|Written by Michelle Allan|
Bet on the NFLWhile it is true that the games technically do not matter in the preseason, the first week of preseason action in the NFL proved to be quite an interesting time. It was also big for betting action as many of the teams this week beat the NFL odds and stood out quite a big.
Many Close Calls
Some of the games in the first week of preseason action were very close. For instance, Kansas City was a -2 favorite over Cincinnati in their match and the Chiefs ended up coming away with a 41-39 win. The Bengals did try to come back with two late touchdowns by third string quarterback Matt Scott but the Chiefs still held on in this highly offensive preseason match.
The New York Jets did not meet the -4 spread that they had against Indianapolis but came very close to it. The Jets won 13-10 after Andrew Furney got a long field goal with just one minute left in the game to give the Jets the go-ahead.
Minnesota with a -3 favorite over Oakland and the Vikings had just barely gotten over that number with a 10-6 win at TCF Bank Stadium, their temporary home for the next few years on the main University of Minnesota campus. Much of this came after a two-point conversion by the Raiders failed with close to a minute left in the game.
Some Weren't Even Close
Naturally, the preseason is always a time for fine-tuning and it is no surprise that some matches in this part of the season can be lopsided. The spread odds will certainly be blown out well early in the game at many times. This was especially the case in the match between Houston and Arizona.
Houston was a -1.5 favorite to beat the Cardinals in their first preseason match. However, the Texans failed to get anywhere on offense. The Texans only had 82 passing yards while all three quarterbacks who played for the Cardinals got more than that total. The Cardinals' 32-0 victory over the Texans only created more questions for the Texans than give off answers over what the team was getting into.
This was not the only large blowout that took place during the preseason games. Baltimore took out San Francisco 23-3 even though the Ravens only had a -2 advantage for the game. Although Ravens backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor was sacked three times, the Ravens successfully put the job of 49ers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert in jeopardy by limiting him to only twenty passing yards during an extended play period. They also got a sack and interception off of him.
Pick-Ems Are Tough
There were two games that were listed as pick-ems for the week. The Carolina-Buffalo and Denver-Seattle matches were both listed to where anyone could just pick a side and not worry about the spread. Buffalo won their game 20-18 while Denver won 21-16. The big question about these pick-ems was just why the Broncos didn't give the same effort against the Seahawksda so many months ago.
How About the Over/Unders?
The over/under bets throughout the week's preseason matches included totals that were rather consistent throughout the entire league. These totals for the number of points to score in a game were ranged from 37 to 40 for the most part as it was hard for oddsmakers to try and figure out what the potential offensive outputs would be for certain games.
Most of these games went under those totals. The games between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh as well as the one between Tennessee and Green Bay were both close. The Giants and Titans both won by scores of 20-16, thus narrowly getting under these spreads. In fact, the Giants were in a game where the over/under was listed at 36.5.
Some games were clearly ones that were well over those totals. In addition to the Kansas City-Cincinnati game mentioned earlier, Chicago and Philadelphia went far over the point total. The Bears got a 34-28 victory to get a total point value that was far over the 41.5 total. This came thanks in part to the strong passing efforts made by both teams throughout the entire game.
These points for the first week of preseason action prove that there is hardly a way for anyone to predict just what can happen in the preseason. This is what makes betting on these NFL games so interesting. It can be fun to do but there is no real way how anyone can guarantee that someone will win as all of these teams are trying to figure out what they want to do this coming season.