the team will do. And while that is true, that's not to say it's the only truth out there as all three of those franchises listed above have made in a point to start the preseason off on the right foot.

    Whether that goes to early talent evaluation in trying to build depth on their teams – remember the first preseason game only sees projected starters get a few drives or maybe a quarter – or backup QB's trying to make the most of the extended playing time they see – Detroit and Green Bay backups have known during these runs that they won't supplant the incumbent starter during the year – the Lions, Packers and Vikings have all been consistent money earners during their first preseason game.

    Interestingly enough, for their 2019 openers, two of those three teams (Minnesota, Detroit) have already seen line moves in their favor against projected Super Bowl contenders in New Orleans and New England as those moves likely speak to past history by those NFC North clubs as well as their opponents having two 40-year old starting QB's that aren't likely to see much of the field. Both the Vikings and Lions are underdogs as well, so taking these teams with strong Week 1 histories at a plus-money price is never really a bad option.

    Packers fans have already seen their line move against them a full point (from -3 to -2) as that's likely to do with another veteran QB in Aaron Rodgers seeing extremely limited playing time. It's them and the Lions that are at home this week too, which never hurts, and given Rodgers injury issues in recent years, asking the likes of DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins to show out for a Packer win isn't a big ask.

    So look for at least two of these three NFC North teams to bring home winning tickets this weekend, especially given the specific scenarios all three are facing this week.

    Who's Not

    Want to avoid opening game ATS losers? Better stay away from the LA teams

    LA Chargers 0-3 ATS last three years in Game 1; LA Rams 1-6 ATS last seven years in Game 1

    Now this warning to stay away from the LA teams is not a complete shot at the city considering both the Chargers and Rams are relatively new tenants in the City of Angels, but for all the glitz and glamour LA typically has for openers and premiers, that memo has not gotten to these two football teams the past few seasons.

    And as luck would have it, we are probably late to the party in terms of fading these two LA squads this week, as both the Chargers (vs Arizona) and Rams (vs Oakland) have already seen lines move against them with both of them lining up on the visitor sidelines this week. Considering the regular season prospects for both LA teams (potential Super Bowl contenders) vs their two opponents this week in the preseason (likely cellar dwellers and high draft selections coming their way next spring) these two games are great reference examples for those bettors who prefer to stay away from preseason action.

    That's because all summer guys do work on what the long-term prospects are for clubs in December and January, and to see them both catching points, and more points as they days go on with the Rams going from +3 to +5.5 vs Oakland, you can understand the tough mental hurdle it is for some to follow line moves like that.

    However, at the same time it's easy to get on board with following these moves (although it's a rather bad number with Oakland right now) given the scenarios these two games present.

    The Rams were in the Super Bowl last year and understand how long and grinding the season can be when there are much bigger and better tasting fish to fry in January and beyond. There is little reason for them to do anything but operate under a vanilla gameplan that aids in their own talent evaluation against an Oakland team that is looking to take that next step in terms of wins this year.

    The Chargers have their own Super Bowl aspirations this year after making a solid run at it in 2018, and up against an Arizona team that's got a rookie HC who was a questionable hire in the eyes of many, and a #1 overall draft choice at QB as the new face of the franchise, the Cardinals would love to see 2019 start on a positive note.

    It's the situational aspects that play a much bigger role in preseason betting from a personnel and scenario standpoint that gives you these lines that would be completely absurd were it a regular season game, but fully understanding the difference between the two and being on top of the wire of information will always help you start your NFL betting year on a strong note if you can earn a few units in the preseason.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Cardinals preparing for preseason debut
    August 5, 2019
    By The Associated Press


    GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The new-look Arizona Cardinals will take the field for the first time in the preseason this week though first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury is being cagey about heralded rookie Kyler Murray.

    ''You'll have to tune in,'' Kingsbury said Monday.

    Cardinals defensive back Budda Baker said the Los Angeles Chargers might be surprised by the accuracy of Murray's throws.

    ''Sometimes we're playing Cover 2 and he darts it in there right in between that corner and safety,'' Baker said. ''Also, of course, his speed. People know he's fast, but he's really, really fast.''

    Arizona also has some other things to look at heading into Thursday night's game, Kingsbury said.

    There are penalties from the intrasquad scrimmage Saturday that need to be cleaned up. The Cardinals are also still installing their new spread offense.

    ''Really focus on our game mechanics during practice and make sure we're sharp on all that,'' Kingsbury said. ''Substitutions, personnel, 40-second clock, really honing in on the little things when it comes to actual game-type situations.''

    The Cardinals go into the week with some injuries.

    Left guard Justin Pugh has a shoulder problem and could be out a couple of weeks, Kingsbury said.

    Mason Cole, who started all 16 games at center last season as a rookie but is competing with veteran A.Q. Shipley for the starting job, got some looks at left tackle last weekend and will step in at left guard for Pugh.

    Rookie wide receiver Andy Isabella (knee) and safety D.J. Swearinger Jr. (soft tissue injury) could return to practice this week but might not be ready for the game, Kingsbury said.
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    Browns' RB Hunt promises to 'lay low'
    August 5, 2019
    By The Associated Press


    BEREA, Ohio (AP) Kareem Hunt has learned there's only one way to avoid trouble.

    ''Lay low,'' he said.

    The Browns' suspended running back said Monday that a recent off-field incident, which led to police questioning and raised team concerns, served as a reminder of his public profile and provided another wake-up call in his journey to become a better person.

    ''I'm going to learn from everything and not make the same mistake again,'' he said. ''Definitely learning from it.''

    Hunt, who will serve an eight-game NFL suspension for past violent altercations - in one case, shoving and kicking a woman - before he plays in a meaningful game for his hometown team, spoke to reporters for the first time in training camp and first time since his involvement in an argument with a friend outside a Cleveland bar in July.

    Hunt wasn't arrested or charged, but the incident prompted a strong message from Browns coach Freddie Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey.

    ''It was a misunderstanding and I appreciate that the Browns still had my back and it was just something that was a misunderstanding and I know I can't have those,'' Hunt said, ''so I look to move forward and continue bettering myself and working and getting ready for the season.''

    Last week, Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, who signed Hunt in March on Dorsey's recommendation, remained supportive of Hunt while making it clear he still had to prove himself to his teammates and community.

