The NFL preseason is wrapping up, which also means that, by this time next week, more than a few players are going to be searching for new teams or jobs. The final rosters have to be in place by August 31 and, with most teams now at 80 players, there is a long way to go to cut the squads down to the 53 maximum. Tonight will see several of these giving everything they have to stay alive past the cutoff.
Colts Off to a Good Start
The Indianapolis Colts are 2-0 in the preseason, which means they don’t need to force themselves when they face the 0-2 Detroit Lions tonight. Indy went into its last game, against the Minnesota Vikings, as 1.5-point underdogs before walking away with a 12-10 victory for a win for NFL bettors. The Lions have had more difficulty and are struggling to keep things together.
The Colts are at -133 tonight, enough of an edge to make betting on them worthwhile. The spread is a little questionable, as they have only won their two preseason games by an average of 2.5 points – the same number as tonight’s spread. However, backing the Colts against the spread of -112 is a smart play, given the opponent. The Over/Under is at 33.5, which seems way too high for this game. The Colts don’t need to prove anything and the Lions can’t. Take the Under at -115.
Bucs Need Some Help
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have won the Super Bowl last year, but they’re not coming out of the gate strong this year. They dropped their first two preseason games and meet the 2-0 Houston Texans tonight. One of the Bucs’ losses was a 34-3 embarrassment against the Tennessee Titans, but they have been giving their backups more opportunities on the field. However, the Texans are coming out stronger than expected, which could cause trouble for Tampa Bay tonight.
Calling preseason games is difficult, especially with new players on the field. However, the Texans are at home and have won two already. Despite being +160 underdogs, they deserve a look tonight, knowing that the Bucs aren’t going to have first-string players in the game. Along those same lines, backing the Texans on the 3.5 spread at -112 is a great way to add some cash to the bank this weekend. The Over/Under is at 36.5, but a high-scoring game shouldn’t be expected. Taking the Under at -110 makes more sense.
Steelers On a Streak
The Pittsburgh Steelers have put in their time this preseason and will have played four games by the time the final seconds tick off the clock tonight. They are already 3-0 and face the 0-2 Carolina Panthers, who are still trying to figure out how to get in the end zone. After two games, they have only scored one touchdown, settling for five made field goals.
The Steelers played the Lions last Saturday, shutting them out after three quarters. However, they gave Detroit an open door in the fourth, changing the score from 23-0 at the end of the third to 26-20 by the time the clock ran out. Whether that was because they quit trying or because of multiple mistakes isn’t clear, but oddsmakers are concerned. Pittsburgh goes in tonight as +160 underdogs, which is a good play for bettors. Against the spread, there’s also value in backing them at +4.5 (-112). The Over/Under is 34.5, but that will only happen if the Steelers do all the scoring. The Panthers haven’t figured out their offense yet, and backing the -107 Under is a better option here.