Preseason Week 1 odds: Seahawks favored in Super Bowl rematch
The Seattle Seahawks are a perfect 9-0 straight up and against the spread in their last nine preseason games.
They will be looking for a 10th straight preseason win when they visit the Denver Broncos on Thursday night in a rematch of last year's Super Bowl. Seattle is a one-point road favorite over the Broncos, against whom the Seahawks boast a 4-0 ATS mark over the past four meetings in the month of August.
Different coaches take different approaches to the preseason, and it is helpful for NFL bettors to identify which coaches play to win in the preseason. Pete Carroll's culture of winning clearly starts in the preseason, as evidenced by two straight 4-0 preseasons SU and ATS.
This week's game against Denver won't be easy, though; revenge is a big motivator in the NFL, and the Broncos would love to get some payback for last year's Super Bowl loss.
The consensus betting on this game is split almost perfectly down the middle, according to the latest NFL consensus data at Odds Shark, the odds partner to SI.
One of the interesting storylines this preseason will be the quarterback battle for the New York Jets between Geno Smith and Michael Vick. It remains to be seen how much playing time each quarterback will receive in the first game of the preseason, but both players will be looking to make the most out of their playing time on Thursday against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Jets are a three-point betting favorite at home.
Rounding out Thursday's action are New England (+1.5) at Washington, San Francisco at Baltimore (PK) in another rematch of a recent Super Bowl, Cincinnati (+2) at Kansas City and Dallas (+3) at San Diego.
There could be another quarterback controversy brewing in Minnesota, where Matt Cassel is currently penciled in as the starter over first round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater and the team's previous starter Christian Ponder.
With Adrian Peterson locked in as the team's starting running back, it wouldn't be surprising to see lots of passes thrown in this game as all three quarterbacks try to leave a strong impression with the coaching staff. Minnesota is a three-point home favorite over the Oakland Raiders this Friday.
Oakland is just 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS in eight preseason games under head coach Dennis Allen.
Friday's card also includes Miami (+3) at Atlanta, Buffalo (-1.5) at Carolina, Tampa Bay (+1) at Jacksonville, New Orleans (+3) at St. Louis and Philadelphia (+1.5) at Chicago.
The Pittsburgh Steelers went 0-4 SU and ATS in the preseason in 2013, and that losing streak carried over into the regular season where they went 0-4 SU and ATS in the month of September.
It was an uncharacteristically bad preseason performance for the Steelers under head coach Mike Tomlin, who was 19-6 SU in the preseason coming into last year. The Steelers will try to get back on the winning side of things in the preseason this Saturday when they visit the New York Giants as a 2.5-point underdog.
New York won 17-13 as a three-point underdog in the Hall of Fame Game against Buffalo. Dating back to last regular season, the Giants are now 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS over their last 11 games. (See more NFL preseason betting trends here.)
Week 1's preseason action wraps up Saturday with Cleveland (+3) at Detroit, Green Bay (+2) at Tennessee and Houston (+3) at Arizona.