NFL Football Handicapping

by | Last updated Aug 14, 2022 | nfl

NFL Football Handicapping – Factors to Consider
by Staff

Before we get into this long-drawn out article, please allow us to 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 employ. 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 to becoming a winning football handicapper.

Fading the Public

Let’s kick off the conversation by saying that NFL point spreads are 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 favored teams year in and year out, despite the fact that they get creamed each season.

The idea here is to wait untiil late in the week to observe what the public is betting. You can find this information in the consensus picks section of 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 to support making your own plays. Hence the term “fading the public”. Tip: A great money-making angle early in the NFL season is to pay close attention to and to consider betting winless NFL teams, as they present tremendous wagering value!


Some teams are susceptible to turning the ball over more than others. This may be because of injuiries to an offensive line, a QB who makes poor decisions when pressured 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. This in turn 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, it’s beneficial to research in order to find teams that make more turnovers than average because this stat is an absolute money maker!

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”. This is true and 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 g’ood defense will beat 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 will be fat, not empty, which is not so boring at all!


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/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 NFL handicappers 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 wager should be based on 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 you’re 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 Chicago 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 you’re in L.A. there’s lots of Raider/Niner/Rams/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! Check it out: Predictem Sports Betting Forums.

Weather Reports

Check the weather. Bitterly cold temperatures and precipitation can mean lots of rushing resulting in low scoring, which means an under play is worth consideration (if the line hasn’t already moved down a ton).

Injury Reports

Injuries happen! Stay tuned to these weekly (if not daily) to make sure that you’re not missing a key player!

Bye Weeks

Many novice football bettors are duped into believing that they have an advantage betting on teams out of a bye. Unfortunately for them, the bookies (oddsmakers) are aware of this situation and any variables worth noting are already baked into the current point spread. Check out Vernon Croy’s article on How NFL Teams Fare After a Bye Week. It points out that each situation is unique and should be approached as such.

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, strategy and advice articles!

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