The Daily Sweat: Patriots line is on the move against the Panthers on Friday night

·5-min read

Week 2 of the NFL preseason is underway. Last night, we saw the Chicago Bears defeat the Seattle Seahawks in a game that featured some thrilling last second total drama for those that decided to wet their beak on the game. An overturned touchdown saved under bettors from a bad beat after Seattle scored late and recovered an onside kick to make things interesting.

The preseason continues on Friday with three more games. Betting on the preseason is a risky proposition, but if you're on top of your news, you can certainly beat the market. Of course, beating the market doesn't guarantee a winning bet, especially in the preseason.

The New England Patriots opened as a 1-point favorite at home against the Carolina Panthers. However, a few days ago, Matt Rhule said he expected to play mainly his second and third strings in the game. New England played very few starters in their opener, so they're expected to give them some run on Friday night. As a result, the Patriots are now 4.5-point favorites at BetMGM over the Panthers.

Reports are circulating that Rhule has decided that Baker Mayfield will be the quarterback Week 1. Neither Mayfield or backup Sam Darnold are expected to play much on Friday night. Expect to see a lot of P.J. Walker, who is a very likely cut candidate for the Panthers. You'll also likely see rookie Matt Corral, who went 1-for-9 in his pro debut last weekend.

On the other side, the Patriots are still attempting to install their offense. They haven't named a play-caller yet for the upcoming season with Joe Judge and Matt Patricia taking turns calling plays. It'll likely be one of those two, but Bill Belichick hasn't ruled out calling the offensive plays himself. We're likely to see some Mac Jones on Friday night. We're also going to see Bailey Zappe, a rookie who last year broke Joe Burrow's single-season college records for passing yards and touchdowns while at Western Kentucky.

The line has moved three and a half points over the past few days. Almost 70% of the money is on the Patriots to cover the spread at BetMGM. It might be meaningless football, but it's good to have some kind of football back during our weekends.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 11: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks on  during the preseason game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Mac Jones is expected to see some action for the Patriots on Friday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The other preseason games

There are two other preseason games on Friday night.

The New Orleans Saints are 3-point underdogs against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers aren't expected to play many starters at all throughout the preseason. Jordan Love will likely get some work early before ceding way to former LSU quarterback Danny Etling. For New Orleans, Jameis Winston won't play. Expect to see Andy Dalton early and a whole lot of Ian Book.

The night cap features the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams playing host to the Houston Texans. By now it's common knowledge that Sean McVay does not play his starters in preseason. Expect to see a bunch of Bryce Perkins at quarterback with some John Wolford. On the other side, Davis Mills is expected to play for the Texans. He's supposed to see more snaps than the two series he played last weekend. Houston is a 2-point favorite.

What about baseball?

Football is great and all, but these games don't actually matter. Meanwhile, the MLB season is approaching its final six weeks.

The fifteen game slate on Friday kicks off with the traditional afternoon game at Wrigley Field. The Brewers are -145 favorites on the road against the Cubs with Aaron Ashby on the mound. The Brewers are one game back of the San Diego Padres for the final wildcard spot in the NL.

Elsewhere, the New York Yankees are slight -115 home favorites against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees' divisional lead is down to single digits for the first time in a few months, but it'll take a few more losses before we really give the idea of the Yankees blowing the division some serious thought. Kevin Gausman opposes Jameson Taillon on the mound.

There's a key matchup in the American League Central, where the top three teams are separated by just 2.5 games. The Cleveland Guardians currently hold the edge, but the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox are hot on their tails. On Friday, the Guardians are -135 home favorites against Chicago in a pivotal head-to-head series. Minnesota is a -145 favorite against Texas.

In a World series rematch, the Atlanta Braves are -125 home favorites against the Houston Astros. Lance McCullers makes his second start of the season and he was brilliant in his first start, throwing six innings of two hit, shutout baseball. That did come against the Athletics but taking McCullers as an underdog is still appealing. After taking three of four from the Mets, the Braves are within 3.5-games of the division lead.

In the NL East, the Phillies are slight -120 home favorites against the aforementioned Mets. Aaron Nola is on the mound for Philadelphia. His last time out, he took a complete game loss as he was out-dueled by Jacob deGrom in a 1-0 game. deGrom pitched last night, so the Phillies will miss him. Chris Bassitt takes the mound for New York on Friday.

Anything else?

Soccer is back, as all five major leagues in Europe are in action this weekend. LaLiga, the Bundesliga and France's Ligue 1 all have Friday action, though most of the weekend's action comes tomorrow.

In golf, there's the BMW Championship. Justin Thomas is the current live betting favorite at +650.

UFC 278 is on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the main event, Kamaru Usman is a -350 betting favorite over Leon Edwards.