Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants
Buffalo Bills vs New York JetsCan someone explain to me why the Bills are available at +3.5? I'm sorry, but I fail to see where the Jets have enough of an advantage to warrant the hook. Show me one category that the Jets have an advantage in. It's no surprise by now that Buffalo has gotten a lot of offseason love and with good reason. The early money has agreed. The line has already moved 2.5 points off the -6 opener. I'd be shocked if it didn't move to -3. Even then, I think Buffalo has value. The Jets are one team I'll be looking to fade this year.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Minnesota Vikings
Miami Dolphins vs Houston TexansThe Texans opened at -6.5 and it's been promptly (and wisely) bet to -7. I still see value here assuming everyone can stay healthy. I haven't been shy about how bad I think this Miami team is going to be and I don't think +7 is enough. The QB situation is a mess and they don't match up well on paper with a deep and talented Texans team. The Dolphins main two question marks heading into the preseason is what they can do in the air--on both offense and defense. Meanwhile, those areas are among Houston's big strengths. If Miami believes they can replicate the strong rush O/D + special teams formula of the 2010 49ers than they have a rude awakening coming. A double digit Texans opening win at home seems not only inevitable-but highly likely.
St Louis Rams vs Detroit Lions
Atlanta Falcons vs Kansas City ChiefsIn my opinion, the wrong team is favored in this matchup. I'm high on KC this year and optimism will be high on opening weekend in Arrowhead. The Falcons have solid continuity in the key areas and they made positive changes on the coaching staff, but I'm not about to throw away and ignore their 1-5 record in tough games last year. I saw them make similar big offseason moves before 2011 and they found out the hard way their O-line wasn't equipped for a down-field attacking offense. Will that change this year? It could, but they will have their work cut out for them against a very strong KC defense. I'd almost be willing to lay 2.5 points on KC in this game, but if the books want to give us +1 then I won't be complaining. I expect the Chiefs to win this game straight up.
Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
SummaryNote:*None of these are official picks, but don't be surprised if some of them are on my week 1 card in the coming weeks.
It's still early August and a lot can change over the next month. We've already seen a collection of injuries league-wide and we haven't even had a snap of preseason yet. Monitor how these teams look over the first three weeks in the preseason. There should be more than enough value once the dust settles, but don't leave it too late because the market isn't going to wait for us to get in on the action either.