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Home / Articles / Betting The NFL Preseason In 2023

Betting The NFL Preseason In 2023

By: Jeff Hochman     Date: Jul 11, 2023
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The Hall of Fame Game marks the start of the NFL preseason and concludes the yearly Hall of Fame enshrinement celebrations. On Thursday, August 3rd, at 8 p.m. ET, the Cleveland Browns will face off against the New York Jets. This is the first time the Browns have participated in the Hall of Fame Game since their win against the Dallas Cowboys in 1999. The Jets last played a game in 1992, where they emerged victorious against the Philadelphia Eagles with a score of 41-14.

Some individuals may advise against betting on NFL preseason games, but this is a misconception. Predicting the outcome of preseason games can be easier than regular-season matchups. This is because you can often anticipate each team's specific game plan. However, winning is never a guarantee, and bettors should always look for potential advantages. Betting on NFL preseason games can be a great way to build your bankroll for the upcoming regular season. To help you get started, I've compiled my list of vital statistics, systems, angles, and teams to consider when betting on the NFL preseason in 2023. Last year, I had a perfect 3-0 record in the NFL preseason.


This one is obvious. It's crucial to remember that during the preseason, the starters and skill position players on specific teams are the same as during the regular season. Teams with depth at the skill positions have an advantage over clubs that rely heavily on a few star players who may only play for a short time. The Cincinnati Bengals are a prime example of this. Their trio of quarterbacks, Joe Burrow, Trevor Siemian, and Jake Browning, are all familiar with the Bengals' system and are a formidable group. Browning, in particular, has an impressive track record with 39 wins during his time at Washington U, with a completion rate of 64.6% and 94 touchdowns to only 34 interceptions. He is likely to excel in preseason games against weaker defenses. The Bengals have been running their current system for four years, and their defense has improved since Lou Anarumo took over as coordinator.

The Arizona Cardinals are undergoing significant changes with the arrival of a new head coach, Jonathan Gannon, a new offensive coordinator, Drew Petzing, and a new defensive coordinator, Nick Rallis. It's worth noting that all three coordinators have yet to have prior NFL coaching experience. Unfortunately, Kyler Murray is injured and will be unable to play for the first half of the season. As a result, the depth chart will consist of Colt McCoy, Clayton Tune, Jeff Driskel, and David Blough. During the preseason, the rookie coaching staff will exercise caution with their top quarterbacks. Furthermore, the Cardinals' defense must adapt to a new scheme. As a result, the team may face a challenging preseason.

When making NFL preseason bets, it's important to consider the team's quarterback situation and their level of continuity. The final eight minutes of a game can often make or break a bet, so choosing teams with a strong QB lineup or a history of success in the league is wise. These teams will have an advantage over opponents with weaker third or fourth-string defenses in the game's closing moments.


In some cases, determining the team with the most experienced players can be an excellent way to predict success. However, having older players may only sometimes be advantageous since many dislike preseason games. Additionally, some skilled players in certain positions may not put forth their total effort during preseason games because they consider them "meaningless" and already have a secure job, making them feel less motivated to showcase their talent.

When it comes to handicapping coaches and systems, experience is a crucial factor. Organizations with no significant change have an advantage over those introducing new leadership. For instance, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been running Mike Tomlin's system for 16 years, and a second year in offensive coordinator Matt Canada's scheme should improve their performance. On the other hand, teams like the Houston Texans, who are undergoing significant changes, including the appointment of a new head coach (DeMeco Ryans), a new offensive coordinator (Bobby Slowik), and a new defensive coordinator (Matt Burke), may require additional time to adapt. All three of them will be making their NFL coaching debut. Therefore, paying attention to teams with familiarity and continuity and identifying those less comfortable with their new system can give you an edge in the preseason. It cannot be emphasized enough! 

First-Year Head Coaches with new team (Full Season)

This season we have five teams with new head coaches. Although Sean Payton is not a newcomer, he will debut with a different team. New head coaches in their first year can be challenging, but they tend to do well in their first home game in August, particularly after a defeat on the road. In the past six years, they have had a good record of 6-1 ATS, 5-2 ATS, 4-1 ATS, and 6-2 ATS in 2019. However, in 2021, this trend did not prove profitable, resulting in a losing record of 2-6 ATS. Last year, they had an average record of 5-5 ATS. Overall, these coaches have had a successful history of 28-17 (62.2%) ATS over the past six preseasons. New head coaches face a lot of pressure to excel and leave a positive impression on the owner, GM, players, and fans to prove they are the right person for the job. Winning early in the preseason is a point of emphasis, but it's important to be selective and not mindlessly support all five teams in their first home game. Here are the five NFL head coaches making their debut with a new team in the upcoming season.

