The National Football League is undoubtedly the most attended professional sports league in the US. In fact, during the 2011-12 season, an average of 67,394 fans attended each game.
An NFL season begins in early August with 4 preseason games. This is followed by a 16-game, 17-week regular season, which runs from September to December or early January. After which a 12-team single-elimination playoff ensues, concluding with the Super Bowl in February.
With 32 competing teams, the NFL offers a lot of matchups and betting possibilities. Here are a number of NFL Betting Tips to help you objectively weigh your NFL picks.
Let's look at this example:
In his first game, rookie quarterback scores a couple of touchdown passes, runs for a couple more, commits no turnovers.
Right after the game he gets into the microscope - his every move is analyzed, every word he says is scrutinized. Media outlets proclaim him as the next big NFL superstar, even a sure hall of famer.
But he's just won one NFL game. A season opener at that. Can he repeat the same performance the next game? Can he perform at that high level for the rest of the season?
A single game performance shouldn't be blown out of proportion and over analyzed. Don't look at athletes like Hollywood stars. Veer away from the glitz and glamour.
All of the hype can sway opinion for, or against, any player or team. So get past the publicity. Objectively weigh the chances of each team against this coming week's matchup.
The NFL is one of the toughest sports in the world. Injuries happen - not just in a game, but also while in practice. Knowing which players is injured, how severe his injury is, is a surgery required, how long he will be, or has been, out affects team performance and ultimately, your chance of winning your NFL bet.
Likewise, suspensions due to on-field antics or off-field distractions can throw-off a team's rhythm.
Careless NFL bettors focus only on the availability of star players like quarter backs and running backs. However, equal attention should be given to the availability of role players such as tackles and line backers (for the defensive line) and guards and tight ends (for the offensive line).
Football, after all, is a team sport. It takes all 22 players working on both the offensive and defensive side of the field to win a game.
Also, suspensions can deflate the morale of a team resulting to lackadaisical efforts. Meanwhile, injuries to players when used as a motivation, can boost team play. So before deciding which team to bet on, check who's playing this weekend - read news articles for player suspensions and look at the injury report, even the official NFL website has one.
Parity among big and small market NFL teams has been an issue for the longest time. It's always easy to assume that big market teams, stacked with superstar players, can always win against small market teams with no-name players.
To win in NFL Betting, bettors should carefully look at the chances of each team to win a particular matchup. Don't jump on a team simply because they come from a big market, more popular or laden with star players. Likewise, don't dismiss a team because you've never heard of any of its players.
The knack on NFL betting comes with the ability to identify which favorite teams can cover the point spread. On the flip side, NFL bettors should be able to gauge whether underdog teams can win, or at least, not lose by more than the spread.
The dynamics on each NFL team change from season to season. It fact, it changes from game to game, week to week (see "Look who's playing this game" above).
Last season can serve as a motivation for this season. Losing teams use last season to play harder to get into the playoffs. Playoff teams use the previous season to build into this season to compete for the Super Bowl. And the Super Bowl champions look into a new season to defend their hard earned championship and go for a repeat, even possibly build a dynasty.
Last season also means that players are older this season. Age and injuries take their toll. Explosive players from last season may not come as athletic this season.
All of these simply point to the fact that last season is the PAST season. So don't gauge a team's chance of winning this weekend's game based on how they performed last year.
In fact, it is better to look at the off and pre-seasons - check the draft, see if a new coach has been installed, see which players have been signed or let go, look at how the team has jelled (or not), examine if the team has improved or regressed.
Consistency in NFL betting means placing bets in regular amounts. Don't put all of your bankroll on a team because its this week's talk of the town.
Consistency means adopting a disciplined, long-term approach to NFL betting. Some game days, you can't seem to go wrong with your picks. In others, it feels like the Gods of luck are throwing crap.
Having a consistent approach to NFL betting ensures a profit on good days and limits your losses on bad ones. NFL bettors only have to be right 52.4% of the time to overcome the bookmaker's profit and break even. With a very small edge, anyone can be a winner.
NFL games are usually played on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays. This means you have the rest of the week to handicap each matchup - so do your homework!
Read the news, listen to your favorite radio commentators, watch your favorite sports news channel, routinely check the odds. Objectively weigh all the information then take your pick.