Preseason NFL Betting: NY Giants vs. Buffalo Bills

Added August 03, 2014 by Levi Watkins

The NFL football season is upon us–sort of. The first game of the NFL preseason takes place today as the New York Giants take on the Buffalo Bills in the annual Hall of Fame game. This is the traditional opening game of the NFL football preseason but next week there will be a full schedule of games. There’s a division of opinion on whether NFL preseason games should be bet at all due to the fact that they ‘don’t count’. We’ll address this debate in this post and then give a betting recommendation.

As mentioned above the biggest argument against preseason NFL betting is the simple fact that the games don’t count. In the regular season although teams motivation and focus can wane they in theory want to win every time they take the field. That’s not always the case in preseason football as different coaches have different goals. Some are trying to evaluate the personnel on the roster, some might make the game plan focus on finding the best player at a single position, some are trying to establish a ‘winning attitude’ and all coaches want to keep their stars and key personnel from getting injured.

Yet the divergent goals of preseason coaches are actually the reason that good betting opportunities exist. The trick is figuring out the strategy of the team heading in to the particular game, the quarterback rotation and other salient factors. To think that teams *ever* just hit the field and hope for the best–even in preseason–shows a profound lack of understanding about the realities of NFL football.

So how to handicap this specific game? It’s actually fairly easy since the starters won’t get much playing time and you’ll be dealing with a game of one group of reserves against the other. Usually taking the points is the right play. So much about the nature of preseason football suggests a ‘coin flip’ matchup and getting points in a ‘coin flip’ is always the way to go. On the total we’ll look ‘Over’. The trend for many years has been low scoring ‘Under’ games and the total has been adjusted based on that to the point that the value is found going the other way.


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