Preseason Report - Part II
July 26, 2013
By Tony Stoffo
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In my first installment, I touched on some great angles that I’ve been following and cashing for plenty of seasons. In this piece, I’ve listed some new developing trends from the last few preseasons.
Baltimore Ravens – The usual letdown from the Super Bowl champs should be apparent this preseason, and add in of what I spoke about above with the training camp rule changes – I can see the Ravens playing higher scoring games this preseason. This trend showed up big time last year with three of the four preseason Baltimore games going Over the posted total.
Buffalo Bills - The Bills have started a money making preseason trend the last three years having seen the Over be the winning side in their last three dress rehearsal games with 38-7, 35-32, and 35-20 finals. This year’s dress rehearsal game is against the Redskins on Aug. 24th. I have to add here that Washington in their last 2 dress rehearsal games have seen a combined 112 points scored - So this play can turn into a preseason double unit play here on the Over.
Carolina Panthers – The Panthers have started a solid trend to look for in their first preseason game – it’s apparent that their coaching staff thru the years has put less emphasis on this first game as Carolina is on a five-year run going 0-5 ATS to start the preseason. This year’s opening game will be against a Bears team on Aug. 9 whom will have a new head coach in Marc Trestman who may be looking to impress with a win in his first career game as head coach.
Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals used to be a team that always played hard in their last preseason game – however maybe it was because they just were playing against a Colts squad back then that just didn’t try in these meaningless preseason games. However in the past three years the Bengals have gone 0-3 against the spread. Something to watch for as once again Cincinnati finishes up with Indianapolis on Aug. 29 as Pagano seems like he wants to win these games.
Dallas Cowboys - We have some history to look back on here as in 2010 the Cowboys played against the Bengals in the Hall of Fame game. The Dallas offense could just manage three field goals and were held out of the end zone. Romo just played part of the first quarter and threw for just 59 yards. So I look for another conservative game plan from the Cowboys here - What really makes me like another lower scoring game in this spot here is that head coach of the Dolphins Joe Philbin came out last year in the Dolphins first preseason game and also used a vanilla offense game plan as Miami could only put up seven points on the scoreboard. This game has Under written all over it.
Plus one last think to mention here is that the last time the Cowboys played in the Hall of Fame game and played five preseason games – they sure didn’t try defensively in their final and fifth preseason game as 52 points were scored. Again something to look for this year as they play a Texans team on Aug. 29 that tends to play higher scoring games in their last preseason game.
Denver Broncos – Since coming over to Denver – John Fox has definitely had the Broncos ready to start the preseason as the result of both of his opening games had the Broncos and the Over being the winning sides - with Denver scoring a combined 55 points and both of these games were on the road. Denver opens up again on the road this year against the 49ers – So the Broncos will be a very live ‘dog in this spot. However Fox sure hasn’t cared if the Broncos won in their dress rehearsal games as both have been losing efforts against the San Francisco and Seattle. This year’s dress rehearsal game will be on the Aug. 24 against the Rams.
Detroit Lions – The Lions have been a solid play in the preseason as of late going a solid 9-3 over the last three seasons – Plus if we get a closer look Detroit has finished the preseason strong going a perfect 3-0 in Game 4 of the preseason. This season the Lions finish up at Buffalo on Aug. 29th.
Green Bay Packers - Under head coach Mike McCarthy a solid trend has been in effect for years that has seen the Packers incorporate a wide-open game plan over the past six years that has seen the Over go an impressive 16-8 in the preseason. Last year this trend showed a backward trend – which I feel is good for us as I see the oddsmakers lowering these Green Bay totals some this year. You just watch have the Packers come out to start the preseason this year on both sides of the ball.
Houston Texans – The Texans seem to be fitting in nicely with the new CBA restrictions for the preseason as in the last two years the Kubiack lead Texans have gone 6-2 against the spread. Plus they are a perfect 4-0 in their first two preseason games of the year. This year Houston’s first two games will be against Minnesota on Aug. 9, and then against Miami at home on Aug. 17.
Indianapolis Colts – The Colts always never tried in these preseason games going back to when Dungy was the head coach, and were a definite fade candidate every year. However when Chuck Pagano was hired as head coach last season things sure changed – as the Colts went 3-1 against the spread while scoring 114 points in the process – which also saw the Over go 3-1. Something to watch this preseason as I feel the oddsmakers will still be releasing lines based on the Colts prior losing ways in the preseason.
