Although several of our trends didn’t fare particularly well last week, we were able to nab Houston as a featured play and run our record to 3-1 in the preseason. On the basis of trends alone Chicago would have been the play, but Seattle’s impressive preseason record under Pete Carroll was enough to keep us away from the Bears. The ability to pass on a game with conflicting trends is the one of the biggest advantages you have over the bookmaker.
Jumping ahead to Week No. 4, there has been a shift in tendencies the past few years and favorites have been a profitable wager the past three seasons, with midsize favorites performing a little bit better.
The final week of the preseason usually will see the starters playing for a series or two before giving way to the backups, who see extended playing time and will tend to favor teams with solid backup quarterbacks. For some teams, such as the St. Louis Rams, it’s a bit tougher, as they would like to get Shaun Hill some playing time with the starters, but do they want to risk another injury and be down to having Austin Davis or Garret Gilbert as their starting quarterback?
One big difference this week is that the majority of totals that have moved have come down, which is in contrast to the first three weeks when most totals were bet up. Week 4 totals are pretty much a 50-50 proposition over the past three years, but the posted numbers are now higher than they have been in the past, meaning that the value may rest in looking for games to go under the total this week.
The one game that stands out is the previously mentioned Rams, as they travel to Miami to face the Dolphins. Bet DSI has the Dolphins-3 and the total is 39.5.
After last week’s game, the Rams would probably like nothing more than to get on the field and get the game over with as soon as possible in order to avoid any more injuries. The Dolphins may be accommodating hosts in that regard, as Miami is still undecided on its starting running back and may be content to run the ball a bit more than normal. The Dolphins didn’t play starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill in last year’s final preseason game, but Miami’s first-team offense struggled some last week, netting just three points in six possessions, so they may get a bit more work on Thursday.
The under 39.5 looks to be the way to go in this spot, as neither offense is that explosive and the coaches have no incentive to try and put up plenty of points on the scoreboard.
Allen Moody is a sports bettor and author who has been immersed in the betting scene for more than 30 years and has worked with some of the biggest names in sports handicapping. Using historical anaylsis and betting market trends, he is able to uncover solid value plays on a consistent basis.