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Thursday's Preseason Action

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Preseason betting recap: After favorites struggling to cover in Week 1, posting a 6-11 straight-up and against the spread record, the 'chalk' bounced back in Week 2. Favorites last week won 13 of 16 games, while covering 11 times, as the Ravens and Bears were the only two teams that failed to cash in a victory.

The 'over' is hitting at nearly a 60% clip with a 19-13-1 mark through the first 33 games of the preseason. That number tapered off following a 12-5 record in the first week (including the Hall-of-Fame game) as the 'over' hit in just seven of 16 contests last week.

Tonight's action:

Patriots at Lions - 7:30 PM EST - Click here for winners

New England: 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS
Detroit: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS

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The Patriots' offense has stepped up in two preseason games by scoring 31 points against the Eagles and 25 points in last week's victory over the Buccaneers. New England has easily cashed the 'over' in both wins, now hitting the 'over' in four of its last five preseason games dating back to last August.

The Lions took care of the Jets with ease in the preseason opener, but Detroit barely competed in last Thursday's 24-6 defeat at Cleveland as 1 ½-point road underdogs. Detroit is 1-1 to the 'over' in the preseason, while the Lions have split their last six exhibition games since the start of the 2012 preseason.

New England has struggled in the third game of the preseason, posting a 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS mark since 2008. Meanwhile, Detroit has thrived in Week 3, winning and covering four of five times in this same stretch with the lone loss coming last August at Oakland as three-point road favorites.

Quarterback Rotations:
New England: T. Brady, R. Mallett, T. Tebow
Detroit: M. Stafford, S. Hill, K. Moore

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Doc's Sports - The Lions are just a juggernaut in the preseason and you can pretty much just play them blind. Jim Schwartz is 13-5 straight-up and 12-6 ATS. They did not perform very well last week against Cleveland so I look for a big bounce back performance in this game.

Panthers at Ravens - 8:00 PM EST - Click here for winners

Carolina: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS
Baltimore: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS

Baltimore has won each of its two preseason contests, beating Tampa Bay and Atlanta. The victory over the Falcons last week wasn't easy, as the Ravens overcame a 23-7 to stun Atlanta, 27-23 as 4 ½-point favorites. Tyrod Taylor led the second-team to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, while the go-ahead score came on an Asa Jackson punt return for a touchdown.

Carolina took care of Chicago in its preseason opener, 24-17, but the Panthers' offense struggled in last week's 14-9 defeat at Philadelphia. The Panthers were limited to three field goals, while the defense yielded 166 rushing yards to the Eagles, as Philadelphia cashed as three-point home favorites.

Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens own a 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS record in the third game of the preseason. Baltimore has won four consecutive "dress rehersal" contests, including each of the last three at home. Since Week 2 of the 2011 preseason, the Ravens have cashed the 'over' in six of the last eight exhibition games.

In Ron Rivera's short tenure as coach of the Panthers, Carolina has split the pair of Week 3 games in the preseason. Last season, the Panthers cashed outright as three-point road underdogs in a 17-12 triumph over the Jets, while Carolina has compiled a 4-1 ATS record the last five exhibition games.

Quarterback Rotations:
Carolina: C. Newton, D. Anderson, J. Clausen
Baltimore: J. Flacco, T. Taylor

Expert Handicapper Analysis: Marc Lawrence - When the Ravens host the Panthers, Baltimore will take the field knowing that defending Super Bowl champions are 1-10-1 ATS in the preseason when playing with an undefeated record against an opponent off a loss, including 0-9-1 ATS since 1983, when as a dog or favorite of less than 10 points.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at rogers@vegasinsider.com

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

  
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