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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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Best ways to safely handicap the NFL preseason
By Jason Logan
Covers.com

So you want to bet NFL preseason football, do you?

Steering bettors away from the NFL’s unpredictable exhibition schedule is like trying to convince high school kids to wait until marriage, if you know what we mean. You aren’t going to convince them otherwise so you might as well preach about safe sex - or in this case safe betting habits.

We break down the best ways to handicap the NFL preseason slate and hope you don’t lose your shirt – and pants – by the time Week 1 rolls around:

Read everything

The great thing about the NFL preseason is that books and bettors are on the same level. Coaches don’t reveal their plans until usually the day before a game, and by that time odds have been up for a while. If you catch an online presser or read a quote from a coach spilling the beans on his starters’ playing time, you can quickly get down before the lines adjust.

Research is everything for preseason capping. Find out how many snaps the first teamers will get, what the focal point of the offseason is – offense or defense – and wager accordingly. Also, keep an eye on camp injuries or how veteran players are treating the tune-up games. Some star players go through the motions in August and ones limited by injuries won't risk going all out before the real games start.

A team that is trying to establish some momentum on the ground will likely run the ball a lot – therefore keeping the clock ticking and the final score Under the total. If a team is trying to fill roster spots in the secondary and is plugging in rookies and inexperienced player in its pass defense, than perhaps look at the other team to air it out and exploit those weaknesses.

QB depth

Much the way starting pitchers make up 90 percent of baseball handicapping, quarterbacks hold a similar value when betting on the preseason. It’s the most important position on the field and can single handedly make or break your bets.

Finding a team with depth at quarterback is the key for success during the exhibition schedule. The No. 1 passer will likely only take a handful of snaps in the first two games of the preseason, turning the offense over to the backups.

Look for teams with an experienced backup under center. Many clubs have veterans and former starters on the roster, guys who won’t be freaked out by the NFL’s big stage like rookie QBs and wet-behind-the-ears free agents. These vets can keep the chains moving and often excel against an opponent’s second and third-tier defense.

New coaches and schemes

The preseason is summer school for many NFL teams transitioning their playbook, whether that be with a new head coach, coordinator or just an overall flip in the way they do things.

New head coaches aren’t necessarily a red flag. They can often feel a little pressured to win in the preseason in order to impress the front office and fan base, which can give some teams added betting value. New coordinators, on the other hand, are working in different plays and schemes, which usually come with a learning curve.

Read up on how teams are adjusting to new systems and offenses, especially if there is a dramatic shift in gears, like speeding up with no-huddle attacks or going from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4. When these teams take on established coaches, who have implemented their systems for a while, there can be value going against those new faces on the sideline.

Preseason lines

Come the regular season, the infamous 3-point spread is everywhere. And while a field-goal line is a key number in football betting, it loses some of its stature in the preseason.

Teams are more likely to go for a two-point conversion or try their luck on fourth-and-short in the preseason than play it safe. Not only do the games not matter, but a fourth down gamble or two-point attempt is an extra set for the offense as it works toward the regular season.

Depending on how those rolls of the dice play out, the final score can either be closer than three points or well over it. It’s rare to see a preseason spread of more than three points with most bouncing between 1-2.5 points.

Week to week

For those looking to bet the closest facsimile of Week 1 action during the preseason, you may want to pass on the first two weeks of exhibitions and save your marbles for Week 3. That’s when starting players tend to log the most time, working the majority of the first half and sometimes into the third quarter.

Week 1 and 2 often has first teams playing limited snaps – depending on the team’s situation – and Week 4 is pretty much a craps shoot. Coaches are making their final cuts, players are fighting to stay on the roster, and the coordinators are tightening the final nuts and bolts of their playbooks.

For those bettors who like a challenge, Week 4 of the preseason could be the trickiest week of the entire NFL schedule – preseason, regular season and playoffs – to wager on.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Top Five Betting Tips for the 2014 NFL Preseason
Atssportsline.com

Is there anything more exciting than watching preseason football? Some feel that watching paint dry is more exciting but for gamblers, this is considered the appetizer before the main course. NFL preseason games are usually dull for sports fans who are waiting for the regular season to begin. But to sports bettors this can be a great option to turn a profit in August instead of waiting for the opening kickoffs in the NFL and college.

So how do you win in the preseason? How much different is handicapping preseason compared to the regular season? What types of strategies do you need to turn a profit? Here's our article on money management in the preseason.

Coaches

In college football, the coaches have all the power. In the NFL, the players have at least some power but when it comes to betting in preseason, it's all about the coaches. NFL coaches tend to stay pretty consistent with their philosophies in preseason. In other words, some coaches play to win every game, while others can care less. Those in the middle tend to play very close to the vest in some games and let loose in Game 3, which is usually considered the "dress rehearsal."  Most teams will stick with the basics for the first two games. Teams that are coming off disappointing season or coaches who are considered on the "hot seat" may be more inclined to play to win than coaches like Bill Belichick, who can stay as long as they want. Investigate the preseason records of coaches (straight up and against the spread) before you make your selections.

Quarterbacks

Some coaches are so worried about losing their quarterbacks in preseason, they'll hold them out in the first game or play them just one series. That's why it's so important to check out the quarterback rotations. Try and find experienced backup quarterbacks going up against third and fourth-string defenses. Evaluating the second and third-string quarterbacks is key to winning in preseason. Some teams might have a great first-string quarterback who never gets hurt, but if the backups are terrible, they may not fare as well in preseason.

Motivated Players

Players who are competing for positions tend to play harder in preseason than those who are already entrenched at positions. There are rarely quarterback battles unless there are rookie quarterbacks trying to dethrone the de-facto starters. Usually an organization will want (or publicly say) that the rookie quarterback needs to sit and learn but pressure from the owner and public usually has the young quarterback playing too soon. There is also competition for the backup quarterback spot, which can be interesting when the fans have left the games in the third quarter and the third-string quarterback is pushing to make an impression.

Betting Trends

One of the best trends in preseason football is finding a team that is 0-2 straight up going into Week 3. They'll have their starters play three quarters and that's where they'd really like to win the football game, especially if they are at home. Of course, there are teams that consistently win in preseason or in a certain week. For example, Seattle is 25-5 against the spread in Week 3 and Minnesota is 22-7 ATS in Week 4. That's with several different coaches so it's hard to understand why that's been the case, but don't go against those types of trends. Players and coaches change but certain franchises may win at home in preseason due to a home field advantage or they just like to reward the fans for whatever reason.

