By the middle of the summer most NFL bettors are impatient – desperate for some football action to satisfy the cravings. It can seem like it takes forever for the games to get here. You can drive yourself crazy with the waiting, or you can use the time to get ready for a great betting year. If you choose the second option (and you obviously should) then here are nine things you can do to make sure you have the best possible year betting on the NFL:
Look back on last year’s records – I don’t think it is possible to spend too much time looking back at what you did with your betting last year. Where are the leaks? Are there some teams you bet too often? Are there some types of football bets you aren’t profitable on? Are there types that you are very profitable on that you should be betting more? Did you struggle on Monday nights. or excel on Thursdays? The more insights you can draw into your strengths and weaknesses the better you can exploit them during the new NFL season.
Look at free agency movement – With the dawn of each football season there are dozens of veteran players find new employers. You can’t help but hear about the high profile players that move around. Sometimes, though, the NFL players that operate well below the radar can have just as much impact on their new team. Spend the time to look at every free agent move to determine what it means and whether it can help create an opportunity for you. You’ll also want to pay attention to those high profile moves. Will they have as much impact as the media and the public seem to think, or is the player overhyped? Excess hype can create value for sports bettors in betting against early in the season.
Look at rookies – Well over 200 NFL rookies are drafted every year, and several others are signed as undrafted free agents. Some of those rookies will become immediate, valuable contributors, some will slowly but surely find a valuable role, and others will never make an impact. The better the sense you have of which rookies will be which the better off you are. You need to pay special attention to the high profile rookies. The public will expect a lot from them, so if they aren’t going to be able to deliver to that level early on then you could have an opportunity.
Go through each team’s schedule game by game – I like to look at each football team’s schedule and assign wins or losses in each game they will play based on a general impressions. This is obviously only just a guess of what could happen, but it can give you a sense of which teams you feel are weak and which you feel are strong. Without fail a couple of teams emerge each year as a surprise when I do this.
Look for games you are particularly focused on – As you look through the schedules of each NFL club you can spot the games that are particularly interesting. It could be that it will be two powerhouse teams, or that a public team is very likely to be overbet, or that a rivalry has the potential to create opportunities. Whatever the reason to highlight the game, spotting it now can give you games to look forward to.
Look at coaching changes – Each year there are several new head coaches hired to lead their teams. You need to spend the time getting to know the new NFL coaches and what impact they could have on their teams. Will they be making major overhauls to systems, or maintaining much of what is in place? Are they familiar to players, or have they come from outside? Are they experienced head coaches, or will they be getting their feet wet here? Are they replacing a popular coach, or will the players be enthusiastic for a new face?
Study one new stat – There is an amazing amount of statistical analysis being done about football, and each year more and more new and potentially powerful stats emerge. It’s easy for bettors to stick to their routines and preferences, but you can gain a lot by breaking out of your box and checking out new and better statistical options. Pick just one new stat that you aren’t familiar with and test it out to see if it can be useful for you.
Read one coaching book – I am a big believer in this one. The more you understand the game of football, the better the chances that you can draw insights that can prove valuable when you watch games. One of the best ways to learn the game is to read books written to help coaches perform better. There are dozens out there, and I guarantee that reading one will teach you something valuable that you didn’t know.
Shop around to make sure your book makes sense – Choosing the right sportsbook for your NFL betting can be crucial to your bottom line. If your book doesn’t offer the best lines for the types of bets you prefer to make then you are losing money each time you bet. Spending the time now to make sure your book is the best one for you is time very well spent. For some bettors – especially those who bet lower amounts – the bonuses offered by a new book could be very valuable as well.