Perhaps the hardest part of any type of sports betting is learning how to accurately predict the results of a game. With the NFL that is even harder than most other sports as there is a myriad of factors to consider. There are many ways to go about predicting the end results of any NFL game.
There are so many factors that have to do with the teams and individual players, as well as their key strengths and weaknesses and much more. You can also utilize statistics to predict the most likely end results of a game. Additionally, you should not forget the role that trends play.
At first, it might be hard to know where to start. After all, predicting anything accurately is quite the challenge, and predicting NFL results, even more so. The beginning we propose consists of studying the various factors that affect the game.
Various Factors That Affect the Game
The first types of factors you need to look into everything that may affect a team’s overall quality and value. This includes evaluating every part of what makes a team good. This is all necessary in order for any NFL bettor to get the full picture and to be able to make an educated prediction.
The quality of every individual player is of the utmost importance. Most NFL bettors only take into consideration the quarterback when in reality they should be evaluating every single player. Of course, this does not mean that the quarterback of a team does not matter, but he matters just as much as his relationship with the left tackle and the right tackle is. Naturally, the defensive players also matter greatly.
This all points to another factor which is the balance of a team. The type of balance we are talking about here has to do with how many players stand out. To be precise, if there is only one star player and all others are just sort of okay, there is no balance and the team is less likely to win. Especially in case, that player gets injured. A team needs to consist of equally good players to be balanced and have the best chances of winning.
Even if the team consists of players that are ordinary could stand a better chance if the players were about evenly matched. This is especially true if the team has a good sense of unity. The way to tell whether this is so is by studying the team carefully and trying to figure out what the relationships between key-players are. A team that works well together can surpass a team with better players but lower sense of unity.
In order to be able to accurately predict the results of a team you also need to be fully aware of both their greatest strengths and their biggest weaknesses. For instance, if two teams are strong in defense but weak in offense. In this case, it would be wise to make a bet on the under rather than to pick a winner.
The style of a team is also very important. If a team’s style dictates that the team must focus on offense or defense, this will obviously have an impact on the game. This depends on their coach but it can tell you a lot about his relationship with his team. If the players are more comfortable with an offensive style but the coach prefers a more defense-oriented one, the players may underperform. This is why it is important to note it as a team might have plenty of star players but they may not be best for the style of their team.
This is why the coaching staff of a team is of high importance as well. After all, the coach is responsible for all the pre-game planning as well as post-game analysis. The coach also needs to keep morale up and lead the team. But the coach is not the only one you should be focusing on – the offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator are both also vital. It is up to them to call the plays and decide which defensive schemes to run.
It also matters how a team handles being under pressure. This is a factor that can greatly affect the game yet is often overlooked by most NFL bettors. This is a mistake because a team can be seemingly perfect but crumble under pressure. On the other hand, there are some teams that perform best under pressure. Knowing how a team handles being under pressure may be the difference between a win and a loss.
Consistency is another key factor to keep in mind when it comes to NFL betting. If a team has consistently won or lost during the season, it may be easier to predict what the outcome of their next game will be. Meanwhile, if the team has no consistency whatsoever, it will be harder to tell whether they will win or lose. Of course, there are many other factors that can help you in this case.
The conditions in which a game is held can have a great impact on players. Especially when it comes to weather conditions. It is worth going over the history of the team you wish to back to see how they perform in adverse weather conditions.
The venue can affect a team’s play as well. In fact, the home team in NFL matches wins 60% of the time. So, home field advantage definitely makes a difference and should be taken into consideration. Especially, if the road team may get overwhelmed by the venue – for instance, a stadium like CenturyLink Field can be intimidating.
A team’s schedule is also an important factor. If the road team has traveled from the West coast to the East and has to play in the early afternoon, they are more likely to underperform. Even athletes get jet-lagged which is why this factor is worth considering.
The recent results of a team can be a good indicator of what the future holds for it. For instance, if a team has been winning recently, the players will be experiencing heightened motivation and confidence. On the other hand, if the team has been losing a lot lately, players may do worse than usual. However, it is worth noting that some teams perform even better after a loss as they are motivated to get back in the game. Especially, if they have only lost by a small margin.
This is why motivation is another important factor to keep in mind. For instance, if a team is playing a long-time rival their motivation will definitely affect the game. Players will be more likely to perform better than usual. However, some players might get too fired up and lose control of their emotions which can lead to outbursts. This depends on the player’s history.
Naturally, injuries will also have a lasting effect on the game. You should always check injury reports before placing a bet. If a key-player has been injured and cannot play, this might have a negative effect on the team’s play. Other teams have suitable players to substitute and might even do better as the substitute may be motivated to prove himself.
As you can see, all factors are tied closely together which is why it is so important not to ignore any of them. When it comes to predicting NFL games, no detail is too small. It is a complex game with plenty of things to consider.
Statistics can be very useful when trying to determine the outcome of an NFL game. They can help you uncover the true strengths and weaknesses of a team. They can also make it easier to compare the general quality of teams. Statistics will help you make a more informed betting decision. Here are some basic NFL statistics you should consider using when trying to predict results.
Points Per Game
This is one of the simpler types of statistics you can find on the NFL. The PPG stat tells you how many points a team has scored throughout the season divided by the number of games. This statistic is especially useful when betting on totals as you can see the Points Per Game allowed and compare the two statistics to gain a better understanding of a team’s capacity.
