NFL Preseason Week 2 Betting Picks: Best Values Thursday Night, Aug. 15
Looking for Friday night betting picks? We have you covered with our best NFL preseason Week 2 betting picks for Friday night.
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Yesterday we broke down NFL preseason Week 2 betting for two of five Thursday night games. Read NFL Preseason Week 2 Betting Picks: Totals Drop in Jacksonville to find out why one play in the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Washington Redskins game continues to be one of Thursday night’s best values.
In this article, we’ll take a look at online sports betting picks for the other three games on Thursday’s schedule.
As a refresher, expect starters to have a larger role in NFL preseason Week 2, as Chris Gimino points in his Introduction to NFL Preseason DFS and Strategy:
Week 2: Starters play a more substantial volume, but still give way to the deeper roster positions somewhere between one quarter and one half into the game.
NFL Preseason Week 1 Betting Picks — Green Bay Packers vs. Baltimore Ravens -4, O/U 37
UPDATE: Aaron Rodgers WILL NOT play Thursday. I’m adding two 1h bets to my betting card; BAL moneyline -145 and Under 20.
By now, you’ve heard how great John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens are in the preseason. Overall, Harbaugh is a league-best 30-15-1 against preseason spreads in his career, including a 29-0 shutout against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. The last time the Ravens lost a preseason game was in 2015. Harbaugh says he still remembers the one-point loss to the Falcons that preseason.
That could change Thursday night.
What to expect from the Packers
While we still don’t really know how first-year Packers head coach Matt LaFleur will treat NFL presasons, we do know he plans on playing Packers’ starters, including Aaron Rodgers, for a quarter or so against the Ravens.
Expect the new coach and quarterback duo to do their best to get off to a hot start and refute any speculation that the two don’t see eye to eye.
It won’t be easy as the Ravens boasted arguably the best defense in the NFL last year, finishing first in yards allowed and second in points.
“It’ll be a good test for our first time running this offense in another stadium, on the road, against a really good defense,” Rodgers said.
While Cheeseheads will get a preview of the new-look offense with most of the starters on the field, first-string running back Aaron Jones will be held out of Thursday night’s game.
Instead, expect Jamaal Williams to get first-team snaps. Starting several games last season, Williams is plenty familiar playing with Rodgers and the starting offensive line. If Williams is held out due to injury concerns of his own, it’ll be Dexter Williams who rushed for 62 yards on 14 carries in the Packers 28-26 win against the Houston Texans last week.
What to expect from the Ravens
As for the Ravens, Lamar Jackson is expected to play three series. He played the entire first quarter against the Jaguars completing 4-of-6 passes for 60 yards and 1 touchdown. One thing he didn’t do was use his scrambling ability. Expect much of the same against the Packers, as Harbaugh continues to use the preseason to groom Jackson into a more comfortable passer.
The Ravens will still be without 2019 first-round draft pick Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, who returned to practice Tuesday from foot surgery stemming from an injury at Oklahoma. Last week, it was rookie Miles Boykin who led the Ravens with 4 receptions for 40 yards.
Harbaugh’s preseason competitiveness and LaFleur’s plans for the Packers’ starters make this pick complicated. It’s the second-lowest total on the board (dropping from 40 to 37), but the Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league and the Packers defense, which now includes former Ravens DE Za’Darius Smith and Bears safety Adrian Amos, should be much improved. Neither Rodgers nor Jackson will look to improvise as we so often see during the regular season.
Part of me wants to take the Packers 1H spread but based on last week, there’s a case to be made that the Packers reserves have the edge over the Ravens. Packers’ backup quarterback Deshon Kizer went 8-for-13 for 102 yards and 1 touchdown, while the Ravens’ Trace McSorely completed 9-of-22 passes with an interception. In fact, the Ravens may have posted 29 points on Jacksonville, but their offense only scored one touchdown. The rest were field goals and an interception return.
My Pick: Take Green Bay +4.5 points at DraftKings (use our DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)
If you want to continue to tail Harbaugh’s preseason hot streak you can find Baltimore -3.5 at BetStars (use our BetStars promo code to get these odds).
NFL Preseason Week 1 Betting Picks — Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals -2.5, O/U 39.5 (use our PointsBet promo code to get these odds)
The Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals each have a lot to prove this season. The Raiders preseason has already been filled with drama thanks to Antonio Brown. The Cardinals don’t have much drama in their locker room, that we know of, but there’s already plenty of questions surrounding their defense.
Last week, new Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury surprised most spectators when he started Kyler Murray in the first preseason game of the season. Murray only played one drive, but he looked sharp completing 6-of-7 passes in Kingsbury’s spread offense. Following Murray’s departure, former Packers backup Brett Hundley completed 10-of-14 passes for 104 yards and 1 touchdown. Arizona’s four quarterbacks combined to complete 23-of-32 passes for just over 200 yards, helping the Cardinals beat the Chargers 17-13.
Jon Gruden is 19-12-3 ATS in the preseason, but Gruden has made it clear on Hard Knocks that he’ll be protecting his starters and franchise players. David Carr may see “a little” bit of action, as Gruden put it, but expect to see more of Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman. Also, don’t expect much on the ground from first-round draft pick Josh Jacobs. It’ll be Doug Martin and DeAndre Washington likely competing for a roster spot. Both running backs have found success against NFL defenses before.
Even if David Johnson doesn’t see a ton of action, Chase Edmonds should be formidable in the Kingsbury-Murray offense. With Gruden taking a more conservative approach than the first-year coach, I want to target Arizona in the first half.
My Pick: Arizona 1H moneyline
NFL Preseason Week 1 Betting Picks — New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons -2.5, O/U 43
Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is the antithesis to John Harbaugh in the NFL preseason. Quinn is 4-14 ATS in preseason games and the Over/Under is 6-11-1. The Falcons have actually lost their last 10 preseason games under Quinn.
Two of those losses have come this year as the Falcons lost to the Broncos 14-10 in the Hall of Fame Game and 34-27 against the Miami Dolphins last week.
So far, the Falcons have taken an extremely conservative approach with their starters, even by Quinn-preseason standards. That changes a little bit on Thursday night when Matt Ryan and running back Devonta Freeman make their preseason debuts, albeit in limited roles.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase doesn’t have a great preseason track record, either. A 31-22 preseason Week 1 loss to the New York Giants dropped Gase’s preseason record to 5-8 ATS.
Despite the loss to the Giants, the Jets backup quarterbacks fared well. Trevor Siemian led the group with 77 yards through the air.
The Jets have a host of injuries to their secondary, which should help Ryan attack early as well as alleviate some of Matt Schaub and Matt Simms’ struggles when it’s their turn to take snaps.
Not only are the Jets hurting in the secondary, but they’ve also been beset by injuries on the offensive line. You would typically expect Sam Darnold to play a full quarter here, but Gase may limit Darnold more than usual in Week 2 of the preseason due to inexperience on the offensive line.
I don’t have much trust in either Gase or Quinn, but I lean towards the Falcons for the first quarter. Tonight’s matchup is also the highest total on the board, but I don’t think it will be as high scoring as oddsmakers anticipate.
My Picks: Falcons 1Q moneyline -120; Under 43 (use our FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to get these odds).
Remember to check back Friday and Saturday as we break down more NFL preseason Week 2 betting picks for the rest of this week’s games!
Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images