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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. A year ago in ‘07 for the NFL preseason at Vegasinsider.com my preseason selections went a documented 12-3 hitting at a solid 80%. All these plays were found in my NFL preseason report I released.
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preseason is that there will be 11 new head coaches this season, so previous preseason trends for these teams are no longer valid. However I have found some nice hidden trends that can still show us a profit with these teams.
Here are the 11 teams with new head coaches for the upcoming season:
Cleveland - Eric Mangini
Denver – Josh McDaniels
Detroit – Jim Schwartz
Indianapolis – Jim Caldwell
Kansas City – Todd Haley
N.Y. Jets – Rex Ryan
Oakland – Tom Cable (interim coach last season)
St. Louis – Steve Spagnuolo
San Francisco – Mike Singletary (interim coach last season)
Seattle – Jim Mora
Tampa Bay – Raheem Morris
OK, so here are this year’s highly rated preseason money making trends for each team.
Arizona – In his two years as head coach of the Cardinals, Ken Whisenhunt has given as some solid preseason trends to make some money with this year. Whisenhunt has shown no interest in winning his first or last preseason games, going a perfect 0-4. Plus he showed defense was not one of his top priorities as Arizona in the past 2 preseasons has seen the 'over' be the right side in six of the Cardinals' eight games. So right off the bat let’s keep an eye out for some high-scoring games from the Cardinals this preseason. Plus let’s definitely fade them when they play the Broncos on Sept 3.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Matt Leinatt, Kurt Warner, Brian St. Pierre, and Tyler Palko
Atlanta – Last year in my annual preseason profit report I told you that new head coach Mike Smith who helped build the solid Jacksonville defense as their defensive coordinator over the past five seasons would immediately bring in the Jaguars mentality of a solid running game and a bruising defense. All this will lead to some very low-scoring games this preseason for the Falcons, which makes the 'under' a strong value play here. Well this turned into an instant profit as the Falcons saw the 'under' go 3-1 in the preseason. So let’s continue to keep an eye out on the 'under' once again this year. Plus, you have to throw in that in their 'dress rehearsal' game the last five years, the Falcons have gone a perfect 5-0 outscoring their opposition 121-45. This year’s 'dress rehearsal' game for the Falcons will be on Aug. 29 when they play San Diego at home.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Matt Ryan, Chris Redman, D.J. Shockley, and John Parker Wilson (rookie-Alabama)
Baltimore – In the past four preseasons, the Ravens have played some really low scoring games with the 'under' going 11-4. This trend continued last season with new head coach John Harbaugh playing it close to the vest as the Ravens watched the 'under' go 3-1. Plus let’s watch the Ravens as a possible play against this year as Harbaugh showed little interest as the preseason progressed losing his last three games.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Joe Flacco, Troy Smith, John Beck, and Drew Willy (rookie-Buffalo)
Buffalo – This will be Dick Jauron’s fourth preseason as head coach of the Bills. In the Bills' first preseason game Jauron has had them ready to play covering all three of his Week 1 preseason games. This continues a trend that has seen the Bills go a perfect 5-0 against the spread in Week 1 of the preseason over the past five years. This is developing into one of my strongest preseason trends. This year’s play is on Aug. 9 as the Bills will face the Titans in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio. Plus, you have to throw in here that in the past three preseasons the Bills are a perfect 7-0 when they take the field as an underdog.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Baker (rookie-North Carolina), and Gibran Hamdan
Carolina – With John Fox as head coach the Panthers he has been all over the place in the preseason over the years showing no consistent trends that we can rely on a yearly basis. Except for one extremely strong trend that has seen Carolina lose their last preseason game of the year to the Steelers in three of the last four years. So let’s look for this trend to continue this year as the Panthers host Pittsburgh on Sept. 3.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Jake Delhomme, Josh McCown, Matt Moore, and Hunter Cantwell (rookie-Louisville)
Chicago – The Bears under Lovie Smith has just been another team with nothing to write about in the preseason going 7-9 over the past four years. However a monster preseason total play has developed over the years with Chicago. The Bears have seen the 'under' go 6-0 in their last preseason game of the year the past six years, and five of these were against the Browns. This matchup occurs again this year on Sept. 3 when the Bears host the Browns. Perfect trend here guys so don’t let this one pass you by.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Jay Cutler, Caleb Hanie, and Brett Basanez
