We love football. We love betting on football. We’ve had a good run recently with our MLB First 5 Innings wagers here in the Tuley’s Takes home office, but there’s something about football that really gets our blood pumping.
I know it was just the Hall of Fame Game — the most meaningless of the exhibition season — last Thursday, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching the whole game between the Raiders and Jaguars, and it wasn’t just because I was sweating my bets on the Over 32.5 (opening line) and Over 30.5 (closing line at the majority of books).
Of course, it felt even better as the Raiders won 27-11 to go Over the total, but there’s just a certain rhythm of a football game that makes it enjoyable to watch and follow your wagers (or try to jump in on in-game wagers). And now we get a full slate of bettable exhibitions with NFL Preseason Week 1 this Thursday through Sunday.
A lot of people scoff at wagering on games where coaches are usually more interested in evaluating the talent on their rosters than in actually winning (and, full disclosure, there’s been years when I’ve lost my early preseason plays and stopped to instead focus on the regular season), but I still maintain that the NFL preseason is beatable because there are definitely coaches that take the preseason seriously and try to win (Baltimore’s John Harbaugh being No. 1). Plus, this is the only time when coaches will tell us their game plans and how long they intend to play their starters.
Hmmm. That sounds familiar as I believe someone predicted that two weeks ago here in Point Spread Weekly.
Anyway, as of deadline for this column, we’re waiting for more coaches to tip their hands on things such as QB rotations, so please check out the daily version of this column, “Tuley’s Takes Today,” at VSiN.com every morning, for any plays we add this weekend. But as we sit here on Tuesday, here are three plays I’m recommending (and one I’m just mentioning).
Patriots + 1.5 vs. Giants, Thursday: This game kicks off Preseason Week 1 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Thursday. New England’s Bill Belichick is 49-36 ATS (57.6%) in preseason games, so he knows how to prepare for these, while the Giants’ Brian Daboll has his first head coaching job. In addition, Daboll has already forbidden videotaping of his practices, so we don’t expect him to show much in preseason games. I really don’t understand the love for the Giants being favored here (the Patriots are up to + 2 at several books here in Las Vegas and at DraftKings in states where VSiN’s parent company is licensed). Granted, there are reports of the Patriots’ offense struggling in practice, but I expect more from New England’s newly named offensive coordinator Matt Patricia, especially if Brian Hoyer receives most of the snaps. In addition, rookie Bailey Zappe looks like the type of gunslinger who can excel against backup defenses in preseason games.
Ravens -3.5 vs. Titans, Thursday: No, I’m not going to defy my dog-or-pass approach and lay the points, but I do feel I should mention this game for those who want to ride the gravy train that is John Harbaugh in the preseason (37-15 ATS, 71.1%, 20 consecutive straight-up wins), Personally, I believe that’s too high a tax to lay more than a field goal in a preseason game (or around -180 on the money line), so let the bettor beware.
Seahawks + 3 at Steelers, Saturday: Geno Smith is the incumbent to replace Russell Wilson in Seattle, but we’re hearing that former Broncos QB Drew Lock is having a good camp, so we could have a motivated backup. If they both see considerable time, I give a considerable edge to the Seahawks. Mitch Trubisky is No. 1 on the Steelers’ depth chart, so we don’t see as much of a QB battle there with Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett. For future reference, Seattle’s Pete Carroll (26-17 ATS, 60.5% in the preseason) and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin (34-24 ATS, 58.6%) are both play-on coaches.
Panthers + 3.5 at Commanders, Saturday: There are rumors that the Panthers are still shopping for a starting QB, but for now I still like the preseason rotation of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Matt Corral and P.J. Walker battling for their spots on the roster. And we’re getting more than a field goal? I’ll take it.
Again, check out “Tuley’s Takes Today” for any updates.
Tuley’s Takes on MLB
We’re not abandoning baseball by any stretch, especially as the First 5 Innings wagers continue to treat us well. Last week in this column, I mentioned we were 6-2-4 for a net profit of 7.64 units the prior week, and this past week we posted an 8-5-1 record for another profit of 4.25 units.
It’s nowhere near the run we had in the winter/spring of 2019 with NHL First Period Overs, but it’s been a nice bankroll-builder for football season.
Again, those daily plays can be found each morning in the “Tuley’s Takes Today” column at VSiN.com.