Coaches to Play On & Against to Win Your Preseason NFL Picks

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 7:21 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2015 7:21 PM UTC

With the first preseason game set for Aug. 9th, it is time to starting readying yourself for NFL picks for the start of the campaign. Not wagering on exhibition contests is leaving money on the table.

However, you need a good strategy against the sportsbooks betting odds. Being a NFL football handicapper and given out a lot of free plays at through articles and video presentations, one of the best ways to win is following the head coaches patterns.

A head coach that has been in the league at least three seasons establishes a way he prefers to prepare his team for the regular season. There is no right or wrong and he more than anyone knows and sets the expectations and will carefully go through August with a specific plan in mind.


The "Play On" Coaches
Over the last several seasons, if you are not following John Harbaugh of Baltimore against the NFL odds you are letting opportunity slip through your fingers. Since his second season with the Ravens, Harbaugh is a dreamy 18-6 ATS. The lone Harbaugh among NFL head coaches is one of those who feels winning begets winning and likes to create a platform which players get used to and expect to win, besides just preparing for a new season. This - top down- culture is implemented to make sure that everyone in Baltimore's preseason camp understands this attitude.

Pete Carroll is another highly competitive coach who wants his players always competing and prefers aggressive mistakes to be learned from as opposed to your typical calculated risks (ie - Super Bowl XLIX). Like Harbaugh, after a 1-3 ATS first season, Carroll's crew is 12-4 ATS and gives no quarter!

Sean Payton of New Orleans is another and he's never had a losing August and is 6-2 ATS the past two years.


The "Play Against" Coaches
If you like making NFL picks in August for the NFL like I do, you had to be thrilled Andy Reid decided not to take any time off after being let go in Philadelphia and took the Kansas City job. Reid is one of those coaches who for the most part places zero value on winning before the regular season. Reid was a malfunctioning ATM machine for years in handing out cash, until the end in Philly when he had to show ownership wins and was 7-1 ATS in 2011-12. Now in Kansas City, with a team that is competing for the playoffs, the rotund head man is a more normal 3-5 ATS in Chiefs colors and look for that trend to continue.

Oddly, sometimes it's not just the head coach, it is the franchise that does not make winning a priority and for whatever reason becomes part of how business is done.

Going back to the Tom Landry days in Dallas for those that remember (Google it if you want to learn more), he was all about preparation and making sure his team was sharp when it counted the most during the regular season. A parade of coaches have followed suit and Jason Garrett is the latest with a 2-7 ATS mark the past two years.

Tony Dungy had the same idealism when he arrived in Indianapolis and the Colts were a notorious -play against - squad and after he retired, his predecessor Jim Caldwell was 2-10 against the spread and Chuck Pagano is the new football bettor's best friend at 4-8 ATS.

Ken Whisenhunt is another, now at Tennessee, who is 10-19 ATS in two stops and is stubborn. Let's see how the Titans break because Whisenhunt's fanny is on the hot seat to show progress, even this early.


First Year Coaches Can Be Perplexing
Brand new taskmasters with no previous experience are fair wagers at places like Heritagesports, because they want to create a culture of winning right way even if they have a lousy team lacking talent.

Others like John Fox in Chicago might want to fire up the troops that have at least average talent and get them moving and do what Jim Caldwell did at Detroit last year when the Lions went 3-1 ATS.


Never Underestimate What Pressure Can Mean
When the fans and media have a head coach under the microscope, a quick, easy way to deflect attention is to win right way. Tom Coughlin was 5-0 in NFLX action in 2014, after posting an 11-17 ATS record the previous seven seasons. Coincidence, I think not.

This preseason keep a close watch on Gus Bradley (Jacksonville), Lovie Smith (Tampa Bay), Whisenhunt and even esteemed coaches like Jeff Fisher and Mike Tomlin, who are starting to get the stink eye treatment and may need to have their squads post W's and covers to keep the local faithful off their backs.

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