6 NFL Preseason Best Bets for Saturday, August 19
Eleven games on Saturday’s NFL Preseason slate and we’re locked and loaded with 6 best bets! While a lot of bettors avoid the preseason, we’ve been making some solid coin in it for years. It’s the only time in sports that a coach will usually be upfront about his game plan.
Check out our 6 best bets below, as well as 2 of the best promo offers in the business. Good luck this weekend with your plays!
Lions +4 over Jaguars (DraftKings)
The Jags are coming off a high-scoring affair in their 1st contest that pitted them against the Cowboys. With the Jags leading 14-10 heading into the 4th quarter, both offenses exploded. Each scored 2 touchdowns and the final was 28-23.
Trevor Lawrence went 5-6 with his lone miss being an interception. However, he did toss a touchdown to Christian Kirk in the 1st. CJ Beathard stepped in next and while ineffective through the air, was able to pick up a score with his legs.
Lastly, Nathan Rourke took his 1st NFL snaps and looked solid. He threw for over 150 yards and a touchdown while also scampering for another 20 and a score. Defensively they picked up 4 sacks and 3 turnovers while holding the running attack to under 100 yards on the day.
The Lions are also coming off a win in their preseason opener. They defeated the visiting Giants 21-16 in a game that had just 1 passing touchdown. Nate Sudfeld drew the start and was underwhelming, going 15-28 for 194 yards and 2 interceptions.
Adrian Martinez stepped in after and lifted the Lions with a rushing touchdown. Rookie, Jahmyr Gibbs showed flashes in the limited touches he received out of the backfield. The Lions’ defense hit the QB 5 times in this one and held the Giants to just 216 total yards.
The Jags were mainly led by the play of Nathan Rourke last game and his highlight reel-making play to avoid multiple pass rushers and potential sacks before completing a pass.
We find it unlikely that he can duplicate that performance here. For the Lions, we expect to see Martinez get a bit more time due to the ineffectiveness of Sudfeld.
Texans -3 over Dolphins (BetMGM)
It was an ugly start to the preseason for the Dolphins. Skylar Thompson and Mike White combined to throw 0 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and got sacked 5 times for a combined QBR of 46.45. In the end, they lost to the Falcons 19-3.
Myles Gaskin led the rushing attack with 57 yards on 7 carries and the Fins did finish with a solid 168 yards on the ground. However, losing the turnover game 4-0 is ultimately what led to their demise. The defense was decent considering the quick turnarounds and bad field position.
Much like his draftmate Bryce Young, CJ Stroud struggled in his preseason debut. He was just 2-4 for 13 yards while throwing an interception and getting sacked once in his limited time.
However, veterans Davis Mills and Case Keenum picked up the slack. They combined to go 18-26 for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. The defense shut down every Patriot attempt to get things going and finished by holding them to just 164 total yards in the 20-9 victory.
Mills and Keenum are two high-quality backups that obviously know this offense well and should once again be steady presences for the offense in this one.
The bigger piece is the defense that smothered the Pats in their previous game, they get a wounded Dolphins offense that they should be able to control throughout this one.
Bears @ Colts Under 40.5 (FanDuel)
The Bears were the only team last week to play 4 different QBs. And, well, it seemingly worked. They defeated the Titans 23-17 and except for PJ Walker, all QBs played well. Justin Fields was exceptional in his 2 series as he went 3-3 for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns.
He hit newly acquired DJ Moore and running back Kahlil Herbert as well. Nathan Peterman and Tyson Bagent combined for 8-11 and almost 100 yards passing. On defense, the Bears caused 4 turnovers, and lucky they did as they allowed over 400 yards of total offense to the Titans.
The Colts lost their previous game 23-19 to the Bills on the road. Rookie Anthony Richardson was just 7-12 with 0 touchdowns and 1 interception in his 1st run on an NFL field. Sam Ehlinger and Gardner Minshew each threw for 72 yards and committed 0 turnovers.
Defensively, they allowed journeyman veteran, Matt Barkley to go 14-15 for 170 yards and 2 scores. If they are going to compete with these Bears, they will need to be tougher on defense.
