August 8th NFL Preseason Picks of the Day

Jason Lake

Friday, August 8, 2014 2:06 PM GMT

We continue our trip through the Week 1 preseason NFL betting lines with a pair of exploitable Friday night matchups. Sean Payton’s pretty good at exhibition football. Joe Philbin? Off to a rough start.

Betting on football is a mind sport, and it’s a lot of fun – especially when you’re in the flow. You’ve got all your handicapping ducks in a row, everything from a sound football betting strategy to a pleasant and efficient workstation environment. After that, it’s like the NFL is working for you, serving up opportunities to exploit the NFL betting market. All you have to do is run downfield and catch the ball. And maybe get pancaked by a DB about 45 percent of the time.  

Don’t let it tilt you. If you made a sharp pick, that’s where your job satisfaction should come from. And if you’re using proper bankroll management, you’re making a whole lot of small bets, small enough that taking a loss on one game shouldn’t concern you much. Even if it was a “bad beat.”

Let’s riggidy-roll.

 

Miami vs. Atlanta (7:30 p.m. ET)
Straight to the point: Joe Philbin is 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS in the preseason since taking over the Miami Dolphins two years ago. That’s not the largest sample size in the world. Maybe those poor numbers have more to do with the direction the Fins have taken as an organization. Maybe it was just dumb luck. But these are somewhat non-competitive exhibition games we’re talking about here, so that awful ATS record should carry some weight as an indicator of possible future results.

The coach on the other side has a lot more exhibition games under his belt. Unfortunately for us, Mike Smith is 7-17 SU and 9-13-2 ATS in the preseason, all of those games as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. There’s still enough of a gap in performance between Philbin and Smith to make Miami worth fading, but it’s not the kind of five-star pick that it might have been had he Dolphins been playing, say, the New Orleans Saints.

NFL Pick: Take the Falcons –2.5 (–115) at William Hill

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New Orleans vs. St. Louis (8:00 p.m. ET, NFLN)
Oh, hey there. As long-time readers will already know, Saints head coach Sean Payton is 18-11 ATS in preseason “action” since taking over the job in 2006. Payton was a quarterback at Eastern Illinois University (Tony Romo’s alma mater) who put up ridiculous videogame numbers, setting school records for passing that stood until Jimmy Garoppolo went nuclear last year. But Payton’s pro career lasted just one vagabond season. He’s been working on the sidelines for 26 years now, and the Saints offense has been tearing up the NFL pretty much ever since Payton joined them – Bountygate notwithstanding.

Jeff Fisher was no slouch himself as a player. He was an All-America wide receiver in high school before switching to defensive back, where he performed admirably for the USC Trojans. Then Fisher played in the NFL for four years on special teams with the Chicago Bears. Fisher missed the entire 1985 Super Bowl season with an ankle injury that proved career-ending, but he spent that time wisely as an assistant to defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fisher’s preseason football history is a little less inspiring. He’s split things down the middle at 37-35 SU and 36-34-2 ATS, covering 17 seasons with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Tennessee Titans and two seasons with St. Louis. Fisher’s Rams went 4-4 SU and ATS during the 2012 and 2013 preseasons combined. M’eh. At least it doesn’t put a dent in the football betting value Payton brings to the table. But it’s not the kind of five-star pick that it might have been had the Saints been playing, say, the Miami Dolphins.

NFL Pick: Take the Saints +3 (–106) at Matchbook for one of your NFL picks today

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