Here’s hoping you had success betting Week 1 of the preseason. I generally lean towards the home team and the under but it was about a 50-50 split with the road squads and the over for the first week. It appears there were no totally devastating injuries to any Super Bowl contenders and that’s really the most important thing. Here’s a glance at each game for Week 2 with Sports Interaction NFL preseason odds.
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Steelers -3.5; total: 40.5 These state rivals resume their preseason rivalry after a year hiatus. I previewed this NFL Network game in depth here at Sports Interaction so won’t go into much detail here, but you won’t see Philly’s No. 2 overall pick and quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday. Keep in mind these teams also play Week 3 of the season so they aren’t going to give anything away from a scheme perspective.
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Lions -2.5; total: 40.5 Behind their reserves and a good game from backup QB Dan Orlovsky, the Lions won in Pittsburgh 30-17 to open the preseason, but they remain without injured No. 1 tight end Eric Ebron. Third-string QB Jake Rudock also looked sharp, going 8-for-11 for 72 yards and a TD. The Bengals lost 17-16 at home to Minnesota last Friday. Easily the most important thing in that game was seeing starting Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton play for the first time since a broken thumb in Week 14 ended his 2015 season. Dalton was 4-for-5 for 32 yards in a series vs. the Vikings.
Chicago Bears at New England Patriots, Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Patriots -4; total: 40.5 These teams will surely be tired of each other by Thursday as they have been practicing together all week and, naturally, skirmishing. Arguably no team looked worse than the Bears did in the preseason opener, losing 22-0 at home to Denver, the first scoreless preseason game for Chicago in 35 years. The Patriots beat the visiting Saints 34-22 as Jimmy Garoppolo, who will start for Tom Brady the first four weeks of the season, was sharp in completing 11-for-18 for 168 yards. You might not see star Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski in this one as he left practice on Monday with a minor injury, but the team surely will play it safe with Gronk.
Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns, Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Browns -2.5; total: 37 Atlanta kicked off the preseason with a 23-17 home win over Washington. Falcons backup QB Matt Schaub played well in extended action, going 10-for-15 for 179 yards and leading three scoring drives. The Browns are probably the least-talented team in the NFL and they looked like it in a 17-11 loss in Green Bay. Robert Griffin III already has been handed Cleveland’s starting QB job but he struggled in going 4-for-8 for 67 yards and an interception. To be fair, the Browns did play without receivers Corey Coleman, Josh Gordon and Andrew Hawkins.
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers, Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Packers -3; total: 42.5 The big question here is whether Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers plays. He wasn’t going to in the canceled Hall of Fame Game and didn’t in last week’s 17-11 win over Cleveland. Rodgers had said last week he planned on playing here, but then on Monday backtracked and hinted he wouldn’t. You probably will see No. 2 Brett Hundley, who also missed last week, get the start. The Raiders won 31-10 in Arizona last Friday but did lose defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. to an injury that will cost him 4-6 weeks. It looked bad so that’s actually good news.
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, 10 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Seahawks -3.5; total: 38.5 NFL Network game. If we are being honest, most players and coaches could care less who wins preseason games. But the Vikings might have a bit of motivation here as they lost at home (outdoors at the University of Minnesota as their new stadium was being built) in the wild-card round to Seattle last season when Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh hooked an easy 27-yard field goal in the final seconds. The Vikings and Seahawks each won their preseason openers by identical scores, 17-16, against the Bengals and Chiefs, respectively. Minnesota is 9-1 in the preseason all time under Coach Mike Zimmer so maybe he does care.
New York Jets at Washington Redskins, Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Redskins -3.5; total: 40 The Redskins and Jets have previously met in preseason play nine times. Washington has the past two, most recently in 2010. Both teams scored 17 points in their preseason opener, with Washington losing by six in Atlanta and New York winning by four at home vs. Jacksonville. The Jets remain without No. 1 running back Matt Forte due to injury.
Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys, Friday, 8 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Cowboys -3; total: 40.5 NFL Network game. One of the biggest stars of Week 1 of the preseason was Cowboys fourth-round rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who was perhaps the best football player ever at Mississippi State. The Cowboys were looking around for a veteran QB to back up Tony Romo after projected No. 2 Kellen Moore suffered a major injury. But they apparently aren’t looking any longer after Prescott was 10-for-12 for 139 yards and two scores in a loss to the Rams; both incompletions were drops. He will no doubt get plenty of action again here to see if that was legitimate. Romo didn’t play vs. the Rams and might not Friday.
Arizona Cardinals at San Diego Chargers, Friday, 9 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Chargers -1.5; total: 40.5 What on earth at the Chargers doing with No. 3 overall pick Joey Bosa? The first defensive player taken in this year’s draft remains a holdout — this is the longest rookie holdout ever under the NFL’s current collective bargaining agreement. These contracts are basically pre-determined by slot these days and the Chargers are just being cheap about the bonus structure. Both these teams lost one-sided results in their preseason opener, Arizona at home to Oakland and San Diego in Tennessee.
Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans, Saturday, 3 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Titans -1; total: 40.5 Carolina of course had the NFL’s best record last regular season at 15-1 on the way to winning the NFC title. The Titans tied for the worst with a 3-13 mark on the way to “winning” the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, although they traded that. I’d be willing to bet that no team runs the ball more than the Titans in 2016 and that was the case in their 27-10 preseason-opening win over San Diego. Tennessee rushed 33 times for 288 yards in that one, with second-round rookie and 2015 Heisman winner Derrick Henry carrying 10 times for 74 yards and a TD.
New York Giants at Buffalo Bills, Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Bills -2.5; total: 40 NFL Network game. Oddly, the Giants play only AFC East teams this preseason. This is the second time in three years the Giants will meet Buffalo in the preseason. On Aug. 3, 2014, they defeated the Bills 30-17, in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Giants lead the preseason series, 4-1. New York also won in Buffalo 24-10 last regular season. The Bills signed starting QB Tyrod Taylor to a big new extension this week.
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Colts -3; total: 41 NFL Network game. Baltimore beat visiting Carolina 22-19 to open the preseason and Indianapolis won in Buffalo 19-18. Neither starting quarterback, the Ravens’ Joe Flacco or the Colts’ Andrew Luck, played. The Ravens and Colts have never faced each other in the preseason. Of course the Colts used to be in Baltimore.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Jaguars -3; total: 40.5 These teams are also practicing together some this week. New Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter was an offensive coordinator on then-Coach Jack Del Rio’s Jacksonville staff from 2007-11. The Jags last made the playoffs in 2007. The Bucs beat the Jaguars 38-31 last regular season behind 123 yards and two touchdowns rushing by Doug Martin.
New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Texans -3; total: 41 Ninth preseason meeting between these two. It’s tied 4-4. Houston won last year 27-13 in New Orleans. New Texans starting QB Brock Osweiler made his Houston debut last week in a win in San Francisco and was 4-for-7 for 27 yards. Former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney missed the game with an injury. The outside linebacker is back at practice, though, and could play this week.
San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos, Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
NFL odds: Broncos -4; total: 40 This game would have been really interesting if the Niners had traded Colin Kaepernick to Denver this offseason as had been rumored. He didn’t play in San Francisco’s preseason opener with a sore shoulder and has clearly fallen behind Blaine Gabbert in that duel for the starting job. The Broncos have their own QB competition between Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian. Both were solid in an easy opening win in Chicago. Sanchez started that game so you might see Siemian do so here.
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, 9 p.m.
NFL odds: Rams -3; total: 39 NFL Network game. The NFL returned to Los Angeles for the first time in more than two decades last Saturday and the Rams beat Dallas 28-24. No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff finished 4 of 9 for 38 yards and one turnover for Los Angeles. He also suffered an injury but it’s minor and he should play here. In fact, Coach Jeff Fisher said he wants Goff to see time with the first-team offense after not doing so vs. the Cowboys.