Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Preseason AFC Betting News and Notes
By Teddy Covers
Sportsmemo.com

The LVH Superbook posted their NFL Season Win totals last weekend.  Cantor sportsbooks (CG Technology) have had season win totals posted for months.  Many other books both here in Vegas and offshore have posted season win totals, Week 1 pointspreads and Game of the Year pointspreads.  Most books that haven’t posted NFL numbers yet plan to do so in the near future.  The NFL offseason, at least for sports bettors, is essentially over.  Numbers are up, and they’re moving!

My first step in assessing the upcoming NFL season begins with a thorough look back at last year.  Every team’s power rating is set, in large part, based on where they finished the previous campaign.  Obviously, adjustments are made for injuries, luck, offseason improvements or declines, coaching changes and the like, but those base power rating numbers factor in what happened in 2013 very heavily.

In this week’s Vegas Wiseguy Report, I’ll pass along a tidbit or two from each of the 16 AFC teams in regards to last year.  My focus is on things that are NOT likely to repeat the same way in 2014.  I’ll offer similar analysis for the 16 NFC teams in my column next week.

The Buffalo Bills have the NFL’s longest current postseason drought; dating back to the Music City Miracle game in January 2000. They’re coming off three consecutive 6-10 seasons.  One bright sign: the Bills only got outgained by 0.1 yards per play in 2013, and finished the season with a Top 10 yards per play defense.   Even with safety Jarius Byrd gone to New Orleans in free agency, this defense should be above average once again in 2014.

The Miami Dolphins 2013 campaign was all about offensive line woes, both before and after the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal made national headlines.  QB Ryan Tannehill took 58 sacks, by far the most in the NFL, killing any semblance of offensive efficiency for the squad.  This year, the Dolphins will have four new starters on that offensive line – not necessarily any better, but not likely to get any worse.

The New England Patriots have won ten or more games for eleven straight years, the single most consistent franchise in football during that span.  They’ve been in the top quartile of Football Outsiders special teams rankings seven times in the last eight years, a hidden factor in their success.  The Pats won 12 games last year despite outgaining their foes by only 0.1 yards per play and finishing with a modest +9 turnover margin.

In 2013, New York Jets QB Geno Smith ranked #37 in QB rating out of 37 starting quarterbacks with enough pass attempts to qualify.  The offseason addition of Michael Vick will at least provide some competition!  The Jets also had truly miserable luck with fumbles.  Their defense forced 13 fumbles but recovered only one, a stat primed to regress towards the mean in 2014.

Against one of the easiest schedules in the NFL last year, the Baltimore Ravens 3.1 yards per rush was the worst in the NFL by a wide margin and their 4.5 yards per play on offense was tied with Tampa Bay for last in the league.  Joe Flacco took 48 sacks, second worst in the NFL.

The Cincinnati Bengals outgained their opponents by +0.7 yards per play last year – only Denver, Seattle and Philly were better.  Opposing QB’s had a 74.2 QB rating against the Bengals defense; again elite level numbers. Cinci’s biggest statistical weakness was rushing the football, only 3.6 yards per carry (league average 4.15 ypc).

The Cleveland Browns finished 4-12 last year, yet their outgained their opponents by 0.2 yards per play for the full season.  That’s the type of stat that will get wiseguys attention heading into to 2014, even with a rookie likely to start at QB.  The Browns defense held foes to 4.8 yards per play – only the Super Bowl champion Seahawks were better.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been the very definition of mediocrity, going 8-8 while missing the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.   Here’s what I wrote about Pittsburgh while taking notes about their offseason moves: “Average offense, awful run game, good QB, average D, average team.”

The Houston Texans were arguably the single biggest disappointment in the NFL last year, declining from two-time AFC South champs to a 2-14 disaster with the worst record in the league.  Their -20 turnover margin was the worst in the NFL; a stat we can expect wiseguys to fixate upon as one that will NOT repeat, despite their uncertainty at quarterback heading into preseason.

The Indianapolis Colts won 11 games for the second consecutive year in 2013 despite facing a very tough schedule and suffering a massive barrage of injuries (only the New York Giants lost more starts to injury).  Indy’s key stat?  A +13 turnover margin (Luck’s luck), third best in the NFL behind KC and Seattle.

The Jacksonville Jaguars doubled their win total between 2012 and 2013, improving from 2-14 to 4-12.  They still have a long, long way to go, based on the numbers.  The Jags -1.0 yards per play was tied with Tampa Bay for the worst in the NFL; way below league averages both passing and defending the pass.

