(Tuesday August 8th)
Preseason Gambling Notes: Sports handicappers
can’t beat this time of year: Baseball pennant
races in full swing, college football is on the
horizon and preseason NFL action is already underway!
This weekend is the first full slate of NFL play.
Contrary to what some might think, there are numerous
wagering opportunities with exhibition football,
you just have to know what to look for. Not every
game offers betting edges, of course, but many
do. Here are some tips to help locate some NFL
preseason edges against the spread.
This is something that is easily overlooked, but
it can offer significant clues as to whether a
team is ready to play. Teams that are home have
many advantages: Practicing close to home, not
having to deal with airport traffic, hotels, flights,
etc. Familiarity with practice facilities and
their home stadiums, being close to their family
and friends. Look at all the problems the New
Orleans Saints had to deal with one year ago.
They ended up playing 16 road games, really, after
hurricane Katrina, and won 3 games while losing
Even preseason games can offer this factor. A
year ago the Colts opened up play in Tokyo, Japan.
Talk about a long flight! The Colts ended up going
0-4 straight up and against the spread after that
opening preseason game overseas. Keep a close
eye on the Raiders this weekend. Oakland opened
at Canton, Ohio in the Hall of Fame game, and
now has to travel to Minnesota this weekend. They’re
starting to log considerable travel time already.
Some teams have a lot of young, hungry kids. You
can guess that those guys will play much harder
in preseason than veterans, as they are fighting
for jobs. Not just jobs on THAT team, but in the
event they are cut, they want to impress enough
so that other teams might have an interest later
on. Teams with veteran starters, however, are
less likely to play hard and many times coaches
will hold out veterans to avoid injury. I noticed
that this week with Dallas, as starting wide receivers
Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn were seen riding
bikes in the locker room and not practicing. They
are unlikely to play this weekend.
The first two weeks of the preseason, teams will
play their starters only limited minutes, if at
all. This means looking at depth and experience,
especially at the quarterback position. In addition,
sometimes one team will play its starter very
limited minutes, but the opponent will go with
the starters more. This happened Thursday, as
the Browns were playing their first preseason
game while the Eagles were playing their second.
Philly was at home, too, and off a poor performance
against Oakland. Philly dominated in a 20-3 win
and cover, a game I gave to my clients.
I used both of those above factors in choosing
Philly Thursday: “On defense the Browns
best players are aging veterans Ted Washington
and Willie McGinest. They likely will play very
limited minutes. At this point the Browns just
want to get out of the game healthy and judge
some talent. The Eagles on the other hand have
something to prove after their disastrous season
a year ago.”
Keep track of how teams are performing during
practice all week. The Browns, for example, have
an abundance of youth at quarterback. Reports
this week were that none of the QBs were playing
well in practice. Poor practice play isn’t
likely to turn into great exhibition play, and
the Browns’ 3 points backs that up.
A team in preseason can play poorly on the road
with the only intent to stay healthy and get out
of town. Teams at home, even in preseason, are
more likely to play harder, with more enthusiasm.
That was evident this week with the Rams, who
looked fired up to play their first game at home.
Teams off a bad road game coming home are worth
a look, as well.
More NFL Preseason Wagering
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
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