There are few things in the NFL that will get the football betting public more fired up than a long winning streak. In virtually every case, though, the winning streak has to eventually end. When that happens, NFL bettors face a challenge – to determine what happens next. Some teams will rebound from a loss and head right into the next losing streak. Others will lose focus and intensity once they lose, and will follow up with another loss. If you can have a good sense of what a football team is likely to do then you are well positioned to make a nice profit on their first game after the streak ends. Here are seven questions that NFL gamblers should ask to determine how a team might respond in this situation:
How did they lose? – The first thing to look at is how the loss happened because all losses are not created equally. Did they lose a tight game, or did they get blown out? If they got blown out then there are going to be more concerns about what happened and whether there is a good chance that it is going to happen again. Did the football team lose because their opponent was able to exploit a weakness? If that happened – like if the opponent was able to pressure the quarterback relentlessly, for example – then you need to determine if the team is going to be able to adjust and solve the problem, or if they are likely to be exploited in the same way again. Was the cause of the problem something that can be corrected relatively easily? If it was something like too many penalties or too many fumbles or INTs then that can be dealt with easier than more serious problems, and can be dealt with quickly as well.
Who did they lose to? – This is a simple but very important question in making winning NFL picks . If they lost to a strong playoff caliber NFL team on the road then that is not really a cause for major concern – especially if they played well in the loss. If they lost on their home field against a weak football team, though, then there could be bigger issues that have to be looked at. This is also a good time to look back at who they beat during the winning streak. If they beat unimpressive teams during that stretch then it is quite possible that the streak wasn’t as impressive as it seemed in the first place.
Are they healthy? – Health will go a long way to determining how a football team rebounds. Few things can impact a team more significantly than the twin blows of losing a game after a streak and losing a key player to injury during the game. If the health status of the team changed in the game that ended the streak it can be a real cause for concern. It’s important not to get too worked up about injuries, though, if the injury situation is essentially the same as it was while they were winning.
What are they saying? – You can read a lot into how a NFL team is feeling by reading and hearing what they have to say. If they are remaining positive and upbeat in the media – like they were during the streak – then they could easily shake off the loss. If it seems like their confidence has been rattled, though, then it could be a concern – especially if they are airing dirty laundry in the press or sounding particularly immature.
How does the coach handle adversity? – When a team on the gridiron faces adversity it falls on the head coach to set the tone and largely determine how the team is going to respond and bounce back. If the coach has had success in the past doing that with his team then chances are good that he is going to be able to do so again. If this is a coach who seems to let momentum – both good and bad – rule his team, though, then this shift in momentum could be a real concern.
How strong is the incentive? – It can be hard for a football team to get refocused and recharged after a rough loss if they have no clear incentive to earn the win. If, for example, the win has allowed them to secure a playoff position and a first round bye then the team may be hesitant to put in the effort required to bounce back strong. If the next game is crucial, though – like if they need it to make the playoffs, or if it comes against a big divisional rival – then focus shouldn’t be a big issue despite the letdown as long as the team is healthy and well coached.
How is the public reacting? – This is a question you should be asking in every situation when it comes to sports betting. If the public is likely to overreact to a situation then there can be value created by betting against the public. If the public panics because the streak ended with a bad loss then they might assume that the football team is in worse shape for their next game then they really are. On the other hand, if the public is acting like nothing really happened then there could be value in betting against the team if you doubt their mental state or their focus and intensity. Consider this when analyzing the point spread and the over/under when the team next plays.