    ''We know that Kareem has work to do, and he is in counseling working really hard,'' Dee Haslam said. ''It truly is up to him. We have high expectations for our players.''

    Other than the one instance, it appears Hunt has kept his word and behaved. He's continued to receive counseling and feels good about the progress he's made.

    He's nowhere near done.

    ''I'm definitely always going to have work to do,'' he said. ''Since I stepped in the building, I've had work to do, so I'm just gonna keep staying in my lane and doing whatever it takes to take my game to the next level and stay out of trouble.''

    Kitchens said Hunt may have grown too comfortable, and allowed himself to fall into bad habits.

    ''It is really one of those things where sometimes if you start feeling good about yourself about what you are doing as a person, then maybe I can do a few other things, whatever those things are,'' Kitchens said. ''I think it kind of just brought him back to reality that you are in the NFL, man. You are Kareem Hunt. You got to be careful in everything that you do because these things right here (cameras) are everywhere.

    ''I am pleased with Kareem. Do not misinterpret that. I am pleased with Kareem on the progress he is making off the field, more so than anything.''

    The former Kansas Chiefs star has been sidelined for most of training camp with a groin injury he sustained during offseason workouts. He returned for the team's stadium scrimmage on Saturday, but was limited to only individual drills during Monday's workout. It's still not known if he'll play in Thursday's exhibition opener against the Washington Redskins.

    Hunt is waiting to find out from the league if he's going to be able to stay with the team once the regular season starts. He said the interactions with teammates have helped him adjust, keep his mind on football and heal.

    If he can't be with the Browns, Hunt already knows what he'll do.

    ''I got a plan,'' he said. ''You know, chill out, get good workouts and lay low.''

    NOTES: Superstar WR Odell Beckham Jr. was kept indoors during practice with an unspecified illness. ... Cleveland's entire defensive front - Myles Garrett, Sheldon Richardson, Olivier Vernon and Larry Ogunjobi - was out with what Kitchens termed ''bumps and bruises.'' ... Kitchens called QB Baker Mayfield's beer-chugging antics at the Indians' game ''impressive'' and joked that he wouldn't try biting into a beer can. ''Can I? No, I do not drink beer anymore,'' he said. ''That is a lie, I told you all I would not lie - that is a lie.'' ... WR Derrick Willies made a sensational one-handed TD catch on a 50-yard pass from Mayfield. ... Rookie CB Greedy Williams intercepted Mayfield near the goal line. ... RB Nick Chubb on the prospect of him and Hunt in the same backfield. ''It's going to be scary.''
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    Titans' Walker ready for 14th NFL season
    August 5, 2019
    By The Associated Press


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker proudly declared at one point during the offseason that he's in better shape than some 21-year-olds just coming into the NFL.

    Walker, who turns 35 on Aug. 12, is preparing for his 14th season and is eager to prove doubters wrong yet again after missing last year with the most serious injury of his career. A Pro Bowl tight end each of his past three full seasons, Walker isn't showing up anyone's list of the league's top tight ends for 2019.

    That's just fine with Walker.

    ''It's always been like that since I been here in Tennessee,'' Walker said. ''I really can't say anything about it. I don't think they watch our games to be truthful with you. I don't even care. At the end of the day, I always put up numbers. My stats always show up. That's what I look forward to, getting stats.''

    Before breaking his right ankle in the opener last September in Miami, no tight end in the league caught more passes than Walker (356) between 2013 and 2017. He ranked third at his position with 4,156 yards receiving yards and also had 26 touchdowns during that span and was the MVP of the 2018 Pro Bowl. He's also quarterback Marcus Mariota's favorite target since being drafted by the Titans.

    ''He's such a versatile player,'' Mariota said of Walker. ''Dynamic when he has the ball in his hands. Having him back creates a lot of space, creates a lot of opportunities for everybody. It's a privilege to play with a guy like that who's done it at such a high level for a long time. I always kind of find myself learning a few things from him every single day.''

    Without Walker, the Titans' passing offense ground to a near halt last season. Tennessee ranked 29th - ahead of just Miami, Buffalo and Arizona - averaging a mere 185.9 yards per game.

    Veteran linebacker Wesley Woodyard said Walker is a piece of the team that nobody wants to cut out.

    ''He's a playmaker and just to have somebody that Marcus is definitely familiar with at the tight end spot and just having a leader,'' Woodyard said. ''He's a true leader on the offensive side of the field, and he knows how to make plays. And it's good to have him out here. Good to see him healthy.''

    Walker didn't earn his first Pro Bowl nod until 2015 when he led all tight ends in the league with 94 receptions. He changed his diet that year cutting out pork and limiting red meat, which reduced his body far down to 6 percent. He signed an extension through 2020 at the start of training camp last year, then broke his right ankle in a gruesome injury in the longest game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

    He was limited to a scooter for weeks before being allowed to put weight on his right leg, but Walker took part in the offseason program and was fully available from the start of training camp. Walker said he has stuck to the same routine he's used in recent years working to be ready for the season opener Sept. 8 in Cleveland.

    ''Obviously, I had to do a little bit of other things because of the ankle,'' Walker said. ''Other than that, same routine. Just keep the same resume and work hard. Pretty much that's all I was doing.''

    Titans coach Mike Vrabel has given Walker some days off for ''maintenance'' along with some of his other veterans. Vrabel said he's excited to have Walker back.

    ''The thing that always impresses me about Delanie is he's a professional, he takes care of his body, he studies diligently,'' Vrabel said. ''He's a great example to our young players. We showed him in his sixth year with the 49ers in the Super Bowl, made two tackles on kickoff. That's a great reminder to our young players, or any of our players that are trying to find a role on this team. We use that as an example.''

    Notes: Vrabel gave Mariota a rest day Monday with backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill working with the first-team offense. ... Wide receiver Corey Davis returned to practice after not taking part in team drills the past two sessions.
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    Raiders ready for their 'Hard Knocks' debut
    August 5, 2019
    By The Associated Press


    NAPA, Calif. (AP) Quarterback Derek Carr angrily yelling at teammates. Jon Gruden showing a softer, gentler side for some of his younger players and ditching his trademark snarl. Vontaze Burfict politely helping an offensive linemen get off the ground.

    What in the name of Al Davis is going on here?

    The Raiders may have another month to go before playing games that matter but they'll be making an early appearance on TV on Tuesday night when the HBO series ''Hard Knocks'' makes its season debut.

