The San Francisco 49ers have completed one week of training camp, and are now a week and a half away from the kickoff of their preseason schedule. The 49ers open their preseason schedule at home on Thursday, August 9th against the Dallas Cowboys. This marks the 16th preseason matchup between the two teams. The Cowboys are 9-6 in those matchups.
Preseason football actually gets started this week, with the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens square off this Thursday. The game is notable for two reasons: the return of football, and the first preseason gambling lines are released. Bovada released their HOF Game line (Ravens -2), and have also released most of their Week 1 lines.
The 49ers have opened as 3.5 point favorites against the Cowboys, and the point total is set at 35. Last season, the 49ers were 2-2 straight up and 3-1 against the spread in the preseason. They also went over in three of their four preseason games.
Betting on preseason football may seem ridiculous, but it can offer bettors an edge that you won’t find nearly as easy in the preseason. A key to preseason betting is looking at the backup quarterbacks, and really the depth of a team as a whole. The starters are going to get limited work in Week 1. They get more in Week 2 and Week 3, but the backups still get extensive playing time.
At the same time, the 49ers likely know that C.J. Beathard will be Jimmy Garoppolo’s backup this season. If that’s the case, maybe we see more of Nick Mullens and Jack Heneghan during the four preseason contests? If you are inclined to bet on the preseason, coach and coordinator press conferences could be particularly useful in trying to figure out what kind of playing time starters and key reserves might get.
I’m leaning towards parlaying the 49ers and the OVER in this game. Or, I can remember that in the long run, the house always wins, so I should invest my money elsewhere!