Handicapping NFL Games

Tips for Handicapping NFL Games

If you're looking to have long-term success and make profits with NFL betting, it's crucial that you do a little of your own handicapping work. After all, the lines that bookmakers offer are solely created with the intention of balancing out action on both sides. So it's up to you to decide which side offers the best chance to win money. This being said, let's review some tips that'll help you out when handicapping NFL games.

1. Start Early in the Week

The best chance you'll have at finding soft lines lies at the beginning of the week. That's because sportsbooks often have to adjust certain lines when there's too much betting action on one particular team. For example, the San Diego Chargers might be a -6.5 underdog to the Denver Broncos. And if too many people start wagering on the Chargers, the line could shift to -6 or even -5.5. Assuming you think the Chargers will keep the game close, you'll want to take advantage of the -6.5 bet before it shifts.

2. Look Deeper into Intangible Aspects

It's fairly easy to look at basic stats such as how a team is performing against the spread, their average margin of victory, notable injuries, and expert predictions. But remember that bookmakers already take all of this into account when creating lines. Since much of the public stops at this information, it's important for you to look deeper into the matter by considering intangible aspects of a game.

For instance, travel is one of the most underestimated aspects of football betting. The New England Patriots might be heavily favored to beat the Oakland Raiders. However, if they have to travel to Oakland, jet lag will be a factor in their performance. Another example of intangibles involves how teams perform coming out of bye weeks. Byes can either be momentum killers for good teams or give bad teams a boost. So always consider bye weeks and other deeper aspects when making your picks.

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3. Know when a Game isn't worth Handicapping

Wouldn't it be great if we could expertly handicap any given NFL game and turn it into a profitable bet? Unfortunately, some games just aren't worth handicapping due to a large number of unpredictable factors. The biggest problem arises when a star player gets hurt - leaving you with little idea on how the rest of the team will play. A mid-season head coaching change could also throw a game's results into total unpredictability. Seeing as how there are usually a dozen or more games to choose from each week, it's not worth handicapping a difficult contest.

The main thing you need to remember with NFL handicapping is to spend as much time as you can researching prospective games and learning about the league. The more information you gain, the better chance you have of making successful wagers and winning money.