Cincinnati – Two nice trends have developed for head coach Marvin Lewis over the past three preseasons. First the Bengals are a perfect 3-0 in their first preseason game of the year, and secondly boy does Cincinnati finish strong on the preseason also winning the past three years including a blowout win at Indianapolis as a 'dog last season. This year’s two plays are against New Orleans on Aug. 14 and once again against the Colts at home on Sept. 3.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Carson Palmer, J.T. O’Sullivan, Jordan Palmer, and Billy Farris (rookie-Colorado State)
Cleveland – With Eric Mangini taking over as the head coach of the Browns it must be said here that Mangini was a money maker as the Jets head coach going 4-1 both straight up and against the spread when he took his team on the road. This year’s first road game for the Browns will be on Aug. 15 when they play the Packers.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Brett Ratliff, and Richard Bartel (rookie-Tarleton State)
Dallas – In his first two years as the Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips showed no interest at all in trying to win when Dallas took to the road going a perfect 0-4. Definitely a strong trend to follow here with the Cowboys two road games this preseason being Aug. 13 against Oakland, and Sept. 4 against Minnesota.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Rudy Carpenter (rookie-Arizona State), and Stephen McGee (rookie-Texas A&M)
Denver – Bill Belichick disciple Josh McDaniels takes over as the Broncos new head coach. With a new coach and three new quarterbacks it’s hard to give any recommendations on the Broncos for this preseason. However what really still stands out is the Broncos willingness to dominate in their final preseason game of the year going 8-1 against the spread in their last nine with their only loss coming back in '04.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations Kyle Orton, Chris Simms, and Tom Brandstater (rookie-Fresno State)
Detroit – The defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans the last eight seasons Jim Schwartz takes over as the new head coach of the 0-16 Lions. Look for Detroit with the new mind set of every new coach with defensive ties to highlight the run and strengthen the defense to play a bunch of fast moving low scoring games this preseason. Plus throw in the weak and inexperienced quarterback rotation that the Lions will feature this preseason, and you can see how all this will lead to some solid plays on the 'under' in their games.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Daunte Culpepper, Matthew Stafford (rookie-Georgia), and Drew Stanton
Green Bay – In his first three years as the Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has just been around a .500 preseason coach, so no real advantages to jump on here. However a solid trend has developed that has seen the Packers incorporate a wide open gameplan over the past three years that has seen the 'over' go an impressive 9-3 in the preseason. With the same quarterback rotation returning from last year makes for another high-scoring preseason and some nice winning tickets once again on the 'over' in this spot.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Aaron Rogers, Brian Brohm, Matt Flynn
Houston – Gary Kubiak has shown some winning trends as the head coach of the Texans. First let’s look for a strong showing in Week 3 against the Vikings as Kubiak and the Texans have covered all three of their dress rehearsal games. Plus you should note that the Texans have seen seven of their last eight preseason games go 'over' the total.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Matt Schaub, Dan Orlovsky, Alex Brink (rookie-Oregon)
Indianapolis – With Jim Caldwell taking over as head coach, and with the Colts having a new offensive coordinator, OL coach, and defensive coordinator, will have to just take a step back and just watch what trends develop down the line with the Colts. One trend we still have to watch with Indianapolis is how poorly they play in their last preseason game of the year going 1-6 against the spread the last seven years. This year the Colts finish out the preseason when they pay a visit to Cincinnati on Sept. 3.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi, Chris Crane (rookie-Boston College), and Curtis Painter (rookie-Purdue)
Jacksonville – The Jaguars are sure known for their defense in the regular season. However head coach Jack Del Rio has pulled in the reins during the last four preseasons, allowing the Jaguars to open things up offensively as they work on improving their passing game. As a result the 'over' has gone 11-5. Look for this trend to again be a money maker this year as the odds makers continue to post low totals on all of the Jacksonville preseason games. Plus while most teams just want to go thru the motions in their final preseason game, the Jaguars are just the opposite as they have won their last preseason game the last three years, winning two of them outright as a 'dog.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: David Garrard, Cleo Lemon, Todd Bouman, and Paul Smith
