In the past we have discussed a number of NFL betting strategies and theories that can be used by bettors to profit from the NFL odds and lines. With hundreds of betting system in existence, it is impossible to list all of them here, so this article will focus on highlighting the most popular NFL betting strategies, theories and systems.
A Look at Popular NFL Betting Strategies & Theories
Early Season NFL Betting
At the start of the season, it is most-advisable to trust teams with veterans in their main line-ups, mainly because such proven players not only have the experience of winning at the start of the season, but they also know the importance that comes with beginning the year on a winning momentum. The other strategy to handicap early season games is to look for those up-surging teams or those with solid offseason improvements and coaches that are newly-employed. New coaches often have the pressure of wanting to prove their worth, making them and their teams worthy of considering in the early-season picks. Depending on the strength of a team, its opponent and the NFL odds; you can either bet on them in the in the early season ATS or SU lines.
Throughout the season, bookies will put out lines on every game, along with other props. You are, however, not forced to bet on every game. The value betting strategy calls for you to analyze NFL odds, and then place bets only on those lines that look to offer solid value.
The idea behind this theory is that teams often have the psychological advantage of motivation after being beaten badly in the previous game. Not all teams fit this category, but the majority of teams in the league—particularly the above-average ones—will strive to win the game out-rightly or at least cover the cover the spread after getting stomped in the previous game.
Handicapping Football Turnovers
Generally, inexperienced QBs (mostly those in their rookie and sophomore years) find it hard to transition from college football to the pros, which often leads to interceptions and turnovers. The same goes for running backs and receivers that are just getting started in the NFL, as their tendency to fumble the ball or turn it over is high. Teams with such players rarely win games consistently, and in the case that they do, they will most likely fail to cover the game’s point spread, making them solid fade candidates in the NFL betting boards.
Betting after Bye Week
The Bye week is usually a solid opportunity for teams to rest from back-to- back weeks of NFL action, which in turn increases their chances of playing well after the bye. Of course, this strategy doesn’t apply to all teams coming off a bye. For example, a team that is less-talented and was on a bad losing streak before the bye will rarely do well after the bye. Conversely, teams that looked to be turning around a skid prior to the bye are more likely to do better with the rest.
Fading the Public
Success in the NFL is all about trying to get the best of the number and the betting public can definitely help you with that. Many times, the general betting public jumps quickly to put their money down on teams they really like as soon as the lines are out. This hard pounding on a particular line often forces sportsbooks to adjust their opening lines, and that’s where good value can be found. All you need here is to follow the NFL lines and their movements, then figure out who the public is backing, and then fade the public when the line moves to a value that looks to offer value to you. Fading the public is not a foolproof betting strategy, and it doesn’t have to be because you can know which side you should lay your money on depending on line movements caused by public action.
Home Underdogs vs. Road Favorites
Home court advantage plays an important role in the NFL and this theory is supported by the fact the manner in which home dogs have dominated the NFL lines over the last couple of seasons. Home underdogs of 7-or- more points covered the spread over 62% of the time between 1997 and 2006, and recent statics continue to favor home underdogs. So, unless the road favorites are really good, be careful when placing bets against home underdogs.
NFL Total Betting
According to statistics compounded from SportingCharts.com, the average NFL total from 2002 to 2011 was 41 with 4.27% of all games finishing with this number. The second most common game total was 44 with 3.97% of all games between that duration ending with this number. Taking note of this numbers is crucial, with the 41 number generally being used to determine what is projected to be a low-scoring or high-scoring game. And often times, game totals range from 35-55 points. Any number on both sides is considered as extreme.
And although it’s hard to be general about OVER and UNDER bets in the NFL, recent trends indicate that most NFL bettors tend to bet on OVERs, mostly because fans love high-scoring games that feature several touchdowns from the QBs and their offensive pieces. With that in mind, most OVER lines tend to be a bit inflated, with UNDER lines often offering good numbers for UNDER lines. That, however, is not to say that you should keep away from betting on OVER totals. If you handicapped a matchup and you feel like it is a solid wager, then go for it. Just be careful not to fall for sucker bets and totals that are often set purposefully, especially in games involving teams with huge public followings. As always, be sure to keep factors like weather, offense vs. defense matchups, game plans, and injuries/suspensions when handicapping game totals.