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Betting on NFL Teams That Are Due

Betting on NFL Teams That Are “Due” to Cover the Spread

By Loot, Football Handicapper,

When betting on the NFL, you will occasionally depend on “feel” more than anything that can be ascertained by looking at stats or other forms of information. It is when something just seems due to happen--whether a team will play better or worse than normal. It can be a difficult thing to explain, as it is more of a visceral feeling than a form of analysis you can repeat.

To even know that a team is “due” requires you are paying close attention to that team. You can notice different things that lead you to believe that a team is due to catch a few breaks or to stop receiving those same breaks. Maybe a team that is struggling is just unlucky and you determine that they could be a lot better if not for a few cruel twists of fate. By the same token, you may determine that a streaking team has been caught some fortunate breaks at very opportune times and that luck can’t go on forever.

There are different forms of a bad team. A team might have a shabby record and have people down on them because they truly are a bad team--outgunned in most areas against other NFL teams. Then there are the teams with bad records who usually play in close games, never seem to catch a break, and aren’t as far as some think from turning things around in their favor.

So when a team is struggling, take note of what kind of specific struggling it is. Are they simply bad or are they being victimized by things that might actually come to an end? A lot of 3-5 teams could be 5-2 if not for a few twists. Big runs called back due to phantom holding calls in crucial situations, tipped passes, weird twists on special teams, or any number of things that happen in every game can make a pretty good team have a bad record.

If a team starts to be cast in the role of a bad team by oddsmakers and you know different, you can find good spots. That team will be given little credit by oddsmakers who know that the general betting public is overly-enamored with only the bottom line. But a team can be a lot better than what their record indicates.

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The same type of dynamic can easily happen with a team that is perceived as being good, especially if that team does not have a recent history of success. If a team suddenly appears to reverse form and begin the season well, take a close look. Sure, it might be a team that has legitimately improved and on the rise. It can also be a team that, for any number of reasons, is not as good as their record indicates.

Maybe a 5-2 team relied on some twists--things that can’t be depended on from week-to-week. And if you bet them assuming they are a quality team, you might be surprised when they don’t get that key pass-interference call or don’t convert that pipe dream 3rd-and-18.

We should analyze games based on insight and information. Sometimes, however, we hear a little voice. A team we are betting on might be due for a letdown or a bad team might be due for a surge in form. It can be hard to detect what is a legitimate concern or what are the typical forms of worry some have when placing a bet. It’s just that there are times where you sense something in the air. It’s a little fishy.

That’s your sense of “feel” acting up, trying to tell you something. This will happen and you have to decide whether to disregard it or take it seriously. If your sense of something “being due” is in opposition to your pick, it’s up to you to decide if you should heed that warning, however vague it may seem.

In NFL betting, things happen that completely buck logic. There was nothing in any analysis that indicated that would happen. It was an unavoidable loss that could not have been prevented by any available information. The only defense against such occurrences is a form of handicapping that lies outside the normal realm--an awareness that is not accounted for explicitly. While we don’t want to swing it from the hip and rely exclusively on “feel,” we should listen carefully to that part of our brain when it’s trying to tell us something.

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