NFL Preseason Week 1: Should the Jets Be Favorites Against the Eagles?

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Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2021 NFC Wild Card Playoff game. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Football returns this weekend and we will get a jump on our NFL best bets by isolating the top moneyline, ATS, and total plays on this Friday night NFL preseason slate.  

Should we fade the Browns against the Jaguars, the public backing the over in the Cardinals game or should we follow the steam in the Eagles game? Let’s get some answers to those pressing questions.

Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Friday, August 12, 2022 – 07:00 PM EDT at TIAA Bank Field

Betting Analysis

The Jaguars have one preseason tilt under their belts, a 27-11 loss to the Raiders in the Hall of Fame Game. And now they will be lining up against the Cleveland Browns, winner of the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes and loser of $230 million over the next five years.  

Watson is waiting on the league’s appeal to his six-game suspension and is expected to play during the preseason but how much he plays in Friday night’s opening contest is anyone’s guess. I am not factoring him to any degree because even if he does take a few snaps,

I can’t imagine the Browns giving him extended minutes knowing he won’t be around for at least six regular season games and will want to keep him healthy until he does return. 

The Spread Pick

Therefore, we will take a look at the other side of the ball and cast our lot with the Jaguars. The Jaguars outscored the Raiders, 14-3 in the second half of their first preseason game and it’s important they start winning, at least in the preseason, if they want to find something to hang their hats on going into the season.

The NFL odds reveal the home team as slight favorites and we will lay it with the Jags. 

NFL Pick: Jaguars -1 ½ (-110) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports)

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Jaguars -1 ½ (-110)
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New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Friday, August 12, 2022 - 07:30 PM EDT at Lincoln Financial Field

Betting Analysis

I had to squint real hard at the NFL odds board at the Bookmakers Review when reviewing this game because it insisted the Jets were three-point road favorites. Really?

What kind of money must be moving this line to the point where the Jets, of all teams, are a road favorite in any game, preseason or otherwise? At press time, the line has dropped back to Jets -1 but still...

I guess the narrative is that Zach Wilson is bent on proving he is not Sam Darnold 2.0 and will magically eviscerate the Eagles’ secondary, leading his team to a double-digit win in hostile territory – very hostile, it’s Philadelphia after all. 

The Moneyline Pick

Well, I’m not buying it. The Eagles have had a fair amount of preseason buzz and this offense has been ratcheted up a few clicks from last year. Jalen Hurts is a good NFL quarterback that will take a step forward this year.

Plus, he has a more than capable backup in Gardner Minshew who, in his mind, is competing for the starting job. Both will want to flash when they take the field and the Jets’ defensive scrubs shouldn’t give them any issues whatsoever.  

As long as the oddsmakers are going to make the better team the underdog then we will happily bet the moneyline and make the bookie pay us the vig for a change. The Eagles are getting +135 at some of the best shops in the industry and that sound like a solid value to include in our NFL picks

Free NFL Pick: Eagles ML (+128) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Eagles ML (+128)
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Arizona Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Friday, August 12, 2022 - 07:30 PM EDT at Paul Brown Stadium

Betting Analysis

We won’t be seeing much if any of two of the most exciting young quarterbacks on the planet as Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow will likely be watching and not playing in this one. And that’s not a bad thing for us because both of these teams need to gauge where their defenses are this early in the year. 

Both offenses are expected to be high-octane, snap-and-fly aerial shows but getting the right pieces on their defensive units will be paramount to putting together the whole enchilada. And to that end, we see that this game will be predicated on backup quarterbacks splitting their time behind short pump-and-dumps while handing off to any number of tailbacks trying to make the team. 

Over/Under Pick

The total is fairly low on this game despite both teams’ reputations for electrifying offenses. That’s a good sign because the public likes to bet on favorites and over whether it’s the exhibition or the regular season. They don’t distinguish between the two and, as a matter of fact, more than half of them will be wondering why Murray or Burrow isn’t getting any playing time.  

Yes, the masses are that uninformed and although we don’t traditionally see big bets from the average NFL bettor, we know the sharps will dive in whenever they see an opportunity and I believe this line is a reflection of that.  

As of this writing, the total has fallen to as low as 33 at some shops but we are not doing our due diligence unless we scan the board for the sharpest line. And at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) we found a 33.5 still hanging around - so now we pounce! 

NFL Pick: Under 33.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Under 33.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.