NFL moneyline picks tonight: Top bets include the Jaguars and 49ers

There are five preseason NFL games on the slate tonight. If you’re a moneyline bettor (picking the winners), here are our favorite NFL moneyline picks for tonight’s matchups. While it’s not always easy to anticipate who’s playing in preseason games, and for how many drives, we’ve run through scenarios to arrive at realistic outcomes.

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Top NFL moneyline picks tonight

Most of tonight’s moneyline betting odds are similar across major sports betting organizations, such as Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. For consistency, we’ll use Caesars for these four moneyline plays.

Detroit Lions (-141) vs. Atlanta Falcons

With the exception of Kyle Pitts, the Falcons’ playmaking starters arguably are not as talented as the Lions’, though that certainly could be open for debate. What can be said is that Detroit has made a lot of strides since their injury-riddled 2021 season.

There are some potentially intriguing options for the Lions tonight, including Justin Jackson, Craig Reynolds, and a host of receivers who played more prominent roles last season. The Falcons’ backups lack the same firepower, making Detroit a top-to-bottom more reliable offensive (and perhaps defensive) unit.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-141) vs. Cleveland Browns

Consider where the Browns were after they thought they’d signed an elite 2022 quarterback. Deshaun Watson’s NFL future, along with preseason injury woes, have thrown this once-promising franchise into turmoil. There’s even buzz that Cleveland could pursue Jimmy Garoppolo. Because, why not?

Meanwhile, Jacksonville is entering preseason game No. 2. We should see a little run from their starters (advantage: Jaguars) and an improved defensive group that should keep Cleveland in check, provided D’Ernest Johnson doesn’t run wild. As a team on the rise (and really, with nowhere to go but up), the better-gelled Jags are the better bet.

Philadelphia Eagles (-110) vs. New York Jets

How much will we see of Gardner Minshew, Kenneth Gainwell, and Quez Watkins? That’s one of the big questions heading into this fascinating preseason contest. The Eagles’ backups should be able to move the ball against the Jets. I’d be shocked if they score less than 20 points.

New York’s fortunes rest largely on how much of their starters we see, and that includes the highly touted Breece Hall. The Jets faced injuries to all of their key offensive weapons last season, including Zach Wilson, Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Michael Carter. We might see them play it safe, which could hamper their offense until at least next week.

Cincinnati Bengals (-135) vs. Arizona Cardinals

This one seems pretty straightforward. Arizona features a prized franchise QB, an aging and injury-prone starting RB, an already injured top-flight WR, and a smattering of injured TEs. A heavy dose of Eno Benjamin could be on the docket. And backup QB Colt McCoy might actually be too valuable to this team to see much — if any — action tonight.

The Bengals have more experienced (and quite possibly more talented) backup RBs in Chris Evans and Samaje Perine, and for all of his limitations, backup QB Brandon Allen brings three years of NFL experience and 260 career pass attempts, including at least one TD in five of his last six starts. Cincy has the edge.

San Francisco 49ers (-145) vs. Green Bay Packers

The lopsided line says it all. Green Bay isn’t expected to roll with their key guys, while the latest reports suggest Trey Lance will get some work for the Niners. That’s enough for us.

But of course, it’s not the only consideration. San Francisco’s impressive backfield includes the frequently forgotten Trey Sermon, who could turn in a Zamir White-like performance as he pushes for a regular-season role. A rematch of last year’s playoff upset, this game won’t come close to the same drama, as San Francisco should win comfortably.

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