Do you think NFL preseason gambling is for degenerates?
Not so fast my gambling friend.
According to bettors in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the preseason is where the sharps think they have the biggest edge. Because information is so scarce in the preseason, it can be easier to find reports and act upon them than it is in the regular season. As I’m posting this article, the Browns revealed that Tyrod Taylor would only play the first few series, and that Drew Stanton would not play. That one isn’t directly helpful for me, but those type of nuggets can have an impact on the outcome and therefore, the spread.
Coaching philosophy is also crucial when picking preseason action. Some coaches simply care about preseason winning more than others. There are also coaches in new systems, and those coaches might be more focused on progress than the actual result.
With those things in mind, here are three bets you can feel good about heading into Thursday’s 12-game slate:
Information. With Alex Smith making his debut for Washington, he’s expected to play more than the average starting quarterback. Smith needs to acclimate himself to Jay Gruden’s offense, and he’s got zero competition on the depth chart. That makes for a favorable matchup against the Patriots, who won’t use too much Tom Brady in the opener. After trading two quarterbacks last season, the Patriots will use Brian Hoyer and seventh-round pick Danny Etling.
Philosophy. Pete Carroll is just one of those coaches that like to win preseason games. He’s best among active coaches in the preseason, going 34-14-1 in exhibition action. The Seahawks are hosting the Colts, who will start Andrew Luck but shouldnt pose much of a threat on the defensive side of the ball. Playing at CenturyLink Field is a bonus.
Steelers Eagles Under
This one doesn’t have an edge either way, but I just can’t see too much effort in this one. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia both have veteran teams, and both are looking to make deep playoff runs. That means no risking starters, and a general unwillingness to take chances in the preseason. Professional sports bettor Ron Boyles also added that Mike Tomlin is one of several coaches that doesn’t get caught up in preseason wins and losses.