Sports betting involves more than just luck. Avid sports bettors take time to analyze statistics, trends and other factors before placing their final wagers. Each sport has its own aspects to consider when it comes to placing a successful bet. With football, things like players, coaches, fatigue and strategy come into consideration. There are two distinct types of football betting realms—the NFL and NCAA—and while the same analytical principles apply, there are some subtle differences to be aware of.
How To Bet On NFL Football
Professional football calls for professional betting—that is not to say that newcomers to the world of sports betting cannot participate, but all bettors should approach sports gambling with a degree of strategy. When looking at an NFL betting line, there are several things to take note of. The first is knowing the best teams in each division. Betting on a team with a losing record over a team with a winning record is not a smart bet. Each division has its usual suspects, so avid bettors know that betting on the Packers, Patriots and Cowboys is better than betting on the Browns, Jets or 49ers. Teams ride waves of success, so following the sport is important if you want to remain in the know regarding which teams are playing well.
Personnel is strong determining factor. Some teams are fortunate enough to be loaded with Pro-Bowlers and promising young talent while others are more composed of middle tier players. There is a lot to consider with quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, defensive backs, safeties and more. It is rare that a team is completely well-rounded—some teams have a great offense, but a weak defense, for example—but there are some cases where teams seem to dominate on both sides of the ball. When looking at teams, check out their completion rates, overall pass/rush yards, first-down completions and yards after the catch on the offensive front. If a team is putting up consistent positive numbers offensively, it shows that their system is working against multiple defenses. On the defensive end, look out for sacks, pass/rush yards allowed, pass coverage and forced turnovers. A good defense puts constant pressure on the QB while simultaneously tracking pass routes and shutting down running lanes. Regarding personnel, the types of players is something to look at it. Most teams have a pretty good balance of rookies and experienced league players, but the real determining factor is which player is in which position. Betting on a team with a young quarterback may not be the best option, as the opposing defense will be targeting their inexperience.
The coaching staff plays a vital role in team success. There are coaches who have won multiple Super Bowls, divisional championships and more. Synchronicity between the Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator fosters a strong team. These positions are responsible for crafting game plans against other teams, game plans that must be tweaked week in and week out. Seasoned NFL coaches understand the league and their competition. Teams that cycle between coaches frequently can sometimes lack a certain chemistry which translates onto the field. One key thing to look out for is college coaches making the jump to the NFL. College and professional football are two entirely different animals.
Football betting is done on a week-to-week basis. You are not forced to bet one team throughout the season, which is good considering team’s differing schedules. If a team has tough matchup after coming off two or three weeks with strong competitors, fatigue may play a role in their performance. On the other hand, teams coming off a bye week have had ample time to rest and could be considered in better condition. Football schedules are rigorous with practices, workouts and games each week. Tracking a team’s schedule and progress throughout will assist you in predicting their performance.
Injuries can ruin a team’s season. If a key player goes down, it can undo all the hard work a team has put in. Offensive injuries tend to be more pivotal, for instance if a starting quarterback goes down, but defensive injuries can change the pace of a game as well. A team that has gone 7-0 may not win another game after losing a key player. It is possible for a backup player to step up and prove analysts wrong (look at Cowboys’ backup Dak Prescott and the phenomenal season he had), but from a betting standpoint, it is difficult to wager on an untested backup player.
How To Bet On NCAA Football
The same general rules apply to college football—look for players, coaches, strategy, injuries, etc. One of the biggest differences between NFL and NCAA football games is pace. College games tend to run faster and there is not as much clock management. The other differences are a more subjective in nature.
College football athletes are young players. These players do not have the same major league experience as NFL veterans do. When it comes to clutch moments in games, pressure can seep into the situation and affect the outcome. College coaches are well-versed in the game, but that inherent knowledge is not always present amongst the players. NCAA football is where players begin to develop for the NFL in terms of skills, strategy and experience. This could mean learning an entirely new position. A star high school quarterback may be turned into a tight end by his coach. In the grand scheme of things, the position change is usually beneficial to the player’s development, but there is still a learning curve.
Just like with NFL teams, there are some college teams with a winning history. When looking for a solid team to bet on, look for athletic programs with a track record of winning big games. These programs have molded student athletes into some of the NFL’s most successful players. Paying attention to the different conferences allows bettors to pinpoint the best of each. For example, the SEC is a talent-heavy conference when compared to others. Teams who have had the same coach for several years reflect consistency. With betting, consistency is what you want.
While some of this may seem like common sense, the true skill of sports betting is remaining vigilant in your analytical processes. Smart bettors track all aspects of a team week-to-week. Even if you are a strict one-team person, knowing what is going on around the league can influence the types of bets you make. Take the time to research history, trends, injury reports, offensive/defensive styles and current statistics. Being an informed bettor is being a smart bettor, and with your money on the line, why not go the extra mile?