Miami Dolphins – As always when a new head coach is hired we take a step back to see if we can find any preseason trends that we can make some money on. Well with Joe Philbin taking over as the Dolphins coach last season – we sure may have found a strong trend to watch for this preseason – as the Philbin lead Dolphins went a perfect 0-4 both straight up and against the spread last year. Strong watch here especially if the Dolphins start the preseason slow again.
Minnesota Vikings - With Leslie Frazier now settled in as head coach of the Vikings an early preseason trend has developed with the new CBA rules now in effect. Frazier’s style seems to not put much into the first preseason game for the Vikings – however in game #2 it looks like he tries to win this game – as in the past 2 preseason the Vikings are 0-2 in game #1 – while going 2-0 in Game 2. This year the Vikings open up against Houston on Aug. 9th – then head to Buffalo for Game 2.
New York Giants – A solid money-making trend has shown up for the Giants as of late as Tom Coughlin in the past three years has seemed to want to get the Giants last preseason done with in a hurry, which has produced three straight low-scoring games and the undergoing a perfect 3-0. So let’s look for the same result here as Bill Belichick seems very happy to play this kind of game in this scenario when the Giants and Patriots hook up on Aug. 29.
New York Jets – For the other New York team we have another strong trend that can make us some money this preseason – however this one is in the Jets first preseason game of the year – as head coach Rex Ryan has never liked playing this first preseason game, and I feel the new CBA rules have really effected the Jets a lot – as with reduced hitting in workouts it hurts the Jets physical style especially in Game 1 where the Jets under Ryan are a perfect 0-4 against the spread. Look for more of the same here this year as the Jets open up against a Lions team that likes to win their preseason games.
New Orleans Saints – Strong preseason trend we can follow with the Saints as their high-octane offense sure gears up as the preseason progresses. In the past three seasons the Saints have seen the over go a perfect 6-0 in their last 2 preseason games of the year with 51, 57, 60, 41, 51, and 61 points scored. This year the Saints finish up Houston on Aug. 25 and Miami on the Aug. 29.
Oakland Raiders – This Raiders write-up really should be in my favorite preseason trends – however I’ll leave it in this section for now – Oakland no matter who the head coach is always seem to finish the preseason on a down note – as in the past six years they are a perfect 0-6 against the spread in their last preseason game of the year. This year’s finale for the Raiders is on Aug. 29 against the Seahawks. Just to show you how bad the Raiders have been in this scenario lately the Seahawks have outscored them 41-6 the past two years.
Pittsburgh Steelers –In Part I of my report, I talked about how the new CBA preseason rules would affect the physical teams in the league, and the Steelers definitely fit into this mold. The change in style was apparent in last year’s preseason as the usually lower-scoring Pittsburgh games – showed a complete turnaround as the Steelers played three high-scoring games and ended the preseason seeing the Over go 3-1. With the oddsmakers still leaning towards the old trends for the Steelers will give us some solid value plays on the over this preseason.
San Francisco 49ers – With the 49ers just falling short in last year’s Super Bowl we may see a lackluster effort from them this preseason. However with Jim Harbaugh their head coach a repeat of last year’s preseason may be on the horizon where the 49ers went 3-1 both straight up and against the spread. Just watch how San Francisco comes out of the gate this preseason to get a gear on what mindset they have.
Seattle Seahawks - The new rules sure haven’t affected Pete Carroll and the Seahawks – as Seattle over the past two preseasons have gone 7-1 against the spread. Only thing to watch out for this year is that they will be without their sharp defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
St. Louis Rams – The Rams will be a team to watch this preseason as Jeff Fisher always took the preseason seriously when he was with the Titans, and this sure carried over to the Rams in his first season with them as the Rams went 3-1 against the spread last year. Plus I also have to note here is that St Louis saw the Over go 3-1 in their four preseason games a year ago.
Tennessee Titans – Not too much to look at in Mike Munchak’s start of his coaching career in Tennessee – However I did find that the Titans as a underdog under Munchak have gone 3-1 against the spread the past two years.
Washington - Mike Shanahan has always taken these preseason games seriously, and a strong trend has developed since his return with the Redskins, and that is that Washington is a perfect 3-0 in their dress rehearsal game since Shanahan has returned dominating their opponent in all three of these games. Washington’s dress rehearsal game this year is against the Bills on Aug. 24.