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Monday, August 15, 2011

NFL Preseason Predictions: August 18, 2011

UPDATE: The line for PHI has started to move to 3. I still like it as a play at 3, but grabbing the hook is always important--especially considering that games in the preseason land on 3 more often than the regular season.

For latest odds check out one of my trusted sportsbooks - 5 Dimes, Bodog or Intertops.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Pittsburgh Steelers: PHI +3.5

I'm a little surprised PHI is being given the hook in this game because I would have made it a play even at +3.   Week 1 trends don't favor Andy Reid, but they do in week 2 where he is 10-2 ATS.  I'm in agreement with the latter this year because of the changes they not only made with their roster, but also with their coaching staff. 

It's no secret that PIT is experimenting on their offensive line.  It was a problem last year and it's on track to be a problem this year.  On Thursday they will be playing their 3rd option at the RG spot.  Outside of Pouncey, the entire line has question marks. Jim Washburn got a lot of energy and production from his D-line in week 1 and expect to see more of the same vs PIT.  This year the lines on both sides of the ball are being coached up to play more aggressively and push upfield rather than holding their ground. 

Vince Young might not know the offense yet, but he's still better than most backup quarterbacks in the league.  He's surrounded with good depth players and solid coaching.  Behind him is Mike Kafka.  He had one bad interception last week, but overall he looked pretty good.  PHI should be able to win the battle of 1st stringers and they also have an edge with QB depth as well.  Their jobs will be made even easier with Ike Taylor hobbled with an injury.  McFadden is hobbled with a hamstring, but check his status later in the week.  If both are out, D-Jax could have a free ride to an early score.  Fly with the Birds and take the points.  UPDATE: Reid has confirmed that the starters will play the entire first half.  Prediction: Bank PHI +3.5.
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