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Finding Good Value

NFL Betting: Finding Good Value

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

This goes beyond mere handicapping. We look at the teams and evaluate the players, how they match up with the opponent, and look at each teams's strengths and weaknesses. And that's great. Hey, you gotta do the work. You need to actually handicap the thing. But there's another way to look at NFL betting--to view it as a stock market of sorts.

We're no stock whizzes here. But you don't need to be to know how it generally works. And from what I've heard, it's all about buying low and selling high. Stock people look for undervalued stocks--companies that are under the radar that could potentially surprise some people down the road.

The mavens in the stock world for the most part avoid stocks that everyone is buying into. Playing follow the leader in the stock world is not how you want to do it and the same applies to NFL football. Look at the world of NFL betting as a stock exchange of sorts. Every week, stocks (the games) are offered with an opening price. And the savvy NFL bettor keeps his eyes peeled for good value.

It's just hard to find good value on the teams that everyone is talking about--the glamor teams. Glamor teams are the ones that have huge followings or are getting a lot of attention. There is usually a player or two on these teams getting a lot of attention. They are teams that traditionally have large followings. And these are the squads that usually get the lion's share of media attention.

The quarterback is on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Pundits on TV can't stop talking about these teams. They constantly book the high-profile TV slot. These teams sell the most memorabilia. Now when a team like that is getting all the publicity, all the notoriety, and all the attention--you can pretty much forget about getting good value. The bookie knows he needn't tantalize to get people to bet on these type of teams.

Now think about the teams that don't get attention. Sure, maybe it's because they're not very good. That's one way to end up on everyone's mental back-burner. But maybe it's because they don't have some of these other more glittery attributes. They're in a smaller market perhaps. The coach is not a big-name guy. And instead of offense, they depend on a stout defense.

Teams like that just don't get the same attention. But what wins championships? What covers spreads? It's defense. Seeing teams scoring a bunch of points is nice, but how often does the highest-flying offense in the league actually win the Super Bowl. It happens, but go down the list of Super Bowl champions and more often than not--it's solid teams that win more than the offensive juggernauts that get all the media and fan attention.

With that in mind, it's clear that certain types of teams receive better betting value than others. Say there are 3 games you are thinking of betting on--the Patriots, Cowboys, and Ravens. Without even looking at the spread, which team do you think would be getting the best value. The Patriots are one of the glamor teams. People keep playing the Cowboys waiting for them to return to their days of glory, which never seems to happen. Meanwhile, the Ravens are not that ballyhooed. They're just solid. More often than not, they would be the team getting the best price.


Finding good value consistently forces you to swim against the tide. If you find security being part of a consensus, you are likely not getting good value from your picks. To find outstanding value forces you to go off the grid, to entertain taking teams that people are steering clear of. You won't be taking the teams that people are currently fancying, but rather the squads that are under the radar and publicly neglected.

It takes a level of confidence to be a non-conformist in NFL betting. There might be weeks where you see people taking the Patriots and having a good time as Brady and Company squashes the opposition en route to a gaping cover. It just looks more fun to do that than to sit there trying to grind it out with the Tennessee Titans. But in the long run, placing some importance on trying to get good value from your wagers will pay off handsomely.

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