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The third week of the preseason in the NFL is the most important week for the starters. Teams have made their decision on who will start the regular season opener, and that is who winds up playing the majority of the third preseason game. The fourth preseason game is used to find special teams players and third-stringers to fill out the roster. But the rookies that have been fighting for a spot during training camp and in the first two preseason games will find out if they made the cut or not when the starters for this first preseason game are announced.

The highest profile position on any football team is the quarterback, and there have been several rookies trying to find their way into starting positions on NFL rosters this season. Even though some rookie quarterbacks have shown some promise, it is unlikely that the NFL betting lines for opening day will feature a prominent rookie under center. This game features two rookie quarterbacks that are trying to be the starter in their first year in the league. Fans will be watching to see who starts at quarterback for these two teams and if the rookies have made the grade.

Carolina Panthers

First pick overall in the 2011 draft Cam Newton got his chance to start an NFL preseason game when the Panthers played week two against the Miami Dolphins. Newton was indecisive, inaccurate and unable to move the Panthers’ offense. But no one on the Panthers offense could get anything done. Second-year quarterback Jimmy Clausen threw for 69 yard in the second half. The Carolina running game combined for only 68 yards, and Newton accounted for 10 of those. Newton was a huge factor in NCAA football betting, but he may have to wait a few weeks to get his chance to start a regular season game in the NFL.

Cincinnati Bengals

The New York Jets looked great in their week two preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals, on the other hand, did not look so good. Even if fans do not feel that rookie Andy Dalton is not ready to start in the NFL, the Bengals may have no choice but to go with him. Bruce Gradkowski and Dan LeFevour could get absolutely nothing going at quarterback either. When you consider that the Bengals were only able to get 50 total rushing yards in the entire game, it may start to sink in that the problem in Cincinnati is the offensive line. Dalton may get the starting job because he is the best of a mediocre group of players, and that does not mean that Andy Dalton will be able to win games in Cincinnati.

The Bottom Line

Week three preseason NFL picks are as close to regular season betting as the preseason has to offer. Cincinnati fans will be watching to see how Andy Dalton performs against the Carolina defense, while Carolina fans will be watching to see who will be the Panthers’ starting quarterback in September.

BSNblog Pick: Carolina Panthers


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