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Preseason Report - NFC
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Coaches · AFC · NFC

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys
Head Coach: Jason Garrett

Quarterback Rotation: Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie, Dustin Vaughan (Rookie West Texas A&M)

Garrett and the Cowboys have not fared well in the preseason going 4-8 against the spread in their last 12 regular preseason games. Plus a total trend to watch for this preseason is that the Cowboys seem to just want to go thru the motions in their final game as the UNDER has gone 3-1 the last four years.

New York Giants

Head Coach: Tom Coughlin  
Quarterback Rotation: Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib, Curtis Painter

A solid money-making trend has shown up for the Giants as of late as Tom Coughlin in the past four years has seemed to put no effort in the Giants dress rehearsal game as the Giants are 0-4 both straight up and against the spread. This year’s dress rehearsal game is on Aug. 22 against the Jets.

Philadelphia Eagles

Head Coach: Chip Kelly  
Quarterback Rotation: Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, G. J. Kinne

There is not too much to look at for any preseason trends for head coach Chip Kelly. In his first year the Eagles went 2-2 both straight up and against the spread. However, the OVER went 3-1 in those games, which is something to keep an eye on as the Eagles preseason begins.  Also, one thing that carried over from the Reid era is that the Eagles again lost their first preseason game which makes them 1-8 against the spread in the last nine opening preseason games. Philadelphia’s preseason opener this year is on Aug. 8 at Chicago.

Washington Redskins

Head Coach: Jay Gruden  
Quarterback Rotation: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

Some solid trends going for the Redskins that Jay Gruden may went to build on. Washington went a perfect 4-0 both straight up and against the spread in last year’s preseason games, and they also have been money in their dress rehearsal games the last four years going 4-0 against the spread. This year’s dress rehearsal game for the Redskins is on Aug. 23 at Baltimore.

NFC North

Chicago Bears

Head Coach: Marc Trestman
Quarterback Rotation: Jay Cutler, Jimmy Clausen, Jordan Palmer, David Fales (Rookie San Jose State)

In Trestman’s first year as head coach of the Bears – his prior offensive coordinator experience paid off as three of the four Bears games saw the OVER connect. In their dress rehearsal game against the Raiders the Bears scored a whopping 34 points. So let’s look for more wide-open play from Chicago as we head into this year’s preseason.

Detroit Lions

Head Coach: Jim Caldwell
Quarterback Rotation: Matthew Stafford, Kellen Moore, Dan Orlovsky, James Franklin (Rookie Missouri)

In the past two preseasons the Lions saw the OVER go a money making 6-2 – something I feel will continue with Caldwell now the Lions new head coach. Let’s not forget Caldwell tutored a pair of quality quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco – So offense is his forte. Just keep an eye on how the Lions come out offensively in their early preseason games. 

Green Bay Packers

Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
Quarterback Rotation: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien, Chase Rettig (Rookie Boston College)

Mike McCarthy and the Packers used to have a great preseason trend where the OVER hit at a super high rate – however the oddsmakers have finally caught up with this trend and now overvalue the OVER posted in the Green Bay games – resulting in the UNDER going 6-2 in the past two preseasons. So I would recommend that you take advantage of these high posted totals and lean towards the UNDER going forward. Plus another trend to watch this preseason is that the Packers have lost their opening preseason game the past four years. This year’s opener is on Aug. 9 at Tennessee.

Minnesota Vikings

Head Coach:  Mike Zimmer
Quarterback Rotation: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater (Rookie Louisville)

With Mike Zimmer taking over as coach of the Vikings, look for defense to be the forefront this preseason as Zimmer has been a defensive coordinator the last 14 years in the NFL. In his last two seasons as coordinator of the Bengals the UNDER was the easy winner in the Bengals dress rehearsal games. Look for this to continue this year in the Vikings dress rehearsal game on Aug. 23 at Kansas City.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Head Coach: Mike Smith
Quarterback Rotation:  Matt Ryan, T.J. Yates, Sean Renfree, Jeff Mathews (Rookie Cornell)

One of my favorite preseason plays goes here on the Falcons as in their 'dress rehearsal' game. In the last nine years, the Falcons have gone 8-1 outscoring their opposition 203-88 not counting the 2011 abnormal preseason. This year’s 'dress rehearsal' game for the Falcons will be on Aug. 23 when they play Tennessee at home. After last year’s down season I really look for the Falcons to be very motivated coming into this dress rehearsal game and use it as a starting point to get the season on a winning note. However if we take a look at the whole body of work for the Falcons over the past two preseasons we will see that they have lost seven of their eight preseason games played – with their only win coming in the above mentioned dress rehearsal game. And one last thing about Atlanta here is that in their first preseason game the past three years they have been dominated losing all while allowing 34, 31, and 28 points, which also made all three of these games fly OVER the posted total.

