The NFL Preseason has taught us a lot, some lessons may help you and your NFL handicapping this season. Here are three of the biggest things we have learned so far in the exhibition season.
We knew going in that a few offenses like the Patriots, Panthers and Cardinals would be really good. However, there are a couple of surprising offenses that could have some nice value if it holds into the regular season.
One of those teams is the Kansas City Chiefs, who lost their two best skill position players midseason in 2015 and went on to win 11 games in a row before losing in the divisional round of the playoffs. While Jamaal Charles’ status for Week 1 of the season is in doubt, the Chiefs have enough good running back depth to weather the storm until Charles is ready to take on his traditional three-down role.
What has been great about this preseason for the Chiefs is how good Alex Smith has looked. In Weeks 2 and 3 against the Rams and Bears, Smith was 29-42 with 318 yards and a touchdown, to go along with five carries for 36 yards.
Of course, we can’t talk about surprising offenses without talking about the Browns. Cleveland has an offense full of reclamation projects that all seem to be paying off almost immediately. The return of Josh Gordon has given a big boost to an offense that was already showing poise with Robert Griffin III under center. Other than the first preseason game, RG3 is 18-30 with 246 yards and three touchdowns. He has taken some big hits, but if he is healthy, he has also run three times for 36 yards against the Falcons, so the upside is there if their running game is also working hard with the young talent they have.
Is Running The Ball Making A Comeback?
Speaking of running backs, the league has become a passing league and while that will likely continue in the 2016 season, the running back is seemingly making a comeback. The Tennessee Titans might all of a sudden have the best running back tandem in the league with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Eddie Lacy looks like he is primed for a career year as the bell cow back for the Packers, while guys like Lamar Miller, Adrian Peterson, and DeVonta Freeman are all going to be relied on heavily as a big part of their respective offenses.
While this may not mean much when it comes to handicapping these games, it might help in your prop betting heading into the start of the season. Props can be very soft at the beginning of the year and the right ones have excellent value, especially player props.
Fade These Teams
There are teams out there that are going to be great ATS values once the season starts. There are also going to be teams that are really overvalued. The Cowboys and Dak Prescott are a team that could easily be overvalued, assuming the rookie quarterback continues his dominance.
The Chicago Bears offense has looked horrendous during the preseason and their secondary isn’t going to be anything special either. Along with some teams like the Ravens and Colts, who could also be considered overvalued, are teams you might want to avoid to at least start the season. If you want to take a look at where the sportsbooks have ranked these teams in the NFL Future Odds, check out this page.