The Tennessee Titans 7-9 season last year off a 6-10 campaign in 2012 wasn’t enough to save head coach Mike Munchak’s job.  Tough luck for Munchak – the Titans faced the single toughest schedule in the AFC last year based on my numbers (not the standard formula, but I’ll save details for another article).

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is 38 years old and he has a career QB rating of 97.2.  Last year, on 659 pass attempts (the most attempts in the league), Manning had a QB rating of 115.1 and the Broncos tied with Philly with an NFL best 6.3 yards per play on offense.  Hard to repeat those kinds of numbers…..

Last year at this time, I called the Kansas City Chiefs the poster child for an NFL team primed to make dramatic improvements.  And the Chiefs certainly did that, going from an NFL worst 2-14 mark in 2012 to an 11-5 record and a Wild Card spot in 2013.  This year, KC might be the poster child of regression.  They finished -0.3 yards per play against the single weakest schedule in the NFL  while benefitting from a +18 turnover margin and staying remarkably healthy.  In 2014, the Chiefs schedule becomes one of the toughest….

The Oakland Raiders haven’t been to the playoffs since losing to Jon Gruden and the Bucs in the Super Bowl more than a decade ago.  Coming off back-to-back 4-12 campaigns, it’s not going to be easy for this sorry franchise to improve.  Oakland’s 105.1 QB rating allowed on defense was dead last in the NFL, even against one of the weaker opposing slates.  And this offseason, the Raiders lost their best offensive lineman and best defensive lineman to free agency.

The San Diego Chargers defense was the only reason they didn’t reach the playoffs last year, a unit that allowed a woeful 6.1 yards per play in 2013 – only the Chicago Bears were worse.  Philip Rivers had a QB rating of 105, but that doesn’t look like an anomaly.  He’s very quietly compiled a career QB rating of 96 with four 100+ QBR seasons in the last six years.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Preseason NFC Betting News and Notes
By Teddy Covers
Sportsmemo.com

Last week, I wrote that “the NFL offseason, at least for sports bettors, is essentially over.  Numbers are up, and they’re moving!”

“My first step in assessing the upcoming NFL season begins with a thorough look back at last year.  Every team’s power rating is set, in large part, based on where they finished the previous campaign.  Obviously, adjustments are made for injuries, luck, offseason improvements or declines, coaching changes and the like, but those base power rating numbers factor in what happened in 2013 very heavily.”

Last week, I focused on the 16 teams from the AFC.  In this week’s Vegas Wiseguy Report, I’ll pass along a tidbit or two from each of the 16 NFC teams in regards to last year.  My focus is on things that are NOT likely to repeat the same way in 2014.  And this week, I’ll do my absolute best to avoid egregious errors like my ‘San Diego didn’t make the 2013 playoffs’ mistake from last week.

The Dallas Cowboys have a grand total of one playoff win since 1996; a franchise that has sunk into long term mediocrity over the past decade.  Given their extensive salary cap woes, it’s not going to be easy for Dallas to end that streak in 2014.  Last year, the Cowboys defense allowed a woeful 6.1 yards per play, ranked #31 out of 32 teams.  And Dallas will be hard pressed to repeat their 67% fumble recovery rate from 2013.

The New York Giants were absolutely destroyed by injuries last year, suffering the highest advanced metric ‘adjusted games lost’ total of any team that Football Outsiders has tracked in the 21st century.  The Giants also finished -15 in turnovers against a very tough opposing schedule.  Two-time Super Bowl winning QB Eli Manning ranked #35 out of 37 QB’s with enough pass attempts to qualify – only Terrelle Pryor and Geno Smith were worse.

Things broke right for the Philadelphia Eagles last year, resulting in a division title for Chip Kelly in his first season on the job.   But Nick Foles NFL-best QB rating of 119.2 in his first year as the full time starter is a clear outlier number.  Philly also finished +12 in turnovers against a much weaker than average slate of opponents.

Washington Redskins starting QB Robert Griffin III saw his QB rating drop by more than 20 points between his rookie year and his second season; dropping from ‘elite’ to ‘below average’ following his offseason surgery.  Despite that decline, the Redskins outgained their foes by 0.8 yards per rush attempt last year, elite level rushing numbers.  Washington’s special teams can only improve after ranking among the worst five teams of the last 25 years according to the Football Outsiders advanced metrics.

