NFL Preseason – Chicago at Buffalo – Saturday

The Chicago Bears will have Jay Cutler under center as they open up the preseason on Saturday at Buffalo.

NFL Network will be televising what will be Buffalo’s second preseason game as they opened up the preseason last week in the Hall of Fame game against Tennessee.  Those who bet on NFL action will notice that the Bills are a three-point favorite with a total of 32.5.

Much of the attention on Saturday will be focused on Cutler and he might play more than you would normally expect. "We're anxious to play a good team," said Chicago head coach Lovie Smith. "They have a lot of talent on the Buffalo team, and it'll be a big test for us. They'll [the Bears' starters] play into the second quarter, and we'll just see how it goes. We have a certain amount of play we'd like for them to get. We use that to tell us a lot. They'll probably play a little bit more than you probably think they will."

Chicago will be trying to find some receiving options for Cutler in the preseason.  Devin Hester is expected to be the top option but Chicago wants to see some of their younger players to hopefully find another reliable target. Last year’s third round pick Earl Bennett was Cutler’s teammate at Vanderbilt and could step into a starting role as could this year’s pick Joaquin Iglesias out of Oklahoma. Chicago also has holdover Rashied Davis.

Those who look at the Bears plus the points as they bet on NFL preseason action might be a little concerned because after Cutler the Bears don’t have much at quarterback.  The backups are Caleb Hanie and Brett Basanez and neither of them inspires a lot of NFL betting confidence.

Gamblers who bet on NFL action will remember that Buffalo is coming off last week’s 21-18 loss to Tennessee in the Hall of Fame game.  Terrell Owens looked good for the short time he was in the game but did suffer a sprained toe and he is questionable for Saturday’s game.  Quarterback Trent Edwards might get a little more time than last week but still probably won’t play more than a few series.  The backup quarterbacks for Buffalo are not that much better than Chicago’s with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Gibran Hamdan following Edwards.

Those who bet on NFL games should be aware that the Bears have dominated the Bills in the preseason.  They have won 11 of the 13 preseason meetings with one tie.  The last time the teams met was in 2005 in Chicago and the Bears won 16-12.