There has been no official announcement from league offices, but several sources (including ESPN) are reporting that the NFL preseason will be shortened to two games. More potential cuts to one (or even zero) games could also be on the horizon.
The average fan is likely not too concerned about this development. After all, it was widely expected and let’s face it, four preseason games have traditionally provided little value from an entertainment standpoint.
However, bettors are taking significant interest as the news could provide a big advantage for certain teams in regards to Future and Week 1 game odds. Both are currently available at the Winning Poker Network sportsbooks.
Here’s a very interesting quote from an article written by former NFL GM Charley Casserly (source NFL.com).
“A shortened preseason would favor more experienced teams. With significant game action in preseason taken away, call sheets might be limited early on in an effort to avoid overwhelming skill players and quarterbacks new to schemes in which they have little exposure.”
This could make things particularly difficult for the three first-year head coaches in the league. They are Joe Judge (New York Giants), Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers) and Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns).
Later in the article, Casserly explained how the shortened preseason could affect quarterbacks.
“Organizations with new players at skill positions — particularly at quarterback — would likely emphasize the run game and screens early in the regular season, letting the passing game evolve over time, while teams with strong continuity from 2019 would be better positioned to deploy their full game plans sooner.”
Cam Newton, recently signed by New England, could be a player affected by this. This is also going to make the job of Cincinnati rookie quarterback Joe Burrow more difficult. Both of these players are expected to be the starter.