The Chicago Bears defense was riddled with injuries last year, and it showed in the numbers.  The Bears 6.2 yards per play allowed on defense ranked dead last in the NFL, as did their 5.3 yards per rush attempt allowed.   And those woeful defensive numbers were compiled against a much easier than average slate of foes.  Bettors might want to note that career backup Josh McCown’s QB rating was 20 points higher than starter Jay Cutler’s rating in 2013.

The Detroit Lions didn’t finish with a winning record last year despite facing one of the easiest opposing schedules in the league.  They were -12 in turnovers; a key factor in all six of their ‘tight game’ losses by four points or less.  Franchise QB Matthew Stafford was very mediocre, finishing with 19 interceptions and a QB rating of 84.2.

The Green Bay Packers also benefitted from an easy schedule last year; the single easiest slate in the NFC according to my numbers.  Even against that bottom tier slate, the Packers only outgained their opponents by 0.1 yards per play. And Green Bay’s pass defense was a bottom tier unit, routinely torched by opposing QB’s.

The Minnesota Vikings were one of six teams with a QB rating more than 20 points lower than the QB rating they allowed on defense.  All six squads were sub .500 teams (the Jets, Texans, Jags, Raiders and Redskins were the other five).  Minnesota’s strong rushing game (+0.9 yards per rush compared to their opponents) wasn’t enough for them to overcome their QB woes and -12 turnover margin.

The Atlanta Falcons were every bit as bad as their 4-12 record would indicate last year!  Atlanta was outgained by 0.7 yards per play.  Their pass defense was torched, finishing with the second worst opposing QB rating allowed. Atlanta did finish -7 in turnovers and faced a tougher than average schedule; two factors that point towards at least modest improvement in 2014.

The Carolina Panthers had a truly elite level defense last year, holding foes to 4.9 yards per play (only Seattle, Cinci and Cleveland were better).   But Carolina finished with an ‘unlikely to repeat’ +11 turnover margin.  Their offense was below average in every department – there plenty of room for improvement from their rebuilt offensive line and receiving corps.

Nothing about the New Orleans Saints return to the playoffs last year was fraudulent in any way.  The Saints ranked among the top four teams in the NFL; outgaining their opponents by 0.7 yards per play.  They did it against a brutal slate, top 5 in the NFL in opposing strength of schedule.  And they did it without the benefits of a positive turnover differential, finishing with a net turnover margin of zero.

The scary thing about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 record last year is that they were awful despite a +10 turnover margin; a true rarity with a rookie starter at QB.  They were outgained by a full yard per play, a true bottom feeder statistically.  And the Bucs faced one of the five toughest opposing slates last year, giving their new coaching staff at least a glint of hope for 2014 improvement.

The 10-win Arizona Cardinals were arguably the biggest surprise in the NFC last year despite facing an above average strength of schedule and finishing with a -1 turnover margin.  Arizona ranked in the top quartile of the league, outgaining their foes by 0.4 yards per play. Behind a rebuilt offensive line, QB Carson Palmer could be even more effective this year with more time to find open receivers downfield.

The San Francisco 49ers finished with a +11 turnover margin in 2013 and their offense didn’t make many egregious errors – the Niners ‘points allowed on offense’ for the entire season consisted of a single safety on Colin Kaepernick.  But the offense was largely a pedestrian unit; only 5.4 yards per play, in large part because of a dearth of big gainers; an area that San Fran will need to improve if they expect to reach their fourth consecutive NFC Championship Game.

The Seattle Seahawks +20 turnover margin in 2013 was the best in the NFL; a stat they’ll be hard-pressed to repeat in 2014.  But the Seahawks +1.2 yards per play differential between what they gained on offense and what they allowed on defense was by far the best in the NFL (only Denver was close); a clear indicator that their Super Bowl title was no accident.

The St. Louis Rams gave up 32 points on offense last year due to safeties, pick sixes and fumble return TD’s; a bottom five team once again in that key statistical category.  The Rams 5.0 yards per play on offense tied for next–to-last in the NFC.  QB Sam Bradford had a solid QB rating of 91 (ranked #11 in the NFL) before getting hurt; facing a ‘make-or-break’ season in 2014.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Preseason Report - AFC
By Tony Stoffo
VegasInsider.com

AFC East

Buffalo Bills


Head Coach: Doug Marrone

Quarterback Rotation: E.J. Manuel, Jeff Tuel, Dennis Dixon, Thad Lewis

Doug Marrone enters his second season as Buffalo’s head coach. He’s been in the NFL for seven years, from 2006-08 he served as the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints after a four-year span as the offensive line coach of the New York Jets (2002-05). With this being only Doug Marrone’s second year as a Head Coach:  we don’t have much to go on for his preseason trends – however I’ve isolated something that may give us a solid play for the Bills this preseason. Since he's still a fairly new head coach, I can see Marrone wanting to impress the home crowd in his first home game this preseason and this is backed by a strong recent trend for the Bills in the preseason – as Buffalo is 4-0 against the spread in their first home preseason game of the year last four years.

