From a pure handicapping standpoint, the Hall of Fame should be avoided as a wager. On the most basic level, the game is as close to a coin flip as you can have.

You would never read about betting previews on the first day of baseball spring training games or those in the NBA or NHL.

But this is football, professional football and it matters to people. It's time to start getting that pigskin pleasure and let's face it, next weekend there is a full slate of Week 1 preseason football and you and many others will be seeking information for NFL previews and predictions.

Betting The NFL Preseason

Besides, though we might be advocating caution, you are also supposed to eat fruits and vegetables daily, not overeat or drink and get eight hours of sleep a night. How's that working out?

The fact is you are going to online sportsbooks and already figured out the line for Denver vs. Atlanta, so let's lend a hand instead of acting like your parents telling you what to.

Pertinent Betting Information To Start

At MyBookie, Atlanta opened as a 1.5-point favorite but they've been flipped to +2.5 point underdogs as of Monday afternoon. Look for that to hold up and the number to land anywhere from -2 to -3 on the Broncos unless there a breaking news story on either team.

Among the methods of betting NFL August football is knowing quarterback rotations. Because the Falcons and Broncos are playing five exhibition games (sorry Commish, preseason contests) it seems unlikely we will see Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco, though they could make a cameo appearance in their team's first series.

Here are the projected quarterback rotations.

Falcons - Matt Schaub - Kurt Benkert

Broncos - Drew Lock - Kevin Hogan - Brett Rypien

Because of Schaub, Atlanta has an edge in experience, but there are no reports how much the veteran will play and our guess he will get more work in games later on.

Team Fixes That Matter Immediately

Coming into this season, Atlanta has the better team and more players at set positions. That doesn't mean the Falcons are way ahead of Denver, as they are coming off a hugely disappointing 7-9 campaign (5-11 ATS) compared to the Broncos at 6-10 (6-8-2 ATS).

Coach Dan Quinn wants immediate improvement in the offensive line, which was a huge weakness a year ago. The Falcons drafted guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary in the first round and signed other free agents to change the complexion of the O-Line. Quinn is on record in saying the five best offensive linemen will start and it is their responsibility to work together and become a cohesive unit.

Another area requiring fixing is the No.29 total defense from last year. Remember, Quinn, got this job coming from Seattle for those defenses they had in the Super Bowl seasons. It's time he fields a group to match his previous reputation.

New Denver head coach Vic Fangio will undoubtedly fix any problems on defense, as he has everywhere he's been. Last season, the Broncos were 22nd in total defense and 24th in points allowed and did not play with the usual discipline we used to see at a mile high.

Betting NFL Playoff Odds at Online Sportsbooks

What he really needs is the have an offense that doesn't turn the ball over, which places more pressure on his defense. Where the Broncos get better is a stronger running game that sets up more play-action passing. Having studied his team on tape, Denver has to stay ahead of the chains on first and second down, which will surely help them improve on ranking 28th on third-down conversions.  

The Game Outcome

In the preseason, motivation is a big factor for making NFL picks. Each team comes into each game with an agenda. Coach Quinn does not place a great deal of importance winning contests in August and is 4-12 ATS in the preseason. He's also 0-7 ATS if the foe is from the AFC of late.

Frequently, a first-year coach like Fangio wants to alter a losing culture and they place a greater emphasis on winning, just to get their team in a better frame of mind and to heighten practices. Let's take Denver 17-13 for the win and cover.

About the Author

Doug Upstone has been involved in sports handicapping in some form or another his entire adult life. NOBODY watches and studies games more than he does. Whether it is live or going back and watching later, Doug has game notes and observations dating back two decades. (Yes, somehow he’s still married to his original wife.)

Doug is process person, meaning he’s developed his own power ratings in different sports to determine if the lines are accurate from his perspective, yet always follows the fundamentals when handicapping games.

Doug has been heard on various sports radio talk shows (Tony George Radio Show on Sirius radio the latest) around the country for years and never has a shortage of opinions. Plus, his Line Moves article is one of the most consistently viewed pieces among sports bettors on Facebook and Google Plus.

Doug has been writing articles for over a decade and doing videos nearly as long at several websites, which are among the most viewed in any particular week.

His articles have been in the New York,,,,, Daily Racing Form, and on a daily basis, along with being seen at many different websites on the internet and is pleased to become part of the team also in various capacities.

He also does work on some of the most popular football newsletters in the country, something he has done since 2006.

Doug has had 21 No. 1 rankings at documented sports monitors in a multitude of sports and over 80 Top 10 finishes and consistently delivers HUGE profits.


Doug Upstone's Most Recent Top Awards

#1 2016 NFL at The Sports Eye

#1 2015 NFL at Cappers Monitor

#1 2014-15 NHL at Cappers Monitor, Cappers Watchdog & The Sports Eye

#1 2013-14 NHL at Cappers Monitor & The Sports Eye

#1 2014 NFL Playoffs at The Sports Eye Monitor

#1 2013 NFL at Cappers Monitor

#1 2013 NHL at Cappers Monitor, Cappers Watchdog & The Sports Eye

#1 2009-10 CBB at Cappers Monitor

#1 2009 MLB at The Sports Eye and Free Sports Monitor

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