Handicapping football? Then watch the numbers!

An expert handicapper or avid sports bettor will perform their football analysis on the every NFL game by running through the statistics and player reports. Standard stuff right? Though analyzing simply who’s hurt or injured, and the match up history is just not enough, otherwise its gambling….not sports investing.

An nfl handicapper may have a different approach or system in producing their weekly nfl picks than other handicappers. However, regardless what sport pick model handicappers apply to predicting nfl games, when the sell these nfl picks they need to perform….of course also with some smart money management from the sports bettor. Both the expert handicapper and sports bettor need to understand and analyze the key numbers.

When you understand the key numbers, then you’re more informed as to what the odds makers and book makers are doing with a specific nfl games spread, and what it does to move the line. When handicapping NFL the key numbers will provide you insight into the margin of win or loss most common in the NFL.

For example, most expert handicappers and seasoned sports bettors know that three points is the most common final margin in a nfl game. And while the three point margin is by far the greatest margin in the NFL, you’ll also find seven as another average final margin.

When handicapping football also watch for key numbers as four, six and ten, and for handicapping college football, key numbers in the teens as 14 and 17 are quite common.

About 16 percent of NFL games fall on the number three compared to 8 percent of games with a final margin of 7 and about 6 percent of games with a final margin of 10 and 6.

Handicapping Football Key Numbers

  • NFL football
    • 3 (most popular)
    • 7
    • 4, 6, 10
    • College football
    • 14
    • 17

Over time as you get more familiar with running the key numbers with the books and find a nfl line or college line just doesn’t align, then this can be a reflection on the odds maker incentivizing the action, or known as ‘begging for action’ on a specific team.

Expert handicappers and sports bettors understand how important the key numbers are, especially when they end up buying points or attempting to tease a game. The expert nfl handicapper understands it costs a bit extra to team favored to win when the spread is down from 3.5 to 3. The same can be said for underdogs and the nfl line is 6.5 to 7. On average, expert handicappers understand it can cost 25% extra to take a nfl pick with these lines. This is typical in sports betting, while most other sports there is a 10% juice or vig to buy a half point on a line.

Remember if your tracking any line movements through an odds service, which most professional expert NFL handicappers will do, or your own methods as recreational sports bettor or sports investor, you need to be aware of the key numbers as described above. A general tip to watch for is when following nfl line movements and you see them as a 3 or 7, the sportsbook will attempt to adjust the vig or juice, versus moving the football line. However if the odds maker does move a line off 3 or 7, it’s a high signal to watch for that the odds maker is seeing high action from sports bettors or other developers (ex. back up quarterback is playing with a bad season), that would justify the line move.

Betting on this weekends nfl games or buying the services of an expert handicapper, always remember that when the point spread moves over one of the key numbers, can give you a higher advantage at the books.

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