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THURSDAY AUGUST 16th
Free Pick Pittsburgh vs Green Bay - Compliments of Gridiron Gold Sheet Football Newsletter
Though each of these teams is amongst the favorites to win Super Bowl LIII, don’t expect them to compete against one another as such in this tilt. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t see a lick of playing time in Pittsburgh’s preseason opener at the Eagles. Even so, the offense went on to rack up an impressive 252 passing yards and gained another 94 yards on the ground over 31 carries. Mason Rudolph gave the Steel City a glimpse of the future by completing 7 of his 12 passes for 101 yards and no turnovers. Even though it was the first exhibition game before the games really start to mean something, Green Bay is going to have some awfully tough decisions to make at the quarterback position. Though Aaron Rodgers didn’t take a single snap and might not this week either, the passing game still looked great with the trio of Brett Hundley, DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle each throwing for over 100 yards. When the dust cleared, the Packers pass attack torched Tennessee for a whopping 356 yards through the air. Boyle impressed the most in the late stages of the game by completing 7 of 15 passes for 130 yards and a couple scores.
Landry Jones has been the heir apparent in Pittsburgh for a number of years now, but he’s largely unimpressed when called upon. That leaves the door open for both Joshua Dobbs and rookie Mason Rudolph to possibly leapfrog him with great showings the next couple weeks. Hundley got all the backup snaps last season but was very hit or miss. Should Kizer continue to limit turnovers and rack up the yardage, he too could land himself the backup role. The QB battles make for riveting drama in this Week 2 preseason clash. Though it’s early, there’s been nothing but one way traffic in this matchup with bettors backing the home based Packers. The betting line has since been moved to a full 3 points with heavy juice attached to it. Still, there’s no Pittsburgh money to be found. That’s quite the headscratcher considering Tomlin’s modest success in the preseason that’s seen him go 29-21 straight up lifetime. But I surmise that it may be related to the practice incident the Steelers had yesterday. Big Ben was hit and laid face down for a long period of time. He is now in concussion protocol. What does this have to do with this game you say? I know Big Ben is not playing, but has the coaching staff put on the brakes to prevent further injuries? I can see the Steelers being less than their aggressive, while protecting valulable starters from injury. I faded the public at Lambeau last week, and hit the over in last weeks newsletter. I'm going to do the same this week as well. I’ll fade the public and look for the defenses to rise to the occasion and keep this one relatively low scoring. Steelers look to go home injury free and Pack is 5-1 last 6 ATS at home vs teams with over 500 win %. I'll toss cash at the Pack. Projected Score: Packers 23, Steelers 16

FRIDAY AUGUST 17th
Free Pick Detroit Lions vs NY Giants - Compliments of Gridiron Gold Sheet Football Newsletter
The Cleveland Browns committed a ludicrous 13 penalties for 141 yards yet still managed to control its preseason opener against the G-Men from beginning to end. That hardly bodes well for the new regime that took over for a terrible coaching staff that overlooked the franchise previously. While New York’s ground attack looked efficient on paper due to rookie Saquon Barkley’s 43 yards on four carries with a long of 39 yards, the passing game was flat out embarrassing. As a group, Eli Manning, Davis Webb, Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta completed 22 of 45 passes for an unimpressive 193 total yards. We faded the Giants due to their QB rotation last week, and padded the bankroll because of it. Now prized draft pick Barkley might be injured, and out for this game, after coming up gimpy in practice.
Detroit’s offense was held to 253 total yards and only 10 points last week. However, take into account that Matthew Stafford and his three favorite targets in Golden Tate Marvin Jones, and Kenny Golladay didn’t see a single snap. With that, it came as no surprise that the run game was the offense’s primary concern. They just practiced their run game.
The Giants trotted out one of the worst pass defenses in the league onto the gridiron every passing week last season. So far this season, it looks like New York is going to have a real tough time taking opposing passing attacks evidenced by the whopping 300+ yards it allowed to the Browns last week. If ever there was a week for new HC Patricia to fire up his starting QB and receivers, this is the week! Whether Patricia does it or not remains to be seen.
Shurmur has the lesser of these two rosters, and is being matched up against a new HC looking to score his first win overall and first in front of the hometown faithful. Detroit has the better overall depth and the starting unit that could put the game out of reach early. Looks like the Lions are the right side, especially without Barkley, Lions take care of business. Projected Score: Lions 24, Giants 16

