Even in the preseason, the NFL is far more popular than Major League Baseball. Even the best rivalry in baseball, the Yankees vs. the Red Sox can’t compare to a nationally televised game in NFL preseason betting.
NFL preseason odds don’t get nearly the action of regular season odds but they still get more than baseball games. The ratings on the first NFL preseason game of the season were very strong. The Hall of Fame Game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys was far more popular than the rivalry game that had Boston playing the Yankees. The Hall of Fame Game was shown on NBC and the Yankees vs. the Red Sox were on ESPN. The ratings were not even close as the NFL game on NBC trounced the baseball game on ESPN.
The preseason game between Dallas and Cincinnati was not even that good and it still dominated the baseball game. In fact, the ratings on NBC were three times higher than what ESPN got for the baseball game. The starters for the Cowboys and Bengals only played one series but it didn’t matter as viewers prefer football over baseball, even in the preseason. Everyone knows that the starters don’t play long and that the games don’t mean anything but it is NFL football and that is what matters.
Viewers and gamblers have no choice for a couple of months during the summer so they watch and wager on baseball. That ends in August when the NFL preseason begins. People start to ignore baseball and focus on the NFL even in the preseason. The games mean nothing but that doesn’t stop bettors from wagering on the games. NFL preseason betting is unpredictable and gets a fraction of what a regular season game gets in terms of handle at the sportsbook but it is still better than what a regular season baseball game gets.
With the preseason fully underway now that the Hall of Fame Game is over, the discrepancy between the NFL and Major League Baseball in terms of interest should continue to grow as fans tune off baseball and focus on football.