Most NFL handicappers treat the preseason like it never existed. Basing September bets on what you watched in August is like giving the Academy Award to a film after only watching the trailer.
However, while preseason results should be written in pencil there are a handful of lessons learned from the exhibition slate. We asked some of Covers Experts cappers what they will take from the preseason when wagering on game that really count.
Marc Lawrence – “First impression from the preseason is that with a plethora of scoring, a new standard will likely be set on NFL totals this season. In a pass-happy league, the oddsmakers were forced to raise the bar last season. With other teams now toying with the pistol, the roof could be blown open this season.”
Steve Merrill – “The quarterback position is more important to winning and losing in the NFL than ever before. Therefore, I keep a close eye on how teams play at the quarterback position during the preseason. Teams that I thought had particularly bad QB play from both starters and backups in this preseason were the Jets, Raiders, Cardinals, Jaguars, and Vikings. If that poor QB play continues in the regular season, those teams will struggle this year.”
Bruce Marshall – "Pittsburgh's running game was already a question mark before Michigan State rookie Le'Veon Bell's latest injury. Mike Tomlin had never gone 0-4 in preseason before, either. The Steelers accomplished little in August, it would seem, other than keeping Big Ben healthy."
Teddy Covers – “No. 1: Yes, the Raiders are that bad. No. 2: Yes, the Redskins might be that good. Oakland was positively inept in all three phases of the game. Washington was tremendous on offense and defense, by far the most impressive team in August. We already knew Seattle was really good.”
Jesse Schule – “We can learn a lot about rookies coming in to play key roles on certain teams, such as Eddy Lacy in Green Bay, Jeff Tuel in Buffalo and Tyrann Mathieu in Arizona. Lacy and Mathieu appear to have a bright future, while Tuel has an unexpected opportunity.”
Doc’s Sports – “One of the main things I looked for was how are the teams with new coaches and new schemes taking to their new assignments. Teams like the Bears, the Cowboys, the Chiefs, the Browns and the Colts looked great while implementing new offenses and defenses.”
What lessons did you learn during the NFL preseason that will carry over to your regular season bets?