"Most people in sports betting are looking at things the wrong way."
- Peter Webb, founder of Bet Angel
"Some people only ever seem to want to hit the sexy six, and not take the singles"
What are the Spreads, Totals, Tips and Tricks in Football Betting
Learning your way around the tips and tricks in football betting is the key to enjoying the season. First you have to learn the basics, and then you can start to understand how things work.
There are many different factors that can shape a betting line. For example, if one team is just significantly better than their opponent, they’re going to receive inflated moneylines and spreads that reflect this talent gap. However, there are other elements that can shift the spread or value of a bet by a several fractions as well.
The “public factor” is when a team is a major fan favorite that receives majority backing from a mass number of people. A consistent example of a public bet is the New England Patriots because of the perception that they’re better than everyone else. However, the “public factor” also applies to teams that have massive, public appeal such as the Dallas Cowboys or Green Bay Packers. Generally speaking, the public will bet on teams that they like as opposed to teams that they think will win them money.
Since the public factor is an unavoidable hedge that is built in to the football betting line by the oddsmakers, sharps and experts can find value in games like this. The Green Bay Packers, for example, lost five games that they were favored in during the 2016 campaign. Those that were tuned in to this trend could figure out which matchups had overinflated lines for the Packers and make money accordingly. A favorite is not an automatic win.
A lot of the time, experts and handicappers will get obsessed with predicting the outcome of a game and ignore the simple pleasure in betting on a TOTAL. One of the easiest ways to make money on the TOTAL is by zeroing in on teams that have top ranked offences and below-average defenses. In 2016, the Falcons were a perfect example of this and went a profitable 13-2-1 O/U. In general it’s more fun to cheer for touchdowns and chase an OVER, but it’s just as satisfying to bet on an UNDER and watch a game slow to an agonizing crawl.
The key to the TOTAL is measuring the quality of a team’s ability to really pound the scoreboard, and the matchup’s ability to generate points in general. A lot of the times it’s very difficult to discern a difference between two teams in terms of winners and losers. The easier element to gauge is whether or not teams will score points. If you’re having difficulty with the spread or moneyline plays, the TOTAL just might be the perfect place for you to focus.
It’s always better for you to focus on in-season metrics rather than historical trends. If the Vikings are undefeated against the Buccaneers in their last four meetings dating back to 1999, that shouldn’t factor in to how you wager your money. Instead, look at the teams in the microcosm of the active season and look at how they’re doing on the road versus at home, or in certain weather conditions. There’s always an advantage in the context of an NFL betting season. You just need to know where to look, and sometimes that means doing a little more research than the next person.
There isn’t necessarily a “trick” to NFL betting, but more so a mindset that you have to commit to. It’s a violent, 21-week marathon including playoffs that essentially just takes place on weekends. Always give yourself an out, be prepared to learn from your mistakes and keep grinding upwards.
NCAAF History, Format and Champions
College football is an undeniably popular product at online sportsbooks, and for good reason. With well over fifty game lines a weekend, there’s simply a massive assortment of variety when it comes to NCAAF matchups. Plus, the lack of parity within certain conferences can make it a goldmine for those that have a keen eye.
The NCAAF is essentially broken up in to 11 major conferences and each will have anywhere from 4 to 14 schools. These are known as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), American Athletic College Conference (AAC), Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA (CUSA), Independents, Mid-American Conference (MAC), Mountain West Conference (MWC), Pac-12, Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Sun Belt Conference.
Traditionally, the power conferences have been the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC as these groups feature some of the most prominent programs in all of college football. As such, these conferences receive the most attention and scrutiny from NCAAF oddsmakers.
Since it’s impossible to get every team to play each other, three polling systems are used to rank the top-25 teams in the country according to their win/loss record and strength of schedule. The most prevalent polls are known as the Associated Press Top-25 and the Coach’s Poll, which generally agree on which teams are the best in the country.
In the past, the No. 1 and No. 2 schools in the country by season’s end would meet in the National Championship game. All of the other top teams in the country were otherwise distributed to take place in Bowl Games, which serve as season finales between major conferences and other notable programs that enjoyed success through the year. This arbitrary and subjective system was often critisized for favoring certain programs and being unfair.
In 2014, the College Football Playoff was invented to alleviate some of these concerns. Instead of the top-two teams, the top-four teams were placed in a seeded playoff system that included a semi-final and a national championship. The selection process is done by a committee, which releases its own rankings towards the end of the year so that teams know where they stand in the playoff scene. Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson have won the last three College Football Playoff National Championships.
The poll era has been in place since 1936 with Alabama (11), Notre Dame (8), Oklahoma (7), USC (7) and Ohio State (6) winning the most so far.