NFLbets doesn’t have the numbers to back this supposition, but we would guess that direct correlation between numbers of years coaching and desire to win preseason games exists and probably hits with 90% accuracy. Just check this season’s Hard Knocks to get an idea of the phenomenon. We know Dan “Kneecap Biter” Campbell is, likesay, unique, but it’s hard to imagine a Mike Tomlin sort getting worked up about anything beyond determining who the 52nd and 53rd roster spots are going to.
Case in point:
Pittsburgh Steelers -2½ at Jacksonville Jaguars, over/under 42 points
In week 1, the Steelers took out the rebuilding Seattle Seahawks, 32-25. Ostensibly, the starting QB job in Pittsburgh is completely up for grabs; thus Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett all saw playing time. Kenny Pickett, the rather unheralded shocker of a first-round pick, playing the second half and was a very competent 13-of-15 for 95 yards and two TDs.
For the Jaguars game, Trubisky will start but Pickett will see the lion’s share of the snaps. Said Tomlin to ESPN: “…this is a big week for [Pickett] in terms of maybe getting in in the first half of this game. And, I would imagine, getting the opportunity to see front-line defenders for Jacksonville.”
And that is the proverbial rub for NFLbets. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson says that his starting defense will play the majority of the first half. All the Jags D did in week 1 against Jacoby Brissett and the Cleveland Browns starting offense (such as it is) was allow 10 total yards and force a fumble in three drives.
Really, that’s enough for NFLbets to go on. NFL bettors in this game are given a guy who probably should be a third- or fourth-round pick against what is probably a reasonably good defense (hard to tell based on a 3-14 SU/5-12 ATS 2021 season, but still). All things being equal, we’ll side with established pros against the rookie: Take the Jacksonville Jaguars -2½ vs Pittsburgh.