Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
Saturday's Tip Sheet
Bengals at Cowboys (-3, 41) - 7:00 PM EST
Head Coach: Marvin Lewis (31-31 SU, 32-29-1 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Andy Dalton, Matt Barkley, Jeff Driskell, Logan Woodside (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Katherine Terrell
The Bengals and Bears went back and forth last week before Cincinnati scored a late touchdown to beat Chicago, 30-27 at home. Andy Dalton threw for 103 yards and two scores, but also had a pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Chicago. Cincinnati improved to 3-1 in its past four preseason openers, but the Bengals have lost three consecutive road exhibition games. Last season, the Bengals scored a total of 23 points in losses at Washington and Indianapolis, while cashing the UNDER in five of the past seven road preseason affairs.
Head Coach: Jason Garrett (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, Mike White
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: David Helman
The Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead over the 49ers last week before falling to San Francisco, 24-21. Dallas managed a cover as four-point underdogs, but allowed 356 passing yards to San Francisco, while dropping its ninth consecutive preseason road game dating back to 2012. Dak Prescott looked solid in his limited time by tossing a 30-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup, while rookie Bo Scarbrough rushed for a touchdown. Dallas has won three of its past four home exhibition contests since 2016, as the Cowboys face the Bengals in preseason play for the first time since 2013.
49ers at Texans (-2.5, 41) - 8:00 PM EST
Head Coach: Kyle Shanahan (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Bethard, Nick Mullens
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Cam Inman
The 49ers closed out last season with five straight victories to give this franchise hope for the 2018 season. San Francisco erased a 14-0 deficit to edge Dallas in the Week 1 preseason opener, 24-21 behind a Nick Mullens touchdown toss to Richie James in the final minute. Jimmy Garappolo threw for 34 yards on three completions as the Niners won their preseason opener for the second straight season. The 49ers are facing the Texans in the preseason for the first time since 2016 when Houston picked up a 24-13 road victory as three-point underdogs.
Head Coach: Bill O'Brien (10-6 SU, 10-6 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Deshaun Watson, Brandon Weeden, Joe Webb
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Aaron Wilson
The Texans held off the Chiefs, 17-10 in the exhibition opener at Arrowhead Stadium as Houston grabbed an early 14-0 lead thanks to a pair of touchdown connections from Brandon Weeden to Jordan Akins. Deshaun Watson lasted one series for Houston as he completed one pass in his first action since tearing his ACL last October. Since 2015, the Texans have won four of five home preseason games, while Houston owns a 3-1 SU/ATS record under O'Brien in the second game of the preseason.
Buccaneers at Titans (-3, 41) - 8:00 PM EST
Head Coach: Dirk Koetter (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winston, Ryan Griffin
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Rick Stroud
The Buccaneers squeezed by the Dolphins in Week 1 on the road, 26-24 thanks to a late 26-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro. Tampa Bay racked up 326 yards passing, including 102 from Jameis Winston, who is suspended for the first three games of the regular season. Likely starter Ryan Fitzpatrick posted a 6-for-8, 55-yard performance with the first team, while the Bucs scored their most points in a preseason game since Week 3 of 2016 against Cleveland. In 2017, Tampa Bay finished UNDER the total in all four exhibition games before drilling the OVER against Miami last week.
Head Coach: Mike Vrabel (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Marcus Mariota, Blaine Gabbert, Luke Falk (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Erik Bacharach
The Titans fell apart in the second half of a 31-17 defeat at Green Bay last week to lose Mike Vrabel's debut as head coach. Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown pass to Darius Jennings on the opening drive, but Tennessee would find the end zone only once more, which came in the final two minutes of the game. The Packers, without Aaron Rodgers, torched Tennessee for 356 yards through the air, while sending the Titans to their fourth preseason loss in the last five tries. Tennessee has rolled in its home preseason opener the last few seasons by winning four straight in this situation, including a 34-27 triumph over Carolina in 2017.
Bears at Broncos (-3, 40.5) - 9:00 PM EST
Head Coach: Matt Nagy (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Patrick Finley
The Bears are making an effort to move up in the NFC North this season following a 5-11 campaign. Chicago suffered a second straight close defeat in the preseason by falling at Cincinnati, 30-27, one week after losing by a point to Baltimore in the Hall of Fame game. The Bears scored only one offensive touchdown in the first three quarters, but managed to take a 27-23 fourth quarter lead before allowing a late score with 2:04 remaining. Chicago faced Denver in last season's preseason opener at Soldier Field and lost, 24-17 as the Bears have lost to the Broncos in each of the past two preseasons.
Head Coach: Vance Joseph (4-1 SU, 3-1-1 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Case Keenum, Chad Kelly, Paxton Lynch
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Kyle Fredrickson
The Broncos won all four preseason games last season, but were drilled early by the Vikings in a 42-24 home defeat last Saturday. Denver allowed over 400 yards of offense to Minnesota, while Case Keenum did not have an impressive debut against his former team by completing 1-of-4 passes for five yards. Chad Kelly is making an argument for backup behind Keenum as the former Ole Miss standout threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns, while rookie running back Royce Freeman found the end zone. Denver has not lost consecutive preseason games since 2012, as the Broncos look for a better defensive effort this week after allowing 50 points in four preseason games in 2017.
Seahawks at Chargers (-3, 39.5) - 10:00 PM EST
Head Coach: Pete Carroll (32-18 SU, 34-15-1 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Russell Wilson, Austin Davis, Alex McGough (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Mike Vorel
Seattle has been one of the most consistent teams to back in the preseason but the Seahawks were tripped up by the Colts last week, 19-17. The Seahawks have limited opponents to 21 points or less in nine consecutive preseason games, while falling to 7-2 in this span. Seattle has been a strong team to back in the preseason on the road by winning five of the past six away from CenturyLink Field, while covering in six straight opportunities as a road preseason underdog since 2011. Last August, the Seahawks went into Los Angeles and clobbered the Chargers, 48-17 as one-point road favorites.
Head Coach: Anthony Lynn (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Philip Rivers, Geno Smith, Cardale Jones
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Dan Woike
The Chargers turned the ball over three times in a 24-17 defeat at Arizona last week in spite of outgaining the Cardinals, 387-174. Philip Rivers did not suit up for Los Angeles, but Geno Smith put together a solid debut with the Chargers by throwing for 218 yards and a touchdown. Since starting 2-0 in the 2015 preseason, the Chargers have dropped nine of their last 11 exhibition contests, while being favored only once in this span when they lost to the Saints last season, 13-7.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
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