We’re going to take a very early look at Sunday’s NFL preseason opener between the Colts and Eagles. Read this betting preview article not only to get valuable insight on this upcoming game, but also included is some of our preseason wagering insights.
Colts travel to “The Link” in Philadelphia for Preseason Opener
The Eagles will host the Colts on Sunday in what will be the opening preseason game for both teams. The opening kickoff is slated for 1:00 PM ET at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. This will be the first time since 2009 these teams have met in a preseason game. They did square off during the 2014 regular seasonon a a “Monday Night Football” national telecast. Philadelphia staved off a late Indianapolis rally in that encounter and held on for a 30-27 win.
Thoughts on NFL Preseason Betting
Contrary to popular opinion, there is money to be made wagering on the preseason. As a matter of fact, since 2007, I’ve managed to piece together a stellar 48-29 (62%) record with my NFL preseason picks. All of those NFL preseason picks were documented by two independent and highly respected monitoring sites. Upon request, the good folks over at Sportsbook Review can provide those sources and information. In the next couple of paragraphs I’ll touch upon some of my handicapping concepts in regards to preseason wagering. Like any good chef, they may share some of their ingredients, but rarely does he or she disclose the entire recipe.
Information is always an important component when it comes to any type of sports betting. However, I consider it to be extremely vital at this time of year. Unfortunately at the time of this writing (8/11), there wasn’t a whole lot of accessible or pertinent info pertaining to this specific matchup, considering it’s still five days away. That type of data becomes more readily available 24 to 48 hours before game time in the majority of instances. Head coaches will more times than not disclose their plans pertaining to how long starters will play, and withholding of key players for rest or minor injuries. I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say either starting quarterback (Sam Bradford, Andrew Luck) will play any more than one or two series in this contest.
If you understand nothing at all, take one thing away from the prior two paragraphs. Handicapping the NFL preseason is an entirely different entity than regular season play. There’s a plethora of miscellaneous factors that need to be accounted for. This may seem like a contradictory statement considering my personal record that I’ve already alluded to. Wagering on preseason games should be approached with extreme caution, and be bet on in a very conservative manner. I always advise to risk no more than 25% of what your average wager would be during regular season action.
The Chip Kelly Factor
Under the guidance of head coach Chip Kelly, Philadelphia has gone 7-1 over the total in preseason games, and that includes surpassing the number in each of their previous six. Those last six Eagles preseason contests averaged a combined 56.2 points scored per game. If for anything else, those numbers lend credence to Kelly’s approach to preseason games. Kelly puts a substantial emphasis on fine tuning the helter-skelter pace he wants his offense to operate at.
Take It or Leave It Data
The Philadelphia Eagles franchise has gone 1-10 ATS and 3-8 straight up in preseason openers during the previous eleven years. On a positive note, Philadelphia is 7-1 ATS and 6-2 straight up at home since 2011 during preseason action. Philadelphia is also 3-0 over the total in the last three and 5-1 over during its previous six opening preseason games. NFL preseason history certainly won’t be on the Eagles' side on Sunday. Currently they’ve been installed as a 4.0 point favorite across the board. Since 1984, NFL favorites of 4.0 or more in preseason openers have gone 23-37 ATS (38.3%).
The Indianapolis Colts are 7-2 over the total since 2008 as a preseason away underdog of 3.5 or more. They’ve also gone a dismal 0-9 straight up and 3-6 ATS in those aforementioned contests. Indianapolis is 4-1 over the total during its last five preseason openers, and there was a combined average of 43.0 points scored per game.
The current posted total of 42.0 is considered to be high for a preseason game, and that’s especially so in opening contests. However, the sportsbooks have been spot on when making the totals this high in opening contests. Since 2000, any home team with a total of 40.0 or more in their preseason opening game has gone 4-1 over the total, and there was an average of 46.2 points scored per contest. At this early of a juncture, I have a very small lean toward a high scoring game for one of my NFL picks.
NFL Picks: Play on the Colts and Eagles 'Over' 42 (-110) at 5Dimes