    ''It's been really cool to be honest because people get to see us in our real environment,'' Carr said. ''People (usually) don't get to see coach Gruden telling some of our rookies how much he loves them. They just see clips of him yelling at people. They don't get to see me jumping people, competing and talking trash. What it does is it opens up the world to us to show who we really are.''

    Ever since the cable network series began in 2001 the Raiders have been mentioned as potential stars of the show. But Davis, the team's Hall of Fame owner who passed away in 2011, was staunchly against having the cameras invading the team's practices.

    Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock also were initially against it, worried that the cameras and crew documenting players' every step would be a distraction.

    Yet here they are.

    The Raiders, at least this year's version, would seem to be a perfect fit for the behind-the-scenes series with a cast of colorful characters that includes Gruden, wide receiver Antonio Brown and offensive lineman Richie Incognito.

    Burfict knows firsthand what to expect. He spent his first seven NFL seasons in Cincinnati and the Bengals were on ''Hard Knocks'' in 2013.

    ''I just think it's exciting for people to see what type of team we have because the team chemistry we have is just amazing,'' Burfict said. ''This is my second team, but it's the first time I've had a team like this and everybody gets along. It doesn't matter what type of day it is. We're all here to see each other get better and motivate each other. We've got a lot of characters, in a good way.''

    The first episode generally focuses on the days before camp begins, the first few practices and the interactions between younger players and the coaches.

    This year figures to be different. Brown, who was traded to the Raiders by Pittsburgh in the offseason, is already staking his claim as the star of the show.

    The flamboyant wide receiver took a hot air balloon ride on the morning of check-in day, then was placed on the non-football injury list later that night. Since then, Brown has practiced only a handful of times while dealing with an unknown foot injury.

    But even when he's standing on the sidelines, Brown has had cameras tailing his every move. He's relished every moment, too, playfully talking straight into the camera at times.

    Tyrell Williams, another veteran receiver who signed with Oakland as a free agent, is looking forward to Tuesday's premiere.

    ''I loved watching `Hard Knocks' growing up and so just being on it is going to be crazy,'' Williams said. ''I was just watching the scene with Shannon Sharpe and Ray Lewis, that one from a while ago. It's just crazy that we're going to actually be in that situation. It's cool. I'm excited to be able to go back and watch it.''

    Carr said he and Gruden have tried to take a lighthearted approach to having ''Hard Knocks'' in camp and admitted the two might have a few tricks up their sleeves for the cameras.

    ''They're not in (our) meeting room so we get to plan some stuff and have some fun with them,'' Carr said. ''They've been great to work with. We've really enjoyed it. I think there's going to be some sound bites on there. It'll be fun.

    ''If you have nothing to hide, then I think it's a good thing. I have really enjoyed them, honestly. It's been cool.''
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    Thursday's Tip Sheet
    August 6, 2019
    VegasInsider.com
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    Note: Quarterback rotation subject to change. Lines courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    Jets (-1 , 33) at Giants - 7:00 PM EST

    N.Y. Jets
    Head Coach: Adam Gase (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian, Davis Webb, Luke Falk
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Manish Mehta


    The Jets closed out last season with losses in nine of their final 10 games, but New York will look to start fresh this season under new head coach Adam Gase. New York added running back Le'Veon Bell to the fold after he sat out last season with the Steelers due to a contract dispute as the Jets ranked in the bottom-10 of the NFL in rushing yards in 2018. The Jets blanked the Falcons in their 2018 preseason opener, but went on to lose the final three contests, including a 22-16 setback to the Giants.

    N.Y. Giants
    Head Coach: Pat Shumur (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Eli Manning, Daniel Jones (Rookie), Alex Tanney, Eric Dungey
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jordan Raanan


    The Giants are fresh off their fourth season of at least 10 losses in the last five years after a 5-11 campaign. New York split its four preseason contests in 2018, as both wins came as the road team, while losing in low-scoring affairs at Met Life Stadium to Cleveland and New England. The Giants have dropped four consecutive preseason openers, but Big Blue has defeated the rival Jets in four of the last five exhibition meetings.

    Colts (-1 , 34) at Bills - 7:00 PM EST

    Indianapolis
    Head Coach: Frank Reich (3-1 SU, 3-0-1 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker, Chad Kelly
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Stephen Holder


    The expectations are high on the Colts this season after reaching the divisional playoffs last season as Indianapolis went 9-1 down the stretch. Andrew Luck put together one of the best seasons of his career by throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdown passes. Indianapolis was notorious for being a terrible preseason bet for years, but the Colts have improved in the exhibition season by winning seven of their last 12, including posting a 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS mark in 2018.

    Buffalo
    Head Coach: Sean McDermott (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Josh Allen, Matt Barkley, Tyree Jackson (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Joe Buscaglia


    The Bills were thought to be a 2 or 3 win team after getting slaughtered by the Ravens in Week 1 last September. However, Buffalo found a way to win six games, including three home victories following the bye week. The Bills split their four preseason contests in 2018 with both wins coming away from New Era Field. Buffalo went 0-2 SU/ATS as a favorite, but won and covered in its two opportunities as an underdog. The Bills have dropped five consecutive preseason openers, including a 19-18 setback to the Colts in the 2016 exhibition opener.

    Patriots (-1, 35 ) at Lions - 7:30 PM EST

    New England
    Head Coach: Bill Belichick (53-44 SU, 47-43-7 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Danny Etling, Jarrett Stidham (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jim McBride


    Tom Brady enters his 19th season as starting quarterback for the defending champion Patriots, who captured their sixth Super Bowl title by holding off the Rams, 13-3 this past February. The Patriots posted a 3-1 SU/ATS mark in the 2018 preseason, which included victories over Washington and Philadelphia at home. Both road games finished UNDER the total, while the Patriots last faced the Lions in preseason action back in 2017 at Ford Field as New England won, 30-28.

    Detroit
    Head Coach: Matt Patricia (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Matthew Stafford, Tom Savage, David Fales
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Dave Birkett


    The first season under new head coach Matt Patricia was underwhelming in Detroit as the Lions finished 6-10, but it did include a 26-10 blowout of New England in a primetime affair in Week 3. The Lions put together a 1-3 SU/ATS mark in the 2018 preseason, while scoring 17 points in each of the three losses. In the only preseason victory at Tampa Bay, the Lions erased a 27-6 third quarter deficit to trip up the Buccaneers, 33-30.

