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Let me start off by saying that I feel the NFL preseason is a great opportunity to start and build a nice bankroll for the upcoming regular season. Many handicappers have the opinion that the preseason games should be left alone and not bet on. I feel just the opposite. If you do your homework the preseason games offer the betting public a tremendous chance to make a ton of money.
In the preseason, many head coaches have a track record of wanting to win and some just don’t care and are just preparing for the regular season. You can find many games this preseason where you can get a definite edge. Below I have put together a list of all 32 teams with a breakdown of things to look for this preseason that will give you that winning advantage.
A very important thing to remember for this upcoming preseason is that there will be 10 new head coaches this season, so previous preseason trends for these teams are no longer valid.
Here are the 10 teams with new head coaches for the upcoming season:
Buffalo - Dick Jauron
Detroit - Rod Marinelli
Green Bay - Mike McCarthy
Houston - Gary Kubiak
Kansas City - Herm Edwards
Minnesota - Brad Childress
New Orleans - Sean Payton
New York Jets - Eric Mangini
Oakland - Art Shell
St Louis - Scott Lineham
Arizona – This will be Dennis Green’s third year as head coach of Arizona, and the Cardinals are definitely a strong preseason play now. The Cardinals, under Green, have won six of their last seven preseason games. Arizona is also a perfect 2-0 both straight up and against the spread the last two years in 'dress rehearsal' games where most of the starters play a good portion of the game. Plus, I have to throw in that the Cardinals are an impressive 4-1 as a 'dog over the past two preseasons.
Atlanta – The Falcons improved dramatically in Jim Mora’s second season as head coach, going 4-1 ATS in the preseason. What really stands out for the Falcons in the preseason under Mora, is in their 'dress rehearsal' game the last two years they have outscored their opposition, 60-17. Atlanta steamrolled Cincinnati, 37-10, and Jacksonville, 23-7. This year’s 'dress rehearsal' game for the Falcons will be on August 24th when they play Tennessee, who lost their 'dress rehearsal' game last year to San Francisco.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Kurt Warner, Matt Leinatt, John Navarre. Plus Rolan Davy and Jeff Otis will see limited action.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Michael Vick, Matt Schaub, D.J. Shockley, Bryan Randall.
Baltimore – The Ravens under head coach Brian Billick are just a .500 team ATS over the past four preseasons (8-8). However, there is a very strong trend that can make you some money on the Ravens this preseason. Baltimore has played four straight 'under' outings when playing its regulars in Week 3 of the preseason. The Ravens take on Minnesota this preseason in their third game.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Steve McNair, Kyle Boller, Brian St. Pierre, Drew Olson.
Buffalo – Past preseason results have to be thrown out the window for the Bills with new head coach Dick Jauron taking over the reigns. However in Jauron’s last two preseasons when he was head coach of the Chicago Bears back in 2002 and 2003, he went 2-6 ATS. Buffalo also hired Marv Levy as its vice president of football operations. Remember Levy coached all those great Buffalo teams that went to the Super Bowl. But Levy never cared about winning in the preseason. With this combination taking over the team, it makes the Bills a definite play against this preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb, Tory Woodbury, Craig Nall.
Carolina – Head coach John Fox loves to win preseason games. From the last game of the 2002 preseason to the first game last year, the Panthers had won and covered 10 straight preseason games. However, last year Carolina finished with a 1-3 ATS mark. But with such an impressive stretch of wins, look for Fox and the Panthers to get back on track this preseason. Look for this trend to start right away this preseason, as the Panthers have won and covered their first preseason game the last four years. Carolina might also be starting another kind of streak, having seven of its last eight preseason games go 'over' the total.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Jake Delhomme, Chris Weinke, Stefan LeFors.
Chicago – In Lovie Smith’s first two seasons as Chicago head coach, a trend has definitely developed in the preseason. In the nine games the Bears have played, seven of them have stayed 'under' the total. A possible 'under' play this preseason is on August 31st when take on Cleveland. The Browns have seen the 'under' go 7-1 their previous eight preseason matchups.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Brian Griese, B.J. Symons.
Cincinnati – A very strong trend has formed during the three years that Marvin Lewis has been the head coach. The Bengals, in each of the past three preseasons, have lost their first and third games. This is a perfect 6-0 record in this situation. It’s obvious he doesn’t care about getting his team ready for their opening preseason contest. That trend figures to continue with starting quarterback Carson Palmer 'questionable' for the early preseason games, and Jon Kitna is now in Detroit. Cincinnati's opener against the Washington Redskins can definitely continue this early trend.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Carson Palmer ???, Anthony Wright, Doug Johnson, Craig Krenzel.
Cleveland – The last two seasons that Romeo Crennel was the defensive coordinator at New England, seven of the eight preseason games the Patriots played stayed 'under' the total. Well he brought this trend right over with him in his first year as Cleveland's head coach, with three of the four preseason games going 'under' the total. It should also be noted that Crennel brought over New England’s winning ways with the Browns, going a perfect 4-0 ATS last year in the preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Charlie Frye, Ken Dorsey, Derek Anderson, plus 3 rookie free agent signings, Campbell, Almond, Hackney.
