The NFL is obviously the biggest sport in America with millions of football enthusiasts having a keen following on the league every year, so it comes as no surprise that even the NFL preseason attracts a lot of betting action from bettors across the globe. The challenge, however, is that the exhibition games in the preseason mostly features second-tier players and makeshift squads, and very few coaches take them seriously, meaning even the best teams can easily lose to the worst teams in the league during the preseason. With that, making solid NFL picks can be very difficult during the preseason. Even so, you can increase your chances of success in NFL betting odds during the preseason by taking into account the following tips.
How To Bet On The NFL Preseason
Most Winners Will Cover the Spread in the Preseason
This is not always the case, but over the recent times, betting trends indicate teams that win the preseason games (as favorites or underdogs) often cover the spread too. This comes with a huge advantage for NFL preseason bettors because, by virtue of being able to pick a game’s winner, you almost guarantee yourself success in the ATS lines as well. And the best part about this is that the spreads in the preseason mostly range around a field goal advantage (3 to 5 points), making it easy for teams to cover the spread.
Starting Quarterbacks Heavily Determine Winners
Just like in the regular season, quarterbacks play a crucial role when it comes to winning a game. The more experienced a quarterback is, the higher the chances of his team emerging victorious in that game, especially if that QB is set to play more than a series in the preseason. Teams with rookie starting QBs also tend to witness quite some success in the preseasons because the rookies often come into the games with a lot to prove to the fans and their coaches.
Using Coaches to Handicap Games
Generally, most coaches in the NFL, especially those ones that have been in their franchises for a long time, rarely pay much attention to winning preseason games. To them, the preseason games are merely opportunities to extend practices and warm up for the real action when the season starts. That said, other coaches, especially the new ones that want to prove that they were rightfully hired to their new teams, will often strive to win as many games as possible in the preseason with the hope of building a winning belief in the new team. By paying close attention to the coaches, their preseason mantras and whether or not they are trying to prove something during the exhibition games; you will be highly likely to find some edge to exploit when betting on the preseason games.
Watch Out for Injured Players and Their Replacements
For certain teams, injuries create opportunities for new stars to rise and perform well. For others, injuries rid them of dependable players to use, leading to poor performance in the preseason games. Always stay updated about injuries and the potential replacements of the injured players in order to have a good idea of what can be expected during the preseason games.
Stay Abreast With Team Plans and Game Rosters
In the preseason, coaches often provide crucial information about games, including how long his starters will play, or what set of players will be given a chance, or even who will entirely sit out of a game. Using such information, you can easily know what to expect when a team takes to the field, hence making your predictions better.
Using Past Trends to Predict the Preseason
There are several dynamics that entail using past trends to predict the preseason games. For example, if a team’s strength from the past season was their solid defense and the majority of those players are available for a preseason game, you can expect that team to once again play well defensively. In another instance, you will find that teams will strive to use the preseason games to make improvements and fix weak spots in the team. So, if a team had a weak running game in the previous season, there is a high likelihood that it will try to focus more on running the ball during the preseason. This motivation to work on weak areas can be very crucial in handicapping preseason games.
You should always keep in mind that the NFL preseason is a time for new players to gel with the old ones while coaches seek to improve on the team’s challenges, so don’t take the games too seriously. Do your research, have fun and remember to trust your instincts because preseason NFL betting rides a lot on luck just in the same way it does on skill, experience and motivation.