This total seems a bit inflated. Most preseason totals are under 40. And while these teams each allowed over 20 points in their previous games, the offenses were not tremendous and the defenses should be able to stagger each other enough to keep this one lower scoring.
Patriots +3.5 (-115) over Packers (FanDuel)
The Pats got worked over a bit last week by the Texans as they dropped their preseason opener 20-9. Bailey Zappe played the most and finished 12-14 for 79 yards with 0 touchdowns or interceptions.
Trace McSorley saw limited time and was just 1-3. Malik Cunningham was the bright spot of the Pats. He did most of his work with his legs though. He took 5 carries for 34 yards and a score to lead the team.
While they were able to make CJ Stroud look like a true rookie, Case Keenum and Davis Mills were able to move the ball enough to get the Texans in scoring positions.
The Packers put on a show for the few fans they had in attendance last week in Cincinnati. They defeated the Bengals 36-19. Sean Clifford saw the most time under center and finished 20-26 for 200 yards and one score.
He did toss 2 interceptions that luckily did not make a difference. Jordan Love was efficient in his time on the field as he went 7-10 for 46 yards and a score.
Rookie running back, Emanuel Wilson used his 6 carries to sprint for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns while the defense did not allow a single touchdown to be scored on them.
This play seems too easy to be true. If it is, so be it. We are going to ride the Packers here and ultimately fade the Patriots as well. The entire Pats team still looks like a work in progress while these Packers seemed to have had this group prepared even before Rodgers left for New York.
Raiders -3.5 over Rams (Caesars)
The Raiders made easy work of the visiting Niners in their 1st preseason game last week. Aidan O’Connell and Chase Garbers both made good use of their time under center. Each finished with QBRs over 100 and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Zamir White and Sincere McCormick, a pair of 2nd-year backs, each scored on the ground with McCormick adding one on a short reception as well.
For the Niners, Trey Lance looked promising in his 1st action since being lost to injury last season. He went 10-15 for over 100 yards and a score. Defensively, the Raiders held the Niners to under 70 yards on the ground and won the turnover battle 2-0.
The Rams were in a high-scoring game last week against the Chargers but ended on the wrong side of the scoreboard 34-17. Their offense was decent and led mainly by rookie Stetson Bennett. He threw for almost 200 yards and a score with no picks.
Zach Evans and Ronnie Rivers each averaged over 4 yards per carry but never broke free. The defense could simply not stop the run game of the Chargers. They finished with over 200 yards on the ground and that was all they needed to dominate this game.
Until the Rams can figure out how to stop the run, we are going to be forced to fade them. The good news is how well the Raiders offense performed last week but this could very well be a bit trappy. The over here could certainly be a play but we feel a bit more comfortable riding with Vegas.
Cowboys @ Seahawks Over 39.5 (BetMGM)
Rookie Deuce Vaughn took his 8 carries for 50 yards and a score while 3rd string QB Will Grier threw for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns to go with 1 interception. However, none of that was enough to defeat the visiting Jaguars as the Cowboys fell 28-23.
The Jags seemingly were able to do what they desired on offense and finished with a balanced attack of over 140 yards on the ground and over 250 yards on the ground.
Both Drew Lock and Holton Ahlers looked good in the Seahawks’ 24-13 win over the Vikings last week. Lock saw most of the time, finishing with almost 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did toss 1 pick but finished with a 104.7 QBR.
Ahlers saw limited time but was a perfect 4-4 for 43 yards and a score. On defense, they held the Vikes in check both on the ground and through the air. Nick Mullens was decent for Minnesota but his lone touchdown pass was the only one scored for them.
With both offenses proving they can put some points on the board in their previous games and the total staying under 40 we are going to play the over here. As long as the Seahawks are not able to completely shut down the Cowboys, this total should be able to go over the number.
Sports Betting Contributor
Bill is a high-volume sports bettor who runs his own sports investing business. He has an uncanny ability to find tons of mathematical edges on each day’s sports betting card. Bill covers all sports but his bread and butter is UFC, Golf, and College Hoops. Find him on X at @LarrysLocks2