When you’re sitting down to make NFL picks this year, you’ll think a lot about offense and defense. You might consider coaching and special teams, as well. If you really think about things, though, you’ll know the factors that tend to influence games the most. Turnovers are plays that can shift momentum, cost you points, and cost you possession. How about penalties? Are they important? Here, we’ll talk about those things to help you with your NFL picks and college football picks.
Turnovers are exceptionally important when you’re making football picks. Statisticians like to take a look at those plays that have the greatest impact on whether one team wins or loses. When they look at the totality of a game, these statisticians calculate something called “win probability added.” Plays that weigh heavy on a game’s outcome have a higher WPA, while other plays have a low WPA. Turnovers tend to have the highest WPA, so you need to know whether a team is likely to cough it up. Especially in those instances where you’re looking at a close spread, choosing a club that protects the ball can be very important.
How about penalties? How much do they matter when you make NFL picks? The truth is that penalties matter less than you think. People tend to remember penalties in big spots, and an ill-timed penalty can certainly be hard to handle. Over the course of time, however, it has been demonstrated that penalties and winning have little correlation. In college football, teams like Miami and Florida State dominated the 1990s despite high penalty totals. In the NFL, the 49ers have found success recently despite their propensity to get flagged.
As you make your NFL picks, you may be confronted with teams that are out down and out. You’ll find teams that have been run over by the media, and it looks like there is no way they can win. Often, when you’re making NFL picks, these are the opportunities you’ll be waiting for. The down and out team is often undervalued by the public, and this makes for great betting opportunities.
The New England Patriots of 2014 are an excellent example. This is a great franchise with lots of good players, but in the early of the year, they had fallen on hard times. On a Sunday night with most bettors lining up to make money against the Patriots, they rose up and got a huge win. They circled the wagons, so to speak, which was a major factor in their success. What is the lesson to be learned from this? When teams look like they are on their last leg, it might just be time for you to throw your money behind them.
Quite often, the public gets it wrong about teams. As you make your NFL picks, you should be keeping your eyes open for spots just like these. The people who make money on NFL picks are those who are willing to look beyond just what they have seen over a two or three week sample. You should be thinking about value and the long term, and sometimes that means taking a hard look at the down and out team.