How To Bet On NFL Preseason Games

The NFL offseason can feel like an eternity with the draft, free agency, training camps and then a full month of preseason action so it is understandable when football fans want to get in on the action by betting on the exhibition action. While the sharps typically don’t tend to wager on preseason action, the public has been very interested over the past couple of years with some considerable action at stake throughout the exhibition slate. According to an odds consultant for, NFL preseason games get more action than some non-televised baseball or basketball games across the country. For those that want to get in on the action, here is a look at how to bet on NFL preseason games.

Alter Your Approach

Anybody who bets on the NFL preseason needs to understand right away that they can’t use the same approach that they take to the regular season games. Sportsbooks will have smaller betting limits and while the lines move from time to time it usually has more to do with player personnel than anything else. The sportsbooks consider Week 1 of the NFL preseason the most difficult week to handicap since they don’t really know what to expect in terms of how many snaps the starters will play if at all and how the depth players will perform. You should keep that same outlook in mind since you will be risking your money on games that even the best in the business feel can be unpredictable.

Understand The Trends

As is the case with regular season football, there are trends that you can keep in mind to improve your chances of winning when betting on exhibition games. For example, the teams that have received less than 50-percent of spread bets have posted a 90-78 record against the spread since 2003. Knowledge is power and with so much data available online you can take the time to put in the necessary research and use the trends to help forecast what you can expect over time.

Coaching Is Key

While the coaches still don’t get enough credit in terms of forecasting regular season results that statement is even truer when it comes to the preseason slate. Coaching philosophy and strategy is extremely important in the preseason as the coaches have to put their talent in position to succeed and in a lot of cases those players don’t have a ton of experience. There are published numbers available online that show how each NFL head coach has fared in the preseason as well as their records against the spread so you can search for those numbers and use them when it comes to evaluating preseason matchups.

Consider The Contrarian View

As is the case in most sports, the contrarian view is often an effective one when it comes to betting on NFL preseason action. The theory is that the weaker teams have more at stake in every preseason game so they tend to play with a greater sense of urgency and focus than the strong teams. Meanwhile, the stronger teams could also tend to rest their best players and that can significantly shift the outlook of the matchup. Since 2003, underdogs of at least six-points or more have posted a 38-27 record against the spread, which represents a 58.5-percent success rate. This is another strong strategy that could really help yield positive results when it comes to betting on the NFL preseason action.