New York Jets

Head Coach: Rex Ryan

Quarterback Rotation: Geno Smith, Michael Vick, Matt Simms, Tajh Boyd (Rookie Clemson)

The Jets have been consistent in their first and last preseason games over the last four years. Rex Ryan has never put any effort in the Jets opening preseason game, evidenced by their 0-4 against the spread. While in their last preseason game of the year Ryan and the Jets defensive coaches sure take the day off as the Jets have seen the OVER go 4-0 since 2010. So right off the bat here we have a perfect 8-0 trend on the Jets to keep an eye on this preseason.

Miami Dolphins

Head Coach: Joe Philbin

Quarterback Rotation: Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin, Brock Jensen – (Rookie - North Dakota State)

This will be Philbin’s third year as head coach of the Dolphins, after going over his first two preseason campaigns, it’s very apparent that he puts very little effort into winning these meaningless games. In his first nine preseason games the Dolphins are a woeful 1-8 against the spread with their only win coming against the hapless Jaguars. So let’s make the Dolphins a definite fade this preseason.

New England Patriots

Head Coach: Bill Belichick

Quarterback Rotation:  Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo (Rookie - Eastern Illinois)

Here is one of my top rated preseason plays, and it focuses on coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots.  Belichick has never liked to give anything away to his opponents – just look at one of his press conferences to see what I mean – well something shows up in the preseason every year from New England that we can take advantage of. Week 3 of the preseason is when all teams do their dress rehearsal for the season with all starters on both sides of the ball playing into the third quarter. Well again Belichick doesn’t want his regular season Week 1 opponent to get any films to look at so he doesn’t take this game seriously – and it show shows up in the point spread logs as the Patriots over the past six seasons are a dismal 0-6 against the spread in this situation. Just to give you an example of how strong this is in last year’s dress rehearsal against the Lions, the Patriots were crushed 40-9 as one-point underdogs. So mark down Aug. 22 on your calendar as the Patriots host Carolina in their dress rehearsal game this year.

AFC North

Cleveland Browns


Head Coach: Mike Pettine 

Quarterback Rotation: Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel (R Texas A&M), Tyler Thigpen, Connor Shaw (Rookie South Carolina)

With Pettine’s specialty being defense – let’s keep an eye out on the Browns UNDER this preseason – as he may concentrate on what he knows best trying to build the team. Another strong trend that has developed for Cleveland is its dress rehearsal games. The Browns are 0-3, losing all of these games both straight up and against the spread with the UNDER also going 3-0. One other note – when you see that Johnny Football will be getting the majority of the playing time in any of these Cleveland preseason games – I feel the Browns will be a solid bet – as his style will be perfect to easily move the ball up and down the field especially against the substitutes.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin

Quarterback Rotation: Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones, Brandon Kay (Rookie Cincinnati)

The new CBA rules sure took its effect on the Steelers in last year’s preseason – with Tomlin not being able to incorporate his usual intense training camp, and it showed on the field as the Steelers went 0-4 both straight up and against the spread. Something to watch for as the preseason starts this year. Plus the Steelers are on a 0-4 run in their preseason home games over the past two years all as a favorite, and 1-7 ATS overall.

Cincinnati Bengals

Head Coach: Marvin Lewis

Quarterback Rotation: Andy Dalton, Jason Campbell, AJ McCarron (Rookie Alabama), Matt Scott

With the Bengals being a consistent playoff team – Lewis doesn’t take these preseason games too seriously – however a strong trend has developed in the Bengals first home preseason game over the past four years – where the Bengals are a perfect 4-0 both straight up and against the spread – so it sure looks like Lewis wants to win this first home game for the fans. The Bengals first home game this year is on Aug. 14 versus the Jets. 

Baltimore Ravens

Head Coach: John Harbaugh   

Quarterback Rotation: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Keith Wenning (Rookie Ball State)
Here we have another team that has been effected with the new CBA rule changes – Harbaugh and the Ravens used to be a strong bet in the preseason as they mostly played low-scoring games making the UNDER the way to go. However with the less intense training camp routines now in place, the Ravens have seen the OVER go a money making 7-1 the past two preseasons.  Strong trend to watch for again this year!!!