Dallas – Bill Parcells has shown in the past that he likes to win preseason games. Since he has taken over as head coach for Dallas in 2003, the Cowboys are 8-4 ATS. But the Cowboys have not started fast, losing their first preseason game all three years under Parcells. This year’s opener is against Seattle, who has won and covered its last three preseason openers.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Drew Bledsoe, Drew Henson, Tony Romo.
Denver – Head coach Mike Shanahan loves to win preseason games. In the last four years, the Broncos have gone 11-6 ATS (3 -1 last year). Shanahan also puts a great emphasize on the Broncos final preseason game, going 5-1 ATS the last six years.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Jake Plummer, Bradlee Van Pelt, Jay Cutler.
Detroit – New Head coach Rod Marinelli has no prior head coaching experience. So the Lions are a sit back and watch team this preseason. However, Marinelli has been the defensive line and assistant head coach for Tampa Bay the past 10 years. He helped put together the awesome Buccaneers defensive units of the past. With him emphasizing defense and toughness, playing Detroit 'under' this preseason might be the way to go.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Jon Kitna, Josh McCown, Dan Orlovsky, and Shaun King.
Green Bay – With Mike McCarthy taking over as head coach, the Packers might be worth a small play this preseason. McCarthy was the offensive coordinator at San Francisco last year, and helped the 49ers to a perfect 4-0 ATS preseason mark. He had a young quarterback to work with in rookie Alex Smith. Well the same scenario fits here with Aaron Rodgers getting the majority of the snaps this preseason. The odds makers and general public will overlook the Packers for this reason, making them the value play of the preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Brett Favre, Aaron Rogers, plus 3 other QB’s that might see limited action, Arth, Martin, and Wrobel.
Houston – Since the Texans entered the league back in 2002, they are a dismal 4-13 ATS in the preseason. However, with Gary Kubiak getting the head coaching job things will start to change. Kubiak had been the Denver offensive coordinator under head coach Mike Shanahan for the last 11 years. Shanahan wins in the preseason as we all know, and now Kubiak will bring that winning attitude to Houston. I believe the winning will begin immediately, as the Texans face a Kansas City team that has lost its last three opening preseason games.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: David Carr, Sage Rosenfels, Quinton Porter, Matt Baker.
Indianapolis – Coming into the 2005 preseason, the Colts had faired well in the previous two preseasons by going 6-2 ATS. Then the Colts proceeded to lose all five of their preseason games last year. However, there was a definite reason for this. Indianapolis had to travel to Japan for its preseason opener, and the team never recovered the rest of the preseason. I think the Colts will revert back to their previous winning form this preseason. Plus, we will receive some value in the line as the odds makers incorporate last seasons losing preseason record. It is also worth mentioning that before last year’s disaster, the Colts in their 'dress rehearsal' game were a perfect 3-0.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi, plus two rookie free agents Betts, and Koral.
Jacksonville – The Jaguars are just a .500 team over the past couple of preseasons. However, one strong trend sure jumps out at you. The Jaguars just can’t seem to get things going offensively by scoring just six, nine and seven points during their 'dress rehearsal' contest. Obviously, all three of these games have gone 'under' the total.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Byron Leftwich, David Garrard, Quinn Gray.
Kansas City – New Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards had a very impressive 14-7 ATS mark when he coached the New York Jets in the preseason. But he will have his work cut out for him, as the Chiefs have lost seven of their last eight preseason games.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Trent Green, Damon Huard, James Killian, Brodie Croyle.
Miami – New head coach Nick Saban and the Dolphins did not cover a game in last year’s preseason. Miami has a ton of quarterback uncertainties with the addition of the ailing Daunte Culpepper and the enigmatic Joey Harrington backing him up. These factors make the Dolphins a team to fade this preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Brock Berlin.
Minnesota – Brad Childress, the former offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, is now the new head coach with the Vikings. Look for the Vikings to play some high-scoring games this preseason. With Childress running the Eagles offense the last two preseasons, the 'over' cashed in six of the last eight preseason outings.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Brad Johnson, Mike McMahon, J.T. O’Sullivan, Tarvaris Jackson.
New England – Just like in the regular season, head coach Bill Belichick stresses defense in the preseason. This has created one of the strongest trends that you can make some serious money on this preseason. The 'under' is an impressive 13-3 in the Patriots last 16 preseason games spanning the previous four years.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, Todd Mortensen, Corey Bamlet.
New Orleans – Sean Payton is the Saints new head coach, and this will be his first gig as the main man. Payton was with the Dallas Cowboys last year as their passing-game coordinator. Payton was also the offensive coordinator with the Giants when Jim Fassel was head coach. I feel he failed badly in both these positions, and was not a good offensive coordinator. Saying this, I don’t see the Saints doing much this preseason. With all the new players on the offense having to learn a new system, look for the 'under' to be the right side in the Saints games this preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Drew Bees, Jamie Martin, Adrian McPherson.
