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2019 NFL Preseason Betting
The NFL preseason has undergone a transformation in recent years, as teams are less and less inclined to play their biggest stars much at all in the exhibition season. That type of strategy certainly has an outsized effect on the spread, as an inferior overall team that uses its starting quarterback will still be the favorite against a better team that rests its signal-caller.
It is critical for bettors to know the playing time scenario of each team this preseason, which kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Thursday, Aug. 1, featuring the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons. The rest of the teams will kick off the next week, as the preseason slate begins in earnest at that point.
There has been a typical protocol that most teams followed during the preseason in the past. Starters would see limited action in Week 1 with a few more snaps for the regulars the following the week. When the third week of the preseason rolled around, coaches were ready to see where their club stood. That week was commonly known as a dress rehearsal. However, many more teams are choosing to keep their starters on the sideline or pull them much quicker of late in order to avoid injury. Some coaches stick to the old-school philosophy but many more have decided to err on the side of caution.
The final week of the preseason is the most difficult to handicap because no one plays their stars with the regular season so close. Teams will sit starters and veterans while taking a long look at younger players to fill the final available roster spots.
The 2019 NFL season gets underway on Thursday, August 1 with the annual Hall of Fame Game between the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons from Canton. A full slate of games is on top the following week with every team taking the field in Week 1 of the preseason.
And there’s plenty to look for in the opening of the preseason. They are glorified practice games and we won’t see star players take the field. Several coaches have undertaken a philosophy of sitting high-profile players for a majority of the preseason and the trend appears to be catching on. After all, why would you risk an injury to a key player in a game that means absolutely nothing? More
If teams are going to give their projected starters some snaps during the preseason, the first ones usually come in Week 2 of the exhibition games. And now that everyone is in football mode, there’s a chance to see some games on national television with the league’s broadcast partners getting into the action.
Closely resembling a regular season TV schedule, we’ll have a Thursday night tilt between the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals shown on ESPN. A pair of games will hit the airwaves Sunday with the New Orleans Saints visiting the Los Angeles Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks at the Minnesota Vikings. On August 19 the first Monday Night Football game of the new season features the San Francisco 49ers visiting the Denver Broncos. More
Week 3 of the NFL preseason is typically what coaches call the dress rehearsal. It’s a time when starters and top performers see their most extensive playing time, but even that isn’t much. And with coaches keenly aware of the risks, a series or two is all we can expect. And the narrative is changing in regards to the Week 3 games.
The Los Angeles Rams sat Jared Goff and a number of regulars for their Week 3 game last season, a move that was met with some criticism but worked out in the long haul. The Rams won their first eight regular season games and advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2001 season. “When you balance the risk/reward, we felt like as a coaching staff this was going to be the best thing for us,” Sean McVay reasoned.
Several of the other young coaches in the league might follow suit, but the players like to get a few reps and this is the week for that to happen. It’s also their best opportunity to make an impression on coaches after weeks of squaring off with teammates. More
By the time Week 4 of the 2019 NFL preseason gets underway, we should have a pretty good idea of where teams stand and how their roster is shaping up. No team is going to game plan or overly prepare for the final exhibition game and it’s a matter of filling out the final roster spots for most clubs. So don’t expect to see any of the NFL’s stars on the field for the final tune up before the real games begin.
There is no mandatory roster cut down prior to the final preseason game, meaning we’ll see a number of players on Aug. 29 who won’t be on that team once the regular season opens. There will be competition for the remaining few roster spots and those players will get a chance to make an impression. But for the most part we’re going to see the bottom part of the roster take a beating while the guys who will be playing in September get ready for the season opener.
Unlike the first three weeks of the preseason, every team will be in action on Thursday, Aug. 29 so no team has a competitive edge once the real games begin. It’s also the last chance for coaching staffs to evaluate players with the mandatory cut-down to 53 players taking place over the weekend. More
Teams with coaches who value the preseason will obviously have the upper hand in the exhibition slate. It also helps to have a quarterback competition or a young signal-caller, because more time on the field with talented passers means a better chance at winning.
It really helps to have an understanding of what specific coaches are looking for in their club, as it can give bettors the upper hand when it comes to wagering on the exhibition games. Several first-time head coaches will make their debuts in 2019, and when a new man is in position it usually means the team stunk the year before.
However, these new coaches feel like they have something to prove, and may try harder in the preseason, which could result in wins. While that won’t mean anything in the long run, it could pay off well for bettors who back the teams with new coaches.
Andy Reid has been doing this long enough to realize that exhibition games are meaningless. During his time with Philadelphia and Kansas City he’s been one of the winningest coaches, yet his preseason record is well below .500. Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer has traditionally been impressive in the preseason, and if he continues that trend the Vikings will be a popular pick once again.
The preseason is less about pure skill or the home field and more about playing time so keep a close eye on what teams plan to do during the exhibition slate in NFL gambling.
NFL Preseason Coaching Records
NFL Preseason Betting Schedule
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