Three Key Handicapping Improvements

NFL Football Handicapping Tips: Three Key Handicapping Improvements

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Accounting for Fatigue

Sometimes, we ignore the very human element of fatigue, both mental and physical, when handicapping games. As they say, fatigue makes cowards of us all. When a team is suffering from mental or physical fatigue, it can render many points of our analysis moot. Make sure to make allowances for possible fatigue. It can come in many forms.

A team could be on a draining run of physical road games, perhaps a stretch of 3 straight games. They are traveling far distances and the games are supremely-taxing. By the time they take their 2nd or 3rd straight road game, some of that deep fatigue could begin to resonate.

Running backs begin to get heavy legs, offensive lineman start to drag, and the quarterback’s arm has a little less zip than normal. Cornerbacks are a step late. Linebackers stop exploding on the ball. And that’s just the physical toll. Watch out for teams who might be waning mentally. Different things can happen during the week that saps a team. Maybe there’s a scandal or something that is bringing a lot of media attention to a team. If the attention is negative, that can take a little zip out of a squad.

Usually, we begin handicapping a game at the same starting point. But before we get into the meat and potatoes of breaking down the game, we need to make sure that both teams are equal in terms of energy. If one team is appreciably decayed due to the element of fatigue, that needs to be accounted for and perhaps more heavily than the other points we consider before placing a wager.

The Importance of Non-Conformity

In most aspects of life, we look for a certain amount of conformity. Whether it be clothes, politics, personal appearance, lifestyle, or the way we think about various topics–we like to see that there are others that share our beliefs. But when we look at the real movers and shakers in this world, one common thread keeps resurfacing–non-conformity.

There are certainly people whose advice and insights you should value. But let’s look at the overall level of success of the general betting public. It’s not very good, is it? We hear about how few people actually succeed at this. We know most people are not winners over the long run. So why do we feel the need to have people are on our side when it comes to betting on NFL betting?

It’s important to set your own course as a bettor. Establish your own techniques and strategies. And when you make a selection–stick with it. If a guy who is a long-term winner gives you advice, that’s one thing. But finding solace in having the bulk of the betting public on your side is of very little value. If anything, you should fade the public opinion. Why? The books are still in business and most bettors are not.

You want to stand on your own. If your bet happens to be an opinion shared by the majority of bettors, so be it. But it is not a reason for you to feel more confident. When it comes to winning money, the book is always ahead of the betting public. So if you’re going to feel confident, it should be when you are on the same side of the bookie.

When to Worry About Line Moves

You always want to be getting the best value on a spread. But the line usually moves and sometimes it is against us. But not all line moves are of the same caliber. Let’s say for whatever reason, you are betting at the last minute. You have all your picks planned out, but as you are about to place your bets, you see the lines have moved.


If a line moves in your favor, there is obviously nothing to worry about. That’s more for you. But when it goes against you, what do you do? This is where key numbers come in. You know a large percentage of games end with margins of 3, 7, 6, 4, and 10 points. The number 3 is a big one. If your team went from -3 to -3.5, that is a cause for alarm. Either buy a half-point or forget the bet. But if a team you were going to bet went from +11 to +10.5, that is obviously a less-distressing line move.