football handicapping starts with throwing out
those old strategies and systems that, on the
surface, seem like they should work, but in reality
never do. When most sports gamblers set out to
make pro football picks, they call upon all manners
of NFL statistics as well as their knowledge of
the sport to try to determine which team has the
best chance to cover the spread. Seems logical,
is how most people go about handicapping games,
and almost everyone loses. To make enough winning
NFL picks to beat the sportsbooks' lines over
the long run, you must begin by analyzing the
line on a given game to match the perspective
of the oddsmakers.
can be accomplished by looking backwards to determine
why the line on a given game involving 2 teams
has been set at a particular number, adjusted
to a particular number, or maintained at a particular
number. How did the line originate? Why is the
line the way it is?
analyzing the line in reverse, you'll be able
to do two important things for increasing the
success of your NFL football picks.
You'll be able to shift your focus away from
using statistics, sports knowledge, and other
unprofitable techniques to pick which team you
think will cover the point spread.
You'll be able to redirect your focus towards
using indications in the NFL line on a given
game to identify which team oddsmakers &
insiders think will cover.
for indications in the sportsbooks' lines and
point spreads is your best bet for picking which
team the oddsmakers and insiders think will cover
the spread in a given game.
key is to understand that the sportsbooks' NFL
lines and NFL point spreads are the oddsmakers'
instrument for dividing the monetary betting action
in half for a given game. In other words, the
very existence of betting lines and point spreads
gives a sportsbook an element of control over
how the population as a whole decides to bet in
a given game.
start, the line on a game is not the oddsmakers'
assessment of what the difference in final score
will be. It is their assessment of what particular
football odds line number will draw even action
from the combination of sports bettors.
are masters at using NFL lines and point spreads
to keep betting action divided in half. By making
adjustments in a given line or point spread oddsmakers
can sway large numbers of sports bettors who have
not yet made a decision on which team to bet on
in a game to place their bet on the team that
has "lesser action." Ask yourself, how
often have you been undecided on a game with a
3 point spread only to make your decision after
the line moved down to 2 1/2 or up to 3 1/2? The
movement in the line was the book's effort to
balance betting action, and often times it can
have a direct result on your betting decision.
course, when NFL lines and point spreads are moved,
it can also sway sports bettors who have already
placed a bet on a game to "put down"
additional action on that game... Or to even reverse
their direction and bet the other way to try to
"sandwich the game" and hit both sides.
But as far as the oddsmakers are concerned, keeping
the betting action split at each odds line number
(dollar number) or point spread is the key. Doing
so allows the sportsbooks to make their juice.
controlling the NFL odds and NFL point spreads,
the bookmakers have an amazing amount of control
over who bets what amount, and at what point in
time they bet that amount, thus enabling them
to keep the action divided in half. However, before
oddsmakers can even begin to make adjustments
to a particular betting line to keep action divided
in half, they must choose a starting point or
"opening line" for the game.
creating opening lines, the incentive for a sportsbook's
oddsmaker is to choose football lines that will
do a fast, efficient job of splitting action in
half. Doing so guarantees that they can make the
an opening line doesn't draw even action, the
sooner the line can be adjusted to draw even action,
the more juice the sportsbook can guarantee for
itself. Simply put, the more a line needs to be
adjusted to keep betting action even, the more
overall risk the sportsbook is exposed to, and
the lower the profit they stand to make. This
is because the sportsbook can get stuck with uneven
betting action for any given NFL odds line or
NFL point spread number, which cuts into profits.
you can see that the oddsmakers would be very
interested in knowing what specific NFL point
spread number or NFL odds line number would draw
even betting action for a given game before having
to release the opening line for that game to the
before oddsmakers could know what an opening line
on a given game would need to be set at to draw
even action, oddsmakers would need to know which
team sports bettors planned to put their money
on in advance of that game! And for a variety
of different NFL odds line numbers. This brings
us to the oddsmakers' greatest strength when it
comes to using betting lines and point spreads
to divide betting action in half.
oddsmakers' greatest strength for dividing betting
action in half is based on the fact that most
sports bettors make their betting decisions by
relying on some level of information they have
collected about the matchup. To cope, oddsmakers
have developed techniques to allow them to measure
the level of information that prospective sports
bettors know about a given game, and oddsmakers
can look at this information before having to
release the opening line for that game.
method oddsmakers use to measure the information
level known to sports bettors about a game is
to release an exclusive "unrefined"
test line for select knowledgeable and well respected
gamblers or "insiders" to bet into.
inside gamblers who have access to these "unrefined"
test lines, it's like having access to free money.
Because if the betting line ends up being far
off from the test line, the game can be sandwiched
by insiders for a potential double hit.
it's well worth it for the oddsmakers to give
these insiders the sandwich opportunity. Because
by allowing select insiders an exclusive opportunity
to place bets against early test lines, oddsmakers
get a chance to determine whether or not the insiders
are betting the same side in a game, whether insiders
are split, and how strongly insiders feel about
their selection in terms of how much they are
this type of information about how insiders are
evaluating their selection on a given game helps
the oddsmakers make an assessment of what the
opening line will need to be set at in order to
generate even betting action from the combination
of inside sports bettors and general public sports
bettors on a given game.
course oddsmakers also study general public betting
patterns. But as a rule they are more concerned
with measuring insider betting interest because
insiders place bigger bets (which are harder to
balance), and because insiders can at any moment
have access to more relevant information about
a given game than anyone else.
example, insiders may know:
What types of strategies the teams plan to
or not the teams are emotionally ready to
is officiating the game and what affect it
can have on the teams' playing styles
the starting quarterback has a blister on
can be in possession of so much pertinent info
(a.k.a. inside info/inside reads) that never gets
disseminated to the public prior to the start
of the game that most people simply wouldn't believe
it. The level of information that insiders possess
is obviously the driving point for their bets.
And since oddsmakers are providing insiders with
an early test line to bet into so that they can
measure the level of insider interest in a game
before creating the opening line for the sole
purpose of balancing action, sportsbooks' football
odds and point spreads very often reflect the
level of information that is known to insiders
about a given game.
now you know the golden egg of NFL handicapping.
It's not the teams that matter. It's not the stats
that matter. It's the line on the game that matters.