AFC South

Houston Texans


Head Coach: Bill O’Brien 

Quarterback Rotation: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, Tom Savage (R Pittsburgh)

O’Brien’s offensive experience may help us make some money with the Texans this preseason – As I found that Houston as seen the OVER be the winning play in their first preseason game the last 4 years. Plus the Texans have seen the OVER go 6-2 the past two years. So let’s look for some high-scoring games form the Texans this preseason.

Indianapolis Colts

Head Coach:  Chuck Pagano

Quarterback Rotation: Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck, Chandler Harnish

With Pagano as head coach, the Colts sure like to play a very wide-open game in their first preseason game of the year – as over the past two years a combined average of 52 points have been scored.  And what a perfect opponent to open up with this year as the Jets, who have watched the OVER go 4-0 in their preseason games from a year ago. This year’s opening preseason game against the Jets will be played on Aug. 7.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Head Coach: Gus Bradley

Quarterback Rotation: Chad Henne, Blake Bortles (Rookie UCF), Ricky Stanzi, Stephen Morris (Rookie Miami)

The Jaguars have lost their dress rehearsal game in 2011 and 2012, and Gus Bradley sure continued this trend in his first year as head coach in 2013 as the Jaguars gave up 34 points against the Eagles in another double-digit loss. Let’s look for this strong trend to continue this season as Jacksonville pays a visit to Detroit on Aug. 22 for their dress rehearsal game. Plus, I have to add here that the Jaguars sure weren’t ready to play in their opening preseason game with Bradley as they were dominated at home against the Dolphins 27-3. Jacksonville’s first preseason game this year is on Aug. 8 against the Buccaneers (Tampa Bay is one of my strongest preseason plays as its a money making 6-2 ATS in its first preseason game) a perfect fit here against an underachieving Jaguars squad.

Tennessee Titans

Head Coach: Ken Whisenhunt

Quarterback Rotation: Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst, Tyler Wilson, Zach Mettenberger (Rookie LSU)

The Titans lost three of their four preseason games last season – this may be something to watch for again this year – as in his last year as the head coach of the Cardinals back in 2012, Whisenhunt went a perfect 0-4 against the spread. Plus Whisenhunt in his final two years as head coach in the preseason saw six of his last eight games go OVER the posted total.

AFC West

Denver Broncos


Head Coach: John Fox

Quarterback Rotation: Payton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Zac Dysert, Bryn Renner (Rookie North Carolina)

Strong trend has developed since John Fox has taken over as the head coach of the Broncos, as Denver has come out strong in their opening preseason game going a perfect 3-0 with all three wins as an underdog. This preseason the Broncos open up against the Super Bowl champions Seahawks – who may have the Super Bowl hangover coming into this preseason. Plus the opposite is sure true in the Broncos dress rehearsal game under Fox where Denver has failed to cover the spread in all three games. This year’s dress rehearsal game is on Aug. 23 against Houston.

Kansas City Chiefs

Head Coach: Andy Reid

Quarterback Rotation: Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray (Rookie Georgia)

Kansas City has been one of the best fade teams in the preseason going an incredible 6-23 against the spread over the past seven years. I definitely look for more of the same this year as I look for Andy Reid to continue the tradition in Kansas City of not caring about these preseason games. Take a close look at the Chiefs first preseason game this year as Reid is 1-8 against the spread in his last nine opening preseason games in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Kansas City opens up this year at home against Cincinnati on Aug. 7.

Oakland Raiders

Head Coach: Dennis Allen

Quarterback Rotation: Matt Schaub, Derek Carr (Rookie Fresno State), Matt McGloin, Trent Edwards

Allen has continued the Raiders losing ways in the preseason already losing six of the Raiders eight preseason games with him calling the shots. Plus no matter whom the head coach is of Oakland they always seem to finish the preseason on a down note – as in the past seven years they are a perfect 0-7 against the spread in their last preseason game of the year. This year’s finale for the Raiders is on Aug. 28 against the Seahawks at home.

