Wagering on preseason football can be a tricky proposition. Bettors are ready to get back in action after a long offseason, and throwing down a bet or two on those essentially meaningless games can be enticing. The trouble is, how do you even begin to handicap a game that doesn't count? Evaluating the talent on a roster has little to do with how a team will perform during the preseason and has everything to do with how much the coach wants to win.
Let's take a closer look at a few of the best and worst preseason coaching records and figure out if we can find value wagering on a few games before the start of the 2015 football year. Week 1 of the preseason is set to kick off on Thursday, Aug. 13, with games played all weekend into Sunday.
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Best Preseason Records
John Harbaugh: Baltimore : 19-9, 68 percent: Harbaugh currently has the best winning percentage of any coach in the NFL. The Super Bowl champion produced a perfect 4-0 preseason mark in 2014 after going 2-2 the previous two years. Baltimore, however, is said to be banged up heading into its first preseason matchup against New Orleans but is still a three-point home favorite.
Pete Carroll: Seattle : 13-7, 65 percent: Carroll is as competitive of a coach as they come in the NFL. The Super Bowl winner produced two 4-0 preseason records in 2012 and 13 but managed to go only 2-2 last year. Seattle is set to host Denver during its first preseason game on Friday.
Gary Kubiak: Denver : 18-13, 58 percent: Kubiak produced his solid preseason record while coaching Houston from 2006 to 2013. The squad managed only three above-.500 records under Kubiak's eight years with the team, but he did help win preseason games because he cared about improving his roster. Denver might be looking to prove a point against Seattle during the preseason opener.
Jack Del Rio: Oakland : 21-15, 58 percent: Del Rio won his preseason games while coaching Jacksonville from 2003 to 2011 and will be in a similar situation while coaching Oakland. The team is probably in store for another horrendous season, and Del Rio will take wins anywhere he can get them-even in the preseason. The Raiders open the year on Friday hosting St. Louis.
Worst Preseason Records
Jim Caldwell: Detroit : 5-11, 31 percent: Caldwell produced a 3-1 record during his first year as head coach of the Lions but was also sitting on three losing preseason years with Indianapolis from 2009 to 2011. The coach should be looking to improve a Lions squad that has talent but simply cannot make a sustained playoff push throughout the year. Expect the preseason to be important for Caldwell in 2015.
Mike Smith: Atlanta : 9-19, 32 percent: Smith has struggled during the preseason, regular season and postseason as coach of the Falcons, and there is little to suggest that anything will be different in 2015. Atlanta is scheduled to host the Titans on Friday and then visit New York (Jets) and Miami before hosting Baltimore to close out the preseason.
Chuck Pagano: Indianapolis : 4-8, 33 percent: Pagano hasn't produced a great preseason record during his time with the Colts, but does he really have to? The squad had been a playoff team since the arrival of Andrew Luck, and the team uses the preseason as a warm up for the high-octane offensive sprint during the regular season. Indianapolis went 0-4 last season and could go 0-4 again.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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