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NFL Preseason Betting Strategies and Tips

Unlike other sports where there is very little appetite for betting on exhibition games, NFL preseason betting only continues to grow as football handicappers gear up for the upcoming campaign by studying teams and players in action as early as possible.

Since the NFL is king among all sports, even the preseason schedule attracts huge interest from bettors and fans alike. The fact that there is significant money to be made for football bettors who pay attention to free agency, training camps and holdouts has certainly bolstered its appeal in recent years.

Even though the NFL preseason lasts only four weeks for most teams, that is still an extra month of games to wager on regardless of who is on the field and for how long. Both of those factors should also be considered heavily when handicapping during this time because key starters barely play if at all.

So how can you really handicap NFL exhibition games when the outcomes do not seem to matter to even the best teams and do not count for anything in the standings? Following are some additional handicapping angles for hard-core football bettors:

NFL Preseason Odds

Football odds during the NFL preseason are generally limited to around a field goal for one side or the other unless there is extra information available affecting the game that could obviously impact the betting lines. For example, will New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady play the first series of the preseason opener or three quarters of the game?

When that info becomes available to the public, bettors will see sportsbooks rapidly change the odds in one team’s favor if “sharps” have not wagered big bucks themselves on the game to move the line first. The best thing about betting preseason NFL games, though, is that more often than not, the winner will cover the point spread.

Coaching Philosophy

Not all coaches are created equal when it comes to their approach around NFL preseason games. Some want to win, especially new coaches who want to establish a winning culture right away. Others simply do not care, instead treating the exhibition schedule as training camp and practice.

Preseason coaching records become valuable handicapping tools because you will find there are betting trends associated with each of them from year to year. There are simply different motivations for different coaches, depending on their teams and depending on whether they are new or incumbents.

Pay close attention to the coaches, and you will likely find wagering edges in the preseason.

Game Plans

While you will never find NFL head coaches sitting down with the media in the regular season and sharing their game plans, the same is not true for the preseason. Instead, coaches will often provide key info worth betting on, telling you exactly how long the starters will play, how much the star QB will play (if any) and how long the backup offensive linemen will play.

Use this info wisely and compare it to what you have learned from the opposing team’s game plan as well to figure out where you might end up having an advantage.

Camp Holdouts and Injuries

Every year, there are star players who sit out preseason games in the NFL due to contract disputes while others suffer serious injuries that could keep them out a significant amount of time. Paying close attention to the ticker is a must during the preseason so you can stay on top of all the breaking news when it comes to players.

Some player news could even make a difference in terms of whether you cash a winning futures ticket on a win total or Super Bowl wager, so always stay tuned.

Even though there may be plenty of reasons as a fan to ignore preseason football, the same cannot be said for NFL bettors. As long as games are being played and sportsbooks are putting up lines on them, there will be opportunities to make money.