I celebrated my 55th birthday Monday, and my best gift every year at the Tuley’s Takes home office party is that football season is here!
The NFL preseason kicks off Thursday night with the Hall of Fame Game (and the Canadian Football League, if you’re into that). The Steelers are 1.5-point favorites over the Cowboys, with the low Over/Under wavering between 32.5 and 33 points. We pretty much knew Ben Roethlisberger and Dak Prescott wouldn’t play in this most meaningless of meaningless exhibition games, but now that has been confirmed.
I’m not going to ramble too much about NFL preseason betting, as others are touching on the subject this week, but I’ll just throw in my two cents. Betting these games is almost like betting the recent NFL and NBA drafts: You’re wagering as much on information as on any kind of traditional handicapping. While coaches try to do their Bill Belichick imitations during the regular season, they’ll just come out and tell you their game plans and how much they’re playing their starters in the exhibitions. The key is whether you’re quicker than the bookmakers and other bettors in interpreting that news, weighing how much it matters and deciding whether to fire right away or to wait for the market to overreact. Of course, this is also true during the regular season, but the books will adjust their lines much more aggressively in the preseason, so you have to keep on top of everything if you’re betting seriously this time of year.