San Diego Chargers

Head Coach:  Mike McCoy

Quarterback Rotation: Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Brad Sorensen

Now in his second season in San Diego, you can’t forget that Mike McCoy came from Denver where he was the offensive coordinator for the high powered Broncos offense. I’m curious to see what numbers the oddsmakers put up on the San Diego totals this preseason. As last preseason the Chargers under McCoy saw the OVER go 3-1. With McCoy’s offensive background watch for San Diego to continue their high scoring ways this preseason.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Preseason Report - NFC
By Tony Stoffo
VegasInsider.com

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys


Head Coach: Jason Garrett

Quarterback Rotation: Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie, Dustin Vaughan (Rookie West Texas A&M)

Garrett and the Cowboys have not fared well in the preseason going 4-8 against the spread in their last 12 regular preseason games. Plus a total trend to watch for this preseason is that the Cowboys seem to just want to go thru the motions in their final game as the UNDER has gone 3-1 the last four years.

New York Giants

Head Coach: Tom Coughlin 

Quarterback Rotation: Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib, Curtis Painter

A solid money-making trend has shown up for the Giants as of late as Tom Coughlin in the past four years has seemed to put no effort in the Giants dress rehearsal game as the Giants are 0-4 both straight up and against the spread. This year’s dress rehearsal game is on Aug. 22 against the Jets.

Philadelphia Eagles

Head Coach: Chip Kelly 

Quarterback Rotation: Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, G. J. Kinne

There is not too much to look at for any preseason trends for head coach Chip Kelly. In his first year the Eagles went 2-2 both straight up and against the spread. However, the OVER went 3-1 in those games, which is something to keep an eye on as the Eagles preseason begins.  Also, one thing that carried over from the Reid era is that the Eagles again lost their first preseason game which makes them 1-8 against the spread in the last nine opening preseason games. Philadelphia’s preseason opener this year is on Aug. 8 at Chicago.

Washington Redskins

Head Coach: Jay Gruden 

Quarterback Rotation: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

Some solid trends going for the Redskins that Jay Gruden may went to build on. Washington went a perfect 4-0 both straight up and against the spread in last year’s preseason games, and they also have been money in their dress rehearsal games the last four years going 4-0 against the spread. This year’s dress rehearsal game for the Redskins is on Aug. 23 at Baltimore.

NFC North

Chicago Bears


Head Coach: Marc Trestman

Quarterback Rotation: Jay Cutler, Jimmy Clausen, Jordan Palmer, David Fales (Rookie San Jose State)

In Trestman’s first year as head coach of the Bears – his prior offensive coordinator experience paid off as three of the four Bears games saw the OVER connect. In their dress rehearsal game against the Raiders the Bears scored a whopping 34 points. So let’s look for more wide-open play from Chicago as we head into this year’s preseason.

Detroit Lions

Head Coach: Jim Caldwell

Quarterback Rotation: Matthew Stafford, Kellen Moore, Dan Orlovsky, James Franklin (Rookie Missouri)

In the past two preseasons the Lions saw the OVER go a money making 6-2 – something I feel will continue with Caldwell now the Lions new head coach. Let’s not forget Caldwell tutored a pair of quality quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco – So offense is his forte. Just keep an eye on how the Lions come out offensively in their early preseason games.

Green Bay Packers

Head Coach: Mike McCarthy

Quarterback Rotation: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien, Chase Rettig (Rookie Boston College)

Mike McCarthy and the Packers used to have a great preseason trend where the OVER hit at a super high rate – however the oddsmakers have finally caught up with this trend and now overvalue the OVER posted in the Green Bay games – resulting in the UNDER going 6-2 in the past two preseasons. So I would recommend that you take advantage of these high posted totals and lean towards the UNDER going forward. Plus another trend to watch this preseason is that the Packers have lost their opening preseason game the past four years. This year’s opener is on Aug. 9 at Tennessee.

Minnesota Vikings

Head Coach:  Mike Zimmer

Quarterback Rotation: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater (Rookie Louisville)

With Mike Zimmer taking over as coach of the Vikings, look for defense to be the forefront this preseason as Zimmer has been a defensive coordinator the last 14 years in the NFL. In his last two seasons as coordinator of the Bengals the UNDER was the easy winner in the Bengals dress rehearsal games. Look for this to continue this year in the Vikings dress rehearsal game on Aug. 23 at Kansas City.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons


Head Coach: Mike Smith

Quarterback Rotation:  Matt Ryan, T.J. Yates, Sean Renfree, Jeff Mathews (Rookie Cornell)

One of my favorite preseason plays goes here on the Falcons as in their 'dress rehearsal' game. In the last nine years, the Falcons have gone 8-1 outscoring their opposition 203-88 not counting the 2011 abnormal preseason. This year’s 'dress rehearsal' game for the Falcons will be on Aug. 23 when they play Tennessee at home. After last year’s down season I really look for the Falcons to be very motivated coming into this dress rehearsal game and use it as a starting point to get the season on a winning note. However if we take a look at the whole body of work for the Falcons over the past two preseasons we will see that they have lost seven of their eight preseason games played – with their only win coming in the above mentioned dress rehearsal game. And one last thing about Atlanta here is that in their first preseason game the past three years they have been dominated losing all while allowing 34, 31, and 28 points, which also made all three of these games fly OVER the posted total.

