Watching football matches while living in North Carolina in the USA, I am constantly exposed to the thrills of sports betting. I’m betting on football matches, as I also watch many other sports- although not necessarily the same version of the game- but one always seems to diverge more sharply from the other.
The main two teams in our daily rotation are the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL and the Carolina Panthers of the NBA. While one is clearly and definitely the more superior team, bragging rights and sportsmanship often hover around these usually evenly matched teams the top of the football ladder. However, I believe one should never bet on a football match, irrespective of which team is playing, without taking into account at least a few relevant factors.
The most important factor, in my opinion, is the home advantage. Teams at home win more than they lose, therefore home wins are most often the way to go. This doesn’t just apply to football, either; basketball also follows a similar rule.
It’s a fact of life that most teams have a certain home field advantage throughout the season. Where they fail to make an impact, or lose to a weaker opponent, is where they are at the end of the season. Always set yourself the target of covering the 60% passing yard line- not a modest target, but the 60% winning chance is better than not winning at all.
Football is a team sport, and, unlike the other sports, where success or failure is heavily dependent on how well a team plays, or does not play, when, who, and for how long, football relies more on the turf-team advantage. You can’t control the game so much as you can control the outcome.
Another factor that works in football is that, generally, teams play significantly better at home than on the road. If Wake Forest is playing at home againstsystems in the ACC, they are expected to easily cover the spread. If they are playing on grass, perhaps they are expected to struggle more. Generally, the playing surface an amateur team plays on, is a detriment more than anything else.
However, in my opinion, the two biggest factors in football are injuries and turnovers. With the exception of a few years when the rules changed, teams do not walk onto the field against other teams and say, “Hey, we’re playing this game in three short weekswe’re not going to be perfect.” Type information out early, such as injury reports, can be the difference between winning and losing a game, football included.
So, I favor teams who create more turnovers, and do not have a high powered offense, to be successful in the long run. Stadium fatigue could definitely play a part, as well.
While both defenses rely on stopping the run, I believe defenses where the quarterback is more modern and do a better job of blowing opponents out of the game, than the opposing defenses. Tight ends and fullbacks are huge part