NFL Handicapping

Handicapping

Handicapping has been said to be a mix between an art form and a fact-based system for predicting the outcome of a sporting event in a much more accurate fashion than say guessing or any other types of betting gimmicks that are promoted. The reason handicapping is so popular is because it brings positive results, and that is exactly what a person wanting to bet on the NFL is looking for.

Be warned though, handicapping is not a 100% accurate system, it only helps narrow down the possibilities; much more so than other methods. NFL matches are favored by handicappers, due to the easy access of information, such as the statistics, and due to the fact that the entire sport is number driven. The first thing that is necessary is to have an actual NFL matchup to use and compare.

   

Handicapping has various different aspects and factors that can be used, but we will be focusing on just a few, like the statistics and some overlooked handicapping aspects.

Statistics

This is the portion of handicapping that gets it referred as a fact-based system. The NFL is very number driven, they put everything that can be quantified into numbers and use that to analyze and predict future outcomes. This is exactly what a sports bettor looks for, something they can use and test. As there are so many different statistics in the NFL, we will split them up into two general groups; the Team statistics and the Player statistics.

Team Statistics

This encompasses the overall data of each NFL team and their performances over the course of the season. They split it up amongst the overall offensive and defensive stats, which can be useful to get a general grasp of what a team has been performing like.

The Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers general team stats would look something like this:

 

Seattle Seahawks

 

VS.

Green Bay Packers

 
 

Now the bettor can compare both teams, side by side, and use their overall team stats to start to predict how a matchup between these two might go. Remember to include the home field advantage, and the fact that better defenses tend to win games.

Player Statistics

Player statistics are much more in depth and specific to each of the individual player’s roles. There are many different roles, whether they are part of the offense, defense, or even special teams. This is where the NFL handicapper will have to get down and dirty as they gather and analyze the player data. One of the more crucial roles is that of the Quarterback, this position is considered to be the captain or leader of the offense and without a strong leader the team won’t succeed.

The main QB of the Seahawks is Russell Wilson, and the QB for the Green Bay Packers is Aaron Rodgers.

 

Russell Wilson (Seahawks QB)

 

Aaron Rodgers (Packers QB)

 

A bettor would compare and contrast the other players that are part of the team’s that will be facing each other. One could say that this is extremely long, tedious, and can be difficult at times if you are going to take into account ALL of the players. As a good rule of thumb, simply look for the key players, the players that have made a difference on the team or play a crucial role on the team.

It is good to look at these players current stats, as in how well they are performing during the current season. This will make the prognostication much more realistic, since a player can change completely between seasons. However, using past performances does help when the players have a lot of experience.

Overlooked Handicapping Factors

There are a lot of sports bettors that do not look at the big picture surrounding the intricate sport that is football and the NFL. There are three main factors that are generally overlooked by bettors, there is the Kickers, the Turnovers, and the Weather.

The Kickers

The kickers actually play a very important role in the NFL, which could be hard to believe for most fans. When the game is a few seconds away from ending, and all a team needs to win is a field goal, they tend to rely on the kicker to win the game. It doesn’t even have to be so life and death; a field goal could also tie the game or overtake the lead on a 4th down. Kicking a field goal isn’t the only function these players have; they are also in charge of the kick-off and punts. Without a good kicker, the team is at a big disadvantage.

 

Steven Hauschka (Seahawks Kicker)

 

Mason Crosby (Packers Kicker)

 
 

Checking to see how good a team’s kicker is could influence the outcome of the game, especially when the matchup is close and a field goal could be the difference between a loss and a win.

The Turnovers

Teams that have high incidents of turnovers are prone to continue to turn over the ball in similar fashions. A quarterback could buckle under pressure and throw interceptions or a runner or receiver could either drop the ball or cause a fumble. These aspects are very important, and trust me, the coaches love to exploit these weaknesses in order to gain back possession.

Taking a look at the amount of turnovers a team has can be done by simply looking at how many interceptions the quarterback has, as well as checking to see how well a team does at getting 1st downs; it goes along with completing 3rd downs. Look up all of this information and you will start to see how much turnovers can affect a game.

The Weather

Unbelievable but true, the weather plays an essential part with how a team performs; especially for teams that play in open stadiums. The weather can influence how well a team or even its players will perform. A rainy day could make gripping the ball a problem, especially for the quarterback and receivers. Windy days could hurt the passing game, as well as field goals and punts. Do not underestimate the weather, as it can be your best friend or fierce enemy.

   

For the Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers game, which will be played in Seattle, it is a good idea to check up on the weather forecast. The weather can change daily, even hourly, so it is a good idea to continually check on the weather as the game day approaches. Check on wind speeds and humidity levels can also be a great help.

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