Preseason is here, and if you use last week’s Hall of Fame game as a guide, gamblers are chomping at the bit to bet football.
Sportsbooks reported large volume for the first game. Let’s look at preseason coaching. The two coaches with the best preseason records are Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh at 27-13 and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, 34-14.
It is very important to know this; it means these two coaches think there is something to winning in preseason. It could be the positive vibe of winning for the team or just the competitive nature of these coaches. Whatever the reason, it is more than just randomness, so keep your eyes on both of those teams for moneyline plays.
This is not the regular season where 3 and 7 are the crucial key numbers. In preseason, 1 and 2 are the key numbers. Teams do not play for overtime.
Therefore, if a team is winning 17-10 and the losing team scores a late touchdown, they will go for a two-point conversion in order to avoid overtime and potential injuries. This means the score will end 17-16 or 18-17. It could even end 20-18 if the other team kicks a game ending FG. This is why it is key to get a +1.5 or +2.5 on the dogs. The same goes for the favorites, -1 or -2.
If there is one time of the year where reading everything you can on every team in the NFL is important, this is it. All it takes is a simple Google search on each team the week leading up to the game, and on game day, to see what the coaches have in mind for each week’s preseason start.
It actually shocks me to see how much free information is out there for all of us gamblers to use as a guide to win, especially during preseason Weeks 2 and 3. It is very important to know that one team will play their starters for the first half when the other says they are only playing their guys for one or two series. Further, knowing who the backups are and depths of the teams become crucial to handicapping.
Personally, I love first-half betting. However, the sportsbooks understandably have small limits on NFL pre-season for one reason – it is beatable.
As of the time of this writing, I have only wagered on one game. the Cleveland Browns +2.5 over the NY Giants.
Here are some futures I have placed for this season. I realize many of these lines are unattainable. However, just now, after doing some searching, I see there still is some value out there. Dallas Cowboys under 9 -140; Colts over 6 -140; Seattle Seahawks under 8.5 -150; Chicago Bears over 6.5 -140; Carolina Panthers under 9 -120; Buffalo Bills under 7 -120 (The South Point gave me a huge bet on that one). I believe the Colts and Bills are the strongest on that list.
I have also wagered on the Colts in many of the look-ahead games that are offered here in Vegas. I think the Colts are going to be a little better than oddsmakers think. For those of you that do not know, you can wager on the outcome of any scheduled game of the NFL season at a few of the books. So if you have a favorite team (which I never recommend) you can bet them now, and have action every week while watching the games back home. The same thing goes for select marquee games in college football.
On a final note, last week’s recommendation of continuing to bet against the slumping Yankees has proven to be a prosperous one. I still say continue to ride the train till it turns for them, for the value is still there as bookmakers continue to overprice the Yanks.