The 2019 NFL preseason kicked off Week 1 with a thrilling Thursday night that saw 20 teams take the field for their first competitive matchup in over six months. Plenty of promise was flashed by the rookies making their professional debuts last night, including standout performances from both Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones, the first two quarterbacks off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft. The first week of exhibition action is far from over, however, as there are three more pro football games on the slate for Friday, including a nationally televised clash between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Oddsmakers have been frequently adjusting the odds for Friday’s trio of contests, which are all settling in with the home team as slight favorites, which is standard fare for the preseason. The Steelers are currently two-point chalk for the evening’s marquee matchup on NFL Network, down a point from the opening mark of PIT -3 even though nearly 60% of all tickets are backing the home side. This betting line has primarily shifted because the bigger wagers are on the Bucs, evidenced by almost 75% of the cash wagered on this contest supporting the road underdog. The total has remained steady at 37 points, which is interesting considering approximately 70% of both the total betting slips and money are on the under.
Betting on the NFL preseason is never easy, especially in a game that can seem as unpredictable as tonight’s Bucs-Steelers bout. Tampa Bay will be debuting a completely overhauled coaching staff, starting at the top with Bruce Arians, who came out of retirement to replace Dirk Koetter back in January. Arians is 9-12 for his career in the preseason, stemming from his five-year tenure at the reins of the Arizona Cardinals. It’s a respectable mark, but not nearly as consistent as Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who boasts a 28-22 record and is one of only 11 active head coaches that wins more than he loses in the preseason. It is worth noting, however, that the Steelers are just 6-8 in Week 1 preseason games during Tomlin’s tenure, while they are above .500 in matchups played over the remaining three weeks. You can find other interesting betting trends and nuggets like these for Friday’s other games below.
Those looking for some advice against the spread for tonight’s slate should look no further, as Vegas expert Jon Price has sent along his picks for Friday’s three games. The SportsInformationTraders.com pro is a perfect 3-0 on his 2019 NFL preseason picks for readers so far and is looking to extend that streak with some plays that you can find at the end of this article. Before seeing which teams the handicapper likes to cover tonight, have a peek at the complete schedule, start times, TV and live stream viewing information and updated odds for every remaining Week 1 contest. You can find all the scores and highlights from Thursday’s schedule, quotes from star players and coaches, relevant tweets and much more as we get ready for another day of preseason excitement.