Betting on the NFL Preseasons

Many bettors make a huge mistake by avoiding betting on the “meaningless” games that make up the NFL preseason. In reality these games can mean a lot if they can pad your bankroll just in time for the upcoming NFL regular season.

The NFL preseason can be a haven for bettors looking for some quick cash because of all the free information just handed out by NFL coaches and players. Getting injury information out of some NFL head coaches during the regular season is like pulling teeth, but during the preseason coaches are willing to share everything from a player's health to how they plan to approach the next game.

Can you imagine Bill Belichick coming out before a regular season game and announcing that Tom Brady's knee is giving him trouble and they're going to run the ball for most of the first half at least? That could actually happen in the preseason. For preseason games that kind of information is readily available for bettors as long as they go and find it. With the explosion of blogs and forums and teams web sites and local newspapers already pouring information out by the second bettors really have no excuse to go into a preseason game without knowing almost as much as the coaches and players on the field.

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Another important factor in NFL preseason betting is closely examining team's depth charts. Backups usually only become a factor during the regular season when a starter either goes down or sucks. In the preseason the starters are out of the game by at least half time leaving the ball and the game in the hands of the backups. When making preseason picks it's usually a good idea to look at the backups more closely than the starters. Just look at last weekend's Hall of Fame Game between Dallas and Cincinnati as an example. Dallas's backup quarterbacks are Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee while the Bengals fall back plans include J.J. O'Sullivan and Jordan Palmer. Dallas has the advantage at least on paper and it translated onto the field with Kitna and McGree combining to complete 16-of-29 passes for 175 yards, while O'Sullivan and Palmer struggled and put up 14-of-31 passing for 135 yards and three interceptions.

Be sure you know who's starting and how long they're going to be in there because it could end up being the difference between padding your bankroll and draining it before the real games begin. Following stats and trends can sometimes be a double edged sword, but just like the regular season the preseason has some trends that just keep coming true. One trend that has been ongoing for years is the Colts not caring about and completely sucking during the preseason. Do you think Peyton Manning really needs four games to get ready for the season? Of course not and neither do the rest of the Colts, which is why they usually tank in the exhibition games.

Last year with new head coach Jim Caldwell the Colts went 1-3 in the preseason. When Tony Dungy was manning the ship they Colts were a lame 3-15 in the preseason in his last four season. Combine those records and you get a putrid 4-18 mark over five years. That's pretty bad for a team that went 65-15 during the regular season in those years. Trends may not be written in stone, but if you can latch onto them while they're still going you can make a mint even in the preseason.