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Betting a Game Early

NFL Betting: The Benefits and Downfalls of Betting a Game Early

By Loot, NFL Handicapper,

Betting on a NFL game early has it's pros and cons. With NFL games wrapping up on Sunday and Monday, an early bet would be considered anything early in the work week, like on Monday, Tuesday, or even Wednesday. Some bettors begin their handicapping of games early. They make a decision and pull the trigger. That could be a good move, but then again, it might be a mistake.

It's like when you were in high school and the prom was coming up. Locking up a date early provided a certain level of security, but who knows what you missed out on? It's nice that you got a date with the plain girl who let you copy off her paper in Algebra. But with a little more work, you might have ended up with Pinky or Leather Tuscadero.

For some of us, betting a game early in the week is done for precautionary purposes. Betting early make it so we don't have the entire week to blow our money on something else. Locking in your picks early safeguards against being lured into other forms of betting where we might not have as strong an edge as we do in football wagering.

All bettors have experienced the feeling of making a pick early in the week, only to see the line move more in their favor as it gets closer to game-time. It can be a bad feeling when you take a team at +4.5 and see they're +6 when the game begins. Then again, it stands to reason that when betting early, there will spreads that would have also moved in your favor. So it will depend on the situation.

Two types of bettors move lines in NFL betting--the general betting public and the wise guys. Depending on the team you bet, both factors can come into play. The betting public likes offense. They like the glamor teams. So if you're taking the Cleveland Browns to cover the point-spread against the New England Patriots, public money late in the week could conceivably move the spread in Cleveland's favor.

Betting early in the week makes you more of a leader and not a follower. You're not so much interested in what other people are betting. If you like a number and see an edge, you pull the trigger. That type of independent thinking could pay off in the long-run. Then again, you are likely to miss out on where the smart money is going. If early in the week, the line makes a significant move, that is likely a smart money influx. But you won't be able to act on it since you already made your bet.

When you bet early in the week, you bet the amount with which you are comfortable. If you see the line move significantly in your favor, however, you may be tempted to bet more than what your overall wagering plan dictates. It's hard to have Denver at -5.5 and not get a little extra down close to game-time when they dipped to -4. Betting early can sometimes test your resolve later in the week.

Things happen during the betting week that sometimes make waiting the right move. As we get deeper into the season, players are banged-up, with their status up in the air early in the week. Betting early means we will sometimes be betting without critical information. Every week, there are players whose statuses are downgraded, to the detriment of the team we were going to bet. Letting it play out and betting closer to game-time allows us to have the full scope of information at our disposal.


You could also make the argument that personnel issues should go our way as often as it goes against us. For every time a key player gets downgraded on the team we bet, the other team should also suffer some unexpected personnel problems. Then again, playing a guessing game is not desirable. When betting a team early, it's good to know that no key players' status are up in the air.

In all forms of gambling, they say the first inkling is the best one. Betting early allows you to not outsmart yourself during the week. It's decisive and there is a lot of value in being clearcut in your decisions. At the same time, betting early can sometimes have you betting in the blind a bit as it relates to issues concerning personnel and where the point-spread will move. With better-developed instincts, it will become clearer when betting early is the right move or when a more-patient approach is called for.

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