    Redskins (-1, 35) at Browns - 7:30 PM EST

    Washington
    Head Coach: Jay Gruden (12-8 SU, 11-9 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Dwayne Haskins (Rookie), Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, Josh Woodrum
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Kareem Copeland


    Washington jumped out to a solid 6-3 start before quarterback Alex Smith's gruesome leg injury in a home loss to Houston. The Redskins spun out of control and lost six of their final seven games to finish below .500. The quarterback of the future for Washington is former Ohio State standout Dwayne Haskins, as the Redskins look to finish above third place in the NFC East for the first time since winning the division in 2015. Washington has lost three consecutive preseason openers, while losing four of the past six road exhibition contests.

    Cleveland
    Head Coach: Freddie Kitchens (First season)
    Quarterback Rotation: Baker Mayfield, Drew Stanton, Garrett Gilbert, David Blough (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Mary Kay Cabot


    For the first time in years, the Browns are one of the teams to watch this season following several offseason pickups, including wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. from the Giants. Cleveland finished just short of the playoffs in 2018, but quarterback Baker Mayfield impressed in his rookie season by throwing for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns. The Browns managed a 3-1 SU/ATS record in the 2018 preseason, while limiting all four opponents to 19 points or fewer, resulting in a 3-1 mark to the UNDER.

    Falcons at Dolphins (-4, 35 ) - 7:30 PM EST

    Atlanta
    Head Coach: Dan Quinn (5-12 SU, 4-13 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Kurt Benkert
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: D. Orlando Ledbetter


    The Falcons dropped their preseason opener in the Hall of Fame game against the Broncos last Thursday, 14-10. Atlanta fell to 0-9 SU/ATS in the last nine exhibition games dating back to 2017, while scoring less than 20 points for the 11th straight preseason contest. The loser of the last eight Hall of Fame games has gone 5-3 in Week 1 of the preseason, while the OVER has hit in six of those eight contests. The Falcons have lost four consecutive preseason matchups with the Dolphins since 2015, including a 34-7 blowout at Mercedes Benz Stadium last season.

    Miami
    Head Coach: Brian Flores (First season)
    Quarterback Rotation: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen, Jake Rudock
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Omar Kelly


    The Dolphins don't have high expectations this season as they are currently the longest shot to win the Super Bowl. The quarterback position is still in doubt heading into the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen battling for the top spot as Miami closer last season with three consecutive losses to finish 7-9. Miami struggled in the preseason by posting a 1-3 SU/ATS record, which included allowing 26, 27, and 27 points in the three losses. The lone victory came in Atlanta as the Dolphins are riding a 7-1 run to the OVER in the past eight exhibition contests.

    Titans at Eagles (-3, 37) - 7:30 PM EST

    Tennessee
    Head Coach: Mike Vrabel (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Marcus Mariota, Ryan Tannehill, Logan Woodside
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jim Wyatt


    Tennessee finished one victory shy of the playoffs last season after losing in Week 17 to Indianapolis at home. The Titans look for a return to the postseason for the first time since 2017 as long as quarterback Marcus Mariota is healthy as Tennessee pulled out home underdog wins over the Texans, Eagles, and Patriots in 2018. Tennessee was a solid preseason fade last season by posting an 0-4 SU/ATS mark, while every loss came by double-digits, including a 31-17 setback at Green Bay in the opener.

    Philadelphia
    Head Coach: Doug Pederson (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS in season)
    Quarterback Rotation: Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Clayton Thorson, Cody Kessler
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jeff McLane


    Carson Wentz doesn't have to worry about looking over his shoulder (as long as he stays healthy) as the Eagles' quarterback enters his fourth season under center. Philadelphia is coming off consecutive playoff appearances, including the Super Bowl title back in 2017 as the Eagles closed 2018 on a 5-1 run to clinch a Wild Card berth. The Eagles struggled in the preseason last August by compiling a 1-3 SU/ATS mark, which included a 31-14 setback in the opener against the Steelers. Philadelphia is hooking up with Tennessee in the preseason for the first time since 2001 when the Eagles grabbed a 20-14 victory in Nashville.

    Jaguars at Ravens (-3, 37) - 7:30 PM EST

    Jacksonville
    Head Coach: Doug Marrone (8-9 SU, 7-8-2 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Nick Foles, Tanner Lee, Gardner Minshew, Alex McGough
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: John Reid


    The Jaguars have finally moved on from the Blake Bortles era as Jacksonville inked free agent Nick Foles a huge contract and hope he can bring his magic that helped the Eagles win the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Jacksonville was on the doorstep of the Super Bowl in 2017 before losing to New England, as the Jaguars took a huge step back in 2018 by finishing 5-11 following a 3-1 start. The Jaguars put together a solid preseason campaign at 3-1 SU/ATS, but lost the opener at home to the Saints, 24-20. Jacksonville has compiled an impressive 5-1 ATS mark as a preseason underdog dating back to 2016.

    Baltimore
    Head Coach: John Harbaugh (33-12 SU, 30-14-1 ATS in season)
    Quarterback Rotation: Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III, Trace McSorley (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jamison Hensley


    The Ravens ran all the way to the playoffs under rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson last season following Joe Flacco's injury. Jackson led Baltimore to a 6-1 record down the stretch and a division title, although the Ravens lost at home in the Wild Card round to the Chargers. Baltimore has been the most reliable preseason bet the last few seasons by going 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS in 2018, while winning 13 consecutive exhibition contests dating back to 2016. The Ravens are riding a seven-game winning streak in preseason openers, while facing Jacksonville in exhibition play for the first time since a 48-17 rout of the Jaguars back in 2012.

    Texans at Packers (-2, 36) - 8:00 PM EST

    Houston
    Head Coach: Bill O'Brien (12-7 SU, 11-7-1 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Deshaun Watson, AJ McCarron, Joe Webb
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Aaron Wilson


    The Texans captured their third AFC South title in the past four seasons, but for the second time in this span, Houston was blown out at home in the Wild Card round. Houston overcame an 0-3 hole to win nine consecutive games and finish with its best record since going 12-4 back in 2012. The Texans have fared well in the preseason under Bill O'Brien by winning eight of the last 11 exhibition games, including a 3-1 mark in 2018. For the seventh straight campaign, the Texans begin the preseason on the road as Houston owns a 4-2 record in its past six exhibition openers.

