Thomas Rawls

Garoppolo, Patriots face Bears to highlight NFL Week 2 preseason betting slate

Leave a comment

Jimmy Garoppolo will be facing his hometown team when the New England Patriots play host to the Chicago Bears in a matchup that could be a little more intense than the typical Week 2 NFL preseason game.

The Patriots and Bears are having joint practices prior to their game on Thursday, and the first was marred by a near-brawl after a run-in between New England CB Malcolm Butler and star Chicago WR Alshon Jeffrey.

The matchup will provide Garoppolo, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, with another opportunity to get comfortable filling in for Tom Brady. The future Hall of Famer will be serving his Deflategate suspension during the first four weeks of the regular season.

New England is listed as a four-point favorite against Chicago at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Dating back to 2010, the Patriots are 7-3 straight-up and 6-4 against the spread as a home favorite in the preseason.

Patriots TE Martellus Bennett will face his former team, and might perhaps get some extra targets since All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski could opt to play it safe after sustaining a lower-body injury on Monday.

Chicago is 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 preseason matchups where they were a road underdog according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Thursday’s slate also includes a playoff rematch, with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Minnesota Vikings. Seattle, which is 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 preseason home games, have had RB Thomas Rawls back at practice, but it’s more likely that rookie Alex Collins will be first up in the backfield.

For the Vikings, playing Seattle is a test for third-year QB Teddy Bridgewater, who has to show more arm strength to take the next step in his progression. Minnesota is 5-5 both SU and ATS in their last 10 preseason road games.

Robert Griffin III is also expected to play most of the first half for the Cleveland Browns, who are 2.5-point betting favorites against the Atlanta Falcons. The Browns are on a 4-6 ATS run as a preseason home favorite.

Two Saturday matchups to monitor are the New Orleans Saints-Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers-Denver Broncos contests. The Texans, who are three-point favorites, are adapting to new QB Brock Osweiler and new RB Lamar Miller. The Saints’ track record on defense isn’t any better in August than in the regular season; the total has gone OVER in 13 of their last 20 games.

Denver is a 3.5-point favorite against San Francisco. Trevor Siemian, judging from his increased share of first-team reps, is ahead of Mark Sanchez in the Broncos’ QB competition. Denver is just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 preseason games as a home favorite, and seven of those matchups have gone OVER the posted total.

Seahawks betting favorites over Cardinals in NFC West clash on SNF

Getty Images
1 Comment

The Seattle Seahawks can cut Arizona’s lead atop the NFC West standings to one game with a third consecutive straight-up win when they play host to the Cardinals on Sunday night as 3-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Seahawks improved to 4-2 SU in their last six with a slim 13-12 win over the Dallas Cowboys prior to their bye last weekend.

However, the team continued their inconsistent performance at the sportsbooks, failing to cover as 4.5-point road favorites against the Cowboys, dropping them to 1-3-1 against the spread in their past four, and a meager 2-7-2 ATS over their last 11.

The Seattle defense upped its game in the team’s two recent wins, holding the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers to just 15 total points, but enter Sunday night’s Cardinals vs. Seahawks betting matchup at CenturyLink Field without a SU win this season against teams with a record of .500 or better.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, look to have regained the form that lifted them to an early 3-0 SU record, posting back-to-back wins over Cleveland and Baltimore in their last two.

Quarterback Carson Palmer has connected on six touchdown passes during the Cardinals’ current win streak, but will have to contend with a Seahawks pass defense that leads the NFL, holding opponents to just 172 total passing yards in their last two.

Arizona, who is also coming off a bye, has also dominated without the ball, with its overall team defense trailing only the Seahawks and league-leading Denver Broncos.

The Cardinals have surrendered an average of just 47 rushing yards in their last two but could face a challenge against the Seahawks’ ground game, particularly with rushers Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls, who both have suffered injuries this season, returning to action well rested.

