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NFL preseason picks on Bills-Panthers and Chargers-Saints: Best Bets for Aug. 26

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

A reminder for those who haven’t signed up yet: New users can get a risk-free bet at Caesars Sportsbook, meaning that if your first bet loses, you get a free bet for the same amount up to $1,250. New users also get 1,000 Caesars Rewards points to redeem for hotel or casino credit.

Here are our best bets for Friday, Aug. 26:

TOP PICK

The play: NFL preseason, Bills +6½ vs. Panthers

The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 6 p.m.

Our take: Every week for the past two Augusts, all you hear about in regards to NFL preseason talk is the Baltimore Ravens’ remarkable exhibition winning streak. The Ravens have won 22 straight preseason games, and the betting line just doesn’t seem to matter: They’re 20-2 against the spread in that time.

Because the Ravens are soaking up so many headlines, what you might not realize is that the Buffalo Bills are running up a long preseason streak of their own: Buffalo has won 10 straight exhibitions, including seven as an underdog.

But while Baltimore’s preseason spreads keep getting larger by the week — the Ravens are -6 against the Commanders on Saturday — the market hasn’t caught onto the Buffalo narrative.

The Bills aren’t playing their starters in this one, and the Panthers are, so we won’t call for the outright upset (the money line is +205 if you’re interested). But Buffalo is the Super Bowl favorite for a reason, with a loaded roster that goes beyond Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. The backups are good, too, and this spread is too big.

ANOTHER PRESEASON PICK

The play: NFL preseason, Saints -2.5 vs. Chargers

The odds/bet: -110 ($11 to win $10)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7 p.m.

Our take: You can’t even really call the Saints’ preseason performance thus far “disappointing” or even “underwhelming.” It’s just been plain boring. They’ve played very few players who will see significant time in the regular season, perhaps fewer than any other team in the NFL.

Another team on that list would be the Chargers, who also have lost their first two preseason games and haven’t given a snap to any of the players you’ve probably heard of: Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, etc.

This pick comes down to the fact that the Saints are simply much more likely to play the top of their depth chart a little more tonight. They’re at home, they have hinted that Jameis Winston and other starters may play a bit tonight, while Chargers coach Brandon Staley has said in the past he just doesn’t care about getting starters time in preseason.

The Superdome. Starters getting more time. Getting Dennis Allen his first win as a Saints coach. Sounds like a winning formula.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

NFL preseason, Packers-Chiefs under 37 (WON $20)

MLB parlay, Astros to beat Twins/Yankees to beat A’s (WON $12.70)

Thursday’s profit/loss: +$32.70 (2-0)

Total for the week: +$106.70 (5-1, 3 pending)

Total for August: +$74.20 (25-25, 3 pending)

Total for 2022: -$65.90 (216-240, 3 pending)

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, a $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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