NFL Picks: Preseason Betting Trends

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 5:18 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2014 5:18 PM UTC

Believe it or not, football fans, we are less than a month away from the Hall of Fame Preseason game on August 3rd. That means we are less than a month away from one of the most profitable NFL Odds seasons of the year.

Some think that betting in the preseason is a waste of time, and in other sports that may be true. However that couldn’t be further from the truth for the NFL. NFL Preseason betting is almost all about the coaches. This preseason could be tough as there are seven new head coaches out of the 32 teams. However the good part about that is three of them have been head coaches very recently in the NFL. In fact Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt and Jim Caldwell have not only all been head coaches before, but they all three have coached (and lost) in a Super Bowl.

That being said, coaches have almost everything to do with preseason football. It depends on the coach, but following their preseason records from former seasons is a great way to make money picking winners and betting the NFL exhibition games.

Brand New, and New Old Coaches
In the cases of the Texans, Vikings, Browns and Redskins, it’s hard to tell where those four will want to go, however with new head coaches in the past, they normally have inherited bad teams and want to take a step forward the very first chance they get. Normally that’s in the preseason, but it doesn’t usually turn into ATS success. In the 2013 preseason there were seven coaches that started anew with their team, and they all finished a combined 14-14 SU. Bruce Arians, and Rob Chudzinski were the only two new head coaches that had winning preseason records, and Chud got fired after one season.

However we have dirt on those three former Super Bowl runner-ups! In fact one of the most telling is Jim Caldwell. For those who don’t remember, Caldwell coached the Colts for three seasons. He went to a Super Bowl his first season (after famously taking over for Tony Dungy) and lost, but his preseason record as a head coach should make flashing lights go off in your head. In three seasons as the head coach of the Colts with Peyton Manning as his QB in two of them, Caldwell has a 2-10 SU preseason record.

Smith doesn’t bring much to the table in regards to value one way or another. In his seasons with the Bears, Lovie went 19-18 SU in the Preseason. He might be one of the coaches that like to play the first and last game soft, while going harder at the two middle games. I’ll get into that more in a minute, however Whisenhunt looks like just as much of a goldmine when fading as Caldwell does. In his six seasons with the Cards in Arizona, Whisenhunt went 8-17 SU in the preseason.

Don’t get too carried away with following just a coaches’ record, however it can be used as a very effective tool along with other analysis. For instance who knows if Whisenhunt and Caldwell are going to use the same tactics with their new teams? They could both want to set a new example with their new teams in Tennessee and Detroit respectfully.

Week to Week
For the first week of the preseason, there are some coaches you need to keep an eye on. Depending how much Peyton Manning will play in Week 1 of the preseason, John Fox has an 8-4 SU record in Week 1 of the preseason. The same could be said of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Belichick is 11-4 SU in Week 1 of the preseason.

Now, Mike McCarthy in Green Bay is only 2-6 SU in Week 1 of the preseason, and combined in Weeks 1 and 4, he is 4-12 SU in his career. However like I mentioned with Lovie, McCarthy is 11-5 SU in Weeks 2 and 3 of the NFL Preseason.

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