Kansas City – With the Parcells/Belichick disciples Scott Pioli taking over as GM, and Todd Haley taking over as head coach. I look for the Chiefs to turn around their losing ways in the preseason right off the bat as they field one of the strongest quarterback rotations in the preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Matt Cassel, Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Ingle Martin
Miami – Last year I told you “With Bill Parcells taking over as executive VP for football operations of the Dolphins, and surrounding himself with all of his Dallas buddies. Have to look for some improvement from Miami this preseason as Parcells always tried to win in the preseason. Even when he took over a bad Cowboys team he immediately started winning in the preseason.” Well this turned an immediate profit as the Dolphins won 3 of their 4 preseason games last year with two of them as an outright underdog. Look for this trend to continue this season as Parcells brings in more of his kind of players.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Pat White (rookie-West Virginia)
Minnesota – In his first three years as the head coach of the Vikings, Brad Childress has started to show us a strong trend that can help us make some money this preseason. It’s obvious that Childress does not care about the opening preseason game as he just goes thru the motions losing all three years that he has been head coach. Plus have to add in here that the Vikings were favorites in all of these losing efforts. This year’s preseason opener is against the Colts on Aug. 14.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels, John David Booty, and Sean Glennon (rookie-Virginia Tech)
New England – Belichick and the Patriots used to be a big money maker in the preseason thru the years. However, since the Super Bowl rings have started to add up the preseason has just become a waste of time. The only game that Belichick tries in now is the Patriots dress rehearsal game where they have gone 5-2 against the spread the last seven. This year’s dress rehearsal game is against the Redskins on the road on Aug. 28.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Tom Brady, Matt Gutierrez, Kevin O'Connell, Brian Hoyer (rookie-Michigan State)
New Orleans – In his three years as head coach of the Saints, Sean Payton has gone just 6-7 against the spread. However a nice value play for this upcoming preseason is that New Orleans has lost five of their six home games under Payton.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Drew Bees, Mark Brunell, Tyler Palko
New York Giants – Head coach Tom Coughlin has always stressed defense when it comes to winning in the regular season. Well nothing is different in the preseason as the Giants have seen 8 of their last 12 preseason games stay 'under' the listed total. A strong play every year is when the Giants match up with the Jets as this game has gone 'under' the total for four straight years.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Eli Manning, David Carr, Andre Woodson
New York Jets – With Rex Ryan as defensive coordinator with Baltimore over the past four seasons, we saw the Ravens play some very low-scoring games. In the preseason, the 'under' went 11-4 in the last 15 Ravens games. With Ryan getting promoted to head coach of the Jets, I look for him to instill the Ravens tough defense tendencies on this Jets defense, which will lead to a bunch of 'under' plays for this preseason. And, remember that the Jets will also be starting a rookie quarterback in Mark Sanchez. So the Jets offense this preseason will be very vanilla at best.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Mark Sanchez (rookie-USC), Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge, and Chris Pizzotti (rookie-Harvard)
Oakland – Tom Cable (interim coach last season) officially takes over as the Oakland head coach this season. Even though we have yet another new head coach here, we still have a couple of solid trends to checkout for the Raiders this preseason. First of all Oakland is 5-1 against the spread at home over the past three years. Plus they are a solid 13-4 'under' during the past four years no matter who the coach is.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: JaMarcus Russell, Jeff Garcia, Andrew Walter, and Bruce Gradkowski
Philadelphia – Andy Reid and the Eagles show no trends that we can take advantage of going 14-15 in the preseason over the last seven years. However we still can make a ton of money on the Eagles as Reid doesn’t go all out in the first preseason game of the year going a perfect 0-5 in their opener not winning their first preseason game since '03. The Eagles open up this year against the Patriots at home on Aug. 13.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Donovan McNabb, AJ Feeley, Kelvin Kolb, and Adam DiMichele (rookie-Temple)
