Click to Use Secure Login

How to utilize preseason magazines in your football handicap

06.23.2010     09:26 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly

When I got out of college, I worked for a national publication that put out preseason previews. It was a wonderful experience being able to surround myself with sports on a daily basis and I learned a lot about all that goes into these publications. Using my experience, I’d like to share a couple of thoughts as you start to pick up your previews and prepare for another season of football handicapping.  

While the some of the information provided in preseason annuals can be of great use (see: returning starters, coaching changes, switches in offensive philosophy) there are certain things you should be aware of.

1. Bettors rarely look at rankings but heading into a season, the betting market can be influenced by a particular team receiving abnormally high or low praise. That being said, from a publication standpoint, little to no thought goes into the rankings and conference predictions. I remember sitting in on the meeting that we determined the top 25 and literally seeing an actual coin being used to decide where two teams should be ranked among one another. Now that isn’t a knock on what they were trying to accomplish because remember, a majority of each school’s analysis is outsourced to various beat writers throughout the country. If they receive a write-up saying Oklahoma is going to struggle, then there would be an obvious confliction if the magazine put the Sooners No. 1. Simply put, there needs to be continuity between write-up and ranking. Also note that while the group that I worked with actually knew a ton about college football, the rankings are of big interest to the purchaser, not the production staff. There are many more important aspects that go into the putting these things together thus no one thing is less or more important that the other. Like anything, it is a business.

2. Just like there are different classes of football there are different classes of contributing writers. A majority of power conference schools receive write-ups from local beat writers which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as they are around the team a good deal of time and simply have more information at their disposal. This can be especially beneficial if said beat writer is a true professional and not a fan thus the reader receives a truly non-biased opinion. But unfortunately that isn’t always that case. Schools do in fact care about the preseason rankings and accolades because they can use them as promotion. They can also easily figure out (typically on the masthead) who badmouthed them and thus make things more difficult during the season in terms of media access. Not saying that is a common occurrence, but I know it happens. Next issue is the local beat writer from Ypsilanti, Michigan who is 23 years old and hasn’t played organized sports since junior high and knows nothing about football. Said writer is likely the only source of Eastern Michigan football and may indeed be a talented writer but his or her analysis may very well be based on last year which makes their analysis irrelevant for bettors. You can usually spot those types within the first few sentences. I know a guy who contributed write-ups for a major conference school but wasn’t even the team’s football beat writer. Luckily he knew a ton about football. Lastly, and I can’t speak to the accuracy of this, but I wouldn’t be shocked that Bob Q. Smith, longtime beat writer for State University, contributed to multiple preseason magazines – virtually the same write-up – which again, waters down the information even more.

3. Look for big differences among magazines as a source for projection. If Oklahoma is picked to win the Big XII South in nine different publications but one has the Sooners fifth, that is likely the one that contains useful information. The others of course mailed it in like they do every year and wrote about how awesome Bobby Stoops is.

4. I don’t need to tell you that these annual comes out way too early which makes the information even less reliable. Keep in mind that if it hits newsstands on June 13th, it doesn’t mean that everything up until that date is current. I remember fact-checking write-ups as early as March so unless something catastrophic occurs, i.e. coach fired or QB suspended, the information is even more dated that you originally thought.

5. Take returning starters with a grain of salt. Each magazine has its own philosophy on who is considered a returning starter. For example, I remember marking down players who had started six or more games the previous year as a returning starter. If a player started as a sophomore, sat out the next year due to injury, but was slated to return, he was considered a returning starter. I think there were some exceptions like if a player was a two-year starter but missed a majority of a season, the following year he was graded as a returning starter. Every magazine does it different and the best course of action is to use a school’s website for the previous year’s game-by-game start chart.

Overall, I highly recommend picking a couple up of previews to compare and contrast the info. If you use them properly, they can be a great source of info to prepare you for the season. Typically around mid-July I push the preseason magazines aside and dig into the local media outlets as my source of information. You’d be surprised what you can find in a Sun Belt school’s student newspaper.

