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NFL Preseason Bets – How to Bet the Preseason & Teams to Target

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NFL Football

Updated Jul 12, 2023 · 9:10 AM PDT

John Harbaugh mad on the Ravens sideline
Oct 16, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh looks on during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Week 1 of NFL Preseason kicks off on Thursday, August 10th
  • John Harbaugh’s Ravens are 43-12 since he took over in the preseason
  • Keep reading to find out how to bet the NFL preseason, plus early teams to target

NFL Training Camps are set to open next week, which means preseason action is right around the corner. Sure, the quality of football won’t be high, but you can exploit major edges in the betting market by doing your research for your NFL preseason bets.

Some coaches treat their starters with kid gloves during the exhibition schedule, while others are so hyper competitive that they can’t help but play to win. Knowing how coaches handle the preseason can will give you a leg up on casual bettors when making your NFL preseason best bets, who are simply looking to back their favorite team.

How to Bet NFL Preseason

When it comes to NFL preseason bets, information is king. It’s a good idea to follow the main beat writer of all 32 teams, as they’ll drop helpful nuggets throughout the week about game plans, schemes and playing time.

Bear in mind, online sportsbooks are paying attention to these writers as well, but there’s a good chance they won’t be able to react as quickly to a major update given everything else they’re tracking. That’s when we have to bounce with our favorite NFL preseason best bets, as the window of opportunity is open long before the odds adjust accordingly.


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As mentioned earlier, knowing how coaches treat exhibition games is paramount. There’s a large enough sample size to know that John Harbaugh led teams play to win in the preseason, while coaches like Matt LaFleur, Zac Taylor and Josh McDaniels are more concerned with evaluating players and experimenting with new schemes.

Speaking of LaFleur and Taylor, they both hail from the Sean McVay coaching tree, along with Kevin O’Connell. McVay has elected to sit the majority of his starters throughout the preseason over his tenure, and his disciples have mostly followed suit.

That’s led to some pretty egregious exhibition records for the bunch, as the four combined to go 3-9 in 2022.

Where Can I Bet on the NFL Preseason

All the major online sportsbooks will have NFL preseason odds posted in the coming weeks, including DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, Caesars and Bet365. As of now only odds for the Hall of Fame Game are listed, but Preseason Week 1 lines and spreads should be right around the corner. In the meantime, there are plenty of NFL futures bets that can be made if you’re lookign to scratch that NFL itch.

The competition to take action on your best NFL preseason bets is high, so make sure you take advantage of the bonuses each book is offering. For example, you can use this DraftKings promo code right now, and as a new user get a $150 instantly after depositing and making any $5 bet.

Best NFL Preseason Bets Today

It’s impossible to look at the NFL Week 1 preseason board and not want to target the Ravens over the Eagles for your NFL preseason bets. Baltimore has won 23 straight exhibition games under Harbaugh, and has assembled a roster that is worthy of Super Bowl odds consideration.

NFL Preseason Bets Week 1

Matchup Pick
Philadelphia Eagles vs Baltimore Ravens Ravens
Indianapolis Colts vs Buffalo Bills Bills

Lamar Jackson likely won’t see a snap in the preseason, but his backup Tyler Huntley has been an exhibition All-Pro since coming into the league. Huntley dominated in last year’s preseason completing 86% of his passes, for over 230 yards and 2 TDs.

The Ravens are one of the best coached teams in all three phases of the game during the regular season, and Harbaugh demands the same type of precision in the preseason.

The same cannot be said about Philadelphia’s exhibition performances under Nick Sirianni, as the team boasts just a 1-5 record. The Eagles starters won’t play a single meaningful snap in Week 1, and their second and third stringers likely won’t have the same type of experience or level of preparation as Baltimore’s.


Another well coached team that shows up in the preseason year after year is the Bills. Buffalo under Sean McDermott is 12-6 in the preseason, including 9-1 over the last three years. They have plenty of seasoned backups to rely on while the starters rest, and should have little issue with the rebuilding Colts.

Shane Steichen, a Sirianni deciple, is the new leader in Indy, and there’s a good chance we see fourth overall pick Anthony Richardson in the opening week. Richardson underwhelmed in OTAs and mini camps, and is considered a lengthy work in progress.

He had just 13 college stars on his resume prior to making the leap to the NFL, and there’s a major learning curve at the QB position going from the college ranks to the pros. Expect a rude welcome from the Buffalo defense and back the Bills in your NFL preseason bets.

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