Is there value in Pre-Season NFL Games? Are these games a good bet? My belief is, no & no.

While some sports services you will find suggest that the NFL pre-season offers valuable wagering opportunities, I could not disagree more and recommend that you stay way from these games. Here are the four major reasons why you should always pass on the NFL pre-season:

1. These pre-season games are not played to win. These contests are merely practice scrimmages and try-out sessions for rookies and the team’s supporting cast. Think of pre-season games as nothing more than tune-ups for the upcoming regular season. Coaches often do not care very much about the outcomes and do not necessarily call their plays to maximize getting points. Therefore, since the final score is often irrelevant to the teams involved, you should not risk your money on this outcome either.

2. Teams’ lineups are in constant flux. It very difficult to judge which players are going to actually participate in the game and for how long. The entire starting lineup may be in the game for just a few series or downs. Does it seem possible to realistically analyze matchups when you do not even know which athletes are going to be on the field? It just does not make sense to wager your money on all these very important unknown factors.

3. Questionable coaching decisions. Coaches will take greater risks than they would normally in a regular season game. Again, wins and losses are not the goals of these games, but rather they are used to evaluate talent and test out new plays. Teams will not necessarily punt on 4th down and long or even make a field goal attempt when in range. If the coaches want to work on a particular aspect of its teams performance, they will make unorthodox play calls, which can affect the outcome of the game.

4. There are going to be plenty of stronger opportunities during the regular season, so do not waste your money on these tune-ups. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of watching football after a lengthy off-season, but patients will payoff. Wait for the regular season to start when the games actually count in the standings and each team is playing for the same goal – to win the game.

Although I have noted just 4 reasons above, this list could have gone on forever. The point here is clear. There is simply too much uncertainly in nearly every aspect of these pre-season games, making a reasonable assessment of the teams a near impossibility.

However, you should not discount the pre-season altogether. These games are good for information gathering purposes — learning more about new players and coaches — but not good for wagering. Be sure to pass on the pre-season and save your bankroll for the games that count.