2015 NFL Preseason: Week 4 Preview and Picks
The 2015 NFL preseason ends with a bang on Thursday night, as all 32 NFL teams are in action. The NFL betting flurry can begin, as it’s the first full day of pro football action of the season.
Betting on preseason football isn’t quite as exciting as the real thing, but there is still money to be made and matchups to exploit. Keep in mind that preseason games fluctuate more than probably any other sport, but if you need a little extra advice to push you one way or the other, we’re shoving out picks for Thursday’s matchups, along with some quick-hitting insight:
Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts
The key starters probably won’t suit up for this game, so it’s largely a duel between Matt Hasselbeck and A.J. McCarron. McCarron has looked good this preseason and Cincy may have the better depth in the offensive backfield, as well as on defense.
Pick: Bengals 20, Colts 17
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets
Tim Tebow will likely see a ton of action against Gang Green on Thursday night, as he tires to win the Eagles’ third string quarterback job from Matt Barkley. That may not go so well against a Jets defense that even has solid backups. Bryce Petty could fare better in a New York home win.
Pick: Jets 23, Eagles 19
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami Dolphins
The battle of Florida commences in an inter-state battle, where we could see a lot of Mike Glennon and Matt Moore going at it. The Bucs may want to throw Jameis Winston back out there to gain some positive momentum after a poor outing last week, however. If they do that, I think he can regroup and help the Bucs close the preseason strong.
Pick: Bucs 17, Dolphins 13
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers
Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers will probably sit this otherwise tantalizing matchup out, while both sides should rest most of their key starters. Brett Hundley could get much of the action under center for the Packers for the second week in a row, and it could lead to a Green Bay home victory.
Pick: Packers 27, Saints 20
Baltimore Ravens @ Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons may want to get both Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman some playing time in the preseason finale, as the running back position battle is still far from decided. The Ravens have a strong (and deep) defense, though, so expecting great results may be a mistake.
Pick: Ravens 23, Falcons 14
Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions
Two of the best defenses of a year ago go at it, and we may see the Bills deciding between Matt Cassel or E.J. Manuel here (as in, the loser gets cut). Zach Zenner should shine in his last chance to state a claim a job in Detroit’s jam-packed backfield.
Pick: Lions 24, Bills 16
New York Giants @ New England Patriots
Eli Manning needs to get back on the field again after three shaky weeks of preseason play, while it’s anyone’s guess which quarterback the Pats decide to protect in this one. New York hasn’t looked good all preseason, though, so New England feels like the easy call.
Pick: Patriots 28, Giants 14
Carolina Panthers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Cam Newton may hit the field to get some extra time with potential #1 target, Devin Funchess. Funchess is no lock to play, though, and the Carolina offense has looked sluggish all preseason Michael Vick could play extensively and after looking solid in his Steelers debut last week, that might be a good thing.
Pick: Steelers 26, Panthers 16
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington Redskins
T.J. Yeldon and a good amount of the other first team players in Jacksonville could get some decent run in this one, as they continue to try to build positive momentum toward the 2015 NFL season. Kirk Cousins should see the field briefly, which should give way to mostly Colt McCoy and Washington’s spares. That’s good news for Jacksonville.
Pick: Jags 23, Redskins 20
Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans
Minnesota is undefeated this preseason and though logic is out the window for a lot of these games, there’s no sense in betting against them now.
Pick: Vikings 27, Titans 10
Kansas City Chiefs @ St. Louis Rams
Chase Daniel should play a ton and he’s been awesome all preseason, while the Rams have no healthy running backs right now.
Pick: Chiefs 31, Rams 17
Houston Texans @ Dallas Cowboys
Ryan Mallett is a fringe starter and should get a good deal of grind, while Dallas has no quarterback depth to fall on. The Cowboys will try to grind this one out with their running backs, but their lack of depth on both sides of the ball has made them a tough sell in preseason thus far.
Pick: Texans 17, Cowboys 9
Cleveland Browns @ Chicago Bears
Johnny Football could make this interesting if he suits up, but if he doesn’t the Browns will have no offense in this game. Jimmy Clausen could enjoy a nice day as the Bears wrap up the preseason with a big home win.
Pick: Bears 34, Browns 17
Arizona Cardinals @ Denver Broncos
Arizona’s backup quarterbacks are largely trash, while Brock Osweiler should play a lot and play well. Montee Ball is probably playing for a roster spot, too, so he could run well and help Denver end the preseason with a victory.
Pick: Broncos 30, Cardinals 10
San Diego Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers
A lot of Blaine Gabbert and not much else in this one, as fans can expect an ugly show, all around. San Diego has more talent and depth on the surface, so they get the slight nod in this one.
Pick: Chargers 15, 49ers 7
Oakland Raiders @ Seattle Seahawks
Matt McGloin should play most of this one, while Seattle oddly may want to let their starting offense find some success before they hit the regular seasons. It’s the Seahawks at home, so the odds are decent even their backups can find a way to get past Oakland.
Pick: Seahawks 22, Raiders 19
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