Depth is key

Understanding and having knowledge about the depth is crucial to winning in preseason. Backups in preseason end up playing more than the starters because that’s what the season is all about. To evaluate the backups, rookie free agents and draft picks, who are vying to either make the roster or compete for playing time. The key is finding the teams who have the best depth and going with them in Weeks 1, 2 and 4. Week 3 is usually the week where teams play their starters at least three quarters of the game. Depth won’t become as much of a factor during the "dress rehearsal"

Another major key is looking for starters who will be playing against backups. If you can find a matchup where a starting quarterback is facing a backup quarterback who has subpar ability, than you need to take advantage assuming the line is not out of control. Teams with veteran starters who are not fighting for their jobs will tend to play very little in preseason. Why should their coaches risk injury? A season can be ruined if a starting quarterback gets injured during preseason.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Look Before You Leap
By Victor King
Playbook.com

Welcome back Totals players! Our favorite time of the year is once again upon us. In case you weren't aware, we like talking ‘TOTALS’. And there many Over / Under situations in which we can indeed turn a profit on… even in the NFL exhibition season. The games might not count for the players and coaches (in terms of wins and losses)… but they certainly DO for the bettors! We start with the best Home and Road OVER + UNDER teams in the last few seasons. After that, we take a look at individual team OU tendencies broken down by Game Number. We then conclude with some of the more noticeable OU patterns in regards to pre-season series histories. I think we got it all ‘covered’…

1) BEST Home and Road OVER and UNDER teams

Best Home ‘OVER’ teams


Over the last four seasons, the best OVER team at home has been the DENVER BRONCOS. They’ve gone 7-1 O/U (88% Overs) at Sports Authority Field. Average OU line: 38.5. Average total points: 46.8. The average Bronco home game has gone OVER by +8.3 points.

Right behind them at the #2 spot is the DETROIT LIONS. In the same 4-year time frame, the Lions have gone 6-1-1 O/U (86% Overs)… and the average total points in those games has been a very high (for pre-season) 49.0. Last year, both Lion home games went OVER (43 and 49 points respectively).

Taking our database query a little farther back in the past, we find the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS. Both teams have gone 11-4 O/U at home (73% Overs) since the 2006 season. Jacksonville home games have averaged 42.1 PPG in this time frame. New England ‘homies’ have averaged 43.9 ppg in that same 8-year stretch. And both of their home games went OVER last season (47.0 ppg).

Honorable mention: HOUSTON: 5-1-1 O/U last 4 years (42.0)… BALTIMORE: 5-1 O/U last 3 years (54.0!)… CLEVELAND: 4-1-1 O/U last 3 years (43.8).

Best Home ‘UNDER’ teams

The first team is one in which you NEVER want to go ‘Over the Total’ when they are playing at home. That would be the MIAMI DOLPHINS. In the last six seasons, Miami has gone UNDER the Total 83% of the time in their pre-season home games (2-10 O/U). Average combined points: just 27.9 ppg. The average Dolphin home game has gone UNDER by more than a touchdown (-7.8 ppg). I’m sure that the heat and humidity in the month of August down here in South Florida has a lot to do with those consistent low-scoring results.

Next up is the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS. In their home games, Kansas City has gone 6-17-3 O/U (74% Unders) over the last 13 seasons. When the OU line in these Chief home games has been greater than (>) 34 points, the results improve to 3-15-3 O/U, with an average of 30.8 combined PPG. But exercise caution. The worm might be turning as three of their last four home games went OVER the Total in the last two seasons.

Our third solid UNDER team at home is the PITTSBURGH STEELERS. Their home games have gone 8-19-1 O/U (70% Unders) since the 2000 season. When favored at home by more than a field goal (-3.5 or higher), these Steeler games have gone 2-11 O/U… with average of just 28.2 combined PPG.

Honorable mention: WASHINGTON: 7-17 O/U in the last 12 seasons (1-6 O/U when the OU line is > 38 points).

Best Road ‘OVER’ teams

In the last five seasons, the best road ‘OVER’ team has been the OAKLAND RAIDERS. Their road games have averaged 44.8 total ppg in the same time span, and the games have gone 9-1 O/U (90% Overs). That’s a ‘total reversal’ (pun intended) from 2000-2007, when Raider road games went 3-13 O/U.

Also on a more recent note, we can’t overlook the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. They’ve gone a perfect 5-0-1 O/U in the last three seasons when playing on the pre-season road (47.1 combined PPG). Going back a little further, the numbers for Philly are still consistently strong at 18-9-2 O/U (67% Overs) since the 1999 season. Last season, Eagle ‘roadies’ had 55 and 47 total points scored.

Our third strong ‘OVER’ team on the pre-season road is the HOUSTON TEXANS. They’ve gone 16-5-1 O/U (79% Overs) in their road games over the last 11 seasons. Average total PPG in those games was 42.6. In the last two seasons, the Texans have gone 3-1 O/U. We’ll see if those high-scoring results continue this year with a new Head Coach at the helm.

Honorable mention: ARIZONA: 5-1 O/U L3Y (44.3)… NEW ORLEANS: 7-2-1 O/U L5Y (43.5)… NY JETS: 9-3 O/U L6Y… CHICAGO: 10-4 O/U L4Y.

Best Road ‘UNDER’ teams

We start our fourth query into the Playbook NFL pre-season database with the NEW YORK GIANTS. In the last f10 seasons, Giant road games have averaged just 34.5 total ppg… and have gone 5-14 O/U (74% Unders). If you remove the New England Patriots from the Giant’s pre-season schedule. The results improve to 2-12 O/U versus any other team (86% Unders).

Next up, when it comes to low-scoring road games… the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS jump right out at us. The Niners have gone 8-17 O/U (68% Unders) on the pre-season road since the 2001 season. Right behind them is the BALTIMORE RAVENS. They’ve gone UNDER the Total 65% of the time over the last 13 seasons, with a record of 9-17-1 O/U. But at one point, these numbers were actually 5-17-1 O/U. They’ve gone a perfect 4-0 O/U in the last two years on the road. So the ‘automatic-UNDER’ wager for Baltimore roadies has passed its prime.

Honorable mention: CAROLINA: 2-6 O/U L4Y (33.0).

