2021 NFL Preseason Week 1 Betting
Betting the preseason can be tricky given the number of unknowns. Different coaches play their starters for longer stretches, and we see some teams take it more seriously than others. The 2021 NFL Preseason will have even more unknowns as the preseason has been condensed to account for a 17th regular season game. Most teams will now play three instead of four games, so that could lead to changes in strategies and tactics.
The undisputed king of the preseason is John Harbaugh. Baltimore’s head coach hasn’t lost a preseason game since 2015, and the Ravens are 37-12 in the preseason under his tenure. Jon Gruden and Pete Carroll have both had a lot of success in the preseason, and Mike Zimmer has made a name for himself since taking over in Minnesota. The Vikings are 20-5 in the preseason under Zimmer.
NFL Preseason Week 1 Schedule
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12
New York Jets at New York Giants
Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Football Team at New England Patriots
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons
Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14
Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears
New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Houston Texans at Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks at Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams
Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings
Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts
Two local rivalries will highlight Thursday night. The New York Giants and New York Jets will square off in MetLife Stadium, and the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Giants and Jets are expected to struggle once again this season, but both teams have young quarterbacks that have their fanbases excited. Daniel Jones had a solid rookie year, and he will look to bounce back from a rough 2020. Zach Wilson was taken by the Jets with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and this will be the first time that fans see him in action.
It’s Jalen Hurts’ team now. Philadelphia dealt Carson Wentz in the offseason, leaving Hurts as the No. 1 starter for the Eagles. They drafted Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith in the first round to give him one of his former targets at Alabama, so he is in position to succeed with last year’s first round pick Jalen Reagor also out wide. This team could get tricky too as former Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate and Wake Forest standout Jamie Newman are both on the roster.
Will Julio Jones still be on the Falcons by the time the preseason starts? That’s one of the biggest questions in the run-up to the 2021 season as the All-Pro receiver has said he wants out of Atlanta. If the front office can convince him to stay, this offense has a chance to be exceptional with Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Kyle Pitts giving Matt Ryan three great options.
Buffalo was one of the biggest surprises in 2020. Josh Allen put it all together to make a run at being the NFL MVP, as Stefon Diggs opened up the offense with his speed. Gabriel Davis emerged as a solid option as a rookie, and the defense continued to play well. The Bills finally broke New England’s stranglehold on the AFC East, and they are in good position to go back-to-back.
The Cardinals figure to be one of the most exciting teams this season. Kliff Kingsbury is going to throw the ball all over the field with Kyler Murray under center, and Arizona gave Murray another potential elite pass catcher in Rondale Moore. This defense should be much improved too with the addition of Zaven Collins, and the Cardinals could lead the league in sacks with a healthy Chandler Jones and JJ Watt.
We will see Dak Prescott return to action for the first time since suffering a season-ending injury after just five games in 2020. Prescott was on his way to posting monster numbers before the injury, so it will be interesting to see how he plays on Friday night.
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