Carolina Panthers

Head Coach: Ron Rivera
Quarterback Rotation:  Cam Newton (Injury- Ankle), Derek Anderson, Matt Blanchard, Joe Webb

A couple of trends have started to develop with Rivera settling in as head coach in the preseason for the Panthers. First off Rivera seems to want to look good in his dress rehearsal game going 2-0 the past two years. While in the fourth and final game, Rivera seems to just want to get this game over with as the UNDER has been the winning play the past two years. Both of these preseason finales have been against the Steelers which they finish up again on Aug. 28.

New Orleans Saints
Head Coach: Sean Payton
Quarterback Rotation:  Drew Brees, Ryan Griffin, Luke McCown, Logan Kilgore (Rookie Middle Tennessee State)
A strong preseason trend we can follow with the Saints as their high octane offense sure gears up as the preseason progresses. In the past four seasons the Saints have seen the OVER go a perfect 8-0 in their last two preseason games (Week 3 & 4) of the year with 51, 57, 60, 41, 51, 61, 54, and 45 points scored. This year the Saints finish up with Indianapolis on Aug. 23 and Baltimore on Aug. 28.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Head Coach: Lovie Smith
Quarterback Rotation:  Mike Glennon, Mike Kafka, Josh McCown, Alex Tanney

In his last two years in Chicago Lovie Smith had winning preseasons going 6-2 against the spread. I can see him wanting to get a winning attitude right off the bat in Tampa Bay – so let’s look for the Buccaneers to be a team to bet this preseason. Plus the Buccaneers used to be one of my favorite trend plays in the preseason as they were 6-2 against the spread in their first preseason game – this might be something to look into as Smith will want to win his first game as the Buccaneers head coach, especially in front of the home crowd on Aug. 8th against the Eagles.  

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Head Coach: Bruce Arians
Quarterback Rotation:  Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley, Logan Thomas (Rookie Virginia Tech)

Only one year of stats for Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians for us to look at, however Arizona went 3-1 both straight up and against the spread in its four preseasons games from a year ago, with the UNDER also going 3-1. Something to keep an eye out for as this year’s preseason begins.

San Francisco 49ers

Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh
Quarterback Rotation: Colin Kaepernick, Josh Johnson, Blaine Gabbert, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Kory Faulkner (Rookie Southern Illinois)

Whether its preseason or regular season games, Jim Harbaugh wants to win every time his team takes the field. This sure has been a solid money maker the last two preseasons as the 49ers have gone 6-2 both straight up and against the spread. It is also important to post here that in this same timeframe San Francisco has seen the UNDER be the right play on both of their first two preseason games the past two years – while just the opposite is true as in their dress rehearsal game and final preseason game the OVER was the winning play.  Making for a solid 8-0 run for us to look forward to this year.

Seattle Seahawks

Head Coach:  Pete Carroll
Quarterback Rotation:  Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, Terrelle Pryor, B. J. Daniels

Usually we like to fade the Super Bowl champions in the proceeding preseason – as how can a team be up for these early meaningless games. However if there is one exception it’s sure the Seahawks under Carroll – as Seattle is a money making 11-1 both straight up and against the spread the past three years. Top rated preseason trend in effect here especially when you throw in this year’s quarterback rotation.

St. Louis Rams

Head Coach: Jeff Fisher
Quarterback Rotation:  Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Garrett Gilbert (Rookie SMU), Austin Davis

In his return to coaching Jeff Fisher has already shown us a trend that can help make us some money this preseason – as the OVER has gone 6-2 in the eight preseason games the Rams have played with Fisher calling the shots. The one other trend I found was that Fisher sure tries in the Rams dress rehearsal game where St. Louis is a perfect 2-0 ATS with both of these games being played on the road – this year’s dress rehearsal game is on the road again as the Rams visit Cleveland on Aug. 23.

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