(Tuesday August 8th)
Preseason Gambling Notes: It may only
be exhibition season, but football is the best
time of the sports betting calendar. The NFL
preseason kicks off this weekend as the Eagles
and Raiders battle. One thing to keep in mind
when analyzing preseason football is how to
distinguish important quotes by players and
coaches from unimportant ones.
For instance, this week Oakland’s
Warren Sapp was shooting his mouth off: “I’ve
awakened from the nightmare and I’m playing
a 4-3 defense again, boss. If you want me, come
and get me.” He also added, “I really
like this ballclub. I can’t help but think
we’ve got a shot.” Warren Sapp ALWAYS
shoots his mouth off about everything, especially
himself, just like one of his teammates Randy
Moss. Those are examples of quotes that really
don’t mean much for a sports bettor, with
the exception of the fact that Oakland is changing
from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 this season.
I find comments like this every
day when checking up on newspaper accounts and
TV interviews of teams and players. Discard
the majority of it, as it’s mostly garbage.
Who cares that Warren Sapp thinks the Raiders
have a shot to be good? It means nothing. It
would be more interesting if he said the team
chemistry stinks and he wants out!
More important are the details that pertain
to the game. For instance, for Sunday’s
game, new coach Art Shell plans on giving his
quarterback freedom to call some plays and during
2-minute drills and no-huddle situations. He
also has been emphasizing discipline in practice,
as the Raiders have been a sloppy team the last
few years, especially with penalties. Shell
expects his players to be crisp, detailed and
disciplined. Shell will be very interested in
seeing the Raiders play better than most coaches
this time of the year.
Another tidbit I came across
was in the Rams camp. New coach Scott Linehan
has instituted a balanced offense for this season,
which is a stark contrast to the way the Rams
played under pass-happy Mike Martz. "I
like the balance, where teams won't be able
to come into the Edward Jones Dome and say,
'OK, they're going to pass the ball 50 times
a game,'" Orlando Pace said this week.
"I really enjoy knowing that we can pass
and run." He also added that the practices
have been, "A lot more physical. We're
really emphasizing the run, and we're going
after it pretty good."
The Rams have been more of a finesse team,
especially since defensive coordinator Lovie
Smith left after the 2002 season. Perhaps they
will be a more physical team, something to look
for in preseason play.
Another team that plans to run the football
far more is the Chiefs under new coach Herm
Edwards. Edwards said the offense will run the
ball more in 2006 as he feels it will ultimately
help the Chiefs' defense. The Texans have a
new head coach in Gary Kubiak and he brought
in "zone blocking schemes" that helped
make the Denver Broncos such a strong running
team the last 11 years. Keep an eye on the Houston
pass protection and running game this August.
Also, note that the Browns are going to be
very young in the backfield, with quarterbacks
Charlie Frye, Ken Dorsey and Derek Anderson.
All of these quotes and tidbits are important
when it comes to assessing preseason football,
as opposed to bland quotes that mean nothing.
Learning how to distinguish the gold from the
garbage will help you become a better bettor!
More NFL Preseason
NFL Preseason Betting By Steve Merril
George Preseason Notes
Atkinson - How to Make $ On NFL Preseason
Bryan Leonard is a documented member of The
Professional Handicappers League.
Read more of his articles and get his premium