2) PRE-SEASON Week-by-Week OU TEAM TENDENCIES

Week One (OU record and average PPG)
St Louis: 6-0 O/U (42.5)… Houston: 4-0 O/U (37.5)… Indianapolis: 4-0 O/U (50.5)… Seattle: 4-0 O/U (41.0)… Cleveland: 3-0-1 O/U (44.3)… Atlanta: 8-1 O/U (45.2)… Chicago 8-1 O/U (38.4)… NY Jets: 6-1 O/U (40.4)… New England: 4-1 O/U 43.6)… Philadelphia: 4-1 O/U (45.2).

Pittsburgh: 1-8 O/U (27.6)… New Orleans: 1-7 O/U (31.9)… San Francisco: 1-6 O/U (29.6)… Kansas City 1-4 O/U (31.0)… Green Bay: 3-10 O/U (26.0)… Tampa Bay: 2-6 O/U (30.1)… Arizona: 3-8 O/U (29.5)… Baltimore: 3-7 O/U (31.8)… Buffalo: 3-7 O/U (32.0).

Week Two
Chicago: 4-0 O/U (57.0)… Cincinnati: 4-0 O/U (45.0)… New England: 4-0 O/U (43.3)… Green Bay: 7-1 O/U (46.4)… Seattle: 7-1 O/U (46.4)… Tampa Bay: 6-1 O/U 942.4)… Houston: 6-1-1 O/U (47.4)… Denver: 4-1 O/U 941.8)… Jacksonville: 4-1 O/U (45.8)…Oakland: 4-1 O/U (43.2)… New Orleans: 4-1-1 O/U 945.0).

San Francisco: 0-4 O/U (25.5)… Washington: 1-6 O/U (32.7)… Minnesota: 1-4 O/U (33.6)… Carolina: 1-3 O/U (26.2)… Tennessee: 1-3 O/U (37.5)… San Diego: 2-4 O/U (33.7)… Kansas City: 4-8 O/U (29.6).

Week Three
Denver: 6-0 O/U (49.2)… New Orleans: 5-0 O/U (54.8)… Oakland: 5-0 O/U (55.0)… Pittsburgh: 4-0 O/U (48.0)… Baltimore: 3-0 O/U (63.7!)… Jacksonville: 3-0 O/U (62.3!)… San Francisco: 3-0-1 O/U (47.5)… New England: 5-1 O/U (47.8)… Buffalo: 4-1 O/U (51.2).

Miami: 1-5 O/U (27.0)… NY Giants: 2-9 O/U (31.1)… Tampa Bay: 1-4 O/U (33.8)… Dallas: 1-4 O/U (32.2)… NY Jets: 2-8 O/U (29.8)… Kansas City: 2-7-1 O/U (35.8)… Chicago: 1-3 O/U (36.8)… Cincinnati: 103 O/U (37.5)… Cleveland: 2-4-1 O/U (39.3).

Week Four
NY Jets: 6-0 O/U (45.5)… Philadelphia: 6-0 O/U (43.8)… New Orleans: 4-0 O/U (49.5)… St Louis: 4-0 O/U (45.5)… Minnesota: 4-1 O/U (49.6)… Tampa Bay: 4- O/U (43.2)…Baltimore: 3-1 O/U (42.3)… Buffalo: 3-1 O/U (47.8)… Detroit: 3-1 O/U (47.8)… Green Bay: 6-2 O/U (39.8).

Cincinnati: 0-3 O/U (34.7)… Indianapolis: 0-3 O/U (34.7)… Oakland: 0-3 O/U (25.0)… Seattle: 0-3 O/U (25.0)… Atlanta: 1-6 O/U (27.0)… Carolina: 1-6-1 O/U (32.0)… Pittsburgh: 1-4 O/U (34.2)… Dallas: 1-3 O/U (33.8)… New England: 1-3 O/U (32.2)… NY Giants: 1-3 O/U (32.3).

3) PRE-SEASON Series History OU PATTERNS (by date)

Denver vs Seattle (8/7): 4-0 O/U (43.3)
Jacksonville vs Tampa Bay (8/8): 5-1 O/U (42.2)
Green Bay vs Tennessee (8/9): 4-0 O/U (46.0)

New England vs Philadelphia (8/15): 4-0 O/U (48.3)
Miami vs Tampa Bay (8/16): 0-6 O/U (24.3)
Denver vs San Francisco (8/17): 1-3 O/U (33.0)

Carolina vs New England (8/22): 1-3 O/U (31.2)
NY Giants vs NY Jets (8/22): 3-10 O/U (32.5)
Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh (8/22): 6-2 O/U (41.0)
Dallas vs Miami (8/23): 3-1 O/U (39.8)
Baltimore vs Washington (8/23): 1-4 O/U (32.3)

Atlanta vs Jacksonville (8/28): 1-3 O/U (31.0 combined PPG)
Buffalo vs Detroit (8/28): 3-1 O/U (47.8)
Carolina vs Pittsburgh (8/28): 1-6-1 O/U (32.0)
Cincinnati vs Indianapolis (8/28): 0-3 O/U (34.7)
New England vs NY Giants (8/28): 1-3 O/U (32.2)
NY Jets vs Philadelphia (8/28): 6-0 O/U (43.8)
Oakland vs Seattle (8/28): 0-3 O/U (25.0)
Tampa Bay vs Washington (8/28): 3-1 O/U (44.5)

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

NFL PRE-SEASON OVER / UNDERS
By King Creole
Playbook.com

Welcome back Totals players! Our favorite time of the year is once again upon us. In case you weren't aware, we like talking ‘TOTALS’. And there many Over / Under situations in which we can indeed turn a profit on… even in the NFL exhibition season. The games might not count for the players and coaches (in terms of wins and losses)… but they certainly DO for the bettors! We start with the best Home and Road OVER + UNDER teams in the last few seasons. After that, we take a look at individual team OU tendencies broken down by Game Number. We then conclude with some of the more noticeable OU patterns in regards to pre-season series histories. I think we got it all ‘covered’…

1) BEST Home and Road OVER and UNDER teams

Best Home ‘OVER’ teams

Over the last four seasons, the best OVER team at home has been the DENVER BRONCOS. They’ve gone 7-1 O/U (88% Overs) at Sports Authority Field. Average OU line: 38.5. Average total points: 46.8. The average Bronco home game has gone OVER by +8.3 points.

Right behind them at the #2 spot is the DETROIT LIONS. In the same 4-year time frame, the Lions have gone 6-1-1 O/U (86% Overs)… and the average total points in those games has been a very high (for pre-season) 49.0. Last year, both Lion home games went OVER (43 and 49 points respectively).

