Smart and successful football handicappers know that you set yourself up for a profitable NFL season not by the handicapping you do during the season but by the work you did in the offseason to get ready for the year. It takes a whole lot of preparation and study to be ready to be a long term winner betting on the NFL. The good news is that most sports bettors aren’t willing to do their homework, so if you put some time in during the summer then you are going to give yourself an edge over the masses. Since the public bets so heavily on the NFL it is crucial that you gain an edge on them so you can spot and exploit what little value there is in betting on the league. Here are eight things NFL handicappers can do during the summer to get ready for NFL success:
Look at free agent movement – The rosters you saw on the field the last time you watched football will have changed – in some cases very significantly. It’s very important for handicappers to look very closely at free agent movement and what that means for teams. You need to look beyond the big names, too – everyone will know about those. Have the teams picked up low profile players who can have a big impact? Have they filled roster holes that they had in the past? Do they still have problems that they didn’t address? Are there football teams that improved more than the public will give them credit for? Or less?
Get to know the rookies – There are always impact players that enter the league through the NFL Draft, and undrafted rookies can also make a splash as free agents. It can be tough to know just which players will be immediately relevant, though. The betting public will assume that the big name players who were drafted early and signed for big money are going to be the biggest stars right away, but that often isn’t the case. Which players are going to have a chance to contribute immediately? Which ones are going to take a while to find their game? Which ones have a chance to be a serious bust?
Look at coaching changes – Each year about one in five or six NFL teams makes a head coaching changes. Those teams will likely change their coordinators, and other teams will make coordinator or position coaching changes as well. Some of those changes will be high profile, while others will fly under the radar. It’s crucial that you have a good sense of what changes have been made, what impact those changes could have, and what opportunities for profit could be created as a result.
Study the schedules – A football team is only as good as their schedule lets them be, so as soon as the schedules are released you should get to know them very well. Which teams have a particularly soft schedule? Which ones face a lot of brutal travel? Where are the matchup issues? What games are obviously going to be of major public interest?
Shop around for sportsbooks – The difference between a winning sports bettor and a losing one is often a razor thin margin. You can make yourself a bigger winner – or maybe even turn from a loser to a winner – if you are sure you are always betting the best possible odds. The summer is a great time to look for other books that could work for you and set up another account or two to make your shopping around for prices more effective. You may also want to pay attention to the bonuses that are offered to see if they can help your bottom line.
Learn a new stat – A lot of NFL handicappers stick to the same statistics – mostly those that are readily available and published in newspapers and basic websites. There are a whole lot of people out there who are obsessed with NFL statistics, and every year they come out with new, impressive ways to draw meaning from the game. If you aren’t spending time getting to know what stats are out there and what could be useful to your betting then you are missing a huge opportunity.
Study your records – The summer is a great time to look back on the bets you made last year or over the last few years to see what has worked well for you and what has cost you money. Are there some types of bets you are more profitable on than others? Are there some teams that you bet on too much, or others that you ignore? Do you do well on favorites and lousy on underdogs, or vice versa? If you get to know your tendencies then you can exploit your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
Test theories – If you have watched and bet on the NFL for any time then you probably have a few ideas about what might make teams win or lose. It could be that you think a particular football stat has a correlation to winning, or that a certain type of team never seems to win in certain circumstances. These types of theories could prove to be very valuable, but only if you take the time to prove that they are accurate. With NFL handicapping, the summer is a great time to test, hypothesize and tweak to improve your overall approach to success.