August 17th
Free Pick Kansas City Chiefs vs Atlanta Falcons By Gridiron Gold Sheet Football Newsletter
Last week, the Chiefs didn’t march many of their starters onto the gridiron to battle the Texans, nor did the Falcons who simply went through the motions against the Jets. That could all change in this matchup, but don’t expect either teams starters to get long looks with the rash of injuries that occurred last week.
Patrick Mahomes saw limited action in his debut as the Chiefs QB1 and completed 5 of 7 passes for 33 yards. The trio of quarterbacks that followed weren’t much better with Chad Henne, Chase Litton and Matt McGloin combining for 193 yards and a 1:1 TD/INT ratio. Pump the brakes if you’re concerned about the offense’s output in Week 1. The game plan was extremely vanilla. We faded the Falcons last week with the belief that Dan Quinn would continue to take a very basic approach towards the preseason. His team failed to log a win or cover in any of its four played games last year, and that trend once again held true in the team’s listless effort in a 17-0 defeat at the hands of the rebuilding NY Jets.
Demarcus Robinson has shined all throughout camp, and his excellent production continued in the Chiefs first live game action of the season after he snagged three of four targets and turned them into 48 yards and a touchdown. With stud pass catching options like Travis Kelce and Tyreke Hill already locked into their positions, Robinson has just about solidified his spot as the No. 2 wide receiver. Kansas City without a doubt is going to have one of the most potent passing attacks in the league this season.
This is a match of preseason don't care coaches. So this is a tough call to make. The second and third string defense was the main reason for KC’s loss after allowing Brandon Weeden to light it up for 97 yards and a couple scores. I’m expecting a better overall effort this week and will roll the dice on Reid once again with the hope that the first string offense gives the backup defense enough of a cushion to win the game outright. Take the underdog Chiefs. Projected Score: Chiefs 24, Falcons 20

HALL OF FAME GAME AUGUST 2nd
Free Pick Baltimore Ravens -Pk & 33.5 vs Chicago Bears By Gridiron Gold Sheet Newsletter
Here we go! The Hall of Fame game should kickoff your long awaited anticipation for football 2018. We here at Gridiron Gold are psyched for our 37th year. 37 years, wow, we must be doing something right, don't you think. Once again we want to thank all of you for your patronage. OK let's get started with our first pick for 2018. The first taste of football! As usual, the starting QBs can be expected to play two series, which makes this game all about the back-ups. All the reports from the Ravens camp is that their first-round draft pick (QB Lamar Jackson), has looked sensational and has already passed Robert Griffin III as No. 2 on the depth chart. We expect him to get most of the snaps.  Because the blocking is usually shabby, and not all of the offensive players are on the same page, LJ has the ability to run. This will be a huge asset in this early pre-season game. When stuff breaks down,the QB has got to be able to go, and Jackson sure can do that. Back the Ravens -1. Projected Score: Ravens 20, Bears 14 Won

THURSDAY AUGUST 9th
Free Pick Pittsburgh Steelers vs Philadelphia Eagles – By Gridiron Gold Sheet
 Don’t get all bent out of shape because Big Ben, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Carson Wentz, Jay Ajayi and Zach Ertz won’t be taking the field. Get ready to see a ton of backups in this state rivalry that shows no brotherly love! Five seasons in the Steel City, backup QB Landry Jones has failed to impress. His overall body of work has been nothing to write home about. With that, the Steelers selected Oklahoma State stud QB Mason Rudolph in the third round of this past year’s draft. This game, as well as the remainder of this preseason, is huge for Jones & Rudolph. While I like Pittsburgh’s QB rotation of Jones, Rudolph and Dobbs, I like Philadelphia’s better. Nick Foles likely won’t be seeing much playing time in this one. If he does, it’ll only be a series or two just to get his mind ready for live game action. I fully expect to see Nate Sudfeld a ton in this matchup with Joe Callahan possibly mopping up in the fourth quarter. He got the start in the Eagles meaningless Week 17 tilt against the Cowboys last season. Though he only passed for 134 yards, I was impressed with his efficiency in completing 19 of 23 passes. That tells me he’s fully adept to run this offense with Pederson and Mike Groh leading his way. With that the case, I’d be much more confident backing the home team knowing he’s running the show than a rookie quarterback or second year guy for the visitors.
Projected Score: Eagles 23, Steelers 17 Lost

THURSDAY AUGUST 9th
Free Pick Tennessee Titans at Green BayCompliments of Gridiron Gold Sheet Newsletter
Aaron Rodgers is the lifeblood of the Packers organization. When unable to feed the rest of the team, it goes down in flames and does so very quickly. That example played out to a T last season when Rodgers was lost in Week 6. The Packers then went on to win just three of their next four games with two of them coming in OT vs the Browns and Bucs. There’s no way Mike McCarthy utilizes his prized possession in this matchup. Even with that the case, the head coach will still have a solid shot of improving his already decent preseason statistics. Overall, McCarthy stands 26-22 SU and 26-202 ATS in the exhibition season with the over cashing at a 26-22 clip. Green Bay has cashed in three of its last four home preseason openers with the over cashing three times. The Titans will be without the services of their safety Johnathan Cyprien after he tore his ACL in camp last week. This is a big blow for a team that ranked out amongst the worst in the league at defending the pass a short season ago. As for the Titans, Marcus Mariota might get some action with him learning Matt LaFleur’s new offensive schemes. Blaine Gabbert is one of the better backups the league has to offer, and Luke Falk peaks out interest as well. Rodgers won’t go, but back ups by Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer will split action. While each proved to be turnover machines last season, they also proved capable of leading an offense against the best of the best. With that, I'll take the OVER 34½. Projected Score: Packers 21, Titans 20 Won

 

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