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NFL Preseason Betting: Patriots’ Quarterbacks Still In The Spotlight Ahead Of Date With Lions

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/19/2013 8:35:18 PM

When New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady went down with a knee strain in practice, the football world held its collective breath waiting to see if the injury was bad enough to force him to miss any extended time. Well, Brady didn’t even miss a preseason game, completing 11-of-12 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown in limited time against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the starting quarterback spot locked in, the attention turns to the Patriots’ other roster spots, and one key player to keep an eye on this week.

Keep An Eye On: Tim Tebow

The quarterback position is a strength for New England as long as Brady is healthy, but there are online sports betting critics still waiting to see how things will shake out at the position in terms of how many passers the Patriots keep. Ryan Mallett completed 12-of-20 passes for 137 and a touchdown last week and has shown flashes of both good and bad this preseason, but should be a lock to be Brady’s primary backup. The real issue is the third-string quarterback, and whether or not New England keeps one. Tim Tebow completed just 1-of-7 passes for negative-one yard and an interception against Tampa Bay, and really hasn’t shown anything in terms of progress as a passer in two preseason games. The Patriots love his versatility and leadership, but he may end up getting cut if he doesn’t show progress on the field as a passer.

Watch The Progress Of: Ezekiel Ansah (Lions); Aaron Dobson (Patriots)

The Lions need to see improvement on the defensive line, and rookie Ezekiel Ansah is expected to provide an immediate impact both against the run and pass. Ansah had two tackles in Detroit’s loss to the Cleveland Browns last week and the team has liked his progress in camp, but would like to see him show off his big-play ability in one of these exhibition games. The Patriots’ wide receiver core was completely revamped in the offseason including the addition of Aaron Dobson – a second-round pick out of Marshall. Dobson is a big, physical receiver with excellent speed and leaping ability, and the NFL sports betting experts are expecting him to really step up and earn a prominent role in the New England offense this season.

Outlook

The Patriots have had no problem with either of their first two online sportsbook opponents and after picking apart the Buccaneers a week ago, it’s hard to imagine the Lions being able to slow them down. It may still be only preseason but Detroit hasn’t shown much to think that they are on the right track to this point, and with Calvin Johnson nursing a sore knee and unlikely to play, it’s that much more unlikely that the Lions will be able to catch up to New England once Brady is done. It’s worth keeping an eye on Tebow to see if he can secure a roster spot, especially since he has really struggled in each of the Patriots’ first two preseason games.

Odds: Patriots – 2.5
Pick: Patriots – 2.5


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