New York Giants – New head coach Tom Coughlin did not get off to a fast start in his first year with the Giants, producing a 1-3 ATS record. But last year he turned things around, as the Giants won three of their four preseason games. Look for this upswing to continue this year, especially in their 'dress rehearsal' game against the Jets.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Eli Manning, Tim Hasselbeck, Jared Lorenzen.
New York Jets – Eric Mangini takes over as the Jets head coach this season. This will be Mangini’s first head coaching job. However, he learned everything he knows from Bill Belichick. His last coaching job was as defensive coordinator for the Patriots last season. As we all know, Belichick stresses defense in the preseason. When Romeo Crennel left the Patriots last year to take the Browns job, this preseason trend continued in Cleveland with the Browns playing three of their four preseason games 'under' the total. So I look for Mangini and the Jets to play a very conservative style, making the 'under' the way to go this preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Chad Pennington ???, Patrick Ramsey, Brooks Bollinger, Kellen Clemens.
Oakland – After everyone turned down the Raiders head coaching position, Al Davis had to settle for former Oakland head coach Art Shell. This team is just a bad team whether it’s in the preseason or regular season. So I can’t see Shell making any difference in trying to get this team back on the winning track. As for the preseason, the Raiders have gone 3-9 ATS the last three years. I look for more of the losing ways this preseason. It should also be noted that even with their so-called high-powered offense, all of the Raiders' four preseason games last year went 'under' the total.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Aaron Brooks, Marques Tuiasosopo, Andrew Walter.
Philadelphia – Andy Reid and the Eagles show no trends that we can take advantage of, going 8-8 in the preseason over the last four years. However, six of the last seven preseason games the Eagles have played have gone 'over' the total. Look for that trend to continue this preseason with the Eagles' strong quarterback rotation.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Koy Detmer, Timmy Chang.
Pittsburgh – After researching Cowher and the Steelers over the past four preseasons, it was difficult to find any trends that would give us an edge for this year. Their record against the spread over the last four years is 7-9. Plus, with the Super Bowl hangover and Roethlisberger’s recent injuries makes the Steelers a team to stay away from this preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Shane Boyd, Omar Jacobs.
St Louis – The Rams' new head coach is rookie Scott Lineham. Over the past four seasons, Lineham has been an offensive coordinator for three years with Minnesota and last year with Miami. The one thing that may give us an edge this preseason is that Lineham is saying that he will emphasis running the ball instead of the wide-open offense that the Rams have shown in the past. With the Rams working on their running game this preseason, it makes playing the 'under' the right way to go especially in the early preseason games.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Marc Bulger, Gus Frerotte, Jeff Smoker, Dave Ragone.
San Diego – Chargers head coach Marty Schottonheimer rarely uses his star players in the preseason, and has produced just a .500 record ATS the last three years. One game that Schottonheimer really doesn’t care about is the Chargers opening preseason game. The Chargers are a perfect 0-4 ATS their previous four preseason openers, making this one of the strongest preseason trends that you will find.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Phillip Rivers, A.J. Feeley, Charlie Whitehurst.
San Francisco – In Mike Nolan’s first year as head coach, the 49ers were 4-0 ATS in the preseason. Here is another team that has a strong quarterback rotation setup for this preseason. So I look for the 49ers to once again have another winning preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Alex Smith, Trent Dilfer, Jesse Palmer, Cody Pickett.
Seattle – The Seahawks' head coach Mike Holmgren doesn’t put much emphasize in preseason games, going 6-10 ATS the last four years. One game that Holmgren really doesn’t care about is the last preseason game of the year, where the Seahawks are 0-4 ATS.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Matt Hasselbeck, David Greene, Seneca Wallace.
Tampa Bay – Head coach John Gruden has been a money maker in the preseason the previous two years, going 5-2-1 ATS. The Buccaneers have also been a perfect 4-0 in their opening preseason game the last four years.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Chris Simms, Jay Fiedler, Tim Rattay, Bruce Gradkowski.
Tennessee – Coming into last year's preseason, Titans head coach Steve Fisher had won 75 percent of his preseason games in the previous five years. However, things started to turn around last year with the Titans going 1-3 ATS. This team is going through a downward spiral, having gone 9-23 over the past two regular seasons. With quarterback Steve McNair gone and a very weak quarterback rotation remaining, I look for the Titans to have a subpar preseason. A trend that has developed has seen nine of the last 12 Tennessee preseason games go 'under' the total. With the way their offense is set up, I highly recommend playing all Titan games 'under' the total this year as this trend is likely to continue.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Billy Volek, Vince Young, Matt Mauck, Cody Hodges.
Washington – In Joe Gibbs' two years as head coach of the Redskins one strong trend has developed that can make us some money this preseason. Gibbs puts no emphasis in playing defense in the early preseason games. The 'over' is a perfect 4-0 in the Redskins' first two preseason games of the year.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Casey Bramlet.