Handicapping NFL Games
Follow these steps to become a successful NFL handicapper
NFL Handicapping is a method of assessing football to predict accurate values of games and teams. Many NFL handicappers will work with a sportsbook, casino, or other bettors looking for an advantage. Some handicappers will work in multiple sports, but this can be difficult as a handicapper focusing on one sport can exert all of their efforts into this one area of expertise.
Handicapping NFL games involves analyzing football teams to find teams that are undervalued against the spread to improve their chances of winning.
Now, handicapping the NFL may seem like a dream job – “I’ll just become an NFL handicapper and make tons of money on sports!” Easier said than done. If this were an easy task, millions of sports enthusiasts out there would try to make it a full-time job. It takes a lot of sports expertise as well as statistical insight to become an NFL handicapper. A major problem with most sports bettors is that they don’t know how to take emotion out of the equation. Betting without emotion is crucial to finding value when handicapping football.
Key points about handicapping NFL games to keep in mind:
- The best NFL handicappers take emotion out of their system and rely on numbers
- Try out various methods, but keep accurate and detailed notes
- Don’t bet any real money on NFL games until you find a method that works consistency
- Find statistics and trends that correlate with wins
- Handicapping NFL games takes practice and patience
Unique Handicapping Strategies
Every NFL handicapper has their own method of looking at a game and trying to find value. This is fairly obvious when comparing records of NFL handicappers, as they vary from handicapper-to-handicapper and game-to-game. However, the goal is to win consistently over time, because no one is perfect and anyone who claims they are the “best in the business” probably isn’t. Some NFL handicappers use statistics like home-field advantage or past success of teams vs. specific opponents. There is no right or wrong way to handicap NFL games, but your success rate will dictate how well your system is working. Your goal when handicapping NFL games is to find statistics that consistently correlate to wins on the field. Keep the betting lines in mind – in some cases the team doesn’t have to win, merely cover the spread. (For example, if the line is Dallas +4.5, they can lose by up to 4 points and you still win your bet).
It takes time to develop a strong, consistently successful system. One of the best practices for handicapping NFL games is to choose a method of analyzing games and try it out for a while, but don’t bet any money to start! Your handicapping system has not been proven, and if you jump right into it with real money it could turn on you and then you’ll be back to square one with less in your pocket. Make sure to record your method and the overall record (wins, losses, units won), so that you can make modifications as you go.
Basic Types of Bets to Try
Sports books offer many different types of wagers for NFL betting. The easiest to understand is the moneyline wager. You’re basically just choosing who’s going to win the game, and there’s associated odds with the bets depending on how favored a team is. Another popular bet is the point spread, where there is a point line created based on how favored a team is. If New England had a point spread of -6 and you bet on it, that would mean you would need them to win by 7 or more in order to win the wager. They have a total wager, where you bet on an established number for the total points scored between both teams in a game and you can take the under or over on that type of bet. Additional to all of these standard bets are modified bets like teasers and parlays, where you can add extra points to the lines or take multiple teams to win in an effort to win more money per bet.
In general, we recommend starting with one type of bet when you try to develop a handicapping system. It is easier to start small than to try to handicap multiple types of bets. At The Final Line, we use teasers to try to get an edge because we believe adding points to change the initial line is worth the reduced payout. Being able to manipulate the line gives us a higher chance of winning each game and leads to more consistent winnings over time.
If you want to learn more about all of the different types of betting, head over to our page on types of NFL bets
. We give you a bet-by-bet breakdown and list the advantages and disadvantages of each in more detail.