Jonathan Gannon  (Arizona Cardinals)

Frank Reich (Carolina Panthers)

Sean Payton  (Denver Broncos)

DeMeco Ryans  (Houston Texans)

Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts)


Knowing how head coaches were raised and their philosophies will give you a significant advantage this August. I will provide one HC that treats the preseason as the regular season. That would be John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are 22-1 ATS over the past six preseasons!! That is not a misprint. His 42-13 ATS (76.3%) overall record in the preseason would have made you a small fortune. On the flip side, Brandon Staley of the LA Chargers clearly despises the preseason. He uses August to scout his rookies, non-roster invites, and undrafted free agents while keeping his starters and key backups fresh. The Chargers went 0-3 SU and 0-3 ATS last year. Staley is now 1-5 SU and 1-5 ATS over the past two years in the preseason. Keep an eye on the New England Patriots this August. Bill Belichick has always played to win in the preseason, evident by a 10-4 (71.4%) ATS record the last four seasons. NE went 1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS last year. Bill Belichick owns a 51-37 ATS (57.9%) record in the preseason. He’s never had back-to-back losing straight-up records in the preseason with the Patriots. 


If you are a long-time NFL fan, you may already know that not all Head Coaches prioritize winning during the NFL Preseason. Each coach has their approach and sticks to it. For instance, the examples I provided earlier still hold true for this upcoming preseason. Some coaches value the second game, while others prioritize the first or third matchup. Some coaches experiment with their lineups during the preseason to assess their younger players. However, unlike regular season football, most coaches are transparent about their game plan during the preseason. You need to do a bit of research from local beat writers. However, obtaining this information is becoming more complicated in recent years, as the preseason lines are now much sharper, thanks to the odds-makers catching on. You may notice a few preseason games where the spread is more than 6 points.


During the NFL preseason, teams and players generally have a more leisurely schedule, but there are some things to keep in mind. If a team played in the Hall of Fame Game, they might not perform as well in their next game, especially if their key players are injured. Please pay attention to the Browns and Jets to see how they fare after the Hall of Fame Game. Additionally, beware of West Coast teams who must travel to play in high humidity on the East Coast, as these teams often struggle, particularly if they are favored to win. This angle has proven successful in recent years due to stricter OTA regulations.

Jeff's NFL Preseason system to consider in 2023

Consider this if you're searching for a profitable strategy for the NFL preseason. Teams that lose by 28 or more points in their first preseason game tend to perform well in their next game (week two). This is because the public overreacts, and the betting lines become exaggerated. Over the past 11 seasons, NFL teams in this situation have had a success rate of 58.6%. Be sure to choose wisely!

Jeff's #1 NFL Preseason Team to "Play On" in 2023

New England. Last season, the Patriots had a record of 8-9 SU and 7-9-1 ATS during the regular season. Bill Belichick places great importance on preseason games, as demonstrated by his impressive 51-37 ATS (57.9%) record with the Patriots in August games. It's worth noting again that Belichick has never experienced consecutive losing preseasons (straight-up) with New England. They have a strong QB rotation consisting of Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe, and Trace McSorley. Teams with fewer quarterbacks have an advantage as they get more opportunities to practice and scrimmage, resulting in improved gameplay compared to units that employ four or more QBs with limited practice reps due to splitting them up.

Jeff has a proven record of making a profit in 15 of the previous 18 NFL seasons, fully documented by The Sports Monitor of Oklahoma. He has been recognized as an 8-time NFL Top 10 Handicapper and has even won a handicapping title for both the regular season & postseason. During the 2022 NFL regular season, Jeff achieved an impressive 17-6 record (73.9%) while going 2-2 (50%) in the postseason. You can now purchase Early Bird Football season packages at my website.

Good Luck this Football Season!

Follow Jeff on Twitter @JHSPORTSLINE

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