Editor's note: This article was originally published August 4, 2010.
The NFL preseason is one of the toughest schedules to handicap in all of sports betting.
The uncertainty of starters, the puzzle of coaches’ plans and the wildcard of hungry players wanting to earn that final roster spot is enough to make the sharpest bettor’s head spin.
If you’re approaching the upcoming preseason with caution, hear what wiseguys are doing for the next month of football. We asked some of Covers Experts’ top handicappers to give us their tasty tips for surviving the NFL preseason.
Enjoy and good luck!
Marc Lawrence –
“There are numerous handicapping edges to be found in wagering on NFL preseason games. One in particular that works well is isolating teams that have a former NFL starting quarterback slotted into the third rotation.
Aside from looking to win a roster spot, they often find themselves going against opposing rookies or inexperienced QB's in the fourth quarter of games.”
Ted Sevransky –
“Throw out any opinions you have about how good the teams are actually going to be once the regular season starts. Winning in the NFL preseason is about motivation and matchups, not how good the teams actually are in relation to one another.”
Ben Burns –
“Make sure to read all the local newspapers and you'll find plenty of insight into how seriously the coach plans on treating the upcoming game.
For example, Mike Shanahan typically cares more about winning in the preseason than does Andy Reid. It goes deeper than that though and each game and coach needs to be looked at individually.
First-year coaches or coaches on the hot seat generally are feeling some pressure to win. Likewise, coaches of teams that are trying to establish a winning mentality or break a losing cycle often tend to treat the games a little more seriously.”
Sean Murphy –
“Be careful not to throw money at a line that has already moved. It's imperative that you stay on top of news regarding QB rotations and coaching game plans on a week-to-week basis.
Once that info becomes available, lines can move in a hurry, so it's important to get down on your action early, perhaps even more important than it is during the regular season."
Matt Fargo –
“Finding the correct information is vital as the preseason takes into account many factors that do not apply to the regular season.
Researching local papers can give insight to information that may have been missed by the betting market. This includes quarterback rotations, starters playing time and even gameplan strategies.
The NFL preseason is the only sport you will be able to actually get the head coaches to tell you what they are doing. If you find it, betting the exhibition games can be very lucrative. Take the time to search and it will pay off.”