Wagering on NFL preseason games is the sports bettors’ guilty pleasure. Like eating that pizza with the hot dog stuffed inside the crust, it may feel good at the time but you’re going to pay for it later.
I found myself betting on the NFL preseason during a trip to Las Vegas last August. I cashed in a small wager on the San Diego Chargers over the Green Bay Packers, cheering for Bolts backup QB Jarrett Lee to come through for me in crunch.
And therein lies the problem with betting on preseason games. My wager was weighing on the play of a quarterback who’s bagging groceries as the 2013 preseason approaches.
But, if you’re weak like me and need to get down something after months and months of pigskin-less play, these three teams have made the most preseason profits since 1995.
Seattle Seahawks (41-27 SU, 39-26-3 ATS)
The Seahawks’ 4-0 SU and ATS 2012 preseason was a forerunner for their regular season success, unearthing QB Russell Wilson as the steal of the NFL Draft. Seattle was a favorite in three of those four games and a short 1-point underdog in the other.
This year, the Seahawks have high expectations and are among the Super Bowl favorites. Seattle opens the tune-up schedule in San Diego, where oddsmakers have them set as a pick’em. The Seahawks will be busy auditioning WRs after losing Percy Harvin for what could be the entire season.
New York Jets (41-26 SU, 38-28-1 ATS)
The Jets entered last summer as the best preseason play since 2005, then proceeded to go 0-4 SU and ATS. New York was outscored 88-31 over those four warmup games, exposing a limp-noodle offense that would finish 30th in the NFL during the regular season.
It’s more of the same for Jets fans this offseason. Mark Sanchez is fighting off rookie Geno Smith for the starting gig. Reports out of camp say Smith is out of shape, which erases his athletic edge over the competition. New York kicks off the preseason slate in Detroit as 3.5-point road underdogs.
Denver Broncos (42-26 SU, 38-28-2 ATS)
The Broncos went 2-2 SU and ATS in last year’s preseason, being the most anticipated team due to the acquisition of Peyton Manning. Denver enters Year 2 with No. 18 under center and is working in some new weapons like WR Wes Welker and rookie RB Montee Ball.
The elephant in the room this preseason, however, is the Broncos offensive line. Center Dan Koppen went down with an ACL injury and J.D. Walton is recovering from ankle surgery. On top of that, Denver’s front office suffered some black eyes and star LB Von Miller is waiting on an appeal of a four-game suspension.