September 2014

Football picksSeptember 23, 2014
Three Rules to Govern Both NFL and College Football PicksDuring a given football season weekend, you’re likely to be making both college and NFL football picks. While there are some ways that these leagues are different, there are also similarities that must be taken into account. Here are three rules that you can use for both college picks and your NFL picks.


Special Teams Provide Hidden Points
Handicapping football is all about offense and defense, or is it? Too many people don’t understand how to handicap the kicking game. You need to think about how field position is influenced by punting and kicking. Without this, you might be left with your money on the wrong side.


Penalties Don’t Matter Much 
Some people like to fade heavily penalized teams, but the numbers show that in both college and the pros, there’s not a strong correlation between low penalty rates and wins for a team. The good teams tend to be very aggressive, and while this might lead to penalties, those penalties are just a transaction cost of playing an aggressive, solid brand of football.


Getting the Line at the Right Time
Picking the right team with your NFL picks or college football picks is important, but so is getting that team at the right line. Make sure that you get the line when it’s best for your pick. In some cases, this might mean getting your pick in early in the week before the public takes a line far away. In other cases, it might mean waiting for a line to settle where you want it right before the game begins. This rule works for both NFL and college football picking.


Football picksSeptember 23, 2014
How Does One Player's Absence Influence Your Handicapping?Whether you’re making NFL football picks and Adrian Peterson is suspended or you’re making college football picks and you find Jameis Winston sitting out, you need to know how to deal with these situations. When a player is suspended, this represents an opportunity for good bettors to make moves. Sometimes the sportbooks adjust properly, and other times, they do not. You need to be able to spot the difference.

Is it a QB?
The question that you need to be asking yourself before you make those NFL or college football picks is whether the player in question is truly important to the outcome of the game. This leads to the second logical question – am I dealing with QB? Quarterbacks are easily the most important player on the field at any time, so if it is a QB, then the effects are going to be huge.

Is it a leader of a given team?
In the early part of the 2014 season, Adrian Peterson was suspended on allegations of child abuse. While the Vikings might have been able to recover from the loss of Peterson’s production, it could not overcome the loss of his leadership. When a team loses its leader, this tends to leave a hole that is not easily filled, and this can cause long-term problems.
How good is the backup?
This is a practical question that few people think to ask when they see that a player is out. The value of a missing player is much different depending upon who is going to replace him. Losing Drew Bledsoe hurts more when Jamarcus Russell is his backup than when Tom Brady is prepared to step in. Know this so that you can have some understanding of the value of a missing player.



Football picksSeptember 16, 2014

NFL Handicapping: Three Little-Known Home Fields That Add Betting ValueEveryone knows that the 12th Man in Seattle makes for a difficult home field advantage. The problem for bettors is that this information is so well known that it is already priced into the betting line. Simply put, you won’t gain an edge by considering home field advantage when everyone else already does. Here are three home fields that you can count on helping you in 2014 and beyond.


The Texans lost last year. A lot. But it is a new year, and they are the kind of team that might bounce back. Traditionally, their home field has been a tough place to play for opponents. It gets loud, and the Texans seem to feed off of the crowd. This is one of the most underrated venues in the league.


The Dolphins have a home field advantage that is based more on travel than anything else. When teams have to go to Miami, they often have to travel thousands of miles. This can be a major problem for opponents, and if you are making NFL picks in the future, you will want to price this into your equation before finally making your picks.


Don’t forget about the Dirty Birds when you’re thinking about home field edge. The Falcons play in a dome that can get very loud. Traditionally they have been very good in that venue, too, so you might be able to find extraordinary value by betting the Falcons when they are playing in the good old Georgia Dome.



Football picksSeptember 12, 2014

Hit Your NFL Picks1. Bet at the right time

Sometimes it’s not what you bet, but when you bet. Making your NFL bets at the right time can be incredibly important if you want to have long-term success with your NFL handicapping. That might mean early bets some weeks and late bets in others, but always consider the right time ot make a pick.

2. Know your injuries

Imagine if you had money on the Patriots but didn’t know that Tom Brady was injured. That would feel pretty bad when you turned the game on, right? You need to avoid this by knowing as much as possible about the injury situation of a given team before you place your bet.

3. Understand home field advantage

Don’t be one of those people who simply bets games without considering the environment. You must be aware of home field, understanding how many points it is worth in every game. More than that, you have to be aware that different home fields present different advantages.

4. Recognize the contours of individual team motivation

If you want to hit hard like Ray Rice, then you need to know how teams operate in terms of motivation. If there is some special factor in play that is driving a team, then you must know this before you make your NFL picks.

5. Don’t make picks just to make picks

Just because a game is on does not mean that you have to bet it. Pick those games that feel right to you and that you have good information on. Good bettors bet when they have a solid play, not when they feel like they have to make any old play.


Football picksSeptember 12, 2014

imagesAs an NFL handicapper, you might sometimes think about making your bets in-game. What this means is that you have two options. For one, you can choose to make those halftime bets that give you an angle on the second half of the game. Other NFL bettors make actual in-game bets where the line is changing with every play. Some sportsbooks offer this fun way to bet, but it can be stressful, too. If this is how you plan to make bank on the NFL this year, then you need to know that the league is starting to look a little bit like the NBA.

In the NBA, when people do in-game betting, they have to be aware of the swings. Teams look great before they look terrible. Games change in an instant, and if a bettor is not careful, he can get on a terrible number very quickly. Often times, it makes sense to bet on the team that has just gone behind, even though doing so can feel very hard in the moment.

If the first few weeks of the NFL season taught us anything, it is that the NFL can change quickly. Onside kicks were recovered. Turnovers happened. Teams came from a few scores down to make games close and competitive. As an in-game bettor, you need to know that just because a team is down does not mean that the team is out. Rather, a tram losing might be the perfect opportunity for you to jump on the bandwagon with some in-game picks.


Football picksSeptember 10, 2014

NFL Handicapping Team Preview: New Orleans SaintsThe New Orleans Saints are one of the most difficult teams to assess for a guy who wants to throw money down on NFL predictions this year. When you make your NFL game picks, you’ll want to be looking for teams that might be undervalued by the betting public, especially early in the year. The Saints almost certainly fit that bill, for reasons to be discussed.

Going back for more than five years now, the combination of Drew Brees and Sean Payton has been able to dominate the NFC South. They have averaged more yards per play than any other team over that stretch. When one takes away the year in which Payton was suspended for the Bountygate scandal, then one sees that the Saints are usually a rock solid pick to be right in the thick of the playoff hunt.

As you make picks this season, you will want to remember that the Saints sometimes struggle on the road, especially late in the season. It can be difficult to trust them at home after they have come off of one of their road struggles, but understand their Jekyll and Hyde mentality. Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger when the Saints are in a dome, and keep in mind the good possibilities for making money on NFL picks when the Saints hit the road this season, too. They are legitimate title contenders who are not being talked about nearly as much as they should be at this point in the year.



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