Arizona managed just nine total points in a pair of SU and ATS losses to the Seahawks last season, and are just 1-4 SU in their last five visits to Seattle, and 3-7 SU in their last 10 overall according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The club has also been dismal in recent contests following a bye, winless SU in their last six on the road, while going 2-7 SU, 3-6 ATS, in their last nine overall.

Seattle has also struggled coming off a bye, winning their last two SU, but going 5-11 SU in their last 16. However, they have only hosted one of their last 10 following a bye week, posting a dominating 34-7 win over the New Orleans Saints as 6.5-point chalk in their most recent such home date two years ago.

Chancellor’s big play allows Seattle to beat Detroit 13-10

2 Comments

SEATTLE — With one big punch, Kam Chancellor showed his importance to the Seattle Seahawks.

And once again, the Seahawks may have received another Monday night break from the officials in the same end zone where the infamous “Fail Mary” took place.

Chancellor knocked the ball free from Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson at the 1-yard line when it appeared the Lions were going to take the lead, and Seattle held on for a 13-10 win.

With Detroit on the verge of capping a 91-yard drive with the go-ahead touchdown with less than 2 minutes remaining, Chancellor came from the side and punched the ball from Johnson’s arm as he was being tackled by Earl Thomas.

The ball bounded into the end zone where it was guided over the back line by K.J. Wright for a touchback and Seattle’s ball at the 20.

MORE: Blandino says illegal batting should have been called; not reviewable

Wright could have been called for illegal touching for hitting the ball out of the end zone, which would have given the ball back to Detroit. But no flags were thrown and on the ensuing possession, Russell Wilson found Jermaine Kearse for 50 yards on third down. With Detroit out of timeouts, the Seahawks (2-2) ran off the final seconds of their second straight win.

“We can’t change it now,” Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “It is what it is. We won and we’re going to move on.”

MORE: Wright says he “didn’t know” that rule at all

Detroit fell to 0-4 for its worst start since 2010 when the Lions also started 0-4 on their way to a 6-10 season, and with a schedule that offers little relief going forward.

It was an ugly performance by the home team, filled with offensive mistakes and two fourth-quarter fumbles by Wilson, the second returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Caraun Reid to pull Detroit to 13-10.

But in the end, Seattle’s defense came through.

Starting on their 9 with 6:23 remaining, the Lions converted a big third down on Golden Tate‘s 22-yard catch-and-run and reached the Seattle 46 with 3 minutes left on Ameer Abdullah‘s 9-yard run. Matthew Stafford then zipped a pass to No. 3 tight end Tim Wright down the seam for 26 yards to the Seattle 20 with 2:30 remaining, placing it in-between Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Chancellor.

K.J. Wright
K.J. Wright seen batting the loose football out of the back of the end zone.

The Lions reached the Seattle 11 and on third-and-1, Stafford passed to an open Johnson. As he stretched for the goal line, Chancellor came across and knocked the ball free.

Seattle has not allowed an offensive touchdown in the two games since Chancellor ended his holdout and has forced 18 punts during that stretch.

“It was big time,” Wagner said of Chancellor’s return. “He just made us a whole defense.”

Wilson was forced to be an escape artist as Seattle’s offensive line continued to struggle with protection. Wilson threw for 287 yards and rushed for another 40 yards. Wilson’s most memorable play was spinning free of two near sacks and finding Kearse for 34 yards in the second quarter, and then hitting Doug Baldwin on a 24-yard TD on the next play.

Seattle was without Marshawn Lynch for the first time since Week 7 of the 2011 season against Cleveland when Lynch had back problems flare up during pregame warmups. Thomas Rawls rushed for 104 yards last week in relief of Lynch, but could not get started against a better Lions defense. Rawls finished with 48 yards on 17 carries.

Stafford was 24 of 35 for 203 yards for Detroit, which lost starting tight end Eric Ebron and both starting defensive tackles Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker to injuries.

Ebron suffered a knee injury in the first half after having two early catches, while Ngata and Walker both went out in the second half. Ngata suffered a calf injury while Walker was taken off on a cart after suffering a left leg injury in the fourth quarter.