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Handicapping NFL Bye Weeks

NFL Football Handicapping Tips: Bye Weeks and Maintaining a Professional Outlook

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Note: If you landed on this page looking for a list of the curren't season's bye weeks, please go here: This Season's Bye Week's

After the Bye

When handicapping a game, we surely take note of teams coming off a bye-week. Theoretically, bye weeks should help. They give teams an extra week to prepare and coaches have more time to motivate their teams. In fact, there are some teams that have pretty good records after the bye. So how high of a consideration should this be when placing your wagers?

There are some cases where the bye week really helps. If a team is banged-up, that extra time could help. Or if a team is on a bad run, a little time can help turn things around. But for the most part, people place too much importance on the bye week. First of all, any record a team has against the spread after a bye-week could be an aberration. Bye weeks haven’t been around long enough for a big enough sample pool to exist to draw any conclusions.

Saying a team is 10-3 after a bye week might sound impressive, but 13 runs is hardly enough to be a reliable guiding light. If you tossed 10 heads in 13 coin tosses, would that mean heads comes up more? Maybe it did for those 13 tosses, but what is that good for? Almost nothing. If you really think about it, now is the wrong time to jump aboard. It’s likely to start going the other way. And if a pattern really starts to develop, the bookie will adjust. So by the time you catch on, it might be too late.

Look at Your Handicapping Like a Head Coach

Think about what makes a successful team and use some of those traits to enhance your betting profile. Be like a head coach when analyzing your betting. See what you’re doing right. What you’re doing wrong. See in what areas you need to work harder and some elements in your handicapping that are not working.

Don’t just mindlessly accept wins and losses without analysis. When you win, identify what observations and insight you used to make that pick and then continue to employ those tactics. And though the urge is to immediately forget about losses, take some time to ponder where you went astray. Which observations did you make that turned out to not hold up? What turned out to be the more important factors in that game and why did you not place more importance on those items?

And a good team learns how to develop a certain callousness toward their wins and losses. Learn from them then compartmentalize them and leave them alone. The real good NFL teams don’t get a big head over wins and when they lose, they are able to move on to the next week with renewed enthusiasm and not be down in the dumps.

The Headaches of NFL Betting

When betting on the NFL, there are a certain amount of headaches that are already inherent in this game. Spend a Sunday watching NFL football with a bunch of bets on the line and you will see for yourself. The last thing you need are extra headaches--additional tribulations beyond the ones that are just part of the game.

The major one is getting paid. This is obviously fundamental. There should be doubt whatsoever whether or not you can actually collect your winnings. And the best way to ensure payment is by dealing with a reputable sportsbook. And there is really no excuse to not do that. In the old days of the Internet, you might have been able to have an excuse. But there is enough information out there in the form of customer reviews nowadays to enable you to come to a reasonable understanding of who the good books are and which ones are sketchy.

Another self-imposed headache is putting undue pressure on yourself. Some bettors struggle. Rather than allowing time for things to turn around, they begin making rash decisions. By doing that, you end up in a high-pressure spot. Remember to build slowly and rebuild the same way. If you put yourself in positions where you put all your eggs in one basket--you’re putting incredible pressure on yourself. That’s a headache. This is supposed to be pleasurable. Try to keep it that way by not forcing yourself to perform incredible handicapping feats. High-wire acts are for circus performers. Keep your plans realistic.

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