Tuesday, January 31 2023

By Geoff Schwartz
FOX Sports NFL Analyst

The final weekend of NFL preseason games is upon us. It seems like we were just watching the NFL Draft yesterday. And now here we are, T-minus two weeks until the regular season kicks off.

As excited as we all are, there’s still some exhibition football left to play before we can get to the main event. Saturday, especially, will be jampacked with eight contests. But I’m focusing on three games from this final preseason week, with picks that will hopefully earn us all some cash.

Let’s dive into my wagers for Week 3 of this NFL preseason, with all odds via FOX Bet.

THURSDAY

Packers @ Chiefs (8 p.m. ET, NFLN) 

Green Bay Packers

GB

Kansas City Chiefs

KC

Both teams are going to have trouble scoring Thursday night. The Packers are not playing Aaron Rodgers or any of their starters. Heck, Green Bay might not even play backup quarterback Jordan Love, and he has gotten a majority of the quarterback reps for the team this preseason. 

Kansas City won’t play its starters, either. But the Chiefs’ starting units did perform exceptionally well against the Commanders in a matchup they won 14-0. However, when the Chiefs don’t play their starters on offense in the preseason, they do not score. 

The Chiefs have only scored a combined 36 second-half points over their past five preseason games. As I’ve stated before, Andy Reid’s primary goal for preseason games is getting his first-team offense ready to play while the backups are just running a generic offense. With the backups, Reid doesn’t attempt to script for maximum success like he does with the ones. 

So the Chiefs won’t score in this game. And with the Packers’ backups playing all game, I’d expect the same low-scoring output from them as well.

PICK: Under 36 points scored by both teams combined 

FRIDAY

Seahawks @ Cowboys (8 p.m. ET, NFLN)

Seattle Seahawks

SEA

Dallas Cowboys

DAL

I know the Seahawks have been stinky this preseason, but they need this game more than the Cowboys. Seattle is still going through a quarterback battle, and I would expect Drew Lock — who did not play in Week 2 because of COVID-19 — to get a lot of the reps for the Seahawks. 

Because of the QB battle, the Seahawks will treat this game with more respect and preparation than their counterparts. Dallas, by the way, is coached by Mike McCarthy, and his preseason record against the spread (ATS) is under 50%. On the other side is Pete Carroll, who — despite not covering the first two games of this preseason — is still 62% ATS in the preseason. 

PICK: Seahawks (-7 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 7 points

SATURDAY

Commanders @ Ravens (7 p.m., TV TBA)

The Ravens have won 22 straight preseason games, and they’ve covered in 19 of those 22 matchups. I know it seems wild, but there’s an explanation. 

Ravens’ opponents do not prepare for their offense in the preseason, and the Ravens are generally a technically sound team. They do not turn the ball over and they play good defense. Also, Baltimore’s backup quarterbacks have crushed the preseason. Tyler Huntley has completed an awesome 29 of 32 passes (91%) and rookie Anthony Brown has gone 20 of 28 (71%). 

The Commanders do not play the Ravens this regular season, so there’s little to gain from spending any real dedicated time preparing a game plan for this final preseason game. It’s also worth noting that the Commanders have spent most of the preseason being blah. They needed 15 points in the fourth quarter against Carolina in their first preseason game to finish with a two-point loss. Against Kansas City, they only scored seven points in the second half.  

Ravens are the easy wager here.

PICK: Ravens (-6.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 6.5 points

Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

Download the FOX Super 6 app for your chance to win thousands of dollars on the biggest sporting events each and every week! Just make your picks and you could win the grand prize. Download and play today!


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Source: FOX Sports

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