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Less Glamourous Aspects of the Game

NFL Betting: Less Glamourous Aspects of the Game to Consider

By Loot, NFL Handicapper,

When we bet on the NFL, we tend to get swept up in the same hysteria that guides fans and the general bettor. Some bettors look at the scoring, the big names on the field, and the more flashy aspects of NFL football. Meanwhile, the other more boring parts of the game are neglected for the most part. In order to become serious in the arena of NFL betting, we need to differentiate the things that make football so entertaining and watchable and the things that help us cover wagers at a higher percentage.

There is a big difference. As betting men, we're not going to magically stop being fans. So it's natural for us to to place a lot of weight on the items within the game that drew us to the game in the first place. As fans, we like the things that stand out--like great quarterback play, explosive running back performances, great catches, memorable sacks, and interceptions. A lot happens between those lines that decides games and we need to be in-tune with that.

In most areas in life with more-prospective endeavors like what NFL betting is, the real value lies in the untapped resources. Playing follow-the-leader might be beneficial at times, but only to a certain extent. The real trail-blazers, the 3% who are longterm successes in NFL betting, are able to divert their attention from what everyone else is looking at and find treasure in areas where no one was even considering.

The areas where the real pros concentrate are by no means secrets. They are well-known elements of football and betting. It's just that the emphasis is stronger. Most people fail to recognize the importance of these things maybe because they're less interesting or more difficult for them to decipher and analyze.

That's why the handicapping of these games is usually more heavily-weighted by the general betting man in areas of scoring, prior performances, overall strength of offenses and defenses, who's hot, who's not, and a rather vague comparison of the top 4-5 players on each team. Then they'll look at who is at home, who is away, maybe who is the more offensive-minded coach, or which "D" has been all over ESPN making gigantic sacks and flashy interceptions. Some of these things certainly count, but the real info is less-glamorous.

Pining over offensive lines is not fun, but a lot of games boil down to this analysis. With all the time we spend on the guys handling the ball, we ought to pay the same mind to the facilitators of it all--the big boys up front. Without that element clicking, it might not matter how good the quarterback and running back are.

We'll be betting against the spread most of the time. That means it's not always enough to win the game and when laying points, we have to worry about backdoor covers going against us. If we take an underdog, it doesn't really matter because we're taking points. But if we take favorites, it helps to have a coach whose approach is in-line with what we're trying to accomplish. You don't want to have a team favored by 8-9 points with a coach who goes into shutdown-mode late in a game with any kind of lead. That's just one example, but when betting on a game, make sure a coach's philosophy is in-step with some of the different scenarios that are most-likely to pop up in the game you're betting.


Rather than a general comparison of the opposing offenses and defenses, look at it along very specific lines. We all tend to write it off, as if they're all NFL players and it sort of evens out in the end. Then you watch the game and see that there were a few matchups that played a key role in deciding the game. Get specific, look past the glamor matchups, and find the edges within that can get you covering more spreads.

Pay attention to things like line movement and key numbers. Don't get so caught up in the decision-making process of the game itself and forget to pay mind to the parameters of the actual betting. These are just a few of the things we need to do to avoid fascinating on games along the normal lines that everyone else is. Getting more into some of the less-celebrated finer points can really pay off in the end.

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