Carolina Panthers

Head Coach: Ron Rivera

Quarterback Rotation:  Cam Newton (Injury- Ankle), Derek Anderson, Matt Blanchard, Joe Webb

A couple of trends have started to develop with Rivera settling in as head coach in the preseason for the Panthers. First off Rivera seems to want to look good in his dress rehearsal game going 2-0 the past two years. While in the fourth and final game, Rivera seems to just want to get this game over with as the UNDER has been the winning play the past two years. Both of these preseason finales have been against the Steelers which they finish up again on Aug. 28.

New Orleans Saints

Head Coach: Sean Payton

Quarterback Rotation:  Drew Brees, Ryan Griffin, Luke McCown, Logan Kilgore (Rookie Middle Tennessee State)

A strong preseason trend we can follow with the Saints as their high octane offense sure gears up as the preseason progresses. In the past four seasons the Saints have seen the OVER go a perfect 8-0 in their last two preseason games (Week 3 & 4) of the year with 51, 57, 60, 41, 51, 61, 54, and 45 points scored. This year the Saints finish up with Indianapolis on Aug. 23 and Baltimore on Aug. 28.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Head Coach: Lovie Smith

Quarterback Rotation:  Mike Glennon, Mike Kafka, Josh McCown, Alex Tanney

In his last two years in Chicago Lovie Smith had winning preseasons going 6-2 against the spread. I can see him wanting to get a winning attitude right off the bat in Tampa Bay – so let’s look for the Buccaneers to be a team to bet this preseason. Plus the Buccaneers used to be one of my favorite trend plays in the preseason as they were 6-2 against the spread in their first preseason game – this might be something to look into as Smith will want to win his first game as the Buccaneers head coach, especially in front of the home crowd on Aug. 8th against the Eagles. 

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals


Head Coach: Bruce Arians

Quarterback Rotation:  Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley, Logan Thomas (Rookie Virginia Tech)

Only one year of stats for Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians for us to look at, however Arizona went 3-1 both straight up and against the spread in its four preseasons games from a year ago, with the UNDER also going 3-1. Something to keep an eye out for as this year’s preseason begins.

San Francisco 49ers

Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh

Quarterback Rotation: Colin Kaepernick, Josh Johnson, Blaine Gabbert, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Kory Faulkner (Rookie Southern Illinois)

Whether its preseason or regular season games, Jim Harbaugh wants to win every time his team takes the field. This sure has been a solid money maker the last two preseasons as the 49ers have gone 6-2 both straight up and against the spread. It is also important to post here that in this same timeframe San Francisco has seen the UNDER be the right play on both of their first two preseason games the past two years – while just the opposite is true as in their dress rehearsal game and final preseason game the OVER was the winning play.  Making for a solid 8-0 run for us to look forward to this year.

Seattle Seahawks

Head Coach:  Pete Carroll

Quarterback Rotation:  Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, Terrelle Pryor, B. J. Daniels

Usually we like to fade the Super Bowl champions in the proceeding preseason – as how can a team be up for these early meaningless games. However if there is one exception it’s sure the Seahawks under Carroll – as Seattle is a money making 11-1 both straight up and against the spread the past three years. Top rated preseason trend in effect here especially when you throw in this year’s quarterback rotation.

St. Louis Rams

Head Coach: Jeff Fisher

Quarterback Rotation:  Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Garrett Gilbert (Rookie SMU), Austin Davis

In his return to coaching Jeff Fisher has already shown us a trend that can help make us some money this preseason – as the OVER has gone 6-2 in the eight preseason games the Rams have played with Fisher calling the shots. The one other trend I found was that Fisher sure tries in the Rams dress rehearsal game where St. Louis is a perfect 2-0 ATS with both of these games being played on the road – this year’s dress rehearsal game is on the road again as the Rams visit Cleveland on Aug. 23.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Preseason Report - Coaches
By Tony Stoffo
VegasInsider.com

Betting on the NFL preseason is one of the most profitable endeavors you can partake in this football season. The secret to making money in the preseason is the ability to know which coaches are trying to win and which coaches are just going through the motions. That factor in itself will give you a huge edge over the sportsbooks year after year.