Taking our database query a little farther back in the past, we find the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS. Both teams have gone 11-4 O/U at home (73% Overs) since the 2006 season. Jacksonville home games have averaged 42.1 PPG in this time frame. New England ‘homies’ have averaged 43.9 ppg in that same 8-year stretch. And both of their home games went OVER last season (47.0 ppg).

Honorable mention: HOUSTON: 5-1-1 O/U last 4 years (42.0)… BALTIMORE: 5-1 O/U last 3 years (54.0!)… CLEVELAND: 4-1-1 O/U last 3 years (43.8).

Best Home ‘UNDER’ teams

The first team is one in which you NEVER want to go ‘Over the Total’ when they are playing at home. That would be the MIAMI DOLPHINS. In the last six seasons, Miami has gone UNDER the Total 83% of the time in their pre-season home games (2-10 O/U). Average combined points: just 27.9 ppg. The average Dolphin home game has gone UNDER by more than a touchdown (-7.8 ppg). I’m sure that the heat and humidity in the month of August down here in South Florida has a lot to do with those consistent low-scoring results.

Next up is the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS. In their home games, Kansas City has gone 6-17-3 O/U (74% Unders) over the last 13 seasons. When the OU line in these Chief home games has been greater than (>) 34 points, the results improve to 3-15-3 O/U, with an average of 30.8 combined PPG. But exercise caution. The worm might be turning as three of their last four home games went OVER the Total in the last two seasons.

Our third solid UNDER team at home is the PITTSBURGH STEELERS. Their home games have gone 8-19-1 O/U (70% Unders) since the 2000 season. When favored at home by more than a field goal (-3.5 or higher), these Steeler games have gone 2-11 O/U… with average of just 28.2 combined PPG.

Honorable mention: WASHINGTON: 7-17 O/U in the last 12 seasons (1-6 O/U when the OU line is > 38 points).

Best Road ‘OVER’ teams

In the last five seasons, the best road ‘OVER’ team has been the OAKLAND RAIDERS. Their road games have averaged 44.8 total ppg in the same time span, and the games have gone 9-1 O/U (90% Overs). That’s a ‘total reversal’ (pun intended) from 2000-2007, when Raider road games went 3-13 O/U.

Also on a more recent note, we can’t overlook the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. They’ve gone a perfect 5-0-1 O/U in the last three seasons when playing on the pre-season road (47.1 combined PPG). Going back a little further, the numbers for Philly are still consistently strong at 18-9-2 O/U (67% Overs) since the 1999 season. Last season, Eagle ‘roadies’ had 55 and 47 total points scored.

Our third strong ‘OVER’ team on the pre-season road is the HOUSTON TEXANS. They’ve gone 16-5-1 O/U (79% Overs) in their road games over the last 11 seasons. Average total PPG in those games was 42.6. In the last two seasons, the Texans have gone 3-1 O/U. We’ll see if those high-scoring results continue this year with a new Head Coach at the helm.

Honorable mention: ARIZONA: 5-1 O/U L3Y (44.3)… NEW ORLEANS: 7-2-1 O/U L5Y (43.5)… NY JETS: 9-3 O/U L6Y… CHICAGO: 10-4 O/U L4Y.


Best Road ‘UNDER’ teams

We start our fourth query into our NFL pre-season database with the NEW YORK GIANTS. In the last f10 seasons, Giant road games have averaged just 34.5 total ppg… and have gone 5-14 O/U (74% Unders). If you remove the New England Patriots from the Giant’s pre-season schedule. The results improve to 2-12 O/U versus any other team (86% Unders).

Next up, when it comes to low-scoring road games… the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS jump right out at us. The Niners have gone 8-17 O/U (68% Unders) on the pre-season road since the 2001 season. Right behind them is the BALTIMORE RAVENS. They’ve gone UNDER the Total 65% of the time over the last 13 seasons, with a record of 9-17-1 O/U. But at one point, these numbers were actually 5-17-1 O/U. They’ve gone a perfect 4-0 O/U in the last two years on the road. So the ‘automatic-UNDER’ wager for Baltimore roadies has passed its prime.

Honorable mention: CAROLINA: 2-6 O/U L4Y (33.0).


2) PRE-SEASON Week-by-Week OU TEAM TENDENCIES

Week One (OU record and average PPG)
St Louis: 6-0 O/U (42.5)… Houston: 4-0 O/U (37.5)… Indianapolis: 4-0 O/U (50.5)… Seattle: 4-0 O/U (41.0)… Cleveland: 3-0-1 O/U (44.3)… Atlanta: 8-1 O/U (45.2)… Chicago 8-1 O/U (38.4)… NY Jets: 6-1 O/U (40.4)… New England: 4-1 O/U 43.6)… Philadelphia: 4-1 O/U (45.2).

Pittsburgh: 1-8 O/U (27.6)… New Orleans: 1-7 O/U (31.9)… San Francisco: 1-6 O/U (29.6)… Kansas City 1-4 O/U (31.0)… Green Bay: 3-10 O/U (26.0)… Tampa Bay: 2-6 O/U (30.1)… Arizona: 3-8 O/U (29.5)… Baltimore: 3-7 O/U (31.8)… Buffalo: 3-7 O/U (32.0).

Week Two
Chicago: 4-0 O/U (57.0)… Cincinnati: 4-0 O/U (45.0)… New England: 4-0 O/U (43.3)… Green Bay: 7-1 O/U (46.4)… Seattle: 7-1 O/U (46.4)… Tampa Bay: 6-1 O/U 942.4)… Houston: 6-1-1 O/U (47.4)… Denver: 4-1 O/U 941.8)… Jacksonville: 4-1 O/U (45.8)…Oakland: 4-1 O/U (43.2)… New Orleans: 4-1-1 O/U 945.0).

San Francisco: 0-4 O/U (25.5)… Washington: 1-6 O/U (32.7)… Minnesota: 1-4 O/U (33.6)… Carolina: 1-3 O/U (26.2)… Tennessee: 1-3 O/U (37.5)… San Diego: 2-4 O/U (33.7)… Kansas City: 4-8 O/U (29.6).

Week Three
Denver: 6-0 O/U (49.2)… New Orleans: 5-0 O/U (54.8)… Oakland: 5-0 O/U (55.0)… Pittsburgh: 4-0 O/U (48.0)… Baltimore: 3-0 O/U (63.7!)… Jacksonville: 3-0 O/U (62.3!)… San Francisco: 3-0-1 O/U (47.5)… New England: 5-1 O/U (47.8)… Buffalo: 4-1 O/U (51.2).

