August 1, 2012
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.