Also, I can't say it enough but you also need to be familiar with the history of each team in August. Plus, keeping an eye out on each team's preseason quarterback rotations will also make you turn a nice profit in the preseason. Without further adieu, let's start handicapping!

As mentioned above coaching is key and you should be aware of this year's head coaching changes:

This season we have seven coaching changes coming into the 2014 season.

Here is this year’s list:

Cleveland Browns - Mike Pettine - Pettine joins the Browns after spending 2013 as the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and the 2009-12 seasons as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

Detroit Lions - Jim Caldwell - He was a head coach or coordinator in three Super Bowls with Indianapolis (XLI and XLIV) and Baltimore (XLVII) and won two Super Bowl titles (Indianapolis and Baltimore).

Houston Texans - Bill O’Brien - comes in as the new head coach for the Texans – O’Brien was a member of the Patriots' coaching staff from 2007 where he rose from offensive assistant his first season to wide receivers coach in 2008 and then quarterbacks coach from 2009-10 prior to his promotion to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2011. He spent the last two year as the Penn State head coach.

Minnesota Vikings – Mike Zimmer takes over as the Vikings new head coach - A veteran defensive coordinator, Zimmer enters his 21st season on an NFL sideline, the past 14 working as defensive coordinator for Cincinnati (2008-13), Atlanta (2007) and Dallas (2000-06).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Lovie Smith is the new Tampa Bay head coach –Smith joins the Buccaneers after having spent nine seasons as the Chicago Bears head coach.

Tennessee Titans - Ken Whisenhunt is the new Tennessee head coach - Whisenhunt brings 17 seasons of NFL coaching experience to the Titans, including six years (2007-12) as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

Washington Redskins - Jay Gruden is the new Washington head coach – Gruden has been the Bengals offensive coordinator the past three seasons.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

2014 Preseason Quarterback Rotations
Atssportsline.com

One of the major factors in betting preseason is knowledge about quarterback rotations. Most teams will play their starting quarterbacks one-to-two series in the first game and about a quarter or 2-3 possessions (save for Game 3) in the rest of preseason.

Here are the quarterback rotations for each team as we head towards the first early week, which begins on Sunday, August 3. Remember that there are quarterback battles going on, but mostly for backup roles. We’ll update the list as the preseason goes on.

Arizona: Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley,  Logan Thomas (R)

Atlanta: Matt Ryan, T.J. Yates, Sean Renfree

Baltimore: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Keith Wenning (R)

Buffalo: E.J. Manuel, Thad Lewis, Jeff Tuel, Dennis Dixon

Carolina: Cam Newton, Derek Anderson, Matt Blanchard, Joe Webb

Chicago: Jay Cutler, Jimmy Clausen, Jordan Palmer, David Fales (R)

Cincinnati: Andy Dalton, John Skelton, Josh Johnson, Zac Robinson

Cleveland: Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel (R), Tyler Thigpen, Connor Shaw (R)

Dallas: Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie, Dustin Vaughan (R)
   
Denver: Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Zac Dysert, Bryn Renner (R)

Detroit: Matthew Stafford, Kellen Moore, Dan Orlovsky, James Franklin (R)

Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien, Chase Rettig (R)

Houston: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, Tom Savage (R)

Indianapolis: Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck, Chandler Harnish

Jacksonville: Chad Henne, Blake Bortles (R), Ricky Stanzi, Stephen Morris (R)

Kansas City: Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray

Miami:  Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin, Brock Jensen (R)

Minnesota:  Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater (R), Christian Ponder,

New England: Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo (R)

New Orleans: Drew Brees, Luke McCown, Ryan Griffin, Logan Kilgore (R)

NY Giants: Eli Manning, Curtis Painter, Ryan Nassib

NY Jets: Geno Smith, Michael Vick, Matt Simms

Oakland: Matt Schaub, Derek Carr (R), Matt McGloin, Trent Edwards

Philadelphia: Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley

Pittsburgh: Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

San Diego: Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Brad Sorensen

San Francisco: Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, McLeod Bethel-Thompson

Seattle:  Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, Terrelle Pryor

St Louis: Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Austin Davis, Garrett Gilbert (R)

Tampa Bay: Josh McCown, Mike Glennon, Mike Kafka, Alex Tanney

Tennessee: Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst, Zach Mettenberger (R), Tyler Wilson

Washington: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

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