Miami: 1-5 O/U (27.0)… NY Giants: 2-9 O/U (31.1)… Tampa Bay: 1-4 O/U (33.8)… Dallas: 1-4 O/U (32.2)… NY Jets: 2-8 O/U (29.8)… Kansas City: 2-7-1 O/U (35.8)… Chicago: 1-3 O/U (36.8)… Cincinnati: 103 O/U (37.5)… Cleveland: 2-4-1 O/U (39.3).

Week Four
NY Jets: 6-0 O/U (45.5)… Philadelphia: 6-0 O/U (43.8)… New Orleans: 4-0 O/U (49.5)… St Louis: 4-0 O/U (45.5)… Minnesota: 4-1 O/U (49.6)… Tampa Bay: 4- O/U (43.2)…Baltimore: 3-1 O/U (42.3)… Buffalo: 3-1 O/U (47.8)… Detroit: 3-1 O/U (47.8)… Green Bay: 6-2 O/U (39.8).

Cincinnati: 0-3 O/U (34.7)… Indianapolis: 0-3 O/U (34.7)… Oakland: 0-3 O/U (25.0)… Seattle: 0-3 O/U (25.0)… Atlanta: 1-6 O/U (27.0)… Carolina: 1-6-1 O/U (32.0)… Pittsburgh: 1-4 O/U (34.2)… Dallas: 1-3 O/U (33.8)… New England: 1-3 O/U (32.2)… NY Giants: 1-3 O/U (32.3).


3) PRE-SEASON Series History OU PATTERNS (by date)

Denver vs Seattle (8/7): 4-0 O/U (43.3)
Jacksonville vs Tampa Bay (8/8): 5-1 O/U (42.2)
Green Bay vs Tennessee (8/9): 4-0 O/U (46.0)

New England vs Philadelphia (8/15): 4-0 O/U (48.3)
Miami vs Tampa Bay (8/16): 0-6 O/U (24.3)
Denver vs San Francisco (8/17): 1-3 O/U (33.0)

Carolina vs New England (8/22): 1-3 O/U (31.2)
NY Giants vs NY Jets (8/22): 3-10 O/U (32.5)
Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh (8/22): 6-2 O/U (41.0)
Dallas vs Miami (8/23): 3-1 O/U (39.8)
Baltimore vs Washington (8/23): 1-4 O/U (32.3)

Atlanta vs Jacksonville (8/28): 1-3 O/U (31.0 combined PPG)
Buffalo vs Detroit (8/28): 3-1 O/U (47.8)
Carolina vs Pittsburgh (8/28): 1-6-1 O/U (32.0)
Cincinnati vs Indianapolis (8/28): 0-3 O/U (34.7)
New England vs NY Giants (8/28): 1-3 O/U (32.2)
NY Jets vs Philadelphia (8/28): 6-0 O/U (43.8)
Oakland vs Seattle (8/28): 0-3 O/U (25.0)
Tampa Bay vs Washington (8/28): 3-1 O/U (44.5)

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Preseason Notes - AFC
By Tony Mejia
VegasInsider.com

Buffalo: Mike Pettine was plucked away by Cleveland to fill its head coaching vacancy, so Doug Marrone turned to ex-Lions leader Jim Schwartz to come run this defense, something he did well under Jeff Fisher in Tennessee from 2001-08. Thus far, the Bills have survived the season-ending ACL injury to linebacker Kiko Alonso and given a good account of themselves in tight games with the Giants, Panthers and Steelers,. They'll get their longest look at a true first-team offense when the Buccaneers visit on Saturday night.  As juicy as Detroit's visit on Aug. 28 looks on paper, we're not going to see how Schwartz plans to attack old friends Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson until the Bills visit Ford Field in Week 5. Tampa Bay, eager to get new starter Josh McCown his most significant action, will offer a valuable test.

Miami: Dolphins fans are getting excited about the offense new coordinator Bill Lazor has implemented given the positive early returns. The team seems to be executing crisply and moving faster, tweaks Ryan Tannehill has taken to thus far despite Mike Wallace rendered ineffective by a hamstring issue and Brian Hartline also missing time. With next week's preseason game likely to feature backups, the only true sneak preview of just how fast-paced the offensive tempo will be might come Saturday against a depleted Cowboys defense that has given up 64 points in losses to San Diego and Baltimore. The Dolphins do host divisional rival New England in Week 1, so it's likely they'll pull back some. Still, fueling Tannehill's increased confidence could factor in since it's Miami's home debut against a vulnerable opponent, especially given the need to get him in a rhythm with his top receivers.

New England: Bill Belichick raved about the work that his team was able to put in against the Eagles, calling it as productive as any week he's ever had during preseason joint practices.  As a result, it will be interesting to see just how aggressive he is against a Panthers team facing a short week after playing Sunday night, especially since they pushed Cam Newton as much as they'll likely want to in August. Even though most teams use this third exhibition game to see their starters for lengthy stretches, Belichick has always defied convention when it comes to preparation, which means he could use the bulk of Friday night's game as an audition for players on the fringe of the roster to make closing arguments before the team cuts down from 90 to 75.

N.Y. Jets: It's never good when you're asked immediately after a preseason game if you're going to seek help elsewhere to try and bolster a segment, which Rex Ryan addressed late Saturday. Injuries to likely starters Dee Milliner and Dmitri Patterson bumped up backups Antonio Allen and Ellis Lankster, while former first-rounder Kyle Wilson continues to disappoint, allowing Cincinnati's Andy Dalton to go 8-for-8. This year's first-round pick, safety Calvin Pryor, forced two fumbles and looked every bit the "Louisville Slugger," but it's become clear he may be the lone bright spot among a thin, banged up secondary that could derail the Jets right out of the gate since six of the first seven quarterbacks they'll run into rank among the NFL's top dozen passers. Milliner is sure to sit against the Giants as he waits for a high ankle sprain to heal properly, but Patterson has returned to practice and could ease some concern by performing better than he did in a forgettable debut. As ideal a scenario as that would be, it's likely he'll be standing on the sidelines with Milliner.

