The Worth of Preseason Publications

Every preseason sports publication around carries hype and hoopla. Why? Because that’s what grabs attention of sports bettors, makes money and causes a lot of buzz. There are plenty of good reasons to read these publications. They usually give a good overview of specific players and teams and offer a historical perspective that can be insightful. For bettors, the best sports previews provide a few answers and present some important questions regarding each team and their possible performance.

However, preseason publications are just that and there are a few things that you can be sure of when it comes to these print and online publications. It’s best to look at these sports previews as being able to offer solid background material. But can they actually predict the future? The answer is no. Too often previews will pick the conference champs that offer the least resistance. In other words, the teams that appear to have the best players and that have traditionally been competitive.

A classic example is the New York Yankees. Every year for the past decade almost every preseason sports preview has picked them to win the league and the World Series. How many World Series did the Yankees actually win in that period? The answer is one. But the Yankees with their big bucks, amazing talent and history of winning offered the least resistance when it came to running the gamut.

Or simply checkout the last few years of college picks regarding the football and basketball champs. How many times have those prognosticators been correct? Almost nil. One year Alabama may be the hot NCAA football team, but midway through the season, after a loss to a lesser opponent and another tight loss to a big rival, the Crimson Tide is no longer in contention.

And college basketball is even more volatile as the National Championship involves a top-ranked team making it past various opponents. Sure Duke looks great all season and everyone picked them to go all the way, but then suddenly in one game, the team’s outside shot goes cold and they’re being outmanned under the hoop. Suddenly the Butler Bulldogs, who no one picked to win it all at the start of the season, are in the Elite Eight and the Duke Blue Demons are on their way home. Who has the better chance of being National Champions now?

Another problem for sports bettors is that the writers usually miss the up-and-coming teams that are about to have a breakout year. This happens for two reasons. The first is that it is simply extremely difficult to predict a break through season for any club. It’s very hard to know that a team can actually put it all together and be a true contender for an entire season.

The other reason has to do with the fact that it takes a lot of courage to put yourself on the line and make a major league-changing prediction that Many previews will acknowledge that a team is stronger, but designating a club as a real winner during a long and hard season takes a lot of guts.

But overall the biggest problem that all of these types of sports publications share is that they are using old information. Does it matter that a NFL team was 10-4-2 ATS last season? Not really. That was last season and a lot has changed since that time. New schemes, players, injuries, coaches and much more will affect the play of each and every team. Does it make sense to bet on any club based on year-old stats? It only makes sense if they’ve been in some sort of time warp or if you’re sure everyone will perform as expected.

The fact is you never know how a team is going to perform until they hit the field, court or ice. All of the preseason prognosticating adds up to possibilities and probabilities and not realities. The realities occur when the games are played. Seasons are long, players get tired and injured, coaches make major adjustments and players have breakout years. All of these aspects will influence your sports betting.

If you need background material, then these publications can be helpful. Also, if you’re looking for information on individual players that you should watch during the season, you’ll find some good starting information. Finally, up and coming new guys and rookies are often highlighted, which means you can get some possibly useful background material on these players.

But should you make bets based on the information in a preseason sports preview publication? The answer is “no.” These publications are written and come out while teams are still coming together, trades are being made and contracts are being signed. Use them as the place from which you start to measure the changes and progress of each team. In this way, they can be of use to sports handicappers. Otherwise, read those hardcopy and online sports pages. They are the sports handicappers source of up-to-date information that they can use to pick winners and stay away from losers.

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