The 2011 NFL preseason moves into its second week of games and all the action gets started Thursday night with a marquee matchup featuring the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
Professional handicappers often plan for starters to see a full half of action during this round of games, as the following week is usually the most important for head coaches to get their teams ready for the regular season.
Let's take a quick look at some of the biggest matchups in Week 2 from a betting perspective.
Definitely one of the more surprising lines that was just released as New England absolutely manhandled Jacksonville last Thursday in a 47-12 home win. Tampa Bay started off the exhibition season in style with a 25-0 win as a 2.5-point road favorite in Kansas City.
Early bets are definitely going to be placed on the Patriots due to the Buccaneers being 1-3 ATS at home under head coach Raheem Morris in the preseason.
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5), Total 34
Philadelphia recorded a 13-6 home win over Baltimore as three-point home favorites and looms as a dangerous underdog in this contest. Head coach Andy Reid has led the team to a 10-2 ATS mark during the second week of preseason action while on the sidelines.
The lines maker may be setting a trap and laying the points with Pittsburgh is a potential play.
Arizona started the Kevin Kolb era with a 24-18 road win over the Oakland Raiders as 3.5-point underdogs. The former Eagles quarterback connected on four out of seven passes for 68 yards in limited action.
Green Bay returned to the field for the first time since winning the Super Bowl and dropped a 27-17 road contest to the Cleveland Browns. The Packers were 2.5-point underdogs in the preseason opener and now are laying six points at Lambeau Field.
Making a play on the total may be the best play, especially with the "over" being 16-5 in head coach Mike McCarthy's last 21 preseason games.
San Diego failed to deliver as three-point home favorites in losing its exhibition opener, 24-17, to the Seattle Seahawks. The Chargers now come in looking to improve upon their 3-1 ATS mark under head coach Norv Turner as preseason underdogs.
Dallas welcomed back starting quarterback Tony Romo and squeaked past the Denver Broncos in a 24-23 win at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys were unable to cover the spread and are now 18-33 ATS as favorites before the regular season.
The total seems incredibly low for a game that features high-powered offenses and capable backups at quarterback. Let the public drive this number up and take the under.