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Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Monday, July 30, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Thursday brings the start of the 2018 NFL Preseason when the Chicago Bears take on the Baltimore Ravens in the Hall of Fame game on NBC. If you want to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp, you should be relatively conservative throughout the month of August. The Preseason is for building bankroll, not burning it.

Sharps (professional wagerers) do have some involvement in the NFL Preseason. But, lower limits make it tough to really fire hard at any game. Plus, oddsmakers are quick to move their numbers if they sense smart money is attacking based on personnel news of some sort. Edges don’t last long when they exist.

Here are a few keys to the sharp approach for betting exhibition football.

*Home field advantage is only worth 1.5 to 2 points in Preseason games. Don’t jump on all the cheap home favorites thinking that home field is worth three. It’s just not a big deal in the exhibition slate, except for the occasional game where a head coach has made it clear he’s trying to get a home win. (Of course, when that’s clear…the team isn’t going to be laying less than a field goal!). Squares (the public) love betting cheap home favorites. Don’t fall into that trap. If you see a home team laying two points, that’s basically a market coin flip. You can’t bet like it’s September in August.

*Scoring is much more condensed because many teams run vanilla offenses, and backups aren’t great at moving the chains to find the end zone. It’s common to see Over/Unders in the low 30’s. The public wants to bet Overs because the numbers seem so cheap. Sharps are much more likely to scout out the best Under scenarios…games where the Over/Under should be around 27 or 28 rather than 32-33. It’s true all the time…the public wants to bet cheap favorites and Overs. Sharps make their money with contrarian approaches. 

*In recent seasons, sharps have backed off of veteran backup quarterbacks. It used to be GOLD to ride a veteran backup quarterback who could put points on the board. Nothing oddsmakers could do about that. Now, teams seem more intent on running the clock and avoiding injuries. You should try to focus on one or two quarterbacks who are fighting to gain attention from OTHER teams rather than just riding all the quality backups.

*Keep an eye out for rookie kickoff and punt returners. There’s usually at least one guy every August who covers a couple of games by himself because he’s returning kicks against opponents who aren’t very good on special teams. Usually, specials teams play is so bad for both teams in a Preseason game that it cancels out. Sharps have their eyes on the handful of spots where it’s going to matter. Try to read local media coverage about special teams preparation to see which college super-athletes are about to get some shots returning kicks. They will either score touchdowns or set up easy points with long returns.

*The single biggest factor that sharps respect in the Preseason is head coaching history. Some coaches just do not care about results. This information is public, so lines are stacked against them anyway. Usually not quite enough. There are still 1-2 points of value in the line by fading the old school coaches who are just running generic plays to get timing down. Sharps know the histories, which means you should too.

*The other big factor for sharps specifically involves head coaching histories in the “dress rehearsal” games in the third full week of action. Some coaches have very clear tendencies in those games. Some sharps will bet more in that week that the preliminaries combined as a result. If you do nothing else to prepare for August, be sure you research Preseason histories of head coaches both overall and in those dress rehearsals. The August market will make much more sense to you if you have those numbers handy.

I will pick some spots for my clients through August. You regulars know I’m not the type to release “lock” or “Game of the Month” type selections. But, I will monitor the markets and talk to my sharp buddies about which teams deserve attention. You can purchase daily BEST BETS from your friend in Las Vegas right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about long term or combination packages that offer the best value. August will be busy in both football and baseball.

I’ve been spending time in New Jersey lately, as that state gears up for its first ever season of legal football betting. Temperatures have been much cooler than in Vegas. But, I’ve been to busy to enjoy it. You’ve probably seen news reports about long lines for baseball bettors on the weekend. The emergence of apps for online betting should help alleviate that before football’s regular season arrives. More sites are due to open very soon. It’s great that such classic gambling cities like New York and Philadelphia will soon have such easy access for legal football betting.

If you’re from there…or from Mississippi…or West Virginia…where betting is about to commence, welcome to my web articles. I’ll do my best all season to teach you how sharps beat the market. Thanks for reading today. See you again at the end of the week.   

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