Preseason Report - Part I
July 26, 2013
By Tony Stoffo
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Betting on the NFL preseason is one of the most profitable endeavors you can partake in this football season. The secret to making money in the preseason is the ability to know which coaches are trying to win and which coaches are just going through the motions. That factor in itself will give you a huge edge over the sportsbooks year after year.
Also, I can't say it enough but you also need to be familiar with the history of each team in August. Plus, keeping an eye out on each team's preseason quarterback rotations will also make you turn a nice profit in the preseason. Without further adieu, let's start handicapping!
Preseason has taken on a new look recently
The recently signed collective bargaining agreement means more than stability for the next 10 years. The NFL game is undergoing a change because of the new CBA that will change the quality of play in the preseason.
New rules have modified practice schedules and forced coaches to make changes to their preparation, in these two ways:
Gone are the grueling two-a-day practices that have long been a staple of training camps. In their place, teams are able to have one full contact padded practice per day accompanied by a walkthrough period.
Saying this here are some old and new preseason trends we now have to focus on.
Teams like the Steelers and Ravens that have shown a strong tendency towards playing under games in the preseason with their aggressive play have now seen this neutralized with the new training rules.
The oddsmakers have not incorporated this into their posted totals yet for these teams, and have continued to post ultra-low line totals on the Steelers and Ravens – So keep a look out for some value plays on the over this preseason. If I see any spots that stand out I’ll post them in my plays.
Here are some of my old favorite trends for this upcoming preseason.
New England – Let’s start off with one of my top rated preseason plays, and it focuses on coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots – Belichick has never liked to give anything away to his opponents – just look at one of his press conferences to see what I mean – well something shows up in the preseason every year from New England that we can take advantage of. Week 3 of the preseason is when all teams do their dress rehearsal for the season with all starters on both sides of the ball playing into the third quarter. Well again Belichick doesn’t want his regular season Week 1 opponent to get any films to look at so he doesn’t take this game seriously – and it show shows up in the point spread logs as the Patriots over the past five seasons are a perfect 0-5 against the spread in this situation. So mark down Aug. 22 on your calendar as the Patriots pay a visit to Detroit in their dress rehearsal game.
Tampa Bay - Every year I wait for the Buccaneers opening preseason game as no matter who the head coach is Tampa Bay always comes out ready to play as in Game 1. In the last 7 years they are a huge money maker going 6-1 against the spread to start the preseason. This year the Buccaneers open up against the Ravens on Aug. 8 - What really makes this a solid play this year is that we all know how the Super Bowl champions really don't give a damn about preseason games - so keep an eye out on this match-up this year.
Kansas City Chiefs - Kansas City has been one of the best fade teams in the preseason going an incredible 4-21 (16%) against the spread over the past six years. I definitely look for more of the same this year as I look for new head coach Andy Reid to continue the tradition in Kansas City of not giving a dame about these preseason games. Take a close look at the Chiefs first preseason game this year as Reid was 1-7 against the spread in his last eight opening preseason game in Philadelphia. Kansas City opens up this year at New Orleans on Aug. 9.
Atlanta Falcons - One of my favorite preseason plays goes here on the Falcons as in their 'dress rehearsal' game the last eight years the Falcons have gone a perfect 8-0 outscoring their opposition 187-61 not counting the 2011 abnormal preseason. This year’s 'dress rehearsal' game for the Falcons will be on Aug. 24 when they play Tennessee on the road.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Jacksonville has emphasized offense in his opening preseason game as the Jaguars have seen the Over go a perfect 7-0 in their preseason opener since 2006. This year another high-scoring game can be on tap here as the Jaguars with be playing a Dolphins squad coming in off of a short week of preparation as they play in the Hall of Fame game this preseason against the Cowboys on Aug. 5. Just a heads up their new head coach is defensive minded.
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