Here are some things to keep in mind when watching preseason football as we start Week 2.
Coaching Strategy: NFL coaches will typically go with starters one quarter-plus in the second game, the first half and into the third quarter in the third game, and then very little in the fourth. They will often use “vanilla” game plans, working on short passes and running plays. This is why preseason totals are lower than the regular season.
Home Field: While a big edge when games count in the regular and post seasons, it can be less important in preseason, especially in Week 4. Last season the home team was a sizzling 14-2 SU at home in Week 4, though just 9-7 ATS.
Newspapers: Keeping tabs daily on what local beat writers are commenting on is important. Many times coaches will hint at potential strategy, such as, “We’re going to open up the passing game a bit in the first half this week.” Or, “Our starters will play two series just to get their feet wet.”
These tidbits are key, and a successful sports bettor knows how to evaluate coaching comments, injuries, and how strategy changes may influence the side and total.
Quarterback Play: The single most important position on the football field. QB play is essential and a key this time of year as starters don’t play the whole game. When wagering on a favorite in preseason, it’s important to carefully evaluate the No. 2 and 3 QBs as they often play as much as the starter or more.
A team with a great starter expected to play just two series, with a rookie or poor backup QBs playing most of the game can be at a disadvantage.
Coaches: An important part of football as so many players need to be organized and taught various roles each week. Some coaches are more demanding in preseason, while others are more laid back.
Notice that Bill Belichick is 37-28 SU, 35-27-1 ATS all-time in preseason.
Jim Feist, author and leader in sports information for over 40 years, hosts TV’s Proline as well as running National Sports Services since 1975. Follow him on twitter: @JimFeistSports . Reach him at [email protected]