With the first weekend of preseason games wiped off the calendar, have we learned anything about how to make money on exhibition contests? The short answer is no, though that doesn’t necessarily apply to every team. The Los Angeles Rams may never win another preseason game as long as Sean McVay is coaching. That doesn’t bother him, though. He’s more concerned about keeping his regulars healthy for the games that count.
The Rams were the biggest dogs of Week 1 getting 4.5-points and they failed to cover in a 14-3 loss to Oakland. They have a date in Honolulu with the Cowboys on Saturday and opened as a 3-point underdog in that one. We probably won’t see Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, severely crippling LA’s chances to score points. The Rams have a total of three points in their last two exhibition games and they average less than 13 points per game under McVay in the preseason.
It’s another typical preseason slate with 11 of the 16 Week 2 games opening with a spread between 2-4 points. After the over cashed in nine games with a push last week, the totals have been adjusted. That has a lot to do with the personnel we’re expected to see on the field as well. The highest closing total in Week 1 was 38 points, which the Chiefs reached all by themselves in a 38-17 win over the Bengals.
All but one Week 2 game opened with a total of at least 40 points at top rated NFL sportsbooks with the Kansas City at Pittsburgh matchup the highest on the board with a total of 46.5. Oddsmakers expect to see points but haven’t leaned toward a winner with the game listed as a tossup.
It’s a full weekend of NFL action with Week 2 of the preseason getting started on Thursday, August 15 with five games. The league’s broadcast partners get involved with CBS and FOX airing games on Sunday, August 18. Monday Night Football hits the airwaves with ESPN showing the 49ers at Broncos matchup from Denver. BookMaker.eu will have spreads and point totals for every game on the 2019 schedule.
NFL Preseason Week 2 Schedule and Odds
Thursday, August 15
Philadelphia Eagles at Jacksonville Jaguars ( -3, 35 ), 7 p.m. ET
New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons ( -1.5, 44 ), 7:30 p.m. ET
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins ( -4, 41 ), 7:30 p.m. ET
Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens ( -4.5, 38.5 ), 7:30 p.m. ET
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals ( -3.5, 40 ), 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Friday, August 16
Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers ( -3, 40 ), 7 p.m. ET
Chicago Bears at New York Giants ( -1.5, 42 ), 7:30 p.m. ET (NFLN)
Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( -3.5, 44.5 ), 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, August 17
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts ( -3, 43 ), 4 p.m. ET (NFLN)
New England Patriots ( -3, 40.5 ) at Tennessee Titans, 7 p.m. ET
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers ( PK, 46.5 ), 7:30 p.m. ET (NFLN)
Detroit Lions at Houston Texans ( -4.5, 42.5 ), 8 p.m. ET
Dallas Cowboys ( -3, 43 ) vs. Los Angeles Rams, 10 p.m. ET (NFLN)
Sunday, August 18
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers ( -3, 44 ), 4 p.m. ET (CBS)
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings ( -4, 42 ), 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Monday, August 19
San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos ( -2, 42.5 ), 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Typically we see a little more of the regulars in Week 2 and in many cases it’s the first sighting of starters. Coaches have their own philosophy on how to handle exhibition games and it varies throughout the league. As mentioned above, the Rams will keep their starters off the field until the regular year opens. That strategy worked out well for them last season earning a trip to the Super Bowl. LA is a team to either bet against or leave alone when it comes to the preseason.
If you’re not betting on Baltimore in the preseason you’re losing money. The Ravens hammered Jacksonville 29-0 last week for their 14th straight preseason win. During the course of his career John Harbaugh has compiled a 34-12 record in exhibition games. “We like to win. I think winning is better than losing,” the coach explained. Baltimore opened as a 4.5-point favorite for Thursday’s home matchup with Green Bay.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Atlanta Falcons, who are 0-2 after their Hall of Fame Game loss to Denver and a 34-27 setback in Miami last week. The Falcons have dropped 10 straight preseason games straight up while failing to cover the spread in their last 12. They get a home game this week and are a slim 1.5-point favorite against the New York Jets.
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