Pittsburgh – In last year’s Preseason Profit report I told you that Mike Tomlin took over as the new head coach of the Steelers. Tomlin was the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator in 2006 after spending the previous five seasons as defensive backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his first preseason as defensive coordinator last year with the Vikings defense ruled in the preseason with Minnesota giving up only 16, 10, 7, and 10 points. May be something we can take advantage of in his first preseason as head coach of the Steelers. Well this information was right on as the Steelers saw 4 of their 5 preseason games stay under the total. This builds on a strong trend that has now seen the under go 11-2 over the past 3 preseason’s for the Steelers. This is a solid trend here guys so keep your eyes on this total play this year.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, Mike Reilly (rookie-Central Washington)
St. Louis – The Giants recent defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo takes over as the new head coach of the Rams. And with his new style of offense which will feature a run-oriented gameplan the "Greatest Show on Turf" is now a thing of the past in St Louis. This automatically sets up for some low-scoring game this preseason, so let’s take a serious look at the 'under' before the oddsmakers make the necessary adjustments to the Rams posted totals especially in their early games this preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Marc Bulger, Kyle Boller, Keith Null (rookie-West Texas A&M)
San Diego – This will be Norv Turner’s third year as head coach of the Chargers. In Turner’s last head coaching job with the Raiders back in 2004 and 2005 a solid trend can be taken away from it that can give us an edge for the Chargers preseason games. First of all in both of his dress rehearsal games in Oakland the Raiders went 0-2 against the spread, this trend has continued as Turner has not covered his dress rehearsal game the first two years in San Diego making him a perfect 0-4 ATS. So let’s watch for when the Chargers play the Falcons on Aug. 29 this year. After reading my write-up on the Falcons this game can be my strongest release of the entire preseason.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Phillip Rivers, Billy Volek, Charlie Whitehurst
San Francisco – This will be Mike Singletary’s first preseason as head coach of San Francisco. Even though we have nothing to go on with Singletary, with the intensity that he brings on a daily basis I would say I would keep a very close look on the 49’ers having a very profitable preseason this year. We should have a strong play right off the bat as the 49ers Week 1 opponent the Raiders, who have lost their last five preseason road contests.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Shaun Hill, Alex Smith, Damon Huard, and Nate Davis (rookie-Ball State)
Seattle – Jim Mora takes over as head coach of the Seahawks. Mora was the Seattle DB coach last season so he was around for this very strong preseason trend for the Seahawks that has seen 13 of the last 18 Seattle games go 'over' the total, including 3-1 last year. Plus have to add in here is that Mora in his last season as head coach of Atlanta in '06 saw the over be the right side in three of the four Falcons preseason games. All this makes the 'over' in the Seahawks preseason games a very strong play for this year.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, Jeff Rowe, and Mike Teel (rookie-Rutgers)
Tampa Bay – Raheem Morris takes over as head coach of the Buccaneers. Last season, Morris was on the Tampa Bay staff as the secondary coach. So he has been around to be a part of this overwhelming preseason trend. The Buccaneers have one of the top preseason trends that we look forward to every year. Tampa Bay has been a perfect 7-0 in their opening preseason game the last seven years. I look for this trend to easily continue this year with an experienced quarterback rotation that the Buccaneers have this preseason. This year’s preseason opener will be against a Tennessee team that will be coming off of a short week after playing in the Hall of Fame game.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Byron Leftwich, Brian Griese, Luke McCown, and Josh Freeman (rookie-Kansas State)
Tennessee – A strong preseason trend has developed for head coach Jeff Fischer over the past 4 years as he has sure opened things up offensively in the Titans last preseason game of the year seeing 182 points scored in these games. This year’s last preseason game is against the Packers on Sept. 3. Also have to add here is that these two teams have combined to play these wide open games the last 4 years. So let’s look for more of the same this season.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Vince Young, Kerry Collins, Ingle Martin
Washington – Under head coach Jim Zorn the Redskins continued their losing ways in the preseason that have now seen them go 5-11 over the past four seasons. Something to really watch for is that Washington has now lost their last preseason game the last four years. This year’s opponent in their last preseason game will be the Jaguars on September 3rd.
Probable preseason quarterback rotations: Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Colt Brennan, Chase Daniel (rookie-Missouri)
So as you can see there will be a ton of opportunities this preseason to really start to build our bankroll for the regular season.
**Quarterback rotations subject to change