NFL Thursday - 3 Game Preview Including the Vick Return
Michael Vick will make his return to the field at some point on Thursday night when the Philadelphia Eagles host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the preseason. The Eagles are winless in the preseason both SU and ATS. Does the debut of Vick change anything for the NFL betting crowd?
The answer to that question is hard to figure out right now because no one knows how much or even when Vick will play. Donovan McNabb is scheduled to play the first three quarters on Thursday, while Kevin Kolb, who missed the first two games with an injured knee, has been slotted to play the fourth. Where’s Vick fit in there? He’s likely to spell McNabb a few times, or maybe he’ll line up at running back or receiver? Vick’s played mostly at quarterback in practice and he’s been slinging the ball very well. It may be a different story with an opposing defense breathing down his neck.
Also set to make his preseason debut on Thursday is Eagles running back Brian Westbrook. He’s been sidelined the entire preseason so far while recovering from offseason ankle surgery. Westbrook is expected to start against Jacksonville, but he likely won’t see much action.
The Jaguars are also winless in the preseason so far after losing to Tampa Bay 24-23 last week. Despite that loss David Garrard finally started to gel with one of his receivers while completing 10-of-16 pass attempts for 216 yards. Garrard connected with Troy Williamson three times for 147 yards, which included a 74-yard touchdown. In Thursday’s game the Eagles are a 7.5-point favorite on the NFL betting picks.
In other action on Thursday St. Louis visits Cincinnati and Miami takes on Tampa Bay. The Rams lost to Atlanta 20-13 last week with starting QB Marc Bulger out. Bulger will remain out this week and could miss the rest of the preseason with a chip fracture of his right pinky finger. With Bulger out, backup Kyle Boller and third-stringers Brock Berlin and Keith Null will run the offense.
The Bengals picked up their first win of the preseason last week, 7-6 over New England. Carson Palmer sat out with a sprained ankle and J.T. O’Sullivan had the lone touchdown on a pass to Chris Henry. Chad Ochocinco also made news by kicking the extra point with Shayne Graham nursing a sore groin. Palmer is expected to be out again on Thursday, which gives O’Sullivan another start. The Bengals are a 2.5-point favorite on the NFL odds.
Miami displayed their Wildcat offense last week in their 27-17 win over Carolina. They used it sparingly, though, as Chad Pennington and Chad Henne each played nearly a half. Both Chads threw a touchdown pass and looked ready for the season in the win.
Tampa Bay edged Jacksonville last week, as Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich continued to battle for the starting QB job. McCown may have the edge after tossing two touchdowns last week. The Bucs are a 2.5-point favorite versus Miami.
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