Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Hot & Not Report - Week 1
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Who's Hot and Who's Not
Week of August 5th
The month of August means that football is nearly here, and with the HOF game having already come and gone – one that was tough to take for Atlanta bettors – we are at the point where we get a full slate of preseason games later this week.
Preseason NFL betting can be a gold mine to your bankroll if you stay on top of current roster news, what coaches say in press conferences regarding playing time for guys, and understanding which teams/coaches put more of an emphasis on the W/L result in these games then others.
In general terms rookie head coaches do tend to have a bit more to prove in terms of win/loss results this time of year as they'd prefer to get that first win out of the way even if it is a game that doesn't count. At the same time, it's these rookie head coaches who can spend most of the time in the preseason learning on the fly to the intricacies of the game in terms of things that are easy to over look. Whether it be finding a ref near by prior to calling a time out, having the final say in the decision making process, or any of those other little things that come with being a head coach, you can find them costing these teams yards/points and ultimately a wager should they learn those important lessons the hard way.
Furthermore, preseason NFL football is one where market moves are are not shy about being bashful, as they come in a hurry and can pack some major swings with them as well. Larger moves do tend to deal with how information comes out regarding playing time for key guys on teams, and just like mainstream media members reporting on trades or free agency signings, everyone wants to be first in order to grab a piece of what they perceive to be the best number. Generally speaking, early moves are solid to follow as long as the number doesn't get out of hand, but 'middling' games is another practice that will have more success in the preseason as opposed to any other time of the year.
“Middling” is betting Team A at a pick'em and then taking Team B at +3.5 after a substantial line move and having the game land on a 3-point or less win for Team A.
So it's not like there isn't plenty of potential for profit this preseason no matter how many different approaches you end up taking. However, for this opening week that's a full slate of games, there are a few organizational angles that need to be considered as well.
Looking for ATS wins in Game 1 of the Preseason? Lean on the NFC North Division
Detroit 5-1 ATS last six years; Green Bay 4-0 ATS last four years; Minnesota 5-0 ATS last five years
On the one hand there is always the argument to be made that what the Packers team from the 2016 season did in their opening preseason game of that year has little to no bearing on what the 2019 version of the team will do. And while that is true, that's not to say it's the only truth out there as all three of those franchises listed above have made in a point to start the preseason off on the right foot.
Whether that goes to early talent evaluation in trying to build depth on their teams – remember the first preseason game only sees projected starters get a few drives or maybe a quarter – or backup QB's trying to make the most of the extended playing time they see – Detroit and Green Bay backups have known during these runs that they won't supplant the incumbent starter during the year – the Lions, Packers and Vikings have all been consistent money earners during their first preseason game.
Interestingly enough, for their 2019 openers, two of those three teams (Minnesota, Detroit) have already seen line moves in their favor against projected Super Bowl contenders in New Orleans and New England as those moves likely speak to past history by those NFC North clubs as well as their opponents having two 40-year old starting QB's that aren't likely to see much of the field. Both the Vikings and Lions are underdogs as well, so taking these teams with strong Week 1 histories at a plus-money price is never really a bad option.
Packers fans have already seen their line move against them a full point (from -3 to -2) as that's likely to do with another veteran QB in Aaron Rodgers seeing extremely limited playing time. It's them and the Lions that are at home this week too, which never hurts, and given Rodgers injury issues in recent years, asking the likes of DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins to show out for a Packer win isn't a big ask.
So look for at least two of these three NFC North teams to bring home winning tickets this weekend, especially given the specific scenarios all three are facing this week.
Want to avoid opening game ATS losers? Better stay away from the LA teams
LA Chargers 0-3 ATS last three years in Game 1; LA Rams 1-6 ATS last seven years in Game 1
Now this warning to stay away from the LA teams is not a complete shot at the city considering both the Chargers and Rams are relatively new tenants in the City of Angels, but for all the glitz and glamour LA typically has for openers and premiers, that memo has not gotten to these two football teams the past few seasons.
And as luck would have it, we are probably late to the party in terms of fading these two LA squads this week, as both the Chargers (vs Arizona) and Rams (vs Oakland) have already seen lines move against them with both of them lining up on the visitor sidelines this week. Considering the regular season prospects for both LA teams (potential Super Bowl contenders) vs their two opponents this week in the preseason (likely cellar dwellers and high draft selections coming their way next spring) these two games are great reference examples for those bettors who prefer to stay away from preseason action.
That's because all summer guys do work on what the long-term prospects are for clubs in December and January, and to see them both catching points, and more points as they days go on with the Rams going from +3 to +5.5 vs Oakland, you can understand the tough mental hurdle it is for some to follow line moves like that.
However, at the same time it's easy to get on board with following these moves (although it's a rather bad number with Oakland right now) given the scenarios these two games present.
The Rams were in the Super Bowl last year and understand how long and grinding the season can be when there are much bigger and better tasting fish to fry in January and beyond. There is little reason for them to do anything but operate under a vanilla gameplan that aids in their own talent evaluation against an Oakland team that is looking to take that next step in terms of wins this year.
The Chargers have their own Super Bowl aspirations this year after making a solid run at it in 2018, and up against an Arizona team that's got a rookie HC who was a questionable hire in the eyes of many, and a #1 overall draft choice at QB as the new face of the franchise, the Cardinals would love to see 2019 start on a positive note.
It's the situational aspects that play a much bigger role in preseason betting from a personnel and scenario standpoint that gives you these lines that would be completely absurd were it a regular season game, but fully understanding the difference between the two and being on top of the wire of information will always help you start your NFL betting year on a strong note if you can earn a few units in the preseason.