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Preseason Profit Report
August 1, 2012
By Tony Stoffo
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. 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:
1) Jeff Fisher, St. Louis - Former Tennessee head coach (142-120 regular season, 5-6 in the playoffs)
2) Joe Philbin, Miami - Former Green Bay offensive coordinator. During his stay as offensive coordinator (2007-2011), the Packers offense ranked in the top 10 in the NFL for points scored and total yards every year.
3) Romeo Crennel, Kansas City - Browns head coach for 4 years 2005-08 (26-41) plus took over for Todd Haley last season in Kansas City after 13 games.
4) Dennis Allen, Oakland - Defense will be the priority in Oakland with Allen taking over the Raiders. Allen previously coached as an assistant for the Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons.
5) Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis - Pagano was the defensive coordinator last season for the Ravens, and was hired to John Harbaugh's first coaching staff back on 2008. Pagano's defense in Baltimore finished 3rd in both points allowed and in yards allowed last year.
6) Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay - This is a big jump for Schiano here as in my opinion as he did a lousy job at Rutgers going - one game over .500 at (68-67) during his tenure.
7) Mike Mularkey, Jacksonville - He has served as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, and the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Offensive minded coach - something to pay attention to this preseason.
Here is a complete roster of the current NFL coaches preseason records both straight up and against the spread, plus their 'over/under' total marks as well.
Coaching Records - Preseason
Coach Team SU ATS O/U
Jim Harbaugh 49ers 2-2 2-2 1-3
Lovie Smith Bears 16-17 15-17 17-16
Marvin Lewis Bengals 18-19 18-18 19-17
Chan Gailey Bills 4-14 5-13 1 2-6
John Fox Broncos 21-19 18-21 20-19
Pat Shurmur Browns 1-3 1-3 3-1
Greg Schiano Bucs N/A N/A N/A
Ken Whisenhunt Cardinals 7-13 8-11 10-10
Norv Turner Chargers 28-28 24-26 36-20
Romeo Crennel Chiefs 8-8 9-7 6-10
Chuck Pagano Colts N/A N/A N/A
Jason Garrett Cowboys 2-2 1-3 2-2
Joe Philbin Dolphins N/A N/A N/A
Andy Reid Eagles 21-31 22-28 28-23
Mike Smith Falcons 6-10 7-7-2 6-10
Tom Coughlin Giants 35-30 32-29 41-24
Mike Mularkey Jaguars 3-5 5-3 2-6
Rex Ryan Jets 6-6 7-5 8-3-1
Jim Schwartz Lions 10-2 9-3 6-6
Mike McCarthy Packers 12-12 12-11 19-5
Ron Rivera Panthers 1-3 1-3 2-2
Bill Belichick Patriots 38-31 35-28 43-25
Dennis Allen Raiders N/A N/A N/A
Jeff Fisher Rams 34-27 32-29 33-27-1
John Harbaugh Ravens 11-5 9-7 5-11
Mike Shanahan Redskins 47-29 42-32-2 48-28
Joe Vitt Saints N/A N/A N/A
Pete Carroll Seahawks 13-12 15-9-1 13-12
Mike Tomlin Steelers 16-5 13-8 7-13
Gary Kubiak Texans 13-11 13-9 17-7
Mike Munchak Titans 3-1 3-1 1-3
Leslie Frazier Vikings 5-3 5-3 3-5
So by looking at this chart some apparent plays sure stick out.
There are three coaches that sure don't care about anything to do with winning in the preseason. So let's look to fade the Bills (Chan Gailey), Cardinals (Ken Whisenhunt) and the Eagles (Andy Reid) as the trio own a combined 32-58 straight up (36%) in the preseason.
Chan Gailey owns a 4-14 record in the preseason.
Ken Whisenhunt of the Cardinals is just 7-13 (35%) and is a strong play against, especially in the first preseason game.
Andy Reid is 21-31 with the Eagles and up until last year, he was 0-7 ATS in the preseason opener. Surprisingly, Philadelphia went 3-1 in the preseason last year.
Plus it may not show in the above chart - one of the strongest preseason plays is to fade the Kansas City Chiefs - no matter who the head coach is as the Chiefs are a dismal 3-18 against the spread in their 21 preseason contests.
