There are many ways to handicap football games when broken down to the basics. Here are 5 of the most important factors to share from 35 years of beating the Vegas number. In most match-ups, a combination of all factors weighs into the final outcome. However, many handicappers choose to rely on one of the following methods more than another. It is the “identify” of that handicapper. As any CEO in the business world can do, handicapping "numbers" is very similar to crunching the numbers of a financial report. Let's review the 5 most popular methods I've used during my 35 year career as “America's Oddsmaker” and “The King of Vegas Sports Gambling.”
There are more "technicals" available for each game than any other method. For example, when one hears that team A is 9-1 versus team B over the last 10 years- that is a technical. There are teams that are 9-2 at home and 2-9 on the road. Night games vs. day games and grass vs. turf are common examples of "techs". One has to consider how teams play within their division, as opposed to outside their division. A team like the Oakland Raiders was once labeled as "unbeatable" on Monday Night Football. That technical trend is no longer applicable. Trends must be updated often. One can go back into the history of numbers and find all these "stats and trends". Many trends follow patterns that don’t change for the way teams play. West coast teams traveling to play on the east coast with that early 1:00 start had always favored the east coast teams. The time change and travel took its toll. But the oddsmakers have offset that by adding more points to the east coast team adjusting the spread. This is not an automatic bet any longer. Another one (the NFL is trying to avoid) is playing three consecutive games on the road. It used to be another automatic play going against the road team on that third road game. The oddsmakers have adjusted their point spreads but the average gambler has not. These are the type of technical points of reference to be careful.
One has to watch certain games where emotional factors are involved. This is especially true in college where emotions can run especially high (due to youth and bitter long-term rivalries). Revenge is good for "an emotional outlook" of playing a game. An embarrassing loss from the previous year also needs to be considered. There are certain rivalry games where all stats can be thrown out and the underdog will play like the World Champions. In the NFL, what you watched last week may be a huge change of play this week. A team that looked embarrassing and pathetic in week four might come out in week five and play completely opposite from the previous week. The oddsmakers are guaranteed to have made the line adjustments to trick the bettors. Beware and check with Wayne Root. There's usually at least one game each week which this applies.
This is a combination of technical and emotional scenarios. There could be a "key" injury that is "situational" to that game. The weather could become a major factor in analyzing the game. Be careful of placing too much emphasis on injuries, as the team with the injured star often rises to the occasion for that situation. And when it comes to weather, wind is the number 1 factor- far ahead of rain or snow. This factor and by me usually betting live underdogs are the reasons to bet these games as close to kickoff as you can. There’s rarely an instance where betting a Sunday game on Friday is paramount.
Handicapping by using "fundamentals" is simply looking at basic fundamental “X and O” football stats. When team A is ranked number 1 in passing versus the number 27 passing defense, one has to look at betting team A. There are teams- due to age and lack of speed- that have trouble on turf. Make sure the fundamentals are in place in terms of statistics when doing the analysis. The playoff teams that rush the ball the most seem to win more often. Be sure to check rushing stats versus "against the rush" stats before placing a wager in this method of handicapping. And separate regular season versus Playoff stats- it's a whole new season.
5) BETTING AGAINST THE PUBLIC
Wayne Allyn Root used to notice that most of his friends and fans lost nonstop in sports wagering. So a light bulb went off in his head over 30 years ago AND still applies to this day. Wayne began studying public opinion- and betting against it. He simply calls it "going against the public.” Experts might call it “Contrarian Betting Strategy.” His thinking is 90% "contrarian" to the public. And he has been the most successful handicapper in America for 35 years- starting with his days as co host with Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder on Financial News Network (now CNBC). Wayne's track record for over three (3) decades has been the source of the media declaring him "America's Oddsmaker,” “The Face of Las Vegas Gaming” and “The King of Vegas.” It is the reason that Wayne was awarded a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars- alongside Elvis, Liberace, Wayne Newton, Bobby Darin and Siegfried & Roy. He is the only professional sports handicapper ever honored (and the youngest recipient ever). All these years later, Wayne's focus remains on betting against the public. The public has a difficult time betting underdogs- so WAR bets on the underdogs. That's where the point spread value is found. When the point spread is rapidly escalating because of a "key" injury, WAR bets on the injured team. WAR loves to bet against popular “public teams” and wager on what he calls “orphans” (teams the betting public ignores or believes has virtually no chance of winning).