NFL Pro System: How to Profit on Underdogs in the Preseason
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Russell Wilson.
- Underdogs have historically been profitable bets in the NFL Preseason.
- Using Bet Labs, we share the optimal strategy for wagering on preseason pooches.
The NFL preseason is unpredictable. Players and coaches don’t always approach games as they would in the regular season, which unsurprisingly has made underdogs profitable bets.
Since 2004, teams getting points in these exhibition games have gone 499-457-29 (52.2%) against the spread (ATS) according to Bet Labs.
Taking the points with underdogs has more often than not led to winners, but betting the pooches to win outright is more profitable. Since 2004, dogs on the moneyline in the preseason are 408-576-1 (41.5%). Even though we are more than 150 games below .500, a $100 bettor would be up $803.
How? By taking plus-money dogs (+120, +150, +170, etc.) we can win at a sub-.500 clip and still finish positive. When dogs lose, you only lose what you risked. But when they win, you enjoy valuable plus-money payouts.
The optimal situation to bet on moneyline underdogs is when they meet the following criteria:
- Dogs of 3 or fewer points (smaller underdogs have a greater chance of winning outright)
- Playoff team (postseason teams from the year before often have talented rosters)
- Game is played in Weeks 1, 2 or 4 (Week 3 is the most like the regular season, thus underdogs are less undervalued)
Since 2004, this moneyline underdog system has gone 93-83 (52.8%) straight-up. A $100 bettor following this strategy has returned a profit of $3,383.
On Friday, the Chicago Bears (playoff team ✅) are 2-point underdogs (small dog ✅) against the New York Giants in Week 2 (not Week 3 ✅). The Bears are one of three matches for the preseason system this weekend.
- Los Angeles Chargers (+1.5) vs. New Orleans Saints (4 p.m. ET)
- Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Minnesota Vikings (8 p.m. ET)