NFL Expert Picks for Preseason Week 1 on Friday, August 11

Giving you the best bets to place for NFL preseason action scheduled for Friday, August 11

Jul 28, 2023; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Josey Jewell (47) during training camp
Jul 28, 2023; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Josey Jewell (47) during training camp / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night will bring us a ton of NFL preseason action.

After the Hall-of-Fame Game last week and then two matchups last night, we get to really douse ourselves in football tonight. There are six total games across the league tonight and if you're looking for a few to bet on, we have you covered.

Let's dive into our three best bets for Friday night's NFL preseason slate.

How to bet on NFL Preseason

The preseason isn't just for the players, it's for us bettors as well. It's time to sign up for a couple of more sportsbooks and prepare for the regular season.

The best way to do exactly that is by taking advantage of some signup bonuses! If you do, you'll have some bonus bets you'll bet able to put toward either preseason or regular season action.

All you have to do is click one (or more) of the links below and signup at the sportsbooks that you don't already have an account at. If you do that, and then make a deposit, you'll be treated to some bonus bets!

NFL Expert Picks for Friday, August 11

Dolphins +2.5 vs. Falcons

As a Falcons fan, I'm surprised their favored in their preseason opener against the Dolphins. As I wrote in my betting preview for the game, they've got the better of the Falcons in their join practices, and Arthur Smith hasn't had a ton of success in the preseason since taking over as head coach.

It's tough to handicap preseason matchups considering how little we know about how much starters and second stringers will play, but we do have some things to base it off of. One of the reasons why I like the Dolphins is that by all accounts, they've dominated the Falcons in their joint practices.

I'll jump at the chance to back the Dolphins getting 2.5 points on Friday.

Steelers -2.5 vs. Buccaneers

Few people would argue that the Buccaneers have a better roster than the Steelers, and the betting odds for their preseason matchup reflect that fact. The Steelers are set as 2.5-point favorites despite the game being played in Tampa Bay.

As I wrote in my betting preview for the game, it's important for us to look deeper than just the overall talent of the roster when deciding who to bet on.

We should instead be looking at how coaches perform in exhibition games. Some coaches use these games purely as an evaluation tool while others will do their best to win them.

Mike Tomlin leans more toward the latter, sporting a 37-24 record in the NFL preseason. The Steelers went 3-0 in the preseason last year and went 3-1 in the four seasons prior.

The opposite is true for Todd Bowles, who has a less than stellar 7-12 preseason record as a head coach, including 0-3 last season.

Tomlin wants to get some momentum for this team going as soon as possible, so I expect them to come out hot and take care of business against the Bucs on Friday night.

Broncos -5.5 vs. Cardinals

The Denver Broncos will want to come out of the gates hot on Friday night as they try to erase the memory of last year's disaster of a season. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are projected to be the worst team in the league this year and still don't have their star quarterback, Kyler Murray, healthy from an injury sustained in 2022.

BetSided's Peter Dewey broke down in his betting preview why we should back Denver to cover the spread, despite the large number:

Since the Broncos are planning on playing their starters to at least open this game, I think they are the side to bet.

Arizona is already at a talent deficit because of the team’s rebuild, and it should have a hard time competing with the Broncos’ starters since Murray is hurt.

Payton is also very solid against the spread in his head coaching career in the preseason, going 27-27-1 all time. Gannon, on the other hand, is coaching his first preseason game as a head coach.

The Broncos had an extremely disappointing season in the 2022 campaign, but this could be a sign that things at turning around if they dominate a preseason matchup.

I’ll lay the 5.5 points and hope Russ and company get off to a fast start.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.