Though lots of sports bettors believe that betting on the NFL Preseason is a waste of both time and money, most sharp bettors make loads of profit on it. The NFL Preseason is definitely a different beast because it can be tough to figure out which teams actually care about the games and want to win.
All of that being said, the NFL Preseason can be both beatable and profitable. Here are 4 tips for betting NFL Preseason games.
1. Read, Read, and Read Some More
The NFL Preseason is the only time that coaches will actually be truthful about their game plans. Certain coaches and coordinators will even tell you what they plan on working on during their next preseason game. Read the local newspapers of the teams and follow each team’s beat writer on Twitter.
This may sound elementary but you’ll be surprised at how much actionable info you’ll find just by reading quotes from press conferences and practices. Head coaches will even tell you how much each of their quarterbacks will play, which is huge for knowing how to handicap the game.
Don’t forget to look for quotes from the offensive and defensive coordinators as well. You’ll often find that the coordinators are more forthcoming with game plan info than head coaches. If you read between the lines a little, you should be able to decipher which teams are taking their next preseason game more seriously and which teams are just going through the motions.
2. Expect Bad Teams to Do Well
The worst teams often play exceptionally well during the preseason. How many times have we seen some of the worst teams in the league from the prior year go undefeated in the preseason? It happens year in and year out.
The main reason for this occurrence is that there is often a new head coach in place and he wants to establish a winning culture, even if it means winning meaningless games. The players from the “bad” team are also hungry to pile up some wins, especially in front of their hometown fans.
For 2022’s NFL Preseason, it may pay to keep your eyes on teams that are coming off of bad seasons like the Jaguars, Giants, Jets, and Lions.
3. Pay Attention to Head Coaches and Their Records
This may be the most important tip of all. There are certain head coaches that genuinely care about winning preseason games. There are also coaches that couldn’t give a flying fig newton about doing well in the preseason.
Your job is to bet on the coaches with a solid preseason track record and bet against the coaches who don’t seem to care about the outcome. An obvious bet-on coach would be Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who has won 20 preseason games in a row. He’s also something like 37-15 against the spread in his preseason coaching career.
Another solid coach to bet on during the preseason is Pete Carroll, who is the head man of the Seattle Seahawks. Not including last preseason, Carroll is 26-16-1 against the spread. That’s not too shabby.
4. Check The QB Rotations
In most preseason games, the starting quarterbacks rarely play more than one half. Some veteran QBs may even play less than a quarter, if at all. This means that you need to be familiar with the entire QB depth chart.
One nugget to look for is when a team has publicly said that the backup QB job is up for grabs. That’s a great situation because you know that two or three guys will be battling it out. It also means that the coaches will want to call more passing plays to give each QB a chance to show what they can do.
For 2022, you have to pay attention to the Carolina Panthers’ QB rotation. They have Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Matt Corral, and PJ Walker on the depth chart. Though Mayfield probably won’t play much, the other three QBs should be able to make some dynamic plays this preseason.
Just make sure that you read as many coaches’ quotes as possible before betting on any team in the preseason. A good QB rotation is a great thing to bet on, but it’s useless if the head coach simply wants to hand the ball off all night to work on the running game.