While just the opposite is true for these three coaches as it's obvious that they put some effort into these preseason games. The Redskins' Mike Shanahan, Lions' Jim Schwartz and Steelers' Mike Tomlin are a combined 73-36 SU (67%) in the preseason.
Mike Shanahan of the Redskins is 47-29
Jim Schwartz has produced a 10-2 record in three years with Detroit.
Mike Tomlin has gone 16-5 in five preseason slates in Pittsburgh.
As for totals we definitely have some strong trends to follow:
Playing the over in these eight coaches preseason games have a combined 224-118 winning record (65%).
Chan Gailey, Bills: 12-6
Norv Turner, Chargers: 36-20
Tom Coughlin, Giants: 41-24
Rex Ryan, Jets: 8-3
Mike McCarthy, Packers: 19-5
Bill Belichick, Patriots: 43-25
Mike Shanahan, Redskins: 48-28
Gary Kubiak, Texans: 17-7
Plus we may have some value in betting the over in the early Dolphins preseason games - as the odds makers may not be aware that with Joe Philbin, now the Miami head coach - he was the former Green Bay offensive offensive coordinator and may bring the Packers wide-open preseason scoring style with him to Miami.
While just the opposite can be said for these coaches as the under is an impressive 50-24 (68%) in all their preseason games.
Romeo Crennel, Chiefs: 10-6
Mike Smith, Falcons: 10-6
Mike Mularkey, Jaguars: 6-2
John Harbaugh, Ravens: 11-5
Mike Tomlin, Steelers: 13-7
Plus make sure to keep an eye out on these two head coaches Mike Munchak of the Titans and Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers. The pair both posted 3-1 marks in their first preseason.
Quarterback rotations, injuries, news and notes, weather conditions, and the playing time of key personnel all should be included when finalizing your preseason plays. Plus, look for deep veteran QB rotations as these will be playing against the other teams third and fourth-stringers on defense in the second half.
A good example of experienced depth at the quarterback position for this preseason are:
1) Buffalo with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tyler Thigpen, Vince Young, and Brad Smith
2) Chicago with Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, and Jason Campbell
3) Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, and Charlie Batch
Just look at the rotations listed here and you will see that I mean.
Below I've listed this year's quarterback rotations as of Aug. 1
Cowboys: Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, Stephen McGee, Rudy Carpenter
Eagles: Michael Vick, Mike Kafka, Trent Edwards, Nick Foles
Giants: Eli Manning, David Carr, Ryan Perriloux
Redskins: Robert Griffin, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins, Johnathan Crompton
Bears: Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, Jason Campbell, Matt Blanchard
Lions: Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill, Kellen Moore, R.J. Archer
Packers: Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman
Vikings: Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, Sage Rosenfels, McLeod Thompson
Buccaneers: Josh Freeman, Dan Orlovsky, Brett Raitliff
Falcons: Matt Ryan, Chris Redman, John Parker Wilson, Dominique Davis
Panthers: Cam Newton, Jimmy Clausen, Derek Anderson
Saints: Drew Brees, Chase Daniel, Luke McCown, Sean Canfield
Cardinals: Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, Richard Bartel
49ers: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Josh Johnson, Scott Tolzien
Rams: Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens, Tom Brandstater, Austin Davis
Seahawks: Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson, Russell Wilson, Josh Portis
Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tyler Thigpen, Vince Young, Brad Smith
Dolphins: Matt Moore, David Garrard, Ryan Tannehill, Pat Devlin
Jets: Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy, Matt Simms
Patriots: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett
Bengals: Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski, Zac Robinson, Tyler Hanson
Browns: Colt McCoy, Brandon Weeden, Seneca Wallace, Thaddeus Lewis
Ravens: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Curtis Painter, John Brantley
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch, Jerrod Johnson
Colts: Andrew Luck, Drew Stanton, Chandler Harnish
Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Jordan Palmer, Nathan Enderle
Texans: Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, John Beck, Case Keenum
Titans: Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Locker, Rusty Smith, Nick Stephens
Broncos: Peyton Manning, Caleb Hanie, Brock Osweiler, Adam Weber
Chargers: Philip Rivers, Charlie Whitehurst, Jarrett Lee
Chiefs: Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, Ricky Stanzi, Alex Tanney
Raiders: Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Terelle Pryor, Kyle Caballero
So as you can see if you combine everything listed here - a nice profitable preseason is definitely possible - which will lead to a nice fat bankroll for the upcoming season.