NFL preseason wraps up with full slate of matchups on Thursday
With the citizens of Houston continuing to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Thursday’s all-Texas preseason matchup between the Texans and Dallas Cowboys has been moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington. It will likely be an emotional night for the visitors in the preseason finale for both teams, and the game remained off the betting board as of early Wednesday.
The other game that oddsmakers have not yet put up involves the Detroit Lions visiting the Buffalo Bills. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford recently became the highest-paid player in NFL history, but he will not be taking the field, as every team in the league looks to protect starters and continue evaluating young talent heading into Week 1.
The betting lines for just about every other game on the slate reflect that, with 13 of the 14 left seeing the home teams favored. The exception is the Seattle Seahawks, who are listed as 1.5-point road chalk visiting the Oakland Raiders. The Seahawks have been the most dominant team this preseason, going 3-0 both straight up and against the spread, with all of their games decided by at least a touchdown. Seattle’s average margin of victory has been 17 points, as the team has outscored opponents 94-43.
With New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware both going down last week with season-ending injuries, bettors should certainly understand why teams rest players at this point. That said, three more teams in addition to the Seahawks will be trying to improve to 4-0.
The Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns are also 3-0, the last of which is a bit surprising considering they finished a league-worst 1-15 last year. The Browns have won all three preseason games by a combined 14 points after going 0-4 straight up and ATS a year ago. In fact, Cleveland had won just two preseason games in the previous three years combined heading into this year.
The Browns have already named rookie DeShone Kizer their starting quarterback, and they are still trying to figure out what to do with Brock Osweiler, who they acquired from Houston in the offseason.
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