    Green Bay
    Head Coach: Matt LeFleur (1st season)
    Quarterback Rotation: Aaron Rodgers, DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle, Manny Wilkins (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Pete Dougherty


    The Packers suffered through a 6-10 campaign in 2018 as Green Bay never won consecutive games. Matt LeFleur makes his preseason coaching debut for Green Bay, as the Packers have excelled the last few preseasons by posting a 9-4 mark. What's even more impressive is the seven-game preseason winning streak at Lambeau Field in this stretch since 2015, while the Packers have captured their past four exhibition opening games.

    Panthers at Bears (-3, 37) - 8:00 PM EST

    Carolina
    Head Coach: Ron Rivera (18-14 SU, 17-14-1 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, Will Grier (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Joe Person

    The Panthers jumped out to a 6-2 start in 2018 prior to a dreadful 1-7 finish in the second half of the season to miss the playoffs. Quarterback Cam Newton is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason as will not play in Thursday's contest. The Panthers won three of four preseason contests in 2018, including the opener as a three-point underdog at Buffalo, 28-23. Carolina last faced Chicago in the preseason back in the 2013 opener in Charlotte as the Panthers pulled off a 24-17 victory.

    Chicago
    Head Coach: Matt Nagy (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Brad Biggs


    The Bears are coming off their first NFC North title since 2010 after going 12-4 last season. Chicago lost in the Wild Card round to Philadelphia, 16-15, but Mitchell Trubisky put together a Pro Bowl season by throwing for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns. Four of Chicago's five losses came by three points or less, while putting together a 9-1 ATS mark in its final 10 regular season games. The preseason didn't mean much for Chicago last season as the Bears went 2-3 SU/ATS, while finishing OVER the total in the final four exhibition games.

    Chargers at Cardinals (-2, 36) - 10:00 PM EST

    Los Angeles
    Head Coach: Anthony Lynn (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Philip Rivers, Tyrod Taylor, Cardale Jones, Easton Stick (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jeff Miller


    Los Angeles overcame an early 1-2 start to post a 12-4 record and reach the divisional playoffs in the AFC. The Chargers are without running back Melvin Gordon, who is trying to work out a contract dispute. The most damage done by the Lightning Bolts came on the road by winning seven of eight games away from Carson, while covering in all seven wins. Los Angeles has slumped to a 4-8 record the last three preseasons, while losing the exhibition opener each time since 2016. Last season's preseason opener took place in Arizona as the Chargers lost to the Cardinals, 24-17.

    Arizona
    Head Coach: Kliff Kingsbury (First season)
    Quarterback Rotation: Kyler Murray (Rookie), Brett Hundley, Chad Kanoff, Drew Anderson (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Bob McManaman


    The Cardinals suffered through their worst season since 2000 by winning only three games, which included two close victories over the 49ers. Arizona drafted Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray with the top pick in the draft and are hoping he can be the next franchise quarterback in the desert. With a brand new head coach, quarterback, and system, it's hard to put much stock in last year's results as Arizona went 3-1 SU/ATS in the preseason. However, the Cardinals have lost four of their last five preseason meetings with the Chargers since 2013.

    Broncos at Seahawks (-1, 36) - 10:00 PM EST

    Denver
    Head Coach: Vic Fangio (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Joe Flacco, Drew Lock (Rookie), Kevin Hogan, Brett Rypien (Rookie)
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Ryan O'Halloran


    The Broncos rallied past the Falcons, 14-10 to capture the Hall of Fame game last Thursday in spite of racking up 188 yards of offense. Joe Flacco is expected to see his first action of the preseason for Denver as the Broncos won each of their two preseason road games in 2018. Denver hasn't hooked up with Seattle in the preseason since the 2015 opener which was won by the Broncos, 22-20 as a 4 -point road underdog.

    Seattle
    Head Coach: Pete Carroll (32-21 SU, 35-17-1 ATS in preseason)
    Quarterback Rotation: Russell Wilson, Paxton Lynch, Geno Smith
    Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Bob Condotta

    The Seahawks won six of their final seven games to squeeze into the playoffs as a Wild Card participant, but Seattle lost by two to Dallas, marking their fifth defeat of five points or less in 2018. From 2012 through 2017, Seattle put together an impressive 19-5 SU/ATS preseason record, but things went sideways for the Seahawks in the 2018 preseason as they compiled an 0-4 mark, while covering only once.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Thursday’s List of 13; Doing some thinking out loud…….

    13) From 2015-17, Cleveland Browns were 4-44; LY, they went 7-8-1, but they let Gregg Williams walk and hired QB coach Freddie Kitchens instead- he’s never been a head coach. Browns were 9-4 vs spread as an underdog LY; they were 12-30-1 the previous three years.

    Browns were +7 in turnovers LY, after being -9/-12/-28 the three years before that; finally having a good QB was a big part of that.

    12) Tennessee Titans have gone 9-7 the last three years, despite not having a positive turnover ratio in any of those years (even/-1/-4). Titans only made playoffs once in those years, and even fired a head coach after he made the playoffs, and won a playoff game.

    Last three years, Titans are 6-1 vs spread as a divisional home favorite, 2-4-2 as non-divisional home favorite.

    11) In four years since letting Jim Harbaugh walk, the 49ers are 17-47; they were 44-19-1 when he was their coach (5-3 in playoffs).

    Since 2014, Niners are 13-19 vs spread as a road underdog. Over is 20-12 in their road games the last four years. SF was -25 in turnovers LY; Garoppolo got hurt and they played backup QB’s all season. Garoppolo is back now; how much of a bounce does that give the 49ers?

    10) Bruce Arians was 49-30-1 as coach of the Cardinals; he was 20-12-1 vs spread in games with a spread of 3 or fewer points, which is very strong.

    This is Jameis Winston’s 5th year in the NFL; Buccaneers are 25-39 in his first four seasons, 21-33 in Winston’s starts— it is going to be on Winston if things don’t get better this season.

    Last five years, Tampa Bay is 4-13 vs spread as a home favorite.

    9) Seahawks are 75-36-1 SU in the Russell Wilson era (8-5 in playoffs); since 2014, Seattle is 6-0 vs spread as an underdog vs NFC West opponents. Since 2011, Seahawks covered 10 of 12 games as a home underdog.