Yards Per Game
The Yards Per Game acquired or allowed by a team is another available statistic that is easy to understand. On their own, they do not tell us much but if you take into consideration the style of play of a given team, it can be very useful. You can also find statistics on Rushing Yards and Passing Yards.
Third Down Efficiency
This statistic, on the other hand, is very informative in and of itself. As you know, a third down is most often a team’s last chance to maintain possession. A team’s ability to convert it is very important and quite telling about its quality. The better a team is at it – the more likely it is to win. The numbers to be looking for here are the high forties.
The number of sacks a player or a team makes can give NFL bettors even further insight into the quality of a team. It is also indicative of the overall performance of a team and how they might perform in the future. This statistic alone cannot be all you take into account though.
Tackles and Interceptions
Both of these statistics can provide useful information about a team’s defense but neither of them is very useful on its own. For instance, a team with a high tackles score might have a weakness elsewhere and use the tackles as compensation. On the other hand, there just aren’t that many interceptions per game overall, which means that you cannot read into it too much.
Through the use of some more advanced level statistics, you can find out more about a team’s offensive and overall quality. Two statistics that can tell you a lot about a team’s offense are Pass Yards Per Attempt and Team Yards Per Carry. To gain more knowledge about a team’s general level you can also check out these stats: Yards Per Play Differential, Yards After Catch, Turnover Differential, and Negative Pass Play Percentage.
The Poisson Distribution
The Poisson Distribution is a very interesting statistics-based math model. With it, you can calculate how likely an event is to occur n times within a set period of time. You can only do this with some background information though. You need to know whether the event occurs at a constant rate because otherwise, you cannot use this model.
You can easily use it to get a better idea of how many touchdowns a single player will score during the next quarter, game, season, and so on. However, this model, called the binomial model, assumes that every period of time is independent. This means that if we are calculating how many touchdowns a player will score per quarter, him scoring in the first quarter tells us nothing about whether he will score in the second one. As you know by now, this is not so because of a number of reasons but this model is still accurate enough to be taken into consideration. You can simplify the equations by using a Poisson distribution with parameter ½.
The math level required here might be a bit above average but you will get results.
To determine the results of an NFL game you can use not only the help of statistics but also the help of trends. Spotting trends and using them may be a bit hard for a beginner but we will outline a few basic trends any player can take advantage of.
First Half Scoring Trends
You can spot the difference between a team that has scored in the first half and a team that has fallen behind instead. Usually, the team that has scored ends up winning if the other team has fallen behind a great deal. When a team scores early on, they start off with a solid lead. They can, later on, solidify that lead easier than the opposing team can overcome the lead.
As the tension builds up in the second half, many teams will make more mistakes as they attempt to score. That is why a slow start can end up costing the team a great deal.
Generally, teams that score in the first half are considered strong teams and have an advantage over opponents with lower numbers in the first half. This is why this trend can be very useful.
Sharp Line Moves
When the line moves sharply and the odds change suddenly, it is usually a sign that pro-bettors have placed a substantial wager. Of course, this depends on when you are looking at the lines and odds. This is only true at certain times. For instance, obvious changes right after opening lines are usually the doing of professional bettors.
Another sign that the professionals are betting is when the numbers of a point spread change from the most common winning numbers. It takes a lot of money to change those numbers, so this is most often an indicator of a big player.
Additionally, sometimes pros will wait for the public to move a line to a specific number and bet late against the flow. So a significant change of the margins, later on, could easily be a sign that a true NFL bettor has placed their wager.
As you know, a good coach can make all the difference. They can bring a team more victories than ever before but they can also bring a successful team down. This is why it is extremely important to take a team’s coach into consideration when betting on the NFL.
If you are planning on betting on a certain team, you should take a look at their pre-season performance, especially if they have a new coach. This will give you insight into what you can expect from their NFL games.
Home Underdog Trends
There are some NFL bettors that always seem to bet on the more popular team. This is clearly an unwise approach as the popular teams lose as well. Most people seem unaware of that possibility though and thus create a perfect betting opportunity for you.
At times when the more popular team is the road one and the underdog is the home team, you will be presented with some of the best odds. You need to be highly selective when using this trend though as it is hard to establish when exactly it will have a tangible effect. However, you can rest assured that this unique opportunity will come as the general public will not take into consideration the effects that traveling might have on a team.
Bye Week Trends
There are some strategies that will tell you that you most definitely need to bet on a team’s first game after their Bye Week. This is absolutely untrue as sometimes there is no way to tell how a team will perform on such occasions.
Of course, if you can see a definite trend in a team’s post-Bye Week games, then betting based on that is indeed a good idea. For instance, some teams seem to be rejuvenated after their break and perform better than usual while others seem to be off their game and have consistently lost their first game post-Bye Week. However, sometimes there simply isn’t a trend to spot and in those cases, it is best not to bet based on this.
Bounce Back Trends
This type of trend is important to follow directly after the team you wish to bet on has lost. You need to take a look at how they have responded to similar losses in the past and consider the data. For instance, if it is a big rival loss, the team is more likely to be fired up but you should still take a look at how they have taken similar losses in the past.
Other times, losses can be heartbreaking and destroy a team’s spirit and confidence. This can take it on a losing streak, so you need to be very careful when analyzing the data. Of course, you also need to take all other factors into consideration as well.
There are many ways to predict NFL results and they all require a lot of time and effort. You will need to learn to analyze every piece of data concerning the game. It may be hard but it definitely is not impossible, especially with the help of all factors, statistics, and trends listed above.