New Orleans Saints

Here are some tips for betting on Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Saints fans march through city to boycott Super Bowl

New Orleans Saints fans still aren't over the officiating in the NFC Championship, as the took to the streets to protest the Rams taking on the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
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New Orleans Saints fans still aren't over the officiating in the NFC Championship, as the took to the streets to protest the Rams taking on the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.

Places, people!

Dress rehearsals are about to begin in week three of the NFL preseason. That means starters will see their most extensive playing time of the exhibition slate…and many gamblers will be making their biggest bets.

Are you ready for the spotlight? If you’re a Saints fan, focused only on Saturday’s game on the road against the New York Jets (fittingly, a stone’s throw from Broadway), VSiN will discuss that matchup in further depth in our Saturday report. If you’re planning to handicap and bet the full slate, here are some general tips.

Don’t assume “starters vs. starters” is going to mean equal stage time for both teams. This is HUGE because “dress rehearsal” for many veteran sides might mean just a quarter or a few series. For others, it might mean the whole first half with front line players. With lesser teams trying to learn new systems, first-teamers may play deep into the second half.

What seems like a smart bet will flop if the superior team’s starters aren’t actually going to play very long. You want your money on talent edges that will be reflected on stage for the most possible time.

Try to get a clear read from advance coaching comments regarding how long the starters are going to play. For veteran coach/quarterback combos, look back and dress rehearsal games the past few seasons to see how long stars will likely be on the field.

Review stats of backup quarterbacks the past few weeks to see which teams might be most likely to win the second half or fourth quarter. Many straight up and point spread results will still be determined by late-game performance.

Maybe the starters play a 14-14 tie before everyone sits…then the backups determine who cashes tickets. Or, a fired up backup leads his team from behind to victory because he wants to prove he deserves to be a starter in this league. Be sure you’re aware of which backup quarterbacks are fighting to make, or save a career.

Study straight up and ATS results specifically in past dress rehearsal games for head coaches. You’ll likely find that many veterans don’t care about getting a result. If the first-teamers are sharp early on…that’s enough to call it a week and protect everyone from injury. The smartest bets you’ll make this week may be “fades” of teams in poor cover scenarios.

Finally, if you have time, go to last year’s scoreboard page at to review how the full week played out. What were typical market prices? Did games fly Over or skew Under? Did scoring start fast then die off. How often was there a flurry of fourth quarter points?

Too many bettors assume dress rehearsal games are just like the regular season. That was never completely the case, and it’s become less and less true in recent seasons as coaches placed more emphasis on avoiding major injuries. Review last year’s reality before trying to predict these next few days.

VSiN wishes you best of luck with your bets!

Other Notes

TV attractions for NFL bettors between now and Saturday’s Saints game: Jacksonville at Miami (Thursday, FOX, 7 p.m.); Buffalo at Detroit (Friday, CBS, 7 p.m.). Not exactly marquee matchups. But, smart bettors may see evidence in Jags/Dolphins Thursday for putting both on the September fade list. On the other end of the spectrum, many media pundits are looking at either Buffalo or Detroit for possible dark horse runs. Do your research! (And, remember that NFL Network will be showing delayed telecasts through the weekend to assist your analysis.)

Baseball will shift to our back burner until the playoffs arrive. But, we’ll still try to alert you to important pennant race matchups. Thursday, that would include Cleveland at the NY Mets and the New York Yankees at Oakland. Friday, new series begin with Washington at the Chicago Cubs, the Mets at Atlanta, and the much anticipated Yankees/Dodgers series in Los Angeles.

That last one might be a World Series preview. But, betting markets still see Dodgers/Astros as the most likely 2019 incarnation of the Fall Classic. Despite slumping after acquiring Zack Greinke, Houston is a composite +200 to win the world title (risk $100 to win $200) on global futures boards. The Dodgers are next on the ladder at +260. The Yanks are +450.

Be sure to monitor the race for the #1 seed in the American League. If the Bronx Bombers earn that, it would create a virtual pick-em in the A.L. postseason, and a three-way toss-up with the Dodgers to host a parade.

Jeff Fogle writes the daily VSiN newsletter. Sign up at