Four Preseason Football Betting Opportunities for Thursday

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Washington at Baltimore (-3, 31), 7:30 PM ET

The Ravens boast high hopes for this season after reaching the AFC title game a year ago. That success figures to hinge on the continued development of QB Joe Flacco. They have gone just 1-3 ATS in each of the last two preseasons, the latest under HC John Harbaugh, and have enjoyed just one winning pointspread mark this decade in exhibition games. The Redskins meanwhile, need to come up big if they hope to make the postseason out of the tough NFC East Division. They figure to be without RB Clinton Portis tonight. Washington has been up & down when it comes to preseason success, and comes off a 2-3 ATS mark in '08, the first year under HC Jim Zorn.

The top trend available for this game finds BALTIMORE is 10-2 UNDER (+7.8 Units) as a home favorite of 3 points or less since 1993.

QB Rotations:

Baltimore - Joe Flacco, Troy Smith, John Beck

Washington - Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Colt Brennan, Chase Daniel

StatFox Steve's Take: Jim Zorn has something to prove this year for Washington, and I think it will show tonight. Take the ‘skins and/or the UNDER.

New England at Philadelphia (-3.5, 35), 7:30 PM ET

Of course, the big story is Tom Brady returning for the Patriots from his major knee injury last September. By all accounts read, Brady figures to see at least a series of playing time here. New England's overall goals are for postseason success, but I'm sure HC Bill Belichick will be looking for a better performance than last preseason, when his team went 0-4 ATS. The Eagles also boast high hopes for the coming season and will be putting some new offensive rookies in the rotation starting tonight. 

The top trend available for this game finds Andy Reid as 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) in preseason home games against AFC East division opponents as the coach of PHILADELPHIA.

QB Rotations:

New England - Tom Brady, Kevin O'Connell, Matt Gutierrez, Brian Hoyer

Philadelphia - Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, A.J. Feeley

StatFox Steve's Take: I believe the Eagles have better depth at quarterback than the Patriots, especially since Brady will only see limited time. Laying 3-1/2 points is not a good idea in the preseason though.

Arizona at Pittsburgh (-3, 34), 8:00 PM ET

ESPN brings the "Super Bowl Rematch" live to your living room this evening, and obviously, the stakes won't be quite as high as they were back in February. In fact, if history serves, the Steelers' interest would figure to be minimal. HC Mike Tomlin does own a 7-2 SU & 4-5 ATS record in the preseason with Pittsburgh though, and it would be a real surprise if his club just laid down in this one. Of course, it's been another busy offseason for QB Ben Roethlisberger, who had to deal with legal troubles stemming from the incident at Harrah's in Reno. The Cardinals have had their own personnel issues, namely the ongoing contract squabble with WR Anquan Boldin. The Cards are just 2-6 SU & 3-5 ATS in exhibition games under HC Ken Whisenhunt. 

The top trend available for this game finds PITTSBURGH as 6-3 ATS (+2.7 Units) in its L9 preseason home games as a favorite of 3-points or less.

QB Rotations:

Arizona - Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart, Brian St. Pierre, Tyler Palko

Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, Mike Reilly

StatFox Steve's Take: I believe the Cardinals will be the more motivated team in this game because of the loss in the Super Bowl. They also have the better QB rotation for preseason purposes. Take the 3-points.

Dallas at Oakland (-1, 34.5), 10:00 PM ET

For most of their years of success in the 90's, the Cowboys were always one of the worst bets in the NFL when it came to preseason football. However, over the last four years, they have amassed a record of 10-4 ATS, as HC Wade Phillips has emphasized winning and building on success early. Unfortunately, it could be surmised that this has hurt Dallas' postseason chances, as it seems they run out of gas in December. Well, the first test for the T.O.-less Cowboys is in Oakland, where they opened as a 1-1/2 point favorite but now find themselves as the dog. The Raiders are hoping for improvement in a questionable AFC West Division this season, but need QB Jamarcus Russell to make huge strides in this, his third year as a pro. So far, the showings in training camp have not been favorable. Oakland will be without backup QB Jeff Garcia tonight, injured with a strained calf.

The top trend available for this game finds DALLAS as 5-19 ATS (-15.9 Units) in the first two weeks of the pre-season since 1993.

QB Rotations:

Dallas - Tony Romo, John Kitna, Stephen McGee, Rudy Carpenter

Oakland - Jamarcus Russell, Charlie Frye, Bruce Gradkowski

StatFox Steve's Take: In another piece I did in getting ready for this first week of the preseason, I discovered that when lines move 2-points or more in this week, the public loses more often than not. I'll therefore look at the Cowboys +1 closely in this game.

With Reduced Juice Friday and the NFL Opening Day Getaway promotion, it is obvious why Everybody Bets on NFL Preseason at Sportsbook.com.

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