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A look at NFL handicapping with the PFW editor lobbying to become Las Vegas bureau chief.

QB play key in Texans-Cardinals

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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening

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By Mike Wilkening

Below are the lines at the Harrah's casinos in Nevada for the preseason games to be played in the next four days, per VegasInsider.com. As you can see, no total exceeds 34½, and no team is favored by more than five points. With the outcomes of preseason games potentially decided by players who may not be on the roster in the regular season, the low lines and totals are understandable. And the low totals signals low-scoring games are expected.

I don't have a strong feeling on any of these games, but the Texans-Cardinals and Titans-Seahawks matchups have some interesting storylines. The QB play in Houston-Arizona bears watching. The Cardinals will start Matt Leinart and will also play Derek Anderson. The Texans will start Matt Schaub and then turn the offense over to Dan Orlovsky, who could not hold the top backup job last season. Will he be improved in his second year in the offense?

Tennessee-Seattle is intriguing on several levels. The Titans are coping with a host of D-line injuries, and new Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll makes his home debut. The Seahawks have high hopes for reserve QB Charlie Whitehurst, while the Titans have solid depth behind starter Vince Young. Rookie Rusty Smith and veteran Chris Simms will split playing time, head coach Jeff Fisher said. Vince Young will start, and Kerry Collins could get some playing, too, but that isn't assured.

Friday

PHILADELPHIA -3 vs. Jacksonville (33)

WASHINGTON -5 vs. Buffalo (34)

ATLANTA -2½ vs. Kansas City (34½)

Saturday

MIAMI -3½. vs. Tampa Bay (33½)

PITTSBURGH -2½ vs. Detroit (33½)

Houston -1 vs. ARIZONA (33½)

ST. LOUIS -2 vs. Minnesota (31½)

GREEN BAY -2½ vs. Cleveland (34)

SAN DIEGO -3 vs. Chicago (33½)

SEATTLE -4 vs. Tennessee (34)

Sunday

San Francisco -3½ vs. INDIANAPOLIS (33½)

CINCINNATI -3½ vs. Denver (32½)

Monday

N.Y. JETS -1½ vs. N.Y. Giants (33)

 

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