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NFL Preseason Betting Preview: Week 1

Football bettors get their first good taste of NFL action this season on Thursday night when six games go off.

And while not everyone likes to bet NFL preseason games, those who do find excellent wagering value and plenty of intriguing NFL trends.

[ Read last week's article on why people bet NFL preseason action - and see the latest lines and props at Bovada ]

Washington -2.5 vs Buffalo +2.5Matchup

The Redskins and Bills have met five times in the regular season since 1996 and Washington has never won and never covered a spread. But this is exhibition, the Redskins are road chalk, and about 53% of the betting is on the Redskins.

Baltimore -1.5 at Atlanta +1.5 - Matchup

The Ravens have been a reliable UNDER bet the past three preseasons (10-1) but they face a loaded Atlanta team looking to get on the right track. Another home underdog here, although that means much less in August. The Falcons are 1-3 ATS in four games vs Baltimore since 1999.

Pittsburgh PK at Philadelphia PKMatchup

If you believe emotion can carry the day in a preseason game, you bet the Eagles here. Coach Andy Reid buried his 29-year-old son Tuesday and was back on the field Wednesday. The Steelers are 5-1 ATS in the past six preseason games against their state rivals. The best Eagles line Thursday morning was +1 at Bovada.

New Orleans +3.5 at New England -3.5Matchup

The Saints play for the second time in five days, while the Patriots open their preseason schedule at home. The Patriots have covered just five of their past 16 preseason games, so don’t blindly back the Pats just because they are home. And New Orleans continues to have something to prove and a chip on its collective shoulder after BountyGate. Most bettors are on the Pats' bandwagon already with 67.1% of the wagers on the NFL consensus today backing them.

Green Bay +1 at San Diego -1Matchup

The Packers are stressing defense this preseason, but past preseasons have seen plenty of scoring in their games. In their past 17 exhibition games, the Packers are 15-2 favoring the OVER, the biggest preseason totals trend available. The Chargers have lost three straight preseason home games.

Denver +2.5 at Chicago -2.5Matchup

This one is fun for many reasons, mostly involving the QBs. Peyton Manning debuts with the Broncos, while former Bronco QB Jay Cutler faces his former mates. Manning expects to play a few series, Cutler may be playing with his new baby son who was born yesterday. Denver has trended OVER recently (6-2 past two preseasons).