NFL Betting Guide: Preseason Week 3 (Friday)

Betting on preseason games requires a bit more nuance than regular season NFL matchups. Historical preseason betting trends can help get our bearing, but from there, we'll need to track news about playing time.

What do the trends and news point to? Where is there value on the NFL betting lines at FanDuel Sportsbook?

Bills at Panthers

Panthers Moneyline (-250)
Over 39.5 (-115)

Most of the Buffalo Bills' starters -- including Josh Allen -- will not play. For the Carolina Panthers, starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and the starters are expected to play into the second quarter.

That helps explain the heavy moneyline in their favor. Carolina is favored by 6.5 points (-105).

Since 2019, preseason teams favored by 6.0 to 7.0 points are 9-2 outright but just 4-7 against the spread, so it's best to go with the moneyline.

Seahawks at Cowboys

Seahawks Moneyline (-310)
Under 37.5 (-110)

We'll see Geno Smith start for the Seattle Seahawks, but Drew Lock play most of the game after he missed last week's game. For the Dallas Cowboys, the starters aren't expected to play.

We know that heavier favorites fare well in the preseason outright. Since 2019, teams favored by 6.0 to 7.5 are 10-2 but tend not to cover (5-7 against the spread) often enough to justify. So, we can take the moneyline at heavy odds if we want.

The under is also the better action: unders in games set at 37.5 since 2019 are 14-4, and the games average just 34.8 points.

Chargers at Saints

Saints Moneyline (-170)
Saints -3.0 (-120)

We haven't seen Justin Herbert take a preseason snap yet in his career, and that doesn't look likely to change for this matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Saints coach Dennis Allen has said he'd be okay if Jameis Winston didn't play at all in the preseason. We've seen a ton of Ian Book thus far for New Orleans.

As a team combined, the Saints rank 21st in preseason passing EPA (-7.11, according to NextGenStats). The Los Angeles Chargers are 15th (-1.37).

That's really not that bad on either side for the preseason, but the spread here is really telling.

Since 2019, teams favored by 2.5 to 3.5 are 38-24-1 outright and 31-30-2 against the spread. Saints moneyline is the best option here.

Patriots at Raiders

Over 36.5 (-115)

This is setting up to be a battle of the backups from all indications, and that points toward the under. We've seen this line drop noticeably.

However, it's been an over-friendly preseason overall, and games with totals this low or lower have an absurd 84.6% over rate this preseason.

The passing offenses -- even without a lot of time from starters -- have been around average, and that's enough to put points on the board.