    Seattle was +15 in turnovers last year; over last four years they’re +30.

    8) Cincinnati Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990; Marvin Lewis went 131-122-3 in 16 years as the Bengals’ coach, but he was 0-7 in playoff games, so Cincy turns to rookie head coach Zach Taylor, who is the son-in-law of former Packer coach Mike Sherman.

    Over last decade, Bengals are 42-27-5 vs spread as an underdog, 14-7-1 at home. Cincy won four of its last five Week 1 games, with all four wins on the road.

    7) Last year, Houston Texans ran the ball on 53% of 2nd-down plays that followed 1st down incompletions, most in the NFL. Analytics people will tell you that is a bad thing.

    6) Over last decade, underdogs are 22-8 vs spread in Jets’ AFC East home games; they’re 5-11 as a favorite when hosting a division foe, 11-3 when an underdog.

    Over last four years, Jets are 5-12-1 vs spread on grass; since 2011, they’re 8-18-2 vs spread as an non-divisional road underdog. Over is 19-11-1 in their home games the last four years.

    5) From 2015-17, Buffalo was 22-20 in Tyrod Taylor’s starts; they made the playoffs in 2017 for the first time since 1999, but then they drafted QB Josh Allen, shipped Taylor off to Cleveland and regressed to 6-10 LY, with seven losses by 11+ points.

    Over last five years, Buffalo is 7-2-2 vs spread as a non-divisional road underdog; last three years, they’re 4-7 as a home underdog.

    Allen’s development is essential; Bills were 33-31 in the four years before he got to Buffalo.

    4) From 2005-2016, Rams were 60-113-1; in two years under Sean McVay, they’re 24-8, with a +19 turnover ratio. Under McVay, Rams are 10-5 at home, 14-3 on road.

    LA is reshuffling its offensive line this year; they’ll have new starters at left guard/center.

    3) Since 2014, Carolina Panthers are 7-3 vs spread as a home underdog[ 3-3 in divisional games, 4-0 outside NFC South. Since 2012, Panthers are 22-11 as a road underdog, 6-16-1 as a road favorite. Carolina won four of last five Week 1 games, allowing 14 or fewer points in all four wins.

    2) Jacksonville has had one winning season since 2007 (10-6 in ’17); they were +10 in turnovers that year. Nick Foles spent two years as a backup QB on Andy Reid-coached teams, starting seven games; he’s won a Super Bowl but has never started more than 11 games in a season.

    None of Jacksonville’s backup QB’s have ever played in an NFL game.

    Last six years, Jaguars are 4-20 vs spread when facing an NFC team; this year will be the 8th year in a row they’ll be a Week 1 underdog (3-4 vs spread in last seven).

    1) Kansas City’s turnover ratios the last four years: +9/+15/+16/+14- thats +54 in 64 games. 

Last three years, Chiefs scored 33-42-38 points in their season opener. KC covered nine of its last 12 games as a road underdog. Over last four years, Chiefs are 12-5 vs spread in games with a spread of 3 or fewer points.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Week 1 - Rams at Raiders
    August 7, 2019
    By Matt Blunt


    NFL Preseason Week 1 Preview
    Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders


    Saturday's slate of preseason action has three games on the card, and all three feature a playoff team from a year ago. Dallas and the Rams met in the Divisional round with LA winning and moving on to a Super Bowl appearance, while the Kansas City Chiefs wanted to be LA's opponent in that big game but came up just short in the AFC Championship.

    However, it's the preseason game featuring the LA Rams that deserves attention on Saturday for a variety of reasons, and it's the one that takes center stage here.

    NFL Odds: Oakland (-5.5); Total set at 34.5

    This line has already seen significant action going against the Rams throughout the week, as it's basically been nothing but Oakland money since the Raiders opened at -3. Obviously a lot of that has to do with word getting out that the Rams are taking a highly conservative approach in the preseason with their projected starters and how can you blame them. This team was a few plays away from winning a Super Bowl last year, and they want to start the year as healthy as possible to try and reach that goal this season.

    Considering the Raiders get plenty of scorn and criticism for how they've chosen to do things in recent years, this may be one of the few times all year we get to say that early money has come in on Oakland. Obviously there might be a few games – especially early – where the perception of this team doesn't quite match up with the reality of what they've got on the field, but with WR Antonio Brown's recent frostbite incident in a cryo chamber, and what's already gone on during their time on 'Hard Knocks' this year, the Raiders are not going out of the way to avoid criticism in the least. All that matters to bettors though is how they perform on the field this week, and based on all the Raiders love early this week, many would prefer them to come out on top.

    Even with this Rams organization being one that's not been particularly good during the first game of the preseason, it is hard to come in on the Raiders at such a bad number now. Getting the best of the number and being fully aware of key numbers in football still applies to preseason betting, and if you were considering Oakland and hadn't fired, it's probably best to let that ship continue to sail. However, with the Rams being the reigning Super Bowl losers – for lack of a better term – there are some good scenarios regarding the total for this game which I'll get to in a second. For those that may still be interested in backing Oakland, reigning Super Bowl losers like the Rams are 2-5 ATS the following year in their first preseason game.

    But while that ATS run is another great piece of evidence for those already holding an Oakland ticket this week, it's the fact that the first preseason game for reigning Super Bowl losers is 4-1 O/U the past five years (4-0 O/U the last four) is what I want to focus on.

    The lone 'under' that cashed in that stretch was by a mere half-point on 'under' 37.5 (37 is a key number in totals), but even with this week's action shifting heavily to the low side of the total – it opened at 37 – I can only look to the high side of things at the current number.

    A 4-1 O/U run is always nice, but the fact that the total points scored in those games has averaged 41.2 points per game, and all but that 37-point outing five years ago have had at least 41 points scored, suggests to me that we should see some points scored in this game. We could land basically a full TD below that average of 41.2 and still cash the 'over' at 34.5, and when you start to look at things you expect to see on the field, the 'over' makes a lot of sense as well.

    From the Raiders side of things, they've got to look for significant improvement offensively this year, and with Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman battling for the backup role behind Carr, some healthy competition should exist between those two guys all preseason long. Heck, if Peterman ends up throwing plenty of INT's like he's known for, that's not a bad thing either for an 'over' play.