Houston: The take that Jadeveon Clowney's jaw-dropping series against Atlanta is diminished because it's preseason is lazy. Clowney destroys left tackle Sam Baker, now out for the season in a major setback for the Falcons, with a fierce rush, tossing aside a former first-rounder with over 50 career starts, to drop Matt Ryan. Yep, it's August, but the Falcons still likely wanted to keep him from being sacked while he was out there. It was probably a point of emphasis. On the previous play, he blew up Antone Smith, arriving to deliver a blow before Ryan can fully pull away after handing off. There are likely going to be some off days and perhaps a date with the rookie wall, but the No. 1 pick will be an impact player on a defensive line filled with them. It will be fun to see how the Broncos handle the challenge of a  J.J. Watt/Clowney-led front and how long they expose Peyton Manning to a pass rush likely to be the Texans primary strength.

Indianapolis: Blowing a 26-0 lead in less than 10 minutes would normally be alarming, but fails to even register given the circumstances. The Colts actually have to be thrilled by how their regulars have looked on both sides of the ball, potentially getting a huge boost if Hakeem Nicks continues to get comfortable and stays healthy. The ex-Giant can be an enormous x-factor alongside burner T.Y. Hilton and reliable future Hall of Famer Reggie Wayne, who has yet to debut this preseason and may be held out another week as he aims to return from last year's torn ACL.

Jacksonville: Any success the Jaguars are going to have, either with Chad Henne or Blake Bortles under center, is likely to ride on the guy snapping the ball and the four others around him. For now, the Jaguars are undecided at center, rotating three members each in the mix to be the guy. Former No. 2 pick Luke Joeckel got hurt in October of his rookie season and still has to return to form, while likely starting right tackle Austin Pasztor broke his hand against the Bears last Thursday and won't return until at least mid-September. Bortles is going to take reps with the first team a lot this week and is probably going to get the second quarter against Detroit, but anyone who wants the Jaguars to risk his development by throwing him out there with a shaky line and questionable receivers doesn't have his best long-term interests in mind.

Tennessee: RB Bishop Sankey is going to draw a lot of attention this week, both from his coaching staff and from legions of fantasy owners eager to get over on people in their leagues. The second-round pick has already led the Titans in carries and yards through two games and might be in line for an increased workload since Shonn Greene hurt his knee last week. Though Greene was back practicing, it's doubtful that he'll be pushed extensively at Atlanta when coaches can take an even longer look at a rookie who could wind up being the saving grace for an offensive unit that lacks star power.

Baltimore: Ray Rice only getting suspended two games provides its own debate, but the Ravens are still going to have to replace his production in key AFC North games against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The fact both are home games is a plus, but adds to the pressure Bernard Pierce and newcomers Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro will feel trying to fill his shoes. Rice left Saturday's win in Dallas after two carries due to a shoulder issue, but was back at practice early in the week. John Harbaugh may elect to go with the running backs who will play in those first two games against Washington on Saturday, resting Rice and potentially give him some work in the fourth preseason game at New Orleans. While Pierce will be counted on most heavily, Coastal Carolina product Taliaferro, a fourth-round pick, has looked sharp and packs a great burst.

Cincinnati: The plan for Sunday night's visit to Arizona remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely that Darqueze Dennard will play. Head coach Marvin Lewis has already called him the best rookie corner he's ever seen, but after watching him exit against the Jets with a hip injury, matching him up with Larry Fitzgerald or Michael Floyd doesn't seem prudent if he's not 100 percent, removing a potentially intriguing matchup from the showcase.

Cleveland: Between an offensive line that offered shoddy protection, receivers that couldn't catch and inaccurate quarterback play, Bobby Hoyer and Johnny Manziel stood out for all the wrong reasons on Monday night. Despite his desire to name a starting quarterback heading into the third preseason game, it's hard to imagine Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan having enough information to make a decision they're truly comfortable with, so the circus, er, evaluations, should continue Saturday night. The Browns are home for St. Louis and will see an aggressive defense that you provide a good barometer of who is better at making the right decisions in the face of pressure.  Hoyer currently looks more comfortable in the pocket, but Manziel may give the team their best chance to win due to his elusiveness and improvisational skills once he finally adjusts to the speed of the game and better recognizes the defensive coverage.

Pittsburgh: The Steelers seen committed to going no-huddle more often this year, trusting Ben Roethlisberger enough for coordinator Todd Haley to take the handcuffs off and make better use of potentially the fastest team Mike Tomlin has ever had on the offensive side of the ball. Pittsburgh's head coach commented after the Buffalo win that he wanted to see what an increased pace would look like within the "comforts of Heinz Field," which makes you wonder how eager he'll be to test it out in Philadelphia against the ultimate up-tempo team come Thursday night. Given the preseason setting and an early projected total approaching 50, you can infer that oddsmakers believe the Steelers plan to test things out in hostile territory instead of trying to slow the Eagles down as they likely would in a regular-season setting.

Denver: Montee Ball's appendectomy went as expected, his recovery looks like it's going well and all he's seeking is the go-ahead to return to action, but you should expect John Fox and the Broncos staff to be very cautious with him. At this point, young backs Ronnie Hillman, C.J. Anderson and Kapri Gibbs have gotten much needed reps learning how to better pass protect for Peyton Manning and hanging on to the football when they do get it. With an emotional win over Seattle and a rout of the 49ers at new Levi's Stadium under their belt, it's tough to predict how invested Denver is going to be in its final two preseason tests, but rushing Ball back isn't going to be part of the equation.

Kansas City: Star RB Jamaal Charles rolled his foot moving out of the team's training camp quarters, but his absence at Carolina definitely sounds like a case of Andy Reid erring on the side of caution, to be expected since few coaches care less about preseason results than he does. He wants to see quarterbacks Alex Smith and Tyler Bray against Minnesota (Aug. 23) and will likely give Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray the bulk of the work Aug. 28 at Green Bay, but it remains to be seen what the plan is for Charles given the need to have him at 100 percent when the season opens on Sept. 7. An extended absence should result in more game reps for De'Anthony Thomas, who is attempting to pick up the nuances of being an NFL running back after a hybrid role at Oregon.

Oakland: Rookie Derek Carr hadn't passed his concussion tests by late Monday, which takes some of the potential drama out of Oakland's visit to Green Bay on Friday night. Thus far, new acquisition Matt Schaub hasn't alleviated concerns he'll be the guy, turning only one of seven possessions into points.  He'll work into the third quarter in an attempt to squash fears that he's washed up, but it remains to be seen if Carr returns to run the second unit or if the bulk of the second half turns into an extended audition for roster hopefuls Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards.

