NFL Preseason Betting

Written by: Alonzo Solano, Sports Analyst and Content Writer
Last updated:
6 minute read
NFL Preseason Betting Guide

Wagering on NFL Preseason games is an afterthought for most football bettors. And we think that’s a big mistake.

NFL Preseason betting is an extremely viable market and one that you should consider throwing into your wagering rotation for extra profits.

In this guide, we’ll show you how NFL preseason betting works and how to bet on the games with a smart strategy.

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NFL Preseason Betting Explained

NFL Preseason Betting Explained

NFL preseason games are exhibition games that take place during the off-season and they serve as preparation for the regular season for professional football teams.

These matches don’t have a real impact on the outcome of the football season, so they’re usually thought of as just a way for players to get in shape.

However, there is more to it. You can bet on NFL preseason games and make money, just as you would bet on any regular-season NFL game to make a profit.

Why bet on NFL preseason?

One of the main advantages of preseason betting is that sportsbooks do not have sharp odds for these games. It’s hard for them to predict how a team will perform when there is no real pressure to win.

There is also late-breaking news about playing time and coach motivations which make it hard to track and update. Another advantage of preseason betting is that it grants familiarity with players and personnel.

Watching backups and second-string players will give you a much better barometer of how these players might impact the team if a starter goes down.

Having a deeper understanding of the personnel and system of each team will help you later in the season with handicapping.

How to Bet On NFL Preseason Games

Betting on NFL preseason games is simple and fun. Follow these steps to get started in a matter of minutes:

  1. Choose A Trusted NFL Sportsbook

    Picking the right site to bet is the most important step. We have reviewed hundreds of sportsbooks to come up with the best NFL betting sites out there.

    Choosing one of our recommended sites is the best way to guarantee a fantastic gambling experience. Once you pick one, create an account.
  2. Make Your First Deposit

    Once you have your account set up, it’s time to make a deposit. You’ll have several banking options, including credit card deposits, bank wires, and even cryptocurrencies. Choose the method that fits you best.
  3. Claim A Welcome Bonus

    Top sportsbooks offer you amazing welcome bonuses with your first deposit. This is the best way to increase your bankroll early.

    Check our review of the best NFL betting promos and make sure to take advantage of them.
  4. Find NFL Preseason Betting Odds

    Browse through the site and find the latest NFL Preseason odds for upcoming games. You’ll find odds for different types of NFL bets, including Moneylines, Parlays, and NFL propositions, among others.

    Find a bet that makes sense and has potential to be profitable. Click on it and start the wagering process.
  5. Place Your Preseason Bets

    After selecting the amount you want to wager, and bet type, review your bet slip and make sure everything is correct.

    Confirm the bet and that’s it! You are now ready to enjoy the off-season games and potentially make money at the same time.

Top NFL Preseason Betting Sites

Choosing a trusted gambling site to bet on NFL Preseason games is vital for potential profits, and to make sure that you receive your winnings.

The following are the top sportsbooks we recommend:

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Check Our Review Of The Best NFL Betting Sites

NFL Preseason Betting Tips And Strategies

NFL Preseason Betting Tips

Success at NFL football preseason betting is all about soaking up as much information as possible.

Reading beat writers, watching the coaches’ press conferences, and keeping an eye on social media can give bettors an edge before new data is adjusted into the line.

Let’s go through the best tips and strategies to bet on the NFL preseason.

Betting Tip #1Understand the Differences With Regular Season Games

It’s important not to follow the same line of thinking that applies to betting on the regular season.

The preseason is about factoring in playing time for starters versus reserves and getting inside coaches’ heads in terms of weekly motivation.

First-year coaches may feel they have more to prove than more established coaches and may press harder to win games. Some rest their starters with even minor ailments while others are willing to let them play through injuries.

Betting Tip #2Follow NFL Preseason Media Outlets

Keeping up with local beat writers and watching press conferences may not be possible for some with regular day jobs and packed schedules, but it does help if you can make the time.

Following line movement and chasing steam is an excellent way to notch some profits in the preseason and beat the market without spending too much time following each team.

Betting Tip #3Analyze NFL Coaches In Preseason Games

Coaching is important to consider when evaluating a coach’s or team’s intentions regarding the preseason.

It is not always the case that a new or first-year coach will look to push his players harder in the preseason to get his tenure started off on a strong note, but it’s certainly a more plausible scenario than veteran teams and coaches pushing their players harder.

Of course, preseason results have no correlation to regular season or Super Bowl success, but it’s just another way of getting information to consider when betting on the regular season.

Betting Tip #4Consider Coaches’ Philosophy during preseason

Coaches trying to “instill a culture of winning” or whatever that means, is something to consider when betting preseason games.

Andy Reid, who has had a long coaching career with the Eagles and now the Chiefs, is probably the only coach that we can get a meaningful sample size under two different franchises.

Reid is a perennial winner in the regular season, but his sub .500, 36-40 record, during the preseason, shows that he’s not taking exhibition contests too seriously.

Betting Tip #5Prepare For Each Preseason game

Typically, in the first preseason game, no first-team players or starters will participate. In the second game, they may play several drives or a quarter.

In the third preseason game, it’s not uncommon for the starters to play 2-3 quarters. In the final, or fourth preseason game, the starters almost never play a single snap.

Of course, these can vary depending on the coach, but this is the general way that preseason games play out regarding playing time for the starters.

NFL Preseason Betting FAQ

Why Do NFL Preseason Lines Move?

Significant line moves are common during the NFL preseason

Week by week, the NFL regular season follows much of the same script. Several top oddsmakers release their lines for the coming week after the late afternoon games on Sunday.

They have a good barometer of how these games might play out and have already factored in notable injury concerns.

This isn’t the case when it comes to NFL preseason betting markets.

Lines move much more often, and drastic movements on the point spread as large as 6-7 points are relatively common. The market is pretty dynamic as a whole.

The reason behind the line movements is that there are a lot more questions about playing time, along with coaching motivations and strategy during the preseason compared to the regular season. If breaking news hits, you will often see a drastic move in odds markets.

Why NFL Sportsbooks Lower Their Limits For Preseason?

There’s a reason a bookmaker might accept a $20,000 bet on a regular-season side or total and just $2,000 on the same markets in the preseason.

A sportsbook’s confidence in its lines is directly related to the wagering limits. Their trust in NFL Preseason betting odds is much smaller in comparison. Simply put, their lines are just not as efficient.

Flurries of line movement indicate the original line wasn’t too sharp (or a serious change in information) and opens up sportsbooks to steam chasers and arbitrage players.

What Are The Sharpest NFL Preseason Betting Markets?

Believe it or not, the markets that the sportsbooks are the sharpest, by a large margin, are NFL point spread bets and totals.

If you take a look at the wagering limits at just about any US-facing betting sites, the limits for sides and totals on NFL regular-season games will dwarf just about any other sport.

Don’t Miss Our NFL Betting Guide

About the Author

Alonzo Solano

Alonzo Solano

Sports Analyst and Content Writer

Alonzo is a Sports Betting Analyst and casino games enthusiast who has covered Football extensively at SBS, but don’t be surprised if you read him on other sports. He's the host of the NFL Latino TV podcast.

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