Friday’s Preseason Essentials

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Note: Quarterback rotation subject to change. Lines courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Bills at Panthers (-2.5, 40) - 7 PM EST

Head Coach: Sean McDermott (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Josh Allen, Matt Barkley, Tyree Jackson (R)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Joe Buscaglia

LeSean McCoy is expected to play after sitting out the opener, so the Bills first-team offense will play at least a quarter at full strength. Buffalo practiced for a couple of days against Carolina and will be looking to improve to 2-0 in the preseason for the first time since 2013. Allen has looked sharp and will look to take a step forward this preseason after missing a few deep balls in last week's win over the Colts. While Barkley is entrenched as the backup, Jackson, a rookie from Buffalo, needs to rebound from a rough first showing..

Head Coach: Ron Rivera (19-14 SU, 18-14-1 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, Will Grier (R)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Joe Person

Cam Newton underwent offseason shoulder surgery but has been throwing the ball downfield and will likely play on Friday night despite nothing being set in stone. If he gets out there, expect all the starters healthy enough to join him to do so. Christian McCaffrey, Curtis Samuel and Greg Olsen have all excelled early. The Panthers won three of four preseason contests in 2018, including the opener as a three-point underdog at Buffalo, 28-23. Ron Rivera has switched to a 3-4 defense, so he'll want to get guys plenty of reps. He's 5-3 in Week 2 preseason games.

Bears at Giants (-2, 42) - 7:30 PM EST

Head Coach: Matt Nagy (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Adam Jahns

It appears that Nagy will expose his starters to as little game action as possible, so it wouldn't be surprising if they're out there for just a series, if at all. Chicago went through a scripted scrimmage that got the first and second teams a lot of quality reps, which may lead to Chicago giving Bray and the roster hopefuls most of the work. He struggled last week in blowing an early lead as Chicago was outscored 17-3 in the second half. A new-look defense led by Chuck Pagano would get a good test given New York's QB battle if the bubble wrap is taken off the regulars. The Bears played the Hall of Fame game last year, so this is Nagy's first conventional preseason. Last week's loss to the Panthers at home marked the first time Nagy failed to play a game decided by more than a touchdown.

N.Y. Giants
Head Coach: Pat Shumur (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Eli Manning, Daniel Jones (R), Alex Tanney, Kyle Lauletta
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jordan Raanan

The Giants got a brilliant game out of Jones to ramp up the pressure on Manning immediately. He responded with a fantastic next practice while Jones struggled, so considering the home crowd can make their opinions heard in what will be New York's final preseason home game, both quarterbacks will look to impress. Manning completed one pass for three yards while the three guys behind him each beat the Jets for touchdowns, so expect him to take his shots with a receiving corps that's trying to establish a pecking order given all the attrition the team has suffered at the position. Saquon Barkley may be held out the entire preseason, so don't expect him to participate. Shurmur is 2-1 in Week 2 of the preseason.

Dolphins at Bucs (-3, 43) - 7:30 PM EST

Head Coach: Brian Flores (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen, Jake Rudock
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Joe Schad

Kenyan Drake is sporting a walking boot on his right foot, so the Dolphins will lean on Kalen Ballage and Mark Walton to anchor the ground game. With a few receivers down, Preston Williams will have plenty of opportunities to continue his breakout preseason and could give Rosen further ammunition to try and claim the starting job over the veteran, Fitzpatrick, who will take the first snaps on Friday and can do himself a favor by not turning the ball over or being erratic. Rudock helped pick up last week's win with a couple of scoring drives, looking sharp. The Dolphins continue to unveil wrinkles as first-year coordinator Chad O'Shea looks to generate confidence, so we could see an aggressive approach again if the weather permits since showers may be in the forecast.

Tampa Bay
Head Coach: Bruce Arians (9-13 SU, 10-9-3 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Jameis Winston, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Greg Auman

Byron Leftwich had a rough start calling plays against the Steelers in his first game as OC under Arians, who is taking a step back and delegating in his return to the sideline. Winston will probably get a series or two before giving way to his backups, who were each productive in Pittsburgh. Arians has made no secret of wanting to see WR Scotty Miller (hamstring) out there. If healthy, he can be a terrific option. Arians has only won once in five Week 2 games as a head coach. Tampa Bay has been working against the Dolphins all week, even practicing indoors when inclement weather hit. Guys should be loose on both sides. If the game comes down to a kick, rookie Matt Gay has looked incredibly sharp for a Bucs team that has needed an effective kicker for years.

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