It’s astonishing how quickly the NFL season has come upon us, as the distractions from this off-season’s lockout helped to pass the time between seasons much more quickly than usual. Now with only two days left before the first games of the NFL Preseason are set to begin, it’s an exciting time for football fans and fans of online sports betting alike, as one of the most intense and enjoyable betting seasons is now upon us, and the options for betting on sports each week will start to increase dramatically into the fall. Without any further adieu, we hit the betting lines for the opening preseason NFL games set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night this week with the hopes of taking advantage on some of the teams that have made big moves with veteran players in the offseason, and as such should be set to marching out a host of starting players in preseason competition against more established teams who will be starting greener prospects simply trying to make the cut.
Five games are set on tap for the opening night of Preseason NFL Football on Thursday, and with most sportsbooks featuring wagers solely on the points spread, do a little digging across the top sports betting websites reviewed here to find the best lines offered, or any additional options for wagering on the games where you can. For instance, while Bodog Sportsbook remains one of the best online sportsbooks in the industry, you’ll find betting options on preseason NFL Football limited to the points spread only there, whereby at a nearby competitor like Sportsbook.com, you’ll have further access to over/under wagers on total points, which could be useful when wagering on teams with more explosive offensive threats and/or games featuring defensive units that have spent relatively little time together.
Checking out the 5 games in store for Thursday, the opening game of the day features an intriguing match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and the Philadelphia Eagles, with the latter team securing the most offseason assets and getting many picks as a potential in this season’s Super Bowl XLVI. While Philadelphia has added plenty of assets to their defense, including cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, as well as locking in the likes of DL Anthony Hargrove, and DE Cullen Jenkins, there are plenty of question marks especially around their linebacker corps, and even on the offensive side of the ball in their under-practiced receiving group, which could play out in Thursday’s match-up with the Ravens, and into the regular season as well. Add to the mix Vince Young, a questionable QB at the best of times, and there’s a high likelihood we’ll be seeing plenty of 3-and-outs from the Philadelphia Eagles against a much more confident and veteran Baltimore Ravens defense. However, as Baltimore has made many changes on the offensive side of the ball, shedding 7 of last year’s starters including veteran running backs Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee, TE Todd Heap and WR Derrick Mason, there’s plenty of question marks on either side of the ball, and a high likelihood of a slow start in Thursday night’s match-up leading to some low scoring.
Looking to the other match-ups for Thursday night, no doubt the New England Patriots will be ones to watch right out of the gates, as they’ve made a number of solid offseason acquisitions, and have got the highest odds to win this season’s Super Bowl, 13/2 at Bodog Sportsbook, and 6/1 at Sportsbook.com. The Pats are a 3.5 point favorite at home, unsurprisingly especially considering the youth and lack of depth the Jaguars march into the preseason with. Next up, find a West Coast match-up between the Seattle Seahawks, ripe with new receiving threats but a questionable new QB in Tavaris Jackson, up against the San Diego Chargers, who if healthy look primed to emerge as the AFC West champions this year behind Phillip Rivers and his talented receiving corps. A 3.5 point favorite for the Chargers seems fitting and a good bet for Thursday night, as they’ve made few moves to a relatively strong and stable lineup this offseason (staying healthy seems their biggest concern), while the Seahawks will likely find the first few weeks of preseason play wrought with miscues as they try to dial in their offense, and manage a defense with little veteran leadership and plenty of holes. Make sure to peruse the betting lines for the Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals vs. Oakland Raiders ahead of Thursday nights’ games, read up on the trades and training camp progression of the teams in play for Week 1 of the NFL Preseason, and take advantage of teams featuring strong offensive units playing at home to help you on your way to earning your first wins of the NFL season this week!