NFL Betting Guide to Help You Handicap the 2022 Preseason

NFL Betting Guide to Help You Handicap the 2022 Preseason

The NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders kicks off this year’s 3-week NFL preseason. During the preseason, coaches prepare their teams for the regular season, which is why making money on NFL preseason games is a challenge. Winning a preseason game is never the top priority. Check out what you can do to ensure you don’t take a bath during the 2022 NFL Preseason.  Let’s get right to it so you can get to your betting against the NFL Preseason Lines.

How to Handicap the Upcoming National Football League Preseason | NFL Betting Analysis

2022 NFL Preseason

  • When: Thursday, Aug. 4 – Sunday, Aug. 28

Look to back NFL teams with new head coaches

Most new head coaches install offensive and defensive systems that are different from what the previous coaching staff had in place. Because players are unfamiliar with the systems, new head coaches tend to play their starters for longer periods of time.

Playing starters longer than the other team is the single most important handicapping factor. Starters win football games. It doesn’t matter if it’s the NFL preseason or the regular season.

Teams with new head coaches, especially early in preseason, should have most success covering spreads because they often play their starters for more series. 

Back franchises to cover with excellent second and third team quarterbacks

Teams with solid second or third string quarterbacks should have success against the spread. A couple of teams that come to mind for this NFL preseason are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle boasts a couple of terrific second string quarterbacks. Geno Smith and Drew Lock are terrific backups. One may have to start during the regular season. No doubt, whoever does will struggle.

But during the preseason one or both should find success. Seattle has an edge with Lock and Smith.

Pittsburgh boasts three potential terrific backup quarterbacks: Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, and rookie Kenny Pickett. Trubisky is likely to start during the season. 

But he may get more reps this preseason than a usual starter because Mike Tomlin will want to know if Trubisky really is his QB1. Maybe, it’s Rudolph.

In any case, Pittsburgh will start a great backup in every NFL preseason contest. 

Mistakes on offense should happen a lot so go with the NFL teams with the better defenses

Mistakes happen during the NFL preseason. No coach expect their team to play great on offense. Even starters make mistakes. 

But that’s okay. Coaches expect offenses to get the bugs out during the three preseason games. Defenses don’t make as many mistakes because defenders react to what the offense does. 

If you’re struggling between a couple of teams, back the one with the better defense. We can assume that the offense will make at least two mistakes during a preseason game. If the defense is good enough, it will capitalize. 

Study how coaches have called the NFL preseason in the past

No NFL coach will lay it all on the line to win a preseason game. But some coaches, for whatever reason, win preseason games even when they aren’t trying.

Case in point? Kansas City HC Andy Reid. Reid and the Chiefs won all three preseason games last year. They didn’t win by a huge margin: 19-16 at San Francisco, 17-10 at Arizona, and 28-25 versus Minnesota.

KC failed to cover the spread in the home game against the Vikings. So this isn’t an automatic rule. But if you look at how coaches called previous preseasons, you can get an idea of which teams have the best chances of covering.  

When in doubt, take the points

Oddsmakers don’t have much insight into preseason games, which is why most lines makers set a spread of -2 to -3 points on the home team. Preseason spread lines mean nothing because nobody can predict a preseason NFL game. 

A line could be at -2 on the home team, but then the home coach could decide to leave their starting quarterback in for an extra series. So if the starting quarterback produces touchdown drives, the home team is up by 12 to 14 points, blowing past the -2.

Other times, coaches decide to pull their defensive starters early, leading to totals that blow past the over under line. Because oddsmakers almost always set a line of -2 to -3 on the home team, it makes sense to take the points if you have no idea which team to back.


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