Bettors are starting to realize that it’s not necessary to avoid NFL preseason betting. Many of the popular handicappers that we feature do release picks throughout the preseason and there’s just one reason they do it: to make money! Betting on these exhibition games (not to mention handicapping them) is totally different than during the regular season, but with a few adjustments to your strategy, I think you’ll be able to pick out some winners during the preseason. These are some of the factors you should consider:
An NFL coach has a few simple goals for the preseason. He wants to avoid injuring his starters in games that don’t really count, he wants to evaluate positions where there might not be a clear-cut starter, and he wants his starters to get in some full-speed reps to get warmed up for the regular season.
How can we use this information to our advantage when making our picks? Obviously teams with great depth at key positions are going to be a good bet, not only will they have better players on the field, but a starter who has a good #2 behind him knows that he’s a few bad plays from being replaced and will give a better effort than someone with their starting spot completely secure. This is even more important when considering quarterbacks, so lean toward teams with a so-called quarterback controversy or those with strong #2 and #3 guys.
There are all kinds of popular preseason myths out there like playing the under in every game or only betting on underdogs. These are totally bogus. Yes, over the past few years you would have made a very small profit if you only bet on underdogs in the preseason, but it’s not a statistically significant amount.
This can be tough to estimate, but try to figure out which teams will leave their starters on the field longer. This could be a team with a new head coach or a team with a young quarterback (or one in a new system) who the coaching staff wants to see get extra reps with the starting unit.
While I never recommending backing a team blindly on a trend, you should take a strong look at teams with 2 losses in the preseason. Coaches and players typically want to at least get one win under their belt before the real games start. This isn’t a hard rule, but is another factor you should consider.
Rocketman Sports has some more keys to making money in the preseason.