There is no doubt that the pro football is sport in which the bookies get the biggest number of action and also get the most dough. Professional football bears betting features that are unlike any of the other leagues.
At first, there are small number of teams to keep and eye in comparison to college football or college basketball. And second, these teams play only once a week which makes staying on top of the results much easier than it is in the daily leagues such as the NBA, NHL, and MLB.
These dynamics, along with the sheer excitement of watching and wagering on football, brings more square action to the table than any of the other sports. Almost every Tom, Dick and Harry in America is an NFL expert in their own mind and that is precisely what the oddsmakers prey upon.
Understanding who bets the games is just as important as understanding which teams are playing the games. The market at times will dictate price, which in the betting world means the oddsmakers cater to the public rather than reality.
Knowing the market inside and out is the basis of our NFL handicapping model. That is, our approach to NFL picks handicapping is of the contrarian or value seeking variety. We will at times place a higher premium on public sentiment than on the fundamentals. This strategy dictates playing dogs and/or lesser competent teams, or teams the public wants nothing to do with. Or better yet, fading the teams the oddsmakers want you to bet on.
Along these same lines, we carry a similar notion that the first week of the NFL season presents one of the ripest opportunities for the astute gambler. This conflicts with conventional wisdom and/or handicapping lore, as most would say it is better to watch a few games and assess each team before jumping in with both feet. That's all fine and dandy, but there are some interesting trends to exploit in Week 1 and we'd be remiss to ignore them. Let us quickly explain.
Gone are the days of dynasties, where the same core players stay intact and dominate the league year after year. Free agency and player movements can completely transform teams from one season to the next. In today's parity-driven NFL, poor teams typically don't stay poor for all that long and excellent teams must constantly reinvent themselves to stay on top.
The temptation might be to assume prior year results are the best indicator of who is going to cover in Week 1. To Joe Public, playoff teams from the prior season, home teams, favorites, and so one, look even more enticing than usual since there is no current season performance to judge them against. But the question begs: are the oddsmakers setting a trap?
Generally speaking- yes, but it will depend, sometimes there is and edge on home favourite which was in playoffs last season. If you bet though, you should try avoiding these teams, they are overvalued usually.
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