Overlooked NFL Handicapping Variables
by Predictem.com Staff
When handicapping the NFL, many novice cappers tend to overlook some of the nuts and bolts of handicapping a game. While there’s a ton of things to check out before getting down on a game, we suggest that you don’t overlook the kicking game, injuries to offensive lineman, turnovers and weather.
The Kicking Game
Football is a game in which field position plays a huge role. Be careful betting on teams that have a punter with a low average or a field goal kicker that can’t hit’em from deep or is having problems knocking it through the uprights. Punting is an essential part of football as it’s a life preserver to a team buried in their own territory as well as the need to punt the opponent deep in their own territory. Field goal kicking is a no brainer. The smallish guys with the funny lookin’ face masks may not be our favorites to root for however they are an integral part of the game and they are directly responsible for field goals and extra points which have much value when it comes time to figure out whether you covered or lost to the almighty spread.
Injuries to Offensive Lineman
Injuries to offensive lineman are HUGE when capping games. These guys protect the quarterback. They provide a pocket for your QB to throw out of and if that line is being penetrated and broken down, the qb has no time to throw which means he’s going to be rushed, sacked or even forced into fumbling or throwing and errant pass leading to an interception. Start licking your chops is you see that a teams CENTER is out. The boring position of center is not so boring when it one is out and your on the opposing team with a bet. Not only will a center being out affect the penetration and pocket, but the timing as well. This is the guy that hikes the ball and when his timing is off it can really burn a team. Summarizing these thoughts, backup offensive lineman never seem to be up to par and don’t offer what a starting OL offers. Take advantage of this, especially when multiple starters are out or if a team is missing their starting Center.
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This is a weird stat. It’s not easy to put your finger on a team that turns the ball over. You really have to dig for it. If you can figure it out, this will provide a nice boost to your bankroll. Figure out what teams do it often, which players are responsible for it and what teams are forcing these turnovers. All this is very valuable and if you get in the habit of doing this, you will gain some valuable insight that will help you win. YES, there are actually quarterbacks and running backs out there who don’t protect the ball well and have a habit of coughing it up. The only crapper about this is that these guys don’t stick around long as this drives coaches nuts and they too know that it’s a problem that doesn’t seem to go away so the player gets cut, traded or benched as turnovers are a killer. Don’t find yourself on a team that has a RB etc that coughs it up on a regular basis. Study turnovers and reap the benefits.
We always see guys betting games blindly. Its super common and about the dumbest thing you can do, especially in football. I dunno about you, but I don’t feel too good about betting the over 38.5 then turning on the tube to see 4 inches of snow and hearing the announcers pipe off that the game is going to be nothing but a lot of running! OUCH. Been there, done that, and it sucks! Check the weather report before you get down on your games!
I can’t go real deep into this as I’m not a huge believer in this nor does it apply to most teams, however there are some that really excel on one or the other for various reasons. A team built with a lot of team speed is going to do real well on turf. The late nineties St. Louis Rams were known as the greatest show on turf, and for a reason! They out-sped, out-juked and outplayed opponents using their speed to their advantage. Not a huge variable when capping the NFL, but worth looking into.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article! Feel free to email any questions you may have to: Predictem at Hotmail.com.