NFL Football Handicapping
by Predictem.com Staff
Before we get into this long-drawn out article please let us issue a disclaimer here. There are OODLES of ways to handicap and bet on a football game. We're going to go over a few that we like to use. That does not mean that yours or any other method of handicapping will not work. These are just a few of many variables we use. In all candidness, we could write a 300 page book about the topic, but we're relegated to cramming as much as we can in one page here with hopes of sending you down the road of becoming a winning football handicapper.
Fading the Public: Let's kick off the conversation by saying that the NFL spread is based on public perception. Few football games land on the spread. Have you ever noticed that? The oddsmakers put out a number each week with hopes of getting action on both sides. It rarely ever goes down that way though. The public is like a dog humping a leg and seems to chase any and all favorite point spreads year in and year out despite the fact that they get creamed year in and year out.
The idea here is to wait till late in the week to see what the public is betting. You can find this information in the consensus picks section of Wagertracker.com or Wagerline.com. If the public is one siding a game and the point spread is moving in the other direction, that's because sharp action (wiseguys) are betting the other side. This is a great way to coattail football picks or at least use this info as supporting info when making your own plays. Hence the term "fading the public."
Turnovers: Some teams are susceptible to turning the ball over more than others. This may be because their QB is a dipstick or they have a running back who has stone hands and tends to fumble more than the norm. It can also be because an offensive line is undersized and getting dominated by a defensive line which isn't giving the QB enough time to find open receivers which forces him into mistakes that lead to getting hit and fumbling or passing into coverage that he might have otherwise seen had he had time to to setup in the pocket and make a nice clean throw. Nonetheless, you need to find teams that make more turnovers than other teams because this stat is a gamebreaker.
Solid Defense: There's an old saying you may have heard in the past. It goes a little something like this "defense wins Super Bowls." It does! It also wins regular season games! As much as we love offense and have great passion for seeing the ball fly 60 yards in the air the truth is that a good defense will override a good offense 6 out of 7 days a week. This may result in you betting on some real low scoring games which is boring, but if you stick to the good "D's" out there your wallet won't be empty which is not so boring at all!
Streaks: Don't confuse this with trends! Streaks is a team playing well together. Team chemistry. A finely tuned machine that plays well together and produces wins once the final buzzer sounds. Trends are old stats from years past. Streaks are things happening in the current year and much more true and valuable. This goes for both good and bad streaks. They don't last forever, so you almost have to spot them at their midway point in order to use them to your advantage. Conversely don't forget that good teams win games and bad teams cover!
Using Stats: Many handicappers out there use stats. This is great as long as you know what is useful and what is crap. Let's mention trends again here. Trends are great supporting information, but no play should be based on stats involved in trends from games that were played 20 years ago! They sound great but are absolutely worthless!
Read Sports Betting Forums: There is a plethora of information in sports betting forums. A forum is a gathering place for people from across the world to meet and share information. There is abundant regional info that your not going to get because you don't live on the other side of the states. What's better than Barry the Bear from Chicago coming in to announce that he's just heard the starting Center is out for the Bears? Info that you'd have to dig deep for but that he heard on his radio because he's in that market and is a forum member who comes to share info! Conversely, if your in L.A. there's lots of Raider/Niner/Charger info that you may have that Barry surely doesn't. Share! It's free and it's wonderful! We have forums right here on this site and their high traffic as well! Check it out: Predictem Sports Betting Forums.
Weather Reports: Check the weather. Bitterly cold temperatures and precipitation can mean lots of running and low scoring calling for an under play if the line hasn't already moved down a ton. (See: NFL Weather Reports)
Injury Reports: Injuries happen! Stay tuned to these weekly if not daily to make sure that your not missing a key player! (See: Injury Reports)
There are MANY more methods of capping football games. We just covered a few here. Be sure to keep an eye on the main NFL page as we're constantly writing new articles!For more ideas on handicapping football games, check out our tips, strategies and advice articles!
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Editor's Picks - Each week our in house pro's tackle the week's card and make predictions on the week's games ATS! Best bets, top plays, premium selections, etc. FREE!
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NFL Consensus Picks - See what the general public is betting on. We use this info to fade the public to the tune of big profits over the course of the season.
Bookies Picks - Each week, we'll post which side the bookies are on. Please note: These are not OUR picks. We're simply reporting the teams the bookies need to cover the spread in order for them to win. Games receiving equal action on both sides will not be factored into these records.
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2016 NFL Predictions - Badger breaks down each division and gives his picks on which teams he thinks will win the AFC and NFC Conferneces (plus Super Bowl winner prediction).
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