Preseason rolls on and this might be the week actual starters see the playing field. We tell you what’s going on here, plus our top NFL preseason betting picks for week two, if you keep on reading!
- What: NFL preseason week 2
- When: Games start August 17
Best Bets Of NFL Preseason Week 2
No one — besides the coaches and maybe players themselves — quite knows whether starters are playing this week. And even if they do, no one knows whether it’s for how long, it could be on series or one half. Surely, every team will approach it differently. For this reason, you want to be conservative with your NFL week 2 betting picks.
This should be “fun money” only, since many teams aren’t even trying to win. But still, we’re confident these next three picks can pay out. Here are the ones to put your money behind:
Against the Spread: Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles
This game kicks off Thursday, the first of the playing week ahead. Both teams will go off on joint practices twice this week before the meeting. We’re eying the Browns-Eagles spread, which is listed below:
|Philadelphia spread (-3.5)||-110||-110||-110|
|Cleveland spread (+3.5)||-110||-110||-110|
We would expect starters to get in-game action. Philly coach Nick Sirianni hinted as such. He was quoted saying, “we're here to treat these joint practices like games.” That’s not a guarantee players like Jalen Hurts will suit up, but at least confirmation they’re approaching this week seriously. We expect the same on Cleveland’s side.
But make no mistake about, this game will mostly be won by the second- and third-stringers. And boy oh boy, is one in particular making a name for themselves. We’re talking about quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a rookie out of UCLA. He’s playing so well that he may become Deshaun Watson’s backup, not Josh Dobbs as originally expected.
Like Watson, Thompson-Robinson has dual-threat ability— a perfect plug-and-play fit for Cleveland’s offense. In two games, DTR (his nickname) has gone 17-21 for 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns. We expect another good outing from the fifth-round pick, which should help the Browns cover the spread.
Against The Spread: Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has confirmed starters will be green-lit to play for week 2. Bengals’ Zac Taylor was less committal, saying only “we’ll see.” For this reason, it’s zero wonder why NFL’s best betting sites have made Atlanta the runaway betting favorites. Here’s the lopsided spread both ways:
|Atlanta spread (-6.5)||-110||-110||-110|
|Cincinnati spread (+6.5)||-110||-110||-110|
Taylor has a history of not playing starters in the preseason. Our money says the same happens here. The coach will be in caution mode, especially after a recent injury to Joe Burrow in practice. But that doesn’t mean Cincy is just going to roll over. No, no, we’d argue the Bengals have one of the deepest rosters in the whole NFL so don’t underestimate the backups that do play in this one.
And then there’s Atlanta. A lot of eyes are on starting quarterback Desmond Ridder. The second-year player might be the most unknown starter at the QB position heading into regular season. He probably knows it too. Smith, being the solid coach he is, won’t put any unneeded pressure on him this early. So we expect a run-dominant game plan from the Falcons, which doesn’t exactly lend itself to blowout wins. For this reason, we’re banking on the Bengals to keep it competitive and cover.
Over/Under 40 points: Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans
Enough with betting spreads, here’s an over/under on the Miami-Houston game that we couldn’t resist. It’s set at 40 points exactly:
|Over 40 points||-110||-110||-110|
|Under 40 points||-110||-110||-110|
One of the few players that came under fire for their preseason performance was rookie CJ Stroud of the Texans. He barely played two drives, but going 2-for-4 for 13 yards and an ugly interception already has people worrying the QB won’t live up to the hype. Stroud will likely play longer this week but we can’t imagine new head DeMeco Ryan’s asking him to do much.
Protecting Stroud’s confidence might mean less throwing. Less throwing, as we said before, usually means less scoring too. That’s why we’re jumping on the under 40 points here.
How To Bet On NFL Preseason Games
Just like NFL teams use the preseason to “warm up” per se, bettors should be doing the same. Now is a good time to start researching bets and get a feel for the limited information you have — that’s betting 101 for you. To get a full list of NFL preseason bets, start with one of the sites below. Per our latest sportsbook reviews, these are the go-to bookies for all things NFL gambling.
But here’s the best part: all these sites offer lucrative sign-up bonuses. What do we mean by lucrative? We’re talking hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play here — money you can use to bet NFL for free. Our favorite offers available right now are listed below. Pick one and bet away for free!