The sports betting world is in the midst of a transitional period. We’re moving past the dog days of summer when baseball was the only game in town and making our way toward football season.
The July to August figures show a great jump from the previous years’ reports show. Additionally, the first NFL preseason game is this Thursday, and that means we’re officially in gambling territory.
Here’s all about August: what to expect during this month-long stretch in the sports betting world.
Sports Betting About To Make A Major Leap
Welcome back, sports fans! This is the unofficial start of the gambling calendar. August marks the midway point between baseball and football, and it’s a time when many bettors make adjustments to their betting strategies.
Take a look at the reported sports betting handles from the top sports betting states from the last 3 years.
Handle refers to the amount of money wagered on sports betting apps and websites in a given month. So handle jumping from $304 million in July, to $348 million in August, to $578 million in September indicates people are gambling more as football season approaches.
This shift was even more drastic in New Jersey last year, where the handle went from $578 million in July to an all-time high of $1 billion in September. With more events taking place, there is more money being wagered on sports.
But it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean more people are gambling. The vast majority of bettors usually lose money in the long run.
So while more events may mean more handle, it doesn’t always mean more profits for the casinos and sportsbooks.
What to Expect in NFL Preseason this August
The NFL preseason will premiere on August 4 as Jacksonville takes Las Vegas. The Raiders had a -2.5 odds to win as they win four of their last 5 matchups.
August 11 will feature a double-header featuring the New York Giants and the New England Patriots on one hand, and Tennessee Titans versus Baltimore on the other hand.
August 12 will feature more games:
- Browns vs. Jaguars
- Jets vs. Eagles
- Cardinals vs. Bengals
- Packers vs.49ers
The August 13 pre-season will feature even more battles:
- Panthers vs. Commanders
- Chiefs vs. Bears
- Colts vs. Bills
- Seahawks vs. Stealers
- Dolphins vs. Buccaneers
- Saints vs. Texans
- Cowboys vs Broncos
- Rams vs. Chargers
August 14 preseason will feature a single match between Vikings and Raiders
We can expect more exciting matches as August continues. Additionally, the NFL reduced the preseason schedule from four to three games to limit player injuries and give starters more rest.
While this may have been a favor to recreational sports bettors who typically avoid betting on preseason games due to the lack of information available, it also created opportunities for professional gamblers, or “sharps,” to find advantages and turn a profit.
For example, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is encouraging a quarterback competition between Geno Smith and Drew Lock during the preseason. This means that one of the quarterbacks is likely to see significant playing time against opposing second- and third-team defenses, making it easier to predict how they will perform when the regular season begins.
So, while betting on preseason games can be risky, doing your homework can pay off.