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[FTB] Aug 10, 2017

NFL Preseason Betting Notes: Three head coaches to back

By Gracenote

The calendar turning to August means the arrival of exhibition pro football games. If we can give you one tip for this time of year, it's to pay attention to the coaches.

Yes, these games are meaningless but NFL coaches are among the most competitive people on the planet. They work 20 hours a day not because they love the job so much - it's because they can't sleep thinking another coach is working harder and getting an edge.

Here's a look at the three best head coaches against the spread in August over the last three years.

Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings

11-2 ATS, 12-1 SU

The former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator has been running the show in Minnesota since 2014. He lost his starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, to injury in practice at the tail end of August, but that didn't stop his team from going a perfect 4-0 ATS in the preseason.

Zimmer normally does the defensive play calling for the Vikings but he may let his defensive coordinator handle the responsibility in the preseason.

The Vikings are 3-0 SU and ATS in Week 1 of the preseason under Zimmer.

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

10-2 ATS, 9-3 SU (Since 2014)

The Ravens have never done worse than 2-2 against the spread in the preseason since Harbaugh took the head coaching job in 2008. Baltimore is covering in nearly 64 percent of its exhibition contests since then.

Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco is out temporarily with a sore back and Baltimore is scrambling to sort out its QB depth chart before the start of the season. The Ravens are considering signing free agent Colin Kaepernick and even brought in arena-league QB David Olson.

Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins

8-4 ATS, 9-3 ATS

The first three years of Jay Gruden's coaching career haven't gone as well as Redskins fans would have hoped. Gruden hasn't jelled with any of his quarterbacks in Washington and the team is 21-27 straight up in the Gruden era.

At least football fans in the D.C. area can take solace knowing their team covers the spread 66 percent of the time in August under this Gruden brother.
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