Everyone 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.
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.
As 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.
The 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.