The NFL preseason wraps up this week and it starts this Friday. What are usually meaningless games for the starters will turn into some intense battles between the third and fourth teams as management cuts the roster down to the final 53 spots.
Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions
The Colts (2-0) look to go unbeaten in the preseason with a road victory over the winless Lions (0-2). Indianapolis is a three-point betting favorite with the totals at 33½, the lowest of the four games on Friday. That’s mainly due to how bad each team’s offense is.
The Colts have gotten steady quarterbacking from Jacob Eason, but rookie Sam Ehlinger may get the brunt of the snaps. David Blough and the Lions padded their stats with a 20-point fourth quarter in a game where another fan fight stole headlines.
Detroit may just find a way to win this one when Indianapolis turns to its third teamers in the second-half. But the team will struggle to move the chains or prevent Indy from theirs so betting the over could be the only sound play here.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets
If we power ranked the preseason, the Eagles (0-2) would be at the bottom thanks to getting destroyed 35-0 by the New England Patriots. That’s why they enter this game as four-point underdogs.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts didn’t even play but if this was a preview of Philadelphia’s defense, he and Joe Flacco better get their arms iced. Meanwhile, new QB Zach Wilson has already impressed in his limited appearances for the Jets (2-0). He led them to a definitive win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
Zach Wilson ripped this pass to Corey Davis 🎯
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 21, 2021
Wilson may play a bit here but expect the combo of Mike White and James Morgan to handle the quarterbacking. Given recent performances, it’ll be hard to put money on the Eagles even if Hurts suits up. Betting on the Jets and the over at 33½ seems like the way to go.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers
The Steelers (3-0) are the only NFL team with three preseason wins and yet they can be had at +3 points on the spread if you bet online. Carolina (0-2) has not won a game but enters as the favorite.
Panthers QB Sam Darnold made just two passing attempts so the jury is still out if he’ll be any good. But he should see more action here as Will Grier, who went 11 of 14 against Baltimore, competes with Philip Walker for the role of backup.
The Steelers handled all of their opponents using, ironically, the running game. Carolina should be tough to run against and its defense will be better than Philadelphia’s and Detroit’s, which is why the odds have put them as favorites.
Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs
The last game of the evening pits Minnesota (0-2) against Kansas City (2-0). For obvious reasons, the Chiefs are the four-point favorites making them the biggest of the four games. Even when Patrick Mahomes was not the best QB, the Chiefs have gotten the job done.
Minnesota, on the other hand, have had one of the worst offenses this preseason. They’ve only managed 16 total points with no passing touchdowns and three interceptions. Quarterbacks Jake Browning and Kellen Mond don’t inspire much confidence even against backups.