The third NFL Preseason game is the closest we come to meaningful football until kickoff of the regular season. Most teams will play their starters the entire first half and even the third quarter. This is great for fans but bad for bettors. NFL Preseason betting strategies don’t work in Week 3.

1st Half Favorites

  • Week 3: 10-9 (52.6%) ATS, +0.42 units
  • All other Weeks: 55-36 (60.4%) ATS, +15.7 units

The numbers speak for themselves. There is no edge betting 1st half favorites of 3 or more points in Week 3 like there is in all other preseason games.

Reverse Line Movement

  • Week 3: 19-18 (51.4%) ATS, +0.07 units
  • All other Weeks: 70-46 (60.3%) ATS, +20.9 units

One of the best ways to profit in exhibition games is to follow reverse line movement but going against the public loses value in the third preseason game.

Playoff Underdogs

  • Week 3: 15-15 (50.0%) ATS, -0.34 units
  • All other Weeks: 78-55 (58.6%) ATS, +19.9 units

Betting playoff teams getting points from the season before is usually a smart idea in the preseason but like we have seen with other strategies it doesn’t hold up in Week 3.

OVER Low Total

  • Week 3: 10-8 (55.6%), +1.72 units
  • All other Weeks: 96-75 (56.1%), +17.6 units

This contrarian strategy of betting the OVER in low total games isn’t a loser but it’s nowhere near as profitable in Week 3 as it is in other preseason games.

What are bettors to do if these preseason strategies don’t work for Week 3? Fear not, there is one angle we can take. 

Big Underdogs

  • Week 3: 17-10 (63.0%) ATS, +6.5 units
  • All Other Weeks: 20-16 (55.6%) ATS, +3.4 units 

The most likely week to see an underdog of 6 or more points is Week 3, again because the starters are expected to play for a majority of the game. This is the perfect time to bet this system.

One game matches this system. Indy opened as 4.5 points underdogs in Pittsburgh but with nearly 80% of spread bets on the Steelers the line has moved to Colts +7 (5Dimes). NFL Preseason betting strategies don’t usually work in Week 3 but there is still value betting big underdogs.


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