Sports fans can finally cheer. The football season is here. (Well, preseason football anyway). While the games are pretty lame and feature many players who won’t make an official roster, they do offer something many fans have been waiting for – a chance to bet a few bucks on a football game.
Football remains king at the betting window. Of the $5 billion wagered in Nevada in 2018, more than one-third was put on college and pro football ($1.8 million). Can money be won on the preseason? Is there any possible way to figure out if the Broncos’ second-stringers can top the Falcons’ third-stringers? Some say the preseason offers a real chance to cash a few tickets (or get a nice feeling when that win pops up on your phone app).
Be in the know
Steve Golden with GoldenBoyPicks.com has been a sports handicapper for 12 years. He says betting preseason involved deeper research, but bets can be won. Younger teams that may be up and comers may have more willingness to play some starters or better players longer. An opportunity might be there for a knowledgeable gambler.
Veteran teams resting starters may be at a disadvantage in the preseason (at least for bettors), and drop games to inferior teams looking to build momentum with a win or nice performance.
“It’s mostly about information and knowing game plans,” Golden says. “Teams looking to have an upstart or breakout year with fresh faces are solid options. They have more motivation to perform and create a good culture of winning.”
A team that would be a heavy underdog in the regular season may have a shot at a preseason win or at least keep it closer than expected. Professional sports bettors take advantage of situations like this.
“A lot of people think the preseason is a complete crapshoot,” professional bettor Ron Boyles told ESPN. “I don’t think there’s too many things better, actually.”
Boyles advises watching for trends. For example, Mike Zimmer is 17-4 straight up in the preseason. John Harbaugh is 33-12, including a spotless 13-0 record over the past three preseasons.
It’s important to know what to expect in the game. Will the starting quarterback play a half or be pulled after one series? Any extra information can help.
“The best thing is finding out a team that is game-planning against a team that is not,” Boyles said. “It is just like free money, and I like to bet the first half.”
Preseason can also be a great place to really scour box scores for players who might break out. Owners in deep fantasy leagues, especially those that draft early, have a shot to load up players on their watch lists.
Breakout players come from every round in the draft and preseason offers an opportunity to really be in the know.
And who hasn’t had a player go down in the preseason? Maybe you had Ryan Tannehill in 2017. Or Cameron Meredith. Or Julian Edelman. All faced season-ending injuries before the season even started.
Quick-thinking owners check out those backups for a diamond in the rough.
The preseason may not be real football, but a winner is a winner – whether cashing a ticket or finding that breakout star to fill a roster need. And it at least serves as a nice replacement until the real games kick off.