Coaches are far more open to discussing their plans for playing time during the NFL preseason. In order to determine which teams will treat the preseason more seriously than others, we can look at their comments.
Here is a look at what each coach has said about their intended strategy in the games on Friday after looking at the Thursday games from a betting perspective:
Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons (-1)
How to tell if it’s the preseason: Regarding their plans for playing time, Falcons coach Arthur Smith and Lions coach Dan Campbell had a conversation. The starters would be used for about a quarter, according to both coaches.
If you watched the first episode of “Hard Knocks,” you know that Campbell prioritizes live reps above rest to get his team ready.
Regarding taking the preseason seriously, Campbell remarked, “You just can’t imitate game speed and game intensity.”
Smith appears to be taking the preseason seriously as well after having a difficult first season as the Falcons’ head coach with a squad that is in the midst of a rebuild. Marcus Mariota, the quarterback, agrees to play as much as requested.
Keep in mind that the Lions are the superior of the two teams and they are the home underdog. Both clubs are coming off disappointing seasons and recognize the value in stepping up in the preseason (Smith and Campbell posted 0-3 preseason records last year).
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cleveland Browns (-1.5)
Kevin Stefanski didn’t use his starting lineup until the final preseason game the previous year. This season might be unique. Deshaun Watson will likely play for the Browns if his appeal of his suspension is not denied at the last minute. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Stefanski’s strategy is to use the majority of the starters on Friday, then less frequently in the second preseason game versus the Eagles following two joint sessions.
The Jaguars will use several of their starters after a disappointing showing in the Hall of Fame Game, where they largely rested their starters. To open the preseason, new coach Doug Pederson doesn’t want a second consecutive loss.
According to News4Jax, Pederson remarked, “I’m going to let the starters play, you know, get their feet wet a little bit for a couple of series.” I merely want them to experience the game.
This week’s betting odds changed from the Jaguars being favored by 3 to the Browns being a slight underdog.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals (-1.5)
The Cardinals will use a few potential starters in their lineup, but it appears that they will primarily punt at least in the first game.
According to Arizona Sports, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said on Wednesday, “We’re going to play some guys that have a chance (to start).” “On offense, I don’t think too many of the players [will play] will make the starting lineup.”
The Bengals have a comparable strategy. Most of the starters won’t play, according to coach Zac Taylor. In this game, there won’t be many well-known players on the pitch.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets (-1)
Starters will play one or two series against Philadelphia, according to Jets coach Robert Saleh. Saleh used starters in the preseason last year as well, and after a disappointing debut campaign, he’ll want to get his squad off to a quick start when the regular season begins.
The Philadelphia Inquirer quotes Eagles coach Nick Sirianni as saying: “We don’t have to make a decision until we get out there [Friday night], but we’re thinking one or two series with the starters. Sirianni might be more careful because Philadelphia had some starters miss practice due to injuries.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-2.5) 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is sticking with the decision to start starters in the first and third preseason games, thus Trey Lance and other starters should be present on Friday. This month, it will be crucial to get Lance, a second-year player taking over the starting position, a few more worthwhile reps.
“I want good guys to play in this game because I don’t want them to play in the second game, so I’d like to get them to play… So hopefully a little in one, a little in three, and we’ll have 17 days to prepare for Week One,” Shanahan told KNBR.
Since Packers head coach Matt LaFleur disapproves of employing starters in the preseason, a sizable contingent of players will be sitting out. Last year, Green Bay had a bad preseason record of 0–3. It seems like a decent idea to bet on the 49ers with less than a field goal in the spread.
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