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Profit In The NFL Pre-Season
Profit from August NFL action.

1) Coaching Attitudes regarding the Pre-Season overall.

A brief look at history proves this to be factual. Marv Levy, in his tenure with the Buffalo Bills, was notorious for not caring about Pre-Season games and recorded a won/loss ATS percentage of less than .333. At the other end of the spectrum was Bill Parcels, an intense mentor of more than one NFL team who's propensity for winning carried over from season to season regardless of the status of his team the previous year. There is little doubt that most coaches have a Pre-Season mind set about their goals toward winning in August . Determining each coach's philosophy can go a long way toward an overall perspective of the Pre-Season.

a) Quarterback rotations and 1st team playing time.

These two factors go hand in hand as seldom does a coach play his 1st team quarterback without the benefit of at least the 1st team offensive line to protect him. Identifying quarterback depth and the quarterback rotation for each game will give the handicapper a solid overview of the potential offensive performance for each team. In that regard, it can be helpful to know the offensive competence of the 2nd and 3rd teams as in many of the early season games, they get the majority of the playing time.

b) Losers last year or winners last year.

There is often a strong correlation between a team's level of success the previous regular season and their performance the following August. Established veteran playoff teams have little to prove in the month of August. Rather, their goal is to remain healthy and prepare for the long season ahead. Conversely, a perennial loser may work harder in the month of August to rack up the wins. These not only build confidence but also help fill the stands. One exception to this rule would be a losing team who hires a new coach. Often times this coach is given a "grace period" by the team's ownership as he looks to rebuild the team for the future.

c) The gentlemen's agreement.

It is generally assumed among coaches that defenses will not be as aggressive as in the regular season. That includes not trying to block punts or field goals, not inserting starters late in the game in order to win the game, and perhaps most importantly, not employing unexpected blitzes particularly on early downs. When you find a coach who notably goes against this "gentleman's agreement" such as Tom Coughlin of Jacksonville did in the '97 season, when he repeatedly practiced his new zone blitz package, it can give his team a major advantage in a Pre-Season game.

2) Game #1 road dogs.

Rarely is there much advantage for a superior team in Game #1. Few first teamers are being used as coaches mostly explore back up personnel. As a result, Game #1 road dogs of 4- or more are now 28-14 ATS L17Y.

3) Teams playing their 2nd game against teams playing their 1st.

Overall the benefit of a week of experience has proven profitable for NFL Pre-Season teams. In recent seasons, the record is 24-16 ATS (60%) including a rather surprising 14-7 ATS if the Game #2 team is off a win.

4) Super Bowl Champs

The SuperBowl Champs from the previous year are 2-16 ATS in their Final Pre-Season Game the last 18 years

5) Reversal of form

a) Regardless of a team's philosophy entering Pre-Season, coaches never like the momentum to go too much either way.

As a result, playing on teams off back to back losses or against teams off back to back wins is generally a solid format to follow. This is particularly true if your play on team is the superior team or your play against team is the inferior team.

b) Play on teams off embarrassing losses or against teams off big wins.

This fits hand in glove with the above philosophy. Not only do teams return to form much as they do in the regular season, but there's also an inevitable sense of human letdown or embarrassment when a team performs above or below expectations. Here's a long term scoring technical which reinforces this point. Play on any underdog to -3 who lost their previous game by 10 or more points and allowed 28 or more points if the team whom they're playing allowed < 28 points in the previous game. Call this "the rule of 28's". In the last 15 years, it's recorded a record of 68-36 ATS including a particular sub-set that is 36-12 ATS.

The above are some general rules to help you be successful in the Pre-Season. However, if you don't have the time or the inclination to do the work necessary to isolate winning selections in August, You can get my 67% Winners by visiting

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