Week 1 NFL Preseason Notes
Ross Benjamin
Posted: 2014-08-10

The first full week of the NFL preseason has concluded, and it didn't pass without some interesting betting results that can be discussed. Although these are otherwise meaningless games, as long as they provide a point-spread and total, there's potential money to be made.

Hall of Fame Game Participants Continue to be Money Makers
The NFL preseason annually begins with the Hall of Fame Game which is the lone scheduled contest of the week. Entering the 2014 NFL preseason any team that played in the Hall of Fame Game in their previous contest, versus an opponent playing their first preseason game of the year, has gone 54-27-5 ATS (66.7%), and 56-30 straight up (65.1%) since 1983. This year's participants in Canton, Ohio were the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants.  Buffalo closed as a 1.0-point underdog at Carolina on Friday night, and came away with an outright 20-18 win. The New York Giants were a 3.0 point favorite at home versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they proceeded to win in addition to covering in a 20-16 win. Hence, that NFL preseason betting system now stands at 56-27-5 ATS (67.5%) since 1983, and by the way, I cashed my only two NFL preseason wagers of the week.

Low Scoring Week 1
The first full week of the preseason saw 12 of the 16-games go under the total. If you throw in the Hall of Fame Game result, then we saw 13 of the first 17 contests play on the low side of the number. Those first 17-contests averaged 35.6 points per game. An interesting side note was that the Eagles went over the total of 41.5 easily in a 34-28 loss at Chicago. Philadelphia has now gone over the total in 4 of 5 preseason games with Chip Kelly as their head coach. Then there was the high scoring affair in which Kansas City was a 41-39 winner over Cincinnati. I would be remiss not to note that the Chiefs scored 2-touchdowns via interception returns, and another on a punt return. The Bengals also accounted for one of their touchdowns on an interception return.

Home Teams Prevail
The home teams went an incredible 14-2 straight up in the opening week, and were an equally impressive 13-2-1 ATS. The only home losers were Carolina at the hands of Buffalo, and St. Louis who dropped a 26-24 decision to New Orleans. As a matter of fact, home favorites of 2.0 or more went 9-1-1 ATS, and were a perfect 11-0 straight up while winning by an average of 8.6 points per game.

Interesting Team Preseason Streaks
The Seattle Seahawks entered the 2014 preseason having gone an incredible 9-0 SU&ATS in their last 9-games. All of those games came under the guidance of current head coach Pete Carroll. Well all good things must come to an end. Seattle lost at Denver 21-16, and also failed to cover as a 1.0 point underdog. However, Seattle has gone a terrific 22-5 ATS over their last 27 preseason contests, and has won 20 of those 27 outright.

The New Orleans Saints continued their money making ways during the preseason slate. They opened the 2014 campaign with a 26-24 wins as a 1.5 point underdog at St. Louis. New Orleans has now covered in 7 consecutive preseason games.

The Kansas City Chiefs 41-39 win over Cincinnati marked their 3rd straight preseason win. Prior to that 3-game win streak, the Chiefs were the poster team for preseason futility going 6-30 straight up, and 5-29-2 ATS in their previous 36-games.

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