Other bettors believe that a careful NFL preseason betting strategy can offer some solid betting opportunities. The NFL head coaching carousel will start spinning following the end of the 2021 regular season. Rood opened Minnesota as a 2.5-point favorite, with other sports books at as low as pick’em, but has moved it all the way to minus-4 because of early action. All the big money — limits at MGM are $5,000 on sides during the preseason — is on the Vikings. By next Saturday, all 32 NFL teams will have taken the field in contests open for betting throughout the valley.
The Week 18 schedule is exclusively constituted by divisional games, with the league hoping to tee up as many meaningful contests as possible. Then, Sunday’s early window is highlighted by a Colts-Dolphins battle in South Florida that should serve as a good gauge of how both Carson Wentz and Tua Tagovailoa are faring in key seasons for each quarterback. Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts also meet up for the first time in the Chiefs-Eagles interconference duel. In a nod to how competitive a game is expected, the defending Super Bowl champion Bucs are just 3.5-point favorites in the first-look line.
There have been some big moves from the Cubs and How To Mix Parlay Bets the Dodgers. We speculate on how they’ll pan out and what the fans think of the moves. There’s also a quick update on upcoming UFC fights, and Jon has a few picks of his own. I share with Jon a small online controversy I was involved with this week.
And finally, teams with 10 or more regular season wins, then win a combined 52% of their games in the following preseason, compared to 48% for teams who had only 6 regular season wins or fewer since 2002. They want to avoid injuries and frequently the starters will only play one possession. Coaches are sending in players throughout the depth chart to assess them for cuts. These changes in personnel produce wild line movement that you would never see in a regular season game. The Raiders should also have the advantage under center in this one. Rams’ rookie Bryce Perkins performed well in his first taste of NFL action last week but Las Vegas is expected to have backup quarterback Marcus Mariota for Saturday’s contest.
While the betting public isn’t always interested in NFL preseason, the smart money is, so be careful about fading line moves. Bookmakers like FanDuel Sportsbook, which takes the most betting volume in New Jersey, say professional bettors often account for 50-70% of the money bet on a preseason game. Fans follow their favorite players and stars, who play very little during the preseason.
Entering Friday, the under was 15-3 in the first 18 preseason games. Mitchell Trubisky will start for Buffalo in his return to Chicago, which has one of the best preseason quarterback rotations in the league in Andy Dalton, Justin Fields and Nick Foles. Minnesota didn’t play any starters in a 33-6 loss to Denver, but Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is a proven winner in the preseason, going 17-9 ATS since 2005.
That mark is lower than the lowest total in Week 1 of the regular season (42.5). Another example is the Raiders, who have one of the best backup QBs in the league in Marcus Mariota to spell Derek Carr. Starters have traditionally only played a few drives before the third week of exhibition play, and we could see fewer starters than ever before in this truncated preseason. That leaves bettors relying largely on backups to cash their bets.
Also on the field was young Arizona State running back product, Eno Benjamin, who flashed explosiveness with five carries for 50 yards. Of greater interest was Purdue product Rondale Moore, who was one of the more electric skill players in all of college football during his 20-game tenure. Moore had two carries for 16 yards, and three catches for 23 yards in the Cardinals’ victory over the Cowboys in Week 1.