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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 12:00 AM

NFL PRESEASON WEEK 2 WHAT-TO-WATCH ITEMS FOR THURSDAY'S GAMES AS WE WHET YOUR GRIDIRON WHISTLE...

NCAA FOOTBALL UPDATE: HERE'S THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE UPDATE

The National Football League Preseason Week 2 menu swings into high gear on Thursday night with three games - including a "Super Bowl rematch" between the Philadelphia Eagles at the New England Patriots - and we're here to tell you that last week NFL Preseason Betting Favorites wound up going 7-7-2 ATS (against the spread) with a pair of Pick 'Em games tossed into the mix, so that means NFL faves now are 7-8-0 spreadwise when you include the Hall of Fame Game back on August 2nd. Got it?

The NFL Betting Favorites winners last week?
They included Baltimore, New England, Green Bay, New York Jets, Oakland, Minnesota and Arizona.

The NFL Underdog Winners last week?
They were Carolina, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas and Indianapolis.

Okay, so we've tied up those loose ends and now let you know that there's already been some significant line moves for the NFL Preseason Week 2 games including the following:

On Thursday night, the G-Bay Packers opened as 2.5-point faves at home against Pittsburgh and that Las Vegas number's shot up to 5 points; meanwhile, Washington opened as a 3-point fav against the New York Jets and that number has come down to 'Skins - 1.5 points and do keep in mind these teams have been scrimmaging with one another this week.

On the Friday docket, Atlanta opened as a 3-point home favorite versus Kansas City but that number's tumbled to - 1 point while there's been minimal line changes in all the other games on the Friday/Saturday/Monday card but gotta say we're a tad surprised that Indianapolis is a slight (- 1) favorite against incoming Baltimore in the Monday Night Football game. Shouldn't the Ravens be favored and especially because they have two games under their belt?

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will go on bashing the books plenty this NFL preseason with lots more winners straight ahead as this week's card starts off with three games on Thursday night including Eagles vs. Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay. Plus, don't forget that Jim keeps piling up the profits with Major-League Baseball too - so go ahead and get all the NFL Preseason / MLB winners online or 1-800-323-4453.

Here's some NFL Preseason Week 2 What-to-Watch items for Thursday's games ...

PHILADELPHIA (0-1) at NEW ENGLAND (1-0) - The Patriots rushed for 140 yards in last week's 26-17 come-from-way-behind win/cover against 2.5-point pup Washington and better believe head coach Bill Belichick's crew is looking for more running game punch in the year ahead so as to take some heat off 41-year-old QB Tom Brady. No doubt Vanderbilt rookie RB Ralph Webb (see 46 yards rushing with two TDs and a pair of two-point conversions last week) could wind up being a not-so-secret weapon and could be getting plenty of snaps here with RB Jeremy Hill exiting practice this past Monday with a leg injury.

NEW YORK JETS (1-0) at WASHINGTON (0-1) - One thing you could say is it didn't take long for the "bad blood" to flow when the J-E-T-S and 'Skins practiced for the first time against one another this past Sunday in Richmond. It's been reported that Washington RT Morgan Moses was "cheap-shotted" by new Jets CB Trumaine Johnson - hey, nobody on the NYJ denied the accusations, for what that's worth! - and so let's see if there's any carryover into this clash in D.C. and keep in mind Moses is being eased back into the starting lineup after undergoing off-season ankle surgery. Naturally, flip the script and it's all about Jets' rookie QB Sam Darnold (96 yards passing and one TD in last weekend's 17-0 win against 4-point underdog Atlanta) who is gonna start here and play a half. Darnold generally was kept under wraps in the opener with short/safe stuff but expect him to get the go-ahead to look deep a few times here.

PITTSBURGH (1-0) at GREEN BAY (1-0) - Better believe we were paying attention to just how the young Packers' pass-catchers played in last week's 31-17 win/cover versus 1.5-point pup Tennessee following the epic rant by Green Bay slinger Aaron Rodgers: The likes of wide-outs Marquez Valdes-Scantling (5 catches for 101 yards and one TD), Jake Kumerow (3 receptions for 76 yards and one score) and Equanimeous St. Brown (4 catches for 61 yards) starred for the Pack and now we'll see how they perform with Rodgers getting playing time here - remember they did all their damage last week with DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and second-stringer Brett Hundley making all the throws.
  

COLLEGE FOOTBALL CONFERENCE REPORTS - THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE

Gonna spend the next couple of weeks getting you quick-hitter comments from 'round the NCAA Football universe and our conference-by-conference updates continue here with the Big 12 Conference:

THE CONTENDERS - Expect Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia to fight it out for the crown in the Big 12 this year with a reminder that there is a Big 12 Championship Game once again (see Oklahoma 41-17 over TCU last December 2nd) and keep in mind the OU Sooners have the home game against the WVU Mountaineers in late November. P.S., if there's a two-loss champion from this oft-overlooked league, then the Big 12 could be the odd man out come the four-team playoff.

THE DARK HORSE - Iowa State won eight games last year including a 38-31 shocker against 30.5-point fav Oklahoma and there's lots of reasons to believe third-year head coach Matt Campbell has this club trending upwards. Hey, the Cyclones last year lost four games by one score including 1-, 3- and 4-point setbacks and so they could zoom to an 11-win year if they just turn those close calls 'round the other way.

BEST PLAYER - Will Grier, QB, West Virginia. The 'Neers believe this stud's a legit Heisman Trophy candidate one year after throwing for 3,490 yards and 34 TDs and the Sept. 1st opener against Tennessee (in neutral Charlotte) could be a jumping-off point for this former Florida transfer.

CIRCLE THE DATE - Oct. 14, Oklahoma vs. Texas is always a really big deal in these parts but it comes with extra pizzazz in 2018 as the Sooners shoot for yet another berth in the playoffs. The Texas State Fair setting in Dallas will be jumping this October weekend - but if either of these teams is still unbeaten by day's end then watch out!

NOTE: Lots more NFL Preseason Week 2 previews / goodies in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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