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2022 NFL Preseason Week 1 Odds, Overview & Picks

By Hank Blaine

There is one NFL preseason game in the books, but that was technically Week 0 when the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in the annual Hall of Fame Game. Week 1 of the preseason kicks off Thursday and every team in the league will play by Sunday.

Top 2022 NFL Preseason Week 1 Matchups and Expert Picks

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Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens

  • When: Thursday, August 11th, 2022. 7:30pm EST.
  • Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
  • NFL Odds: Titans (+3.5) // Ravens (-3.5)

One of the most unlikely winning streaks in NFL history belongs to the Baltimore Ravens under John Harbaugh as they have won a league-record 20 straight preseason games – their last loss was in 2015. That’s incredible. The Green Bay Packers held the previous mark of 19 straight from 1959-1962.

Baltimore is 67-32 all-time in preseason play, including 40-12 under Harbaugh. Last preseason, the Ravens beat New Orleans Saints 17-14 but then outscored the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Commanders a combined 57-3.

“It just shows that we’re always a ready team when it comes to preseason. We’ve had a five-plus … I don’t even know … Maybe six, seven, eight, nine, 10 years – I don’t even know how long [or] how many games we’ve won. But, it’s pretty impressive,” fullback Pat Ricard said.

Baltimore will sit a handful of starters for Thursday’s game, including star quarterback Lamar Jackson and Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews. Defenders Justin Houston, Marcus Williams and Marlon Humphrey will not suit up, either. Harbaugh also mentioned that some decisions on other players hadn’t been made yet.

The Titans for sure will not play superstar running back Derrick Henry or most likely QB Ryan Tannehill. Neither played at all in the 2021 preseason and with Henry coming off a serious injury from last regular season, his workload will be carefully monitored. You won’t see him until Week 1 of the regular season.

Thursday should be the NFL Debut of Titans first-round WR Treylon Burks, who has been practicing with the second- and third-string offenses. Burks has gotten off to a bumpy start in his first NFL offseason, battling conditioning issues in the spring and now lining up wrong and not running through his routes. He’s been repping with the Logan Woodside and Malik Willis units, while Robert Woods, Nick Westbrook-Ihkine, and fellow rookie slot man Kyle Philips have mainly been repping with Tannehill’s group.

2022 NFL Preaseson Week 1 Pick: Ravens

Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • When: Friday, August 12th, 2022. 7pm EST.
  • Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
  • NFL Odds: Browns (-1.5) // Ravens (+1.5)

Barring being suspended for a year by kickoff – which could happen via the NFL’s appeal – Friday will be the Cleveland Browns debut of quarterback Deshaun Watson and his first game since the finale of the 2020 regular season while still with Houston. Currently, Watson is suspended six games, but the NFL is hoping for a full year, which would mean Watson would have to leave the team immediately. If it’s only a certain number of games this season and not all of them, he can stay with the team through the preseason.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is seeking a tougher penalty for Watson because the quarterback’s actions were “egregious” and “predatory behavior.” Last week, the NFL appointed Peter C. Harvey, a former New Jersey attorney general, to hear the appeal of Watson’s suspension. Per the 2020 collective bargaining agreement, Harvey’s ruling will constitute “the full, final and complete disposition of the dispute and will be binding upon the player(s), Club(s), and parties’ to the CBA.”

Watson will start Friday and the Browns added that they plan to play most of their starters for at least a series or two. First year head coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday he plans to play starters a bit Friday, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne (who missed the entire 2021 season due to injury).

“This week, I’m going to let the starters play, get their feet wet a little bit in this football game,” Pederson said. “A couple series. Nothing too crazy, nothing too long, but want to get them the feel of the game and get them in there and get them working in game situations.”

2022 NFL Preaseson Week 1 Pick: Jaguars

Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

  • When: Friday, August 12th, 2022. 8:30pm EST.
  • Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
  • NFL Odds: Packers (+1.5) // 49ers (-1.5)

Green Bay star quarterback Aaron Rodgers will not suit up Friday. Coach Matt LaFleur’s decision isn’t a surprise. After all, Rodgers didn’t play in the preseason in 2019 (LaFleur’s first season), 2020 (COVID eliminated the preseason) and 2021. LaFleur wouldn’t rule Rodgers out of the preseason altogether, though.

LaFleur said the uncertainty on the offensive line is not factoring into his decision. The Packers are without All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari as well as Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins, who capably replaced Bakhtiari last season and might wind up at right tackle when everyone is healthy. The Packers could have as many as three new starters on the line. For at least the next two weeks, Jordan Love will be the quarterback behind that line.

“I don’t see any benefit to it,” Rodgers said of playing one series in the opener. “I definitely don’t see any benefit to playing one series. If we’re going to play, we should play and play a quarter, a couple of series, two to three series. Just suiting up for four plays, to me, is a waste.”

Rookie second-round WR Christian Watson remains sidelined at Packers camp of knee surgery so he won’t play, either. The team hopes the No. 34 overall pick is back within another week. As Watson sits, fellow rookie Romeo Doubs continues to impress. Doubs should play Friday.

2022 NFL Preaseson Week 1 Pick: 49ers

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.

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