Kicking off with the Hall of Fame Game on August 7, the NFL preseason is the appetizer for the full football slate starting in September. But don’t dare try to handicap the two the same way.
The preseason is shrouded in mystery, with motivations and game plans known only by the head coach. That means football bettors need to do some extra digging to find out just how a team is treating the exhibition slate. Here are two key factors to consider before making your sports bet picks in the preseason:
When it comes to established quarterbacks and the preseason, you may see them take a handful of snaps – if any – and don’t expect them to go full speed. Names like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will likely be reserved to sideline spectators which means knowing the backups becomes imparitive.
Football bettors should be looking for two things when it comes to the backup QBs: regular season experience and competition. Does the second stringer have game experience on his resume, and can he successfully run the offense? And are the backup QBs doing battle for the No. 2 role, sparking some added motivation to move the chains.
Some NFL coaches have a certain level of disdain for the preseason schedule, and couldn’t care less about winning and losing exhibition tilts. They’re more focused on working in new bodies, ironing out wrinkles in the playbook and filling out the depth chart. So if you’re looking for these guys to go for on fourth and short with the game on the line, don’t be surprised if they pack it in.
However, some coaches – especially those new to a team or trying to establish some winning ways – will give a little extra in the preseason. The best way to get inside a coach’s head is to take in as many interviews and press conferences as you can, hoping that the coach tips his hand and gives you the insight needed to cash in.