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With a full slate of games this weekend, it’s time to put the NFL preseason strategies and tips we discussed last week into practice for Week 1 of these exhibition contests.

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Here’s a quick refresher of the five strategies we recommend.

1. Protect Your Bankroll

Don’t bet just because you want to bet.

2. Target Underdogs

When motivation is lacking on both sides of the ball, there is value in targeting underdogs.

3. Consider The Under

This is not good football. Second- and third-string players struggle to put up points.

4. If The Line Looks Wrong, Bet The Other Way

More often than not, the point spread represents a fair number. If you see a line that looks fishy, either stay away, or bet the other side.

5. Do Research

Pay attention to press conferences, read articles, and follow team updates on Twitter. You can spot betting angles by simply paying attention.

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Picking NFL Preseason Week 1 Games Based on Our Strategies & Tips

Now that you’re caught up, let’s dive into some picks using these five strategies. Here are my best bets for NFL Preseason Week 1.

Strategy 1. Protect Your Bankroll

Kansas City CHIEFS +145 vs. Chicago BEARS, Saturday

There’s probably a good reason the Kansas City Chiefs are underdogs to the Chicago Bears but … I don’t see it. I’m tempted by the Chiefs moneyline here, but when in doubt, I refer to the most important rules in sports betting. Protect the bankroll.

Last week I used this game as an example of a good contrarian play (Strategy #4), but unfortunately the line has moved from Bears -2.5 to -3.5, and crossing the crucial number 3 makes this a no-go.

When in doubt, protect the bankroll. I’m not biting at this one.

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Strategy 2. Target Underdogs

New York GIANTS vs. New England PATRIOTS +2, Thursday

This line opened at New England Patriots -2 and has been steamed a full four points in the direction of the Giants. That indicates pretty heavy action on New York.

But! The Patriots are 13-6 during the preseason since 2016. Head coach Bill Belichick eludes a grumpy indifference towards preseason games, but it’s hard to argue with this record.

nfl preseason betting tip, belichick, patriots
Among our NFL preseason betting strategies: Consider the Patriots’ track record under head coach Bill Belichick (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The market is giving us four free points here. Take them.

Result: The Giants won 23-21, so our Pats +2 play pushed.

New York JETS vs. Philadelphia EAGLES +3, Friday

The Eagles are one of the most well-rounded teams in the NFL. Their lack of superstar power at one position is offset by a healthy depth chart and solid players at every position. As such, I expect good outings from their backups and fringe guys in this one.

The Jets, on the other hand? Sure they added some star receivers during the off-season, but how bad of a quarterback do you have to be to get slotted behind Zach Wilson on the depth chart?

Take the field goal with the Eagles at home.

ALSO: Cardinals +2, Packers +2, Panthers +3, Bucs +1.5

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Strategy 3. Bet The Under

Atlanta FALCONS vs. Detroit LIONS — UNDER 33.5, Friday
Seattle SEAHAWKS vs. Pittsburgh STEELERS — UNDER 35, Saturday

I’m lumping these two games together.

These two matchups feature four teams destined for losing seasons. Not only are they bad teams, they’re each facing a bad opponent in their opening game of the preseason.

There’s something to be said about playing for pride, or showing up for a big game. But when you’re facing an equally pathetic opponent? It’s tough to muster the strength sometimes.

Without a starting quarterback to be found between the four teams  (Really? Did you REALLY just say Jared Goff?) and any real incentive to perform, points should be few and far between.

Grab the Unders.

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Strategy 4. If The Line Looks Wrong, Bet The Other Way

New Orleans SAINTS vs Houston TEXANS +1.5, Saturday

The Houston Texans are being picked by anyone and everyone to finish dead last in the NFL this season. If this was a regular-season game, we’d likely see the Saints by favored by 6 or 7 points.

And yet the Texans are only a +1.5 underdog?

Unlike the two matchups above, this is a lopsided contest. The Saints SHOULD trounce the Texans. And they know it. So they’re probably underestimating their opponents. And it feels like the type of spot where the Texans could come out a little hot. Disrespected, facing a tough opponent, at home… It might be the only game that means something to them the entire season.


Give me the Texans at home with a little fire in their belly, instead of the better team that might be overlooking this matchup.

Strategy 5. Do Research

Tennessee TITANS vs. Baltimore RAVENS (-4), Thursday

Baltimore extended one of the weirder winning streaks in sports history on Thursday against the Titans. The Ravens entered this matchup riding a 20-game preseason winning streak, having won every single preseason game they’ve played since 2016.

During that span, their record against the spread (ATS) was an equally astounding 17-2-1.

Baltimore cruised to a 23-10 win on Thursday, for their 21st preseason victory in row, also covering the spread.

Motivation can be lacking in preseason, and some coaches simply don’t show up to these contests. But coach John Harbaugh has embraced the Ravens’ winning streak, and the team has clearly followed in stride.

The line opened at -3.5 and was steamed a bit to -4 as bettors backed the Ravens. We expected the Ravens to be fired up in front of their home crowd with their winning streak on the line.

More NFL betting: Super Bowl 57 odds | Eagles taking money in NFC East odds market

About the Author
Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson is a writer and contributor to Gaming Today. An entertainment professional with twenty years experience as an actor, writer, producer and comedian. Jim recently transitioned into the world of sports media as both a writer and content creator. He has more than fifteen years experience as a sports bettor, poker player and card sharp. He is proficient in all forms of betting, in-game wagering and prognostication but his expertise is the PGA Tour and live-golf betting.

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