San Diego: The Chargers looked like a Super Bowl contender against Dallas in the opener, but were absolutely squashed by Seattle last week, so it'll be interesting to see how they respond to a 41-14 loss. We'll get a better indication of what type of team they actually are in this third and most important preseason game in Santa Clara, where the 49ers will be out to answer a few questions of their own. Defensive line issues have been among San Diego's primary concerns, so seeing how they bang heads with an elite team coming off their own embarrassing performance creates an interesting dynamic for Sunday's exhibition matinee.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Week 2 Preseason Notes - NFC
By Tony Mejia
VegasInsider.com

Dallas: Without a need to push Tony Romo, he'll go just a couple of series against Miami as the Cowboys attempt to ensure everyone they still plan on joining us come regular season. Dez Bryant showed last week that the offense can remain dynamic since he's a threat to move the chains on every down, while the return of likely starting corners Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr should boost the defense. The Cowboys have been a train wreck thus far and have depth and injury issues, but circumstances dictate that they're going to have to get to Week 1 of the regular season via the methodical route.

N.Y. Giants: Eli Manning has completed one more pass than famous father Archie thus far this preseason. To be fair, he's had nine more attempts,  so it's clear the progress new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo has seen in practice hasn't translated to game action. That puts pressure on the Giants to produce against a  depleted secondary that has been victimized by Indianapolis' and Cincinnati's first-stringers thus far. It sounds strange to say a two-time Super Bowl MVP would be under the same type of microscope as second-year starter Geno Smith and highly publicized backup Michael Vick, but with only one final preseason game after the Snoopy Bowl and Tom Coughlin troubled by Manning's struggles, the comparison fits. It would be nice to see him find a rhythm before ga, es count. Expect the Giants to be aggressive in taking shots downfield. Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle and Odell Beckham, Jr. should have opportunities to generate some much-needed confidence.

Philadelphia: Rookie Jordan Matthews has had an up-and-down preseason, but still looks like the guy most SEC corners couldn't handle the past few years. He'll have the most help he's ever enjoyed on Thursday night since Jeremy Maclin returns from last week's absence and Riley Cooper debuts. Matthews had nine catches for 104 yards against the Patriots after a drop-filled opener, so how he takes to getting in a rhythm while not comsistently being a primary option should be critical to his early success. He'll get his touches in an offense likely to lead the NFL in plays, so don't be surprised if the Vanderbilt product settles in and his debut becomes just an ugly aberration.

Washington: Surviving a hail mary thanks to a failed two-point conversion gave Washington a Monday night home win, but holding off the Browns provided little consolation given how sloppily the first-team offense played, failing to score. Alfred Morris couldn't handle a pitch and fumbled to kill a drive. They got b stoned at the goal line multiple times. Robert Griffin III connected with DeSean Jackson early, but was picked off easily by Joe Haden and displayed an inability to avoid unnecessary contact. Kirk Cousins looked decent, but the organization would rather trade the backup than ride with him. That's clear. From Daniel Snyder on down, they're all in on RG III. That faith may ultimately rewarded, but none of the higher-ups can be sleeping too soundly these days. The short turnaround before facing the Ravens doesn't make things any easier.

Atlanta: Left tackle Sam Baker is out for the season with a torn patella tendon suffered in Houston, putting immediate pressure on first-round pick Jake Matthews to be a quick learner. Lamar Holmes is going to get first crack at right tackle, the position where Matthews was supposed to start his pro career and ease into the role of elite tackle. Baker missed most of last season, too, but the Falcons were counting on him returning to ease the burden on the rest of the line by providing stability and a veteran presence. Saturday night's game against Tennessee now takes on added importance to see just how far there is to go learning curve-wise since the pieces now have to come together on the fly.

Carolina: Cam Newton is going to play another couple of series at New England to try and knock some of the rust off, but with injuries continuing to plague the offensive line, don't expect the playcalling to be too creative. The play of the new-look secondary should be far more interesting to monitor against the Patriots, as rookie Bene Benwikere is getting a long look at CB, while untested guys like Anderson Russell and Robert Lester are seeing extensive time with Tre Boston and Roman Harper still on the mend.

New Orleans: The Saints have a legitimate kicking competition on their hands as they move in a new direction after parting ways with Garrett Hartley before last year's postseason. Shayne Graham took over and seemed like a lock to return when training camp began, but he's missed one of those extended extra points and been matched kick for kick in practice by Derek Dimke, who nearly made Tampa Bay's roster last year but has yet to kick in an NFL regular season game.  The Saints look like one of the most settled teams in the league, roster-wise, but have the good fortune of playing all four preseason games in domes, making it easier to come to a decision on one of their biggest tossups. The battle will continue in Indianapolis.

Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers are set to play their only game outside of Florida until September 18, a span of three preseason games and the first two weeks of the regular season, when they visit Buffalo on Saturday afternoon. It will be an opportunity for Josh McCown to further lead his new football team, putting his stamp on things by working into the second half. After coming up empty in the opener, McCown finally led the Bucs first-team offense to a touchdown, connecting with Vincent Jackson in the second quarter against Miami. Due to an unsettled offensive line situation, a road atmosphere is just what the first group needs to generate confidence under new coordinator Jeff Tedford, who has taken a measured approach to showing off what's being implemented. Tampa Bay is likely to take this third preseason game against the Bills very seriously.

Chicago: Although it's always interesting to test yourself against the defending champions, look for Chicago to avoid putting a lot of stock in testing themselves against an elite Seahawks defense this early in the process, whether they think they're ready or not. Individually, Marc Trestman is specifically looking for somebody to step up and fill the void left by Marquess Wilson breaking his clavicle earlier this month. The Bears signed veteran Santonio Holmes to come in and compete for the No. 3 spot over the weekend and may throw him out there in Seattle, but the plan is for Josh Morgan to get first crack at plugging in Trestman's  three-receiver sets alongside Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

Detroit: Auburn won its first national championship, in part, because of what a force Nick Fairley was. He's been a huge disappointment as a pro, so it's no surprise that Jim Caldwell has arrived in Detroit and been underwhelmed. How Fairley handles the demotion will be critical how effective the Detroit defensive line ends up being, but with weight not being the issue its been in the past, one can only infer that his practice habits and effort level during game reps must be elevated. Again, predictable,  but if Fairley doesn't turn things around or decides he's not up for coaching ploys, a major potential edge goes out the window since veteran CJ Mosley won't be as disruptive. We'll be able to see Fairley's immediate reaction against Jacksonville. He played only 15 snaps against the Raiders last Friday, the fewest of any Lions defensive tackle.

