The National Football League kicked off on Thursday night with the Hall of Fame Game, and that means one thing in the betting world: After 172 days, we can officially wager on NFL games again.
And it’s not just bettors rejoicing for NFL preseason betting — sportsbooks are thrilled to get NFL action back as well.
"Last night’s Hall of Fame Game drew 21.8% more turnover than the previous year’s game between Dallas and Pittsburgh," said Wyatt Yearout, media analytics manager of PointsBet.
DraftKings noted that the total amount of bets doubled when compared to 2021 and that the Hall of Fame Game drew more total handle than any MLB game on Thursday.
Sports Interaction (SIA) in Canada reported a similar handle to last year’s game but noted that preseason NFL betting tends to increase weekly.
"The handle for preseason does increase," noted Phill Gray, head of trading operations at SIA. "The final week, when you may see more starters, tends to be the most popular."
Who bets on the preseason?
A common sentiment, especially on Twitter, seems to be that betting on the NFL preseason is only for degenerates.
Y’all need help if u betting this https://t.co/pLyi4kKdjY— $$$$ (@OGMannyy) August 4, 2022
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Experienced and professional bettors alike agree that the edge bettors have during the NFL preseason makes it an appealing time of the sports year.
"Every bettor should bet preseason football because real edges can be found. News and information dictate much of the line movement, and sportsbooks are forced to hang a number to the best of their knowledge before the news and info is all available," says Adam Chernoff, Covers’ senior content strategist. "The more uncertainty there is in a betting market, the better chance for bettors to find an edge."
That edge was on display this week on the Right Angle Sports (RAS) Release Show with Covers, where Chernoff distributed a pick of Las Vegas -1 on Tuesday night to 1,200 live viewers on the YouTube stream.
RAS is a professional betting syndicate with immense market power, and that show moved the line to Raiders -2.5. The Raiders, of course, ended up winning the game 27-11.