WorstBets started off the NFL season last week going 2-0 in the Hall of Fame game. Now there is a full slate of preseason games, and since baseball is miserable right now, we might as well continue the hot hand in the preseason!
Before we start getting into the games, I think it is necessary to point out a few things that help me bet the NFL Preseason Games. I do not want to get cocky since I only have correctly bet the one and only preseason game so far, but think these factors are important to determine the outcome of these games.
THE QB ROOM
Starting QB's rarely play more than a few drives in the preseason, and veteran QB's might not play at all. Because of this, we have to look deep in the QB room and see which roster has the better playmakers.
I look for young QB's who excelled in college as a dual threat QB. The preseason is a shit show with offense lineman missing assignments and receivers not knowing the routes. This puts a lot of playmaking responsibility on the QB and they usually resort to scrambling where it becomes backyard football (aka college football).
I also like looking at an older QB who has been in the league for awhile who is fighting for that last roster spot. These guys have the experience and the motivation to want to win these games. Any other type of QB I usually try to avoid.
Winning in the Regular Season doesn't mean you will win in the preseason, and Vice Versa
This is pretty self explanatory. The Lions went 6-0 in the preseason in 2008, and then proceeded to be the first team ever to go 0-16. Don't bet on a preseason team just because they will be good in the regular season! These are not their starters, Hell, probably not even their second stringers. These are borderline roster spot players that will be playing a majority of the minutes!
Avoid the Public & the Traps!
It's the preseason. No one knows what's going on, and if anyone tells you they do, then they're full of shit (especially myself!). But, you know who always seems to have a slight idea of what's going to happen? VEGAS!!!! They always know! If a line seems funky (Lions +3 vs the Giants), its because it is! Try to avoid betting very public lines, and really contemplate sprinkling in those bets that make you want to puke! It will pay off I promise you!
Predictions and Bets:
Lines: HOU -3.5, o/u 36.5
Reasoning: What an exciting game to kickoff the weekend. All I needed to see was the QB rooms for both teams. Both teams don't have a solid starter which means there is a lot of competition this preseason to impress the coaches and the fans. Pats QB Room: Jones, Zappe, McSorley, Cunningham. Texans QB Room: Mills, Stroud, Keenum. All 7 of these guys are playmakers and this should be a high scoring affair.
Lines: SEA -4.5, o/u 35.5
Bet: SEA -4.5
Reasoning: Probably a little bit of a public bet. I know I said to stay away from those, but Seattle's roster is loaded with young talent willing to prove themselves. Minnesota does not impress me at all.
Lines: CLE -3.5, o/u 35.5
*Bet: WSH +3.5
Reasoning: Cleveland had a nice win last week and won me some money. I just like WSH better in this game because this may be the only high part of the Commanders season. Who the hell is going to quarterback this embarrassment of an organization? No idea, but we will find out shortly with how they perform in this game. Washington also has a ton of inexperienced, young talent that should be showcased in this game.
Lines: NYG -3, o/u 35.5
Reasoning: Detroit is not only my team, but is starting to turn into America's team. No idea why Detroit is the underdog in this and I want to hammer them with all I'm worth. However, I'm going to withhold because it's such an obvious trap. I will go with the under because Detroit's defense has been terrible and had to be a big focus this offseason. I also have no idea how the Giants are going to score with this roster.
Lines: PIT -2.5, o/u 39
Reasoning: Another interesting matchup. Tampa Bay has a bunch of question marks in the QB room, and there is talks that Trask may be the starter. However, Baker and Wolford are his backups and we know both these guys can spark some impressive drives. Pittsburgh is another team that doesn't have high hopes for the season, but they have a lot of young talent. This is also the highest total of the weekend, and I love talking the over in those games because pleaser will be hammering the under.
Lines: ATL -2.5, o/u 36
Bet: ATL -2.5
Reasoning: Atlanta's QB room is far inferior compared to Miami's, yet they are still the favorite. It's probably because Atlanta has a lot of RB depth and guys will play in this game that most likely will see a lot of snaps in the regular season. Too obvious to take the Dolphins with Skylar Thompson and big dick Mike White as backups. Its Taylor Heinicke Time!
Lines: GB -4.5, o/u 35
Bet: GB -4.5
Reasoning: This is also a pretty obvious bet, but GB can't get enough of game experience for this new look Packers team. Jordon Love has barely touched the field, they got a ton of 1st or 2nd year receivers, and a young defense. CIN already has their guys, this should be a GB cakewalk.
Lines: DEN -5.5, o/u 37
Reasoning: Denver has a lot of attention on them this year after having an extremely underperforming season last year, and now a new head coach. No one cares about Arizona. They might not even be a franchise after this season. I can't really see either team putting up points here. I wouldn't mind taking Arizona +5.5 either.
Lines: IND -5.5, o/u 39
*Bet: BUF +5.5
Reasoning: Alright, time to get sharp. The Colts have a bunch of new talent, and a super deep QB room with a bunch of second string talent. This should be a great showcase for the Colts and, on paper, they should blow the Bills out of the water. Bills have no one solid on offense that will get meaningful snaps in this game. I just can't see anyone taking Buffalo to even compete in this game, so I'll take them on the points!
Lines: CHI -3.5, o/u 37.5
Reasoning: We have the three-headed QB monster (or should I say three-headed puppy) in Tennessee with Willis, Tannehill, and Levis. Even with these competitive QB's, Tennessee is a descent underdog. Definitely seems odd for a Chicago team that is very thin at QB. Fishy line, so I'll take the under and probably sprinkle in the Titans points.
Lines: CAR -3.5, o/u 37
Reasoning: The Jets already played a preseason game last week, so the young guys are getting accustomed to the speed of the game. This means their defense should improve from last week, when their secondary was shockingly exposed. Panthers have a solid young squad led by rookie QB Bryce Young, but also have a lot of talent in Matt Corral. I think the public will see Carolina's talent and take the panthers and the over. I like the jets points and under.
Lines: JAX -4, o/u 37.5
Bet: DAL +4
Reasoning: Jags are going to be one of the most fun teams to watch this year, but a 4 point spread in this game is a little ridiculous. Jacksonville's starters are great, but they are not that deep. I like the Cowboys depth on offense and think they pull out this game outright.
Lines: BAL -6, o/u 35.5
*Bet: BAL -6
Reasoning: Really don't like this bet because the Ravens are going to be such a popular and public team this year. I am hoping the highest spread of the weekend pushes some of the public money off the Ravens. I do love Ravens ML and will add that to any parlay.
Lines: LAR -3, o/u 33.5
Reasoning: The battle of Los Angeles?? Not like it means anything in the preseason, but I just don't see a whole lot of scoring here. Stetson Bennett and Max Duggan will get a national championship rematch, and that's all the media will talk about. It will be overhyped and a stinker of a game.
Lines: NO -3, o/u 37.5
Bet: NO -3
Reasoning: Saints are another team with a new look this year. Derek Carr will take over at QB, and this team should be a contender in a terrible division. I like the new look Saints to win this one, and the Chiefs just don't see like a preseason team.
Lines: SF -4, o/u 36
Bet: LV +4
Reasoning: Couldn't really find a reason to justify why the 49ers were a 4-point favorite. I guess their QB room doesn't have a clear starter, so there will be competition in the preseason, but I just don't think they are going to play as much as people think. I'll take the disgusting Raiders with their shitshow of an organization.
* Denotes Favorite Bets