If you want to be as good as our experts at NFL handicapping then you have to look at this like a year round job. Our experts have plenty of experience and work long hours to make sure that they only give out the best picks on the board each week. There are three basic types of breaking down the odds and we will discuss them all in detail.
This is the use of statistics, power rankings, and matchups to break down a game. There is so much time between games and so few games in a season that you would think that each team is motivated to play each week. This is a bonus for those who like to use statistics to come up with their winner, but on the down side fewer games means fewer stats (think baseball where a handicapper has 162 games to work with). This can mean that just one outlier can skew the averages, especially early in the season. The best NFL handicapper that I know of who uses fundamental handicapping almost exclusively is Rocky Atkinson.
This is of more use in the college game, where teams ride emotional highs and can have let downs, but there is some use in the NFL. If a team is coming off a big win or just beat their bitter rival then you might expect a letdown. Is the team looking for revenge or are they looking ahead to the following week and not paying much attention to the weak team they’ll be facing this weekend? I like situational handicapping in terms of scheduling, so if an east coast team is headed west or if a team is coming off a Monday night game then they won’t be as rested as their opponent.
This is handicapping with trends and stats. I don’t put as much stock into this form of figuring out which teams to do my NFL betting on because of the movement between players and coaches from year to year. How important is it that Team A hasn’t won as an underdog of 10 points or less over the last 10 years if none of the players were even around 10 years ago?
This is when you combine the three forms of handicapping above to determine your winners. I personally use about 60% fundamental, 30% situational, and 10% technical in determining my NFL expert picks each week. Some of the other two guys that rely heavily on the situational and fundamental handicapping styles are Steve Merril and Mike Lineback and I’d say it’s more than a coincidence that these are two of the best in the business when it comes to NFL football handicapping.