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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Handicapping and betting the NFL Preseason can be very tough for most gamblers. You can win at it. I’ve been winning at it consistently for many years. But, the keys you follow are very different than what you see in the regular season. That’s natural, because most of the players on the field aren’t guys who you’ll see much in the regular season!

Since the Exhibition slate officially gets under way this Sunday with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio (Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins), it’s time to review some Advanced Sports Betting principals for picking the Preseason.



Squares bet way too many Preseason games because they’ve missed football so much the past six months that they just can’t help themselves. Advanced Sports Bettors know that most of these games are true toss-ups in terms of the straight up and ATS winner…and that many of the Over/Unders will be determined by fluke special teams points or defensive touchdowns. There are no “real” edges in most NFL exhibition games, which means you’re supposed to PASS!

Advanced Sports Betting means NOT betting when you don’t have an edge. Don’t you ever forget that. There’s nothing worse than blowing most of your bankroll in August before the real games even begin. Use August to build a bankroll by being very picking with your choices.



During the regular season, your natural focus is on the skill position stars who will be putting points on the board (and the high impact defenders who will be trying to stop them). In the Preseason, those guys see very little action because they need to be protected health-wise. You should only pick a Preseason game if you have you’re on a projected back-up who will be in position to score touchdowns. A short list:

*Backup quarterbacks with something to prove

*Rookie quarterbacks with something to prove (like Russell Wilson last year)

*Rookie wide receivers who are true burners

*Rookie speedsters who will be returning punts and kickoffs

NFL Preseason games are won and covered by those men. And, almost any BLOWOUT can be directly attributed to something on that list. I will have some 50-unit and 100-unit plays this summer (possibly 200-unit too), and they will be keyed by a PLAYMAKER I’m confident will put points on the board.



In most games, neither team will be motivated…neither team will care about the result…so you should pass and move on. There are some teams though, and some coaches, who will be focused on getting results (particularly in their dress rehearsal games). Motivation shows up when:

*A new head coach wants to re-establish a winning attitude

*An established head coach with a proven Preseason track record is in a good schedule spot

*A team playing its last (or only) home game of the Preseason is facing a visitor that has made it clear they don’t care about the result

You’re looking for motivation against “lack of motivation” in the Preseason.



If you see NFL “steam” on any game day, it’s generally being triggered by “sharp” action rather than the public. Squares generally don’t bet actively enough in August to move the betting lines. Don’t fade a game-day line move unless you’re absolutely certain it’s been keyed by dumb public money. Nobody cleans up betting against the sharps!

Most of your summer work for the NFL has involved getting ready for the regular season. Much of that won’t help you in the Preseason because the best players will be on the sidelines avoiding injury. If you’re truly serious about beating the Preseason slate, spend the next week-and-a-half studying the rosters to see which athletic rookies are positioned to help teams win and cover in the second half. Review the new head coaches, and study local online media in those cities for clues about how the new leaders are prioritizing games. And, remind yourself that discretion is the better part of valor in August. Only bet your very strongest selections.

I will be posting service selections here at this website on every game day if you need additional assistance. Be sure to check out my very affordable full season rates as well.

Back again later this week for our next class discussion. My College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping continues to grow by leaps and bounds. I greatly appreciate all of you who have been with us since this feature first started. I look forward to seeing new faces too, as the 2013 football season arrives in the coming days. The Dean of Sports Handicapping is ready. Are you?

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