We will never complain about a winning Thursday, especially one that doesn’t include a loss. The Steelers blanked the Falcons and scored all of the game’s 24 points before halftime to give us a no-doubt win to start the evening. We expected an early Steelers lead, which Kenny Pickett delivered for the third straight game, although I don’t think we could have predicted a shutout.
The Colts and Eagles needed only a field goal in the fourth quarter to cash our over bet, which they just did before the two-minute warning. It was nice to sweat a little in the preseason and get our reps in before the long haul of the upcoming regular season.
Friday night’s schedule includes a pair of 2022 playoff teams and others looking to find their footing. Detroit, the favorite to win the division in the NFC North, is a 4.5-point underdog to Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers in their final preseason snaps of 2023. The Lions will face Kansas City on September 7 at Arrowhead in the kickoff to the regular season, and the visitors are almost touchdown dogs as of this writing.
The Pats are favored by a couple points in Nashville against the Titans. Bailey Zappe has taken the lion’s share of snaps at QB for New England after being listed as Mac Jones’ backup on the unofficial depth chart. For Tennessee, 2022 third-rounder Malik Willis, listed as the backup to Ryan Tannehill and ahead of rookie Will Levis, has attempted 42 throws in two games with inconsistent success.
The final game includes the playoff competitors from 2022, the Chargers and 49ers. Both teams are favored to make the postseason again in 2023, with San Francisco +1000 to win the championship. The Niners are 7.5-point favorites at home in their preseason finale.
Carolina hasn’t won a game yet, let alone covered, this preseason. They were rolled by the Jets 27-0 in their own building back on August 12 and were down 18 to the Giants a week ago before mounting a comeback that brought them within two points with less than seven minutes to go. With the game on the line, the Panthers gained zero yards and turned the ball over on downs.
Bryce Young has thrown for 56 yards on five drives across two games as the team has given Matt Corral the chance to get more reps. All this to say, there’s no reason we can find why the Panthers have moved to 4.5-point favorites from the opening number at three.
We have to believe that more public money will be coming in favor of Detroit with their Hard Knocks hype still alive and well from last season. We’ll attempt to fade that tonight.
New England has allowed opponents to score 37 points in two preseason games, while the Titans have scored 41. The Pats managed to score nine points in their first game against Houston and have averaged just 222 yards of offense, with Zappe taking the majority of QB reps.
They’ve struggled to move the ball on the ground, and Tennessee has been stronger in that department in their two preseason contests. Despite some more snaps for the first teamers in this final preseason action for both teams, we’ll take the combination of their efforts to add up to a lower final score than this total.