Preseason games can have unpredictable results for several reasons; not every team will be fully motivated during the preseason, perhaps for commercial, fitness, or tactical reasons, and the same is usually true about the players as well.
There can also be differences in the rules for preseason games when compared to the regular season or playoffs, and if you get to know these differences you can take advantage of the unusual market conditions when other punters are simply betting on their favorite player or team.
It is these unusual aspects of preseason betting that make them so attractive for many punters. A few years ago we saw British soccer clubs Manchester United and Manchester City lose their opening pre-season games against minor teams Singha All-Stars and SuperSport United – two teams that would not stand a chance against a Premier League opponent during the regular season.
You can take part in preseason sports betting with Unibet Canada, if you fancy getting a piece of the action yourself. Before you do, let’s look at the differences between preseason and regular season betting in more detail:
Historically, a friendly preseason game used to be arranged specifically to maintain player and team fitness to prepare for the full season. Player and team fitness is still a major motivational factor for some teams, but it is no longer the only one.
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Top sports teams will often have commercial reasons for embarking on a series of friendlies today, such as promoting their brand outside of their usual catchment area or maintaining the commitments they have made with broadcasters.
If a team is focused more on their fitness than on winning the game, it can lead to a large number of shocking results. Smaller teams may want to take advantage of the opportunity of playing a higher league team to score a memorable victory, whilst bigger teams will probably not seem quite as motivated to play their best when facing a “minor league” opponent.
If a team has a new manager this year, they probably haven’t got a full grip on the team just yet and will still be working with their players on their game philosophy. Star players will often play a reduced time on the court or field during friendlies, and minor players may be given a chance to show what they can do ahead of the main season.
If a team is not fielding their best players for a preseason game, this could dramatically affect the performance of the team as a whole – particularly if common pairings are broken. The team may choose not to play at full intensity because of the unusual selection of players, giving smaller teams a much bigger chance of creating an upset.
You should consider the responsibilities a team has for the main season ahead when placing a bet on a preseason game – does the “minnow” team have the ability to outplay their opponent on an off day? If the answer is yes, you may have found an opportunity to take advantage of favorable odds.
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Whilst the manager or coach will undoubtedly still be looking at the team as a single unit during the preseason, individual players could have wildly different interest levels compared to each other and the team as a whole. The star players could choose not to play at 100% as they don’t want to risk becoming injured before the regular season even begins, especially if they are being pushed onto the field when they would rather use alternative methods to maintain their fitness during the preseason.
The biggest players often earn enormous wages with bonuses for scoring, appearance, or team performance. Those bonus deals do not apply to friendlies, however, so you have to question whether these players are going to be as motivated to do their best in this scenario as they would be at a regular-season game. This is especially true if the friendly is taking place a long way from the team’s loyal fanbase and the player is only going to be on the field in front of a smaller crowd for a short period.
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Be sure to account for how close a preseason game is to the start of the regular season, as you are likely to notice a change in attitude as the friendlies are closing and the big games beckon. Players will be getting up to their maximum fitness near the start of the regular season, and so the last few games during this period are the ideal period for players to demonstrate their current ability to their manager, hopefully landing themselves a place on the first team for the games ahead.