Anthony Cervino’s Best Bets for Week 2 of the 2021 NFL Preseason went 5-1. He is 8-4 overall in the preseason.
The 2021 NFL Preseason is now two weeks in, which means we have one more slate of games until we see meaningful NFL football and betting action.
So far, here are some statistics I have identified, beginning with betting trends from Week 1:
Week 1 Trends:
- The point total went under in 13 of 16 games.
- Road teams went 10-6 on the moneyline.
- Favorites went 9-7 on the moneyline.
Week 2 Trends:
- The under was 9-5-1 in Week 2 games (excluding MNF).
- Road teams went 11-4 on the moneyline (excluding MNF).
- Favorites went 11-4 on the moneyline (excluding MNF).
Preseason Trends (combined):
- The under is 22-8-1 in two preseason weeks.
- Road teams are 21-10 on the moneyline.
- Favorites are 20-11 on the moneyline.
2021 NFL Preseason Week 3 Best Bet: Patriots Moneyline (-175) at BetMGM
We are now ready to begin breaking down the 2021 NFL Preseason Week 3 slate from a betting perspective.
Since this is the preseason finale, however, this week’s group of games is expected to feature fringe roster players fighting for the last roster spot or their place on the practice squad. Thus, expect a regression in the quality of play on the field.
Entering this week, we must be aware that if we barely saw starters play in the previous two week’s worth of games for most teams, then we should expect much of the same, if not less in the finale.
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2021 NFL Preseason Week 3 Best Bets
Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team (Saturday at 6:00 p.m. ET)
Maybe there is something good in the water in Baltimore, but the Ravens have not lost a preseason game in their past 19 outings. Just like each of the past two weeks, I will ride this trend into Washington.
While Washington pulled off a home win last week over the Bengals, they get a much tougher task in Week 3 in the form of the Ravens.
Not only did Baltimore cover in the first two games while clearly winning each one outright, but they have outscored opponents 37-17 (Saints, Panthers). Each of their first two games also went under by a total of 16.5 points.
Ravens QB Tyler Huntley has played well in each of the first two preseason contests and played the entire game in Week 2. Expect much of the same against the Washington Football Team.
Prediction: Ravens 20, Football Team 13
Best Bet: Under 32.5 (-110 at BetMGM Sportsbook)
This Ravens-WFT matchup features two teams that can play stout defense. The defense will be the name of the game and the key when these two teams face off on Saturday.
Unders are normally the hot hand in the preseason, and things are no different this year. The under is 22-8-1 in the first two weeks of exhibition play.
- The under is 2-2 in the past four meetings between these two clubs.
- The under is 6-0 in each of the last six games the Ravens have played (including preseason).
- The under is 7-1 in the Football Team’s last eight games (including preseason).
Best Bet: Ravens -4 (-110 at BetMGM Sportsbook)
While the Ravens are on the road, I like them to not only extend their preseason winning streak to 20 games, but I also expect them to cover as well.
The fact that Huntley is expected to play a full game also gives the Ravens an edge here. He can get into and remain in a rhythm, a luxury most preseason signal callers do not have.
- The Ravens have covered the spread in both of their preseason games so far.
- The Football Team is 0-2 against the spread in both of their preseason contests.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET)
When this Jaguars-Cowboys game kicks off, there will only be 11 days until Dallas plays for real in the Thursday night 2021 NFL season opener on September 9.
We already know Dak Prescott will not play. And as far as other notable starters, I highly doubt they will be out there so close to the regular season Week 1 kickoff.
The Cowboys have not won a preseason game since 2019, going 0-4 in that time period. I expect this trend to continue in the 2021 preseason finale against the Jaguars, a team I anticipate will treat this game as a dress rehearsal with so much youth and inexperience on their roster.
Ben DiNucci, Cooper Rush, and Garrett Gilbert have been handling the quarterback duties this preseason. Expect another game in which all three play with the backup job to Prescott up for grabs — likely between Rush and Gilbert (yikes).
The Cowboys have been out-scored 39-30 in two preseason games.
Prediction: Jaguars 17, Cowboys 14
Best Bet: Jaguars Moneyline (+100 at BetMGM)
In theory, this game should be a mismatch. The Cowboys are not expected to play any player of notability with the regular season rapidly approaching while the Jaguars should still give their young players a solid run into the third quarter assuming Urban Meyer treats the preseason finale as a dress rehearsal.
The Jags are getting favorable odds (+100) on the Moneyline. They will win this game straight up.
Best Bet: Under 36.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
Both the Jaguars and Cowboys have failed to hit an Over yet this preseason. I don’t see it happening in the finale either. The Cowboys will be playing fewer starters than they have been. And while the Jaguars could give their younger starters some run, they have struggled to score points in their own right in the first two preseason contests.
New England Patriots at New York Giants (Sunday at 6:00 p.m. ET)
Giants HC Joe Judge told the press that Preseason Week 3’s matchup against the Patriots will be treated as a dress rehearsal for his starters. However, we could see the Patriots also employ a starting-caliber quarterback for much of the game as well.
Patriots QB Cam Newton will not be able to return to team facilities until Thursday following a “misunderstanding” regarding the league’s COVID-19 policy.
As a result, Mac Jones will get to work solely with the first team this week, which could spill over into the preseason finale. If we see a lot of him against the Giants, he could really gain ground on Newton, giving the veteran an even shorter leash for when it counts.
In two preseason games thus far, the Patriots have outscored their foes 57-13 and have yet to lose. Meanwhile, the Giants still can’t get out of their own way on offense. They have yet to win a game and have been out-scored 29-20.
Prediction: Patriots 23, Giants 14
Best Bet: Patriots Moneyline (-175 at BetMGM)
The Patriots have played excellent football this preseason, especially from their quarterback position. Assuming Newton doesn’t play, expect Jones to see the most snaps he’s had in his young NFL career. If that happens, look for the Patriots to leave the preseason 3-0, even if the Giants play their starters into the third quarter.
Best Bet: Over 33.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
New England’s defense has been smothering teams this preseason, holding their foes to 13 points. And although the Giants’ defense has only surrendered 29 points, their offense has been their handicap just like most of the Daniel Jones era.
Still, with both teams set to deploy starting-caliber NFL quarterbacks, a 33.5-point total should not be difficult to achieve, especially when New England has hung 28.5 points per game on their foes in two preseason outings.