NFL Preseason Free Pick for Friday Action
by CarbonSports - 8/22/2014
Pick #1: NYG/NYJ Under 43 (-110)
The battle for New York always has a little extra intensity whether it's preseason or not and this game will be no different. The starting QB's for both New York franchises have had their fair share of struggles this preseason and although they'll be able to build some continuity tonight by playing the first half (and more) it will be these defenses who bring that intensity level to this game and keep this one below the total.
The Giants are a perfect 3-0 SU and ATS in the preseason after they were involved in the HOF game with the offense scoring a few more points each time out. That trend stops tonight as the Jets have yet to allow an opponent to score more than 17 against them in August and that includes shutting out the Colts and Bengals in the 2nd half. If the Giants are going to get the W, they are going to have to make their hay during the first half and with Eli Manning going 1-for-7 last time out and 0-for-2 prior to that, he just hasn't found that comfort level with his receivers this year.
The Jets are still trying to figure out their own QB situation with Geno Smith and Mike Vick in the fold, but neither of them have done much so far. Geno Smith had a much better outing against Cincinnati last week as he went 10-for 13, but with the pressure amped up tonight we will see his 'happy feet' early and often as the NFL game is still moving to quick for this 2nd year QB.
Going into the regular season both teams know that they'll have to rely on their defense to win games and become playoff contenders and tonight's the night those first units get to fly around to the ball and prove their metal. With about 65% of the early action coming in on the high side of this total you would expect this 43 number to have a hook attached to it but instead we are seeing it go the other way with 42.5's popping up. Get on this play now while you can get that key number of 43 in your pocket.
Pick #2: Carolina +5.5 (-110)
The Panthers and Patriots enter tonight's dress rehearsal with identical 1-1 SU and ATS records but both franchises know these results mean nothing long term. There aren't too many teams that believe in that mentality more than the Pats who are 0-6 ATS the past six years during Week 3 of the preseason as they prefer to keep Tom Brady healthy and out of harm's way in meaningless games. Brady sat out New England's first preseason game and went 8-for-10 with a TD and INT against the Eagles last week so he's got to feel ready. He'll likely be in there for about the 1st quarter only as Bill Belichick knows his franchise QB will be ready for Week 1 no matter how much work he gets in August.
Carolina's starter Cam Newton missed their first preseason game as well but his absence was injury-related as he wanted to rest up on his ankle. Newton wasn't that sharp in his debut last week (4-for-9 for 65 yards) and he'll want to get significant reps this week against one of the projected best teams in the AFC. The Panthers are working with a lot of new WR's so it's important that Newton gets some quality game reps with those guys and build up their repertoire.
That's why I believe this is just too many points for a team like the Pats to lay in this spot given their history. That 0-6 ATS mark in dress rehearsal games can't be ignored and if the Pats do manage to win this game outright it won't be by more than a field goal.
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