Green Bay: The Packers are another team whose starting lineup appears to be all set , with team insiders reporting that not a single job is changed hands since late July, practically unheard at this level given the stiff competition for jobs and injury factor. It will be interesting to see just how long head coach Mike McCarthy rides his starters against visiting Oakland since he and his staff have a lot of decisions to make regarding the depth on the roster. Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien have each looked sharp, so the battle of the backup Aaron Rodgers bears watching in Friday night's national broadcast.

Minnesota: The Vikings seem ready to let rookie Teddy Bridgewater learn from the sidelines, at least for the first few weeks, naming Matt Cassel the starter for the third preseason game on Saturday night in Kansas City. Bridgewater is likely to get time with the first-teamers for experience's sake, but it doesn't seem likely he'll unseat the veteran former Chiefs starter who actually made the Pro Bowl in 2010. Cassel started six games last season with mediocre results, but his strong camp make him the logical choice to open the Mike Zimmer regime unless he melts down at Arrowhead.

Arizona: Darnell Dockett's unfortunate season-ending ACL injury is the second major loss of the offseason for this front seven since leading tackler Daryl Washington was suspended for all of 2014 due to a second substance abuse violation. Even with Tyrann Mathieu back in the fold practice-wise, it will be months before he can even think about being as effective as he was pre-injury. It's undeniable that the unit that was supposed to do the heavy lifting in pulling the Cardinals up to Seattle and San Francisco's level has taken a major hit. The Cardinals will be looking for answers as a welcome Cincinnati in for the Sunday nighter.

San Francisco: To be fair, the 49ers seemed to be favored against Denver simply because they were opening up Levi's Stadium. The 34-0 result came through as Sunday's guaranteed NFL winner, but it was so easy to dissect, in part, because Jim Harbaugh wasn't putting much emphasis on the exhibition home opener. Peyton Manning was going to see more time than Colin Kaepernick and the Broncos backups were clearly further along after an emotional win over Seattle. Sure, Kaepernick could've been sharper, but everyone on both sides of the ball was flat. The backup offensive units have lacked punch because quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Josh Johnson have been dreadful, so a Super Bowl contender has been outscored 57-3 in two losses. There are offensive line issues to be concerned about, but the 49ers won't suddenly be terrible. I expect them to actually care this week, which in itself will be an improvement. Harbaugh has been vague about how long starters will play, but you can bet he's eager to see his regulars snap out of their funk against visiting San Diego.

Seattle: Teams ideally shouldn't be angry about an exhibition loss, but considering the Seahawks responded to having their nine-game preseason winning streak snapped by routing the Chargers,  Pete Carroll and his team still have the collective fire after winning a Super Bowl. They don't only like to win, they like to beat down teams. That trickles down from first-teamers to guys that won't even be on the roster. Seattle often gets accused a running up scores this time of year in some showing a false bravado, but the fact their third and fourth-stringers often do the piling on speaks of a system and mentality that is simply on a higher level as teams seek out identities in August . From 2012-13, the Seahawks outscored opponents 232-80. They'll welcome in Chicago on Friday.

St. Louis: Even though the third preseason game is typically about seeing what your starters look like, the Rams are a different story. Jeff Fisher is comfortable with how his regulars have looked, so the focus shifts to Michael Sam, who has been productive in his quest to make the squad. His sack last week was the highlight of a solid preseason, but he'll now get after Johnny Manziel when the backups enter in a showdown that could break Twitter. While Sam has been good, St. Louis' defensive front is loaded, and fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks looks to be ahead of him due to explosiveness and versatility. An eye-opening performance might be necessary for him to stick.

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Re: Preseason NFL Betting News and Notes

Looking Back…
By Ross Benjamin
Playbook.com

The Home Teams

Home teams cooled off a bit in week 2 of the preseason. After going a terrific 14-2 straight up in the opening week, home teams went just 10-6 in week 2. Home teams also went a red-hot 12-3-1 ATS in the opening week of the preseason, and fell to 6-10 ATS last week. Home favorites of 2.0 or more have gone 20-4 straight up so far in the 2014 preseason. Home teams went 2-6 ATS last week if they scored 10-points or less in their previous game. Home teams have now gone 24-8 straight up and 18-13-1 ATS overall in 2014.

Road Teams

Away teams went a stellar 8-3 ATS in week 2 if they scored 22-points or less in their previous game. Road teams saw all 5 of their games go over the total last week if they scored 22-points or more in their previous game, and those 5-contests averaged 60.2 points per outing.

The Scoring

We’ve seen 12-games so far in the 2014 preseason that had a total of 37.5 or less, and 10 of those 12 have gone under the total. We’ve seen 3 teams top the 40-point barrier so far in 2014, with 2 of those coming last week. Seattle crushed San Diego at home 41-14, and New England won at Foxboro 42-35 over Philadelphia in what was the most entertaining game of the week. Kansas City was a 41-39 winner in the opening week at home versus Cincinnati.

Bouncing Back from an Upset Loss

Teams were 3-0 ATS last week if they were coming off a straight up favorite loss in their previous game. Houston was a 32-7 winner over Atlanta while easily covering as a 3-point favorite. The Texans were shellacked the week before 32-0 as a 1.5 point favorite at Arizona. The Carolina Panthers were a 28-16 winner over Kansas City and covered as a 3.0-point favorite. The Panthers were knocked off 20-18 at home in the opening week as a 1.0 point favorite by Buffalo. Finally Cleveland covered as a 2.0 point underdog in a 24-23 loss at Washington. The week before the Browns lost 13-12 at Detroit as a 1.5 point favorite.

Looking Ahead to Week 3

Week 3 preseason contests have traditionally been labeled as dress rehearsal games. This is the week that the starters on each team will see their most extensive action, in preparation for the upcoming regular season. We usually see teams actually game plan a bit for the opponent they’re about to face in Week 3, and that’s usually the only time that particular practice takes place during the entire preseason. Granted there are always exceptions to the rule, but in the vast majority of instances, week 3 of the preseason most closely resembles a regular season game.

Closing Thoughts

I will leave you with this for future years to come. Since 2004, any away favorite of 5.0 or less that’s playing in game 3 of the preseason, and is coming off a straight up loss in their previous game, has gone 15-4 ATS (78.9%). Those away favorites have also won 17 of those 19-games straight up.

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