The three biggest factors that should go in to football handicapping are trends, statistics and situations. Those are just sports betting basics that some people refer to as fundamental handicapping. Meanwhile, others call it technical handicapping but the bottom line is those three factors are always involved.
There is no incorrect method of handicapping as it is essentially a matter of personal preference. Many people will use the different factors to varying degrees. Here is a quick look at the three key handicapping techniques if you want to know how to bet on football and up your game.
Relying on trends to come up with picks can vary from one sport to another and shouldn’t be confused with systems. Some handicappers will place a lot of importance on trends. Meanwhile, others will use them as a final aspect to review before placing a bet. The following are all examples of trends:
- Team A has covered 4 straight games against division opponents as a home favorite.
- Team B has covered 8 of the last 9 games versus Team C.
- Team D is 6-1 against the spread as a double-digit favorite.
- Team E is 1-7 when playing outdoors in December over the past two seasons.
The handicappers that place the biggest emphasis on statistics are number crunchers that make their selections based solely on the numbers. They rely on countless statistics that are available for the general public. These statistics range from traditional numbers like points scored and points allowed, to more advanced numbers like yards per carry, DVOA and points per 100 yards.
Statistical handicapping is the best way to break down how a team has performed up until that point. At the same time, it’s also important to remember that those numbers are a clear indication of the past and not an exact predictor of future results.
Situational handicapping is the most like systems betting in that the focus is on how teams have fared in particular situations. The difference between situational handicapping and trend handicapping is that we are interested in how the league performs in certain situations instead of focusing on just one team. The situational handicapping removes the personal bias that could complicate things while providing numbers that the bettor can use at his disposal depending on how they see fit. The following are all examples of situational handicapping:
- Preseason Home Underdogs
- College Football Ranked Underdogs
- NFL Outdoor Favorites
The most important thing to remember about all three of these integral aspects to football handicapping is that the data is raw and at this disposal of whoever is using it. This means that while these numbers could help project the score of the game. It’s also unrealistic to expect them to predict an exact result all of the time.
Instead, the point of these numbers is to get as close as possible to projecting how a game will play out based on the information available. Trends, statistics and situations can all be used to predict how a game will play out. If you are able to use all three areas of handicapping to your advantage, you will find yourself winning a lot more often than not.