    On the other side of the field, we've got Blake Bortles starting the year as the backup to Goff, and on a personal level, Bortles has to use these next few weeks and any opportunities he gets during the season to prove to people across the league that he still belongs. He's only got things to gain from being aggressive in his time out on the field, and with many reports coming out of Rams camp suggesting that he's been a great addition to their depth chart, he's got to be comfortable and confident enough in his skills to find some success.

    Put it all together with the history of reigning 'runners-up' in this league during this week, and I believe you've got to look at going above this total that's probably adjusted too much at this point.

    Best Bet: Over 34.5 points
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Week 1 - Vikings at Saints
    August 7, 2019
    By Matt Blunt


    NFL Preseason Week 1 Preview
    Minnesota at New Orleans


    Although the bulk of the preseason action this week comes on Thursday night (11 games), the five games remaining in the week on Friday and Saturday have plenty of intrigue as well. A lot of the teams expected to compete for the Lombardi Trophy this year – New Orleans, KC, LA Rams, Dallas, Pittsburgh – all hit the field for their first preseason action of 2019.

    It's one of the two games on Friday night that I'm choosing to focus on for this piece though, as the Vikings go up against the Saints in a rematch of an intriguing, and highly unlikely finish to a NFC Divisional game two years ago. Minnesota “walked off” with what was an incredible passing play to advance to face Philly in the NFC Championship game. And even though New Orleans went into Minnesota and beat the Vikings 30-20 as small road favorites at the end of October last year in response, I'm sure any time Drew Brees and Sean Payton see that Vikings uniform across the field there has to be some cringe-worthy moments for them reflecting on what could have been (although last year's loss in the NFC Championship vs the Rams probably stings much more now for New Orleans).

    NFL Odds: New Orleans (-2.5); Total set at 37

    Considering the preseason opener typically only see starting QB's (and many other starters) get a couple of series on the field, this is an interesting game in the sense that both backup QB's have significant starting experience in this league. Minnesota will go with Sean Mannion behind Kirk Cousins, and the Saints continue to list Teddy Bridgewater behind the legend Drew Brees.

    It's those two guys (Mannion and Bridgewater) that should have a significant impact on where the ATS and total results end up in this game, because both are looking to cement their role as backup QB's for their respective teams. Behind them is some young capable talent in Taysom Hill (who already has specific packages built in the Saints offense for him) and JT Barrett for New Orleans, while Kyle Sloter and Jake Browning and looking to cut their chops for Minnesota at this level as well.

    Given that QB rotation on both sides, you can understand why this total of 37 is among the highest ones of the week currently, although all that's really changed throughout the week on that number is the level of juice bettors have to pay for either side of that number. Currently it's the high side of 37 that's juicier to back, although with the Saints on a 0-6 O/U run at home in the preseason the past three years, you might be playing with fire paying that juice and expecting points. Sure, the QB rotations are solid in terms of both NFL experience and young guys with something to prove, but vanilla game plans and general rust for guys across the board can work against that as well.

    It's the side that definitely looks more attractive, especially if you either shop around or use a sportsbook that allows you to buy/sell points on the spread. Currently it's the Saints side of things that has the extra juiced attached to it (-115 and above) which is partly due to the belief they will be the better team this year, but also based on the number being below that key number of 3.

    Shopping around and/or buying up to +3 with the Vikings appears to be the way to go though, and not just for the reasoning I mentioned in this piece earlier in the week. Obviously a perfect 5-0 ATS mark in the first game of the preseason during the Mike Zimmer era doesn't hurt in terms of supporting Minnesota here, but there are other reasons to like them as well.

    For one, the Saints have shelled out a lot of money to key guys on both sides of the ball, so those typical “couple” of series starters get might get cut down to slim to none for many Saints players. Given Bridgewater's injury history as well, even his time out on the field may be severely limited, which means Hill and Barrett will see plenty of action, and with Hill used as the “Swiss Army Knife” of the Saints attack at times throughout the past few years, his value has increased every single year during the month of August. All of that adds up to some very tentative play calling from the Saints from start to finish in this game and that's never conducive to cashing betting ticket.

    Furthermore, the Vikings have taken on the hard-nosed personality of their coach with the past success they've had early in the preseason, and considering how the past few regular seasons have gone for them, that strategy has served them well. That organizational mentality works well to have success in the “vanilla-type” games you get in the preseason, as Minnesota can work on executing their basic offense perfectly, as opposed to a Saints team that prefers to use someone like Taysom Hill say in a more gimmicky role.

    The Vikings also have more to prove to themselves after Year 1 with Kirk Cousins ended up without a playoff berth, and while that's not a strong motivational factor here, proving to themselves that they can hang with (and beat) a legitimate Super Bowl contender – even in the preseason – is a nice foundational block that the 2019 Vikings team can build upon.

    Take this point spread up to +3 if you can, but it's got to be the road team in this spot on Friday.

    Best Bet: Minnesota ATS
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Kyler Murray tops 1st preseason weekend
    August 7, 2019
    By The Associated Press


    Hey, Kyler, this is for real.

    Sort of.

    Kyler Murray, April's top overall draft pick, will make his preseason debut for Arizona on Thursday night when the Cardinals host the Chargers.

    The quarterback won't be on the field very long against Los Angeles, but he should get a chance to show some of the skills that so enamored the Cardinals. He also could wind up on the ground a few times - for the first time as a pro considering QBs don't get hit in practice.

    ''I'm looking forward to having fun,'' Murray says. ''It's going to be different suiting up in a Cardinals jersey. Not playing for a school, you're representing a state.''

    That state saw its team have the worst record in the NFL in 2018, fire coach Steve Wilks and hire Kliff Kingsbury, an offensive guru who had recently been fired as head coach at Texas Tech.

    ''To be kind of pushed in as the guy, there's no kind of grace period of leading him in with any veteran presence at that position,'' Kingsbury said. ''He's remained humble. He's remained diligent in his work habits, so I've been proud of that for him.''

    With running back Melvin Gordon's holdout, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will get plenty of carries for the Chargers. Defensive tackle and first-round pick Jerry Tillery has gotten some time with the first team.

    There are 11 games on the first full night of preseason play; the Broncos beat the Falcons last week in the Hall of Fame game.

    Patriots at Lions

    Former Patriots with injuries are of interest here.

