NFL Betting Begins With Preseason
by Fairway JayIt’s been 26 weekends since fans and bettors last wagered on an NFL game when the Eagles and Patriots gave us a memorable Super Bowl with the most net yards (1,151) of any game in NFL history and the 2nd highest scoring Super Bowl ever with the Eagles 41-33 victory. And starting with the Hall of Fame Preseason Game between Chicago and Baltimore, football fans will enjoy the next 26 weekends of live games every weekend through the Super Bowl. NFL betting is back in all its glory.
Football is more than just a game, and the arrival of NFL preseason football signifies the start of another big season ahead. In the NFL preseason’s first full schedule of games, there are 14 games posted at the leading sportsbooks with betting lines and totals. Of those, 10 have a posted line from -2 to -3.5 points. The largest point spread is the Patriots (-4.5) against the Redskins. The uncertainty of the playing time for regulars, coaches motivation, and what to expect has the bookmaker on guard and often results in more games priced near a field goal (-3).
This season is a historical one as up to six states will join Nevada with legal sports and NFL betting offered during the football season following the Supreme Court decision to strike down the federal ban (PASPA) in May. More fans will wager on the football games legally, and many will look to become more informed on wagering options, strategies and how sports book operators set lines and pay.
The importance of shopping around for the best lines and having multiple ‘outs’ or sports books at your disposal to bet games is evident, even in preseason football. In the Hall of Fame game between Baltimore and Chicago Aug. 2, the Ravens opened as a -1.0 point favorite in places including in New Jersey where football bets were accepted for the first time. The line moved up to -2.5 favoring the Ravens, and the total moved from 32.5 to 35.0 at kickoff. The market changes and lines move at the sports books based on betting action from customers. Baltimore won the game 17-16 when the Bears scored a late fourth quarter touchdown and went for the 2-point conversion to win but failed.
That result showed how close both the line and total can land to the posted and adjusted lines from the bookmaker. For those NFL betting fans that decide to dabble in preseason football wagering, understand there are more unknowns and variables as regular season starters play much less during the preseason and both the players and rotations are not as consistent. Coaches evaluate more players to determine not only who will make the roster, but which players will earn starting jobs.
It’s your job to determine motivation, quarterback rotations and stay on top of the players and teams if you want to be more informed and place a few bets with a better chance to win. Pay attention to what the coaches are saying and follow the beat writers for each team and you will learn more as the regular season approaches. You can bet on it.