Another NFL preseason game, another under.
The total for Thursday night's game was 38.5. Thanks to a truly horrible performance by the Philadelphia Eagles, it stayed under. The New England Patriots won 35-0.
There are no locks in sports betting, but it seems like this string of unders will never end. The under is 15-3 this preseason. If you can find anything else in sports betting that hits at an 83.3 percent rate, don't tell anyone. Just keep betting it and retire early.
There are two games on Friday. The Kansas City Chiefs face the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals square off with the Washington Football Team. Perhaps the key numbers are 41 and 34.5, the respective totals for the two games at BetMGM.
There's no great reason for all the unders to be hitting. Yes, preseason football is often sloppy, but it's not like oddsmakers didn't know that before they set the lines. It doesn't seem that this signals a trend for the regular season, with more points than ever being scored in the NFL last season, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
Trends don't usually last forever, because books adjust and it evens out. But maybe it's worth seeing how long this under train keeps going before it slows down.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Friday:
What are the point spreads for the preseason games?
If you do want to bet a side, the Chiefs are -3 at the Cardinals, and Washington is -5.5 vs. Cincinnati. If you have to take one, take Washington. While it surely didn't work on Thursday, I always prefer taking teams coming off a loss in their preseason opener.
Who cashed tickets on Thursday?
Not the Eagles. Are the Eagles this bad? They looked absolutely miserable in that 35-0 loss to the Patriots. It's just preseason, but that was really troubling.
Philadelphia had a rough day. The Phillies were somehow swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks, losing all three games as big favorites. If the Phillies miss the playoffs, look back at that series as a huge reason.
Two of the biggest brands in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, stayed hot. Both won Thursday, and neither has lost this week. Both won Thursday as huge favorites, and most lines for their games should be pretty high for a while. The Dodgers are -250 against the Mets on Friday and the Yankees are -225 against the Twins.
What else is happening in MLB?
The Phillies move on to face the San Diego Padres, and one of those struggling teams has to break out. The Padres are -180 favorites in the opener. The San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's play a rivalry series with pretty big stakes, as the Giants try to hold onto the NL West lead and the A's try to stay close to the Houston Astros in the AL West. The Giants are -125 favorites. Also, there's a fun series between the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, who have two of the three best records in the AL. The Rays are +105 in the opener.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles are on a 15-game losing streak and a +200 underdog to the Atlanta Braves.
What's the best bet?
Apparently, it's any preseason under. Other than that, let's take the Phillies at a huge number. Blake Snell is not having a good season for the Padres, the team as a whole is in a severe slump, and the Phillies are +180 underdogs. The Phillies are stumbling, but that's still too big of a number to pass.
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