    Trey Flowers, the defensive end who went from New England to Detroit as a free agent and was the Lions' big offseason acquisition, is on the physically unable to perform list.

    Coach Matt Patricia, a former defensive assistant for the Patriots in his second season with Detroit, has been recovering from a surgically repaired left leg that's caused him to move around the practice facility on a vehicle.

    ''I'm working with our doctors here to try to figure out what's best for myself to be safe on the sideline from that standpoint,'' he said. ''I don't think I'll be riding the ATV around unfortunately on the sideline.''

    The receivers watch begins for the Patriots.

    Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman (thumb) is sidelined and Phillip Dorsett is the only other returning receiver from last season. First-round draft pick N'Keal Harry has had a strong camp and undrafted free agent Jakobi Meyers has been a standout, even earning reps with the first team.

    Titans at Eagles

    If Eagles QB Carson Wentz plays, it'll be his first action since a back injury ended his season early for the second straight year and forced him to watch Nick Foles lead the team to a playoff victory in his absence. Foles, the Super Bowl MVP two years ago, is gone now and Nate Sudfeld is trying to solidify the backup spot.

    Tennessee gives new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith his first chance to call plays in a game. Smith was promoted from tight ends coach to coordinator when Matt LaFleur took the head coaching job with Green Bay.

    Redskins at Browns

    First-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins is expected to make his Redskins debut. The 15th overall pick out of Ohio State is competing with veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy for the starting job. Haskins has flashed a strong arm, but made a lot of rookie mistakes in camp.

    ''We'll see how he does in a game,'' coach Jay Gruden said. ''We'll see how he's taken what he's done on the practice field to see how it transitions into a real game situation. And how he handles the huddles and cadence, anticipation, accuracy - all that good stuff.''

    There's much anticipation about Cleveland - QB Baker Mayfield, new WR Odell Beckham Jr., Myles Garrett - but it's unlikely any will play much if at all. Garrett missed two days of practice with an unspecified injury.

    Jets at Giants

    Adam Gase gets started as Jets head coach. He was hired in January after New York fired Todd Bowles after four seasons without making the playoffs. He isn't likely to use prized addition running back Le'Veon Bell.

    Gregg Williams' defense will also be on display for the first time with new inside linebacker C.J. Mosley and first-round pick Quinnen Williams, who has looked good in camp on the D-line.

    Eli Manning is starting a team-record 16th season, but is in the final year of his contract. Though he is the starter, Daniel Jones, the No. 6 pick overall draft pick, is the heir apparent and will get plenty of preseason work, including against the Jets.

    Falcons at Dolphins

    Brian Flores' first game as Miami's coach.

    ''I'm very excited,'' he says. ''I'm excited to see all the hard work we've put in from April 1 until now, to go out and try to perform and execute at a good level.''

    One player to watch: Preston Williams, an undrafted receiver out of Colorado State, who has been the most impressive rookie for the Dolphins in camp.

    The Falcons placed quarterback Kurt Benkert on injured reserve with a toe injury. He was pushing Matt Schaub as Matt Ryan's top backup. Matt Simms, who last played with Atlanta in 2017, was re-signed and is expected to play against the Dolphins.

    Colts at Bills

    Though Buffalo's new-look offensive line has been beset by injuries, the Bills will get their first glimpse at a retooled offense featuring receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley. Center Mitch Morse (concussion) missed the past 10 days. Tackle LaAdrian Waddle will miss the season after tearing his right quadriceps on Sunday.

    With Andrew Luck out and Jacoby Brissett taking limited snaps, Bills fans might get to watch Chad Kelly try to resuscitate his QB career. The nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly signed with the Colts in May, but has had an uneven camp.

    Jaguars at Ravens

    The Ravens are expected to use quarterback Lamar Jackson briefly to see how he handles first-year offensive coordinator Greg Roman's revamped playbook. It will also mark the debut of former Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley, who will see extended time because backup Robert Griffin III is out with a broken right thumb.

    Jacksonville will rest nearly all of its potential starters after working out together with the Ravens this week. That includes new quarterback Nick Foles.

    Panthers at Bears

    Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly has no qualms about playing in exhibition games. Kuechly returned to full practice this week after missing time last week, noting he got hit on the side during practice, but added that ''everything is fine.'' The seven-year NFL veteran jokes playing in the preseason ''it helps me remember how to play football.''

    ''You can't tackle people out here (at practice) and there is a big difference between running by a guy and tagging off and actually tackling someone,'' Kuechly says.

    With very few position battles, the Bears have one goal in the preseason opener: find a kicker. Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro will see their first game action in pursuit of the job Cody Parkey had last year.

    ''There's pressure on every kick in Chicago right now, so every chance you get, do your best to make it. And if you miss one, come back the next time and make the next one,'' Bears coach Matt Nagy says.

    Texans at Packers

    Coach Bill O'Brien said that many Texans starters should get some playing time, though it's unlikely star defensive end J.J. Watt will be one of them. Watt left a joint practice with Green Bay early on Monday after experiencing tightness in his groin and sat out Tuesday as a precaution.

    Watt, who grew up a Packers fan, is disappointed he won't get to play at Lambeau Field, but knows being careful this early in the preseason is more important than getting on the field.

    ''Groin tightened up just a little bit, so rather than try and push through it and try and do some damage to it, we just shut it down,'' he said. ''I've gotten smarter as I got older, so I started listening to the trainers a little bit more than just listening to my own brain.''

    O'Brien said rookie Lonnie Johnson Jr. will play three days after causing a stir with a hard hit during the first joint practice on Monday. The cornerback hit Green Bay tight end Jace Sternberger on a pass over the middle, causing Sternberger's helmet to pop off, and then taunted him. The incident upset several Packers and caused O'Brien to pull him from practice early on Monday and hold him out on Tuesday.

    Broncos at Seahawks

    QB Joe Flacco makes his Denver debut at Seattle.

    ''At this point, it doesn't really feel any different than it's been the last 10 years,'' Flacco says. ''I think your rookie year is obviously a little different than any of the others. But at this point I am used to being here. I am used to being in this uniform. These are my teammates and I am just excited about doing it.''

    Seattle will get its first chance to see Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch in a game situation in the competition to back up Russell Wilson. Smith has been the better of the two overall during the first couple of weeks of training camp.

    The Seahawks could see rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf in his first game action and get a better idea of what he can bring to Seattle's offense.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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