Long Term NFL Domination
141-92 61% +49.35 2012-present
56-39 59% 20*s 2012-present
NFL Full Season+Playoffs $999 
CBB Market Mover
CBB Totals Results 2009-18
443-322 58% +98.95 units
87-54 62% Best Bet Winners
Check back in October!
Winning the Right Way
Long Term All Sports Success
2014-present record
901-761 54% +66.445 units
All-Acccess Pass $299 per month
Every Sports, Every Play, Every Day
Current Blog Topics
Andrew Lange Hot Links
Current Blog Topics
SportsMemo Ads
Daily Plays
Ian Cameron is the best Canadian Football League handicapper on the planet and he has proven it by dominating the CFL to the tune of more than +30 units of profit since 2012 including +20 units of profit over the last two CFL seasons combined. He is ready to deliver the profits in north of the border gridiron action unleashing his strongest Week 6 release with his 20* CFL Saturday Main Event. You can get it complete with detailed written analysis for $29 and it is guaranteed to cash or his next CFL play is free.

Totals have always been OTTO Sports' strength; 56% winners and over +75 units in all sports since 2015. And the sample size is massive with nearly 700 documented plays. For Saturday, OTTO checks in with a 10* Total of the Day in MLB. Hop on board for $20; a guaranteed cashed ticket or Sunday's top play is free.

Lay the points with this powerful & motivated Week 1 favorite and expect an easy, 'right side' cash. Teddy is releasing this 20* Big Ticket Report EARLY, because this line is only moving one way between now and kickoff -- it's going UP! Take advantage of this betting market opportunity right now & cash in with this Week 1 20* Big Ticket winner! This report must win or his next one is FREE!

It's here! Teddy Covers' famed NFL Season Over/Under Wins package is available for purchase! One of the most popular and success service packages in the industry, Teddy's report is an absolute MUST HAVE for every bettor. The result are sick: 82-35 70% 2001-18, 12-2 86% 20* Big Tickets. As always, you'll not only receive Teddy's selections but also detailed written analysis. The first wave of releases will be in July followed by potential additional plays after the third week of the NFL Preseason. Invest with Teddy today for only $229.

Extended Services
SportsMemo Ads
Discussion Forum
Post Subject
07.11 10:27
07.11 10:14
07.09 07:05
07.02 13:07
06.27 11:09

Current Blog
Andrew Lange     06.26.2018 8:43 AM
Andrew Lange     06.20.2018 9:21 AM
Andrew Lange     05.18.2018 6:15 AM
Andrew Lange     05.08.2018 9:23 AM
Andrew Lange     05.01.2018 10:46 AM

More Blog Entries Submitted by Andrew Lange


Copyright © 2007 SPORTSMEMO, INC, 1-800-575-3069. is the nation’s premier resource for sports betting and handicapping information. Get free football picks, free NFL picks, free college football picks, free baseball picks, free NBA picks, free college basketball picks, free hockey picks, free golf picks, and free soccer picks from the nation’s top handicappers. Sportsmemo's sports betting insight and analysis comes from some of the most respected sports handicappers in the sports gambling industry including Ted Sevransky (Teddy Covers), Brent Crow of Alatex Sports, Rob Veno, Erin Rynning, Otto Sports, Andrew Lange, Ian Cameron, and Drew Martin. Listen to these handicapping experts daily on the Sportsmemo Podcast Monday-Friday at  Missed the Sportsmemo Podcast?  Past shows are available on's podcast archive page. Looking for daily sports betting tips and sports betting advice on the MLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, CFL, and PGA? Check out the interactive sports betting posting forum, power ratings, expert handicapping blogs, and original sports betting articles from the Sportsmemo team that specializes in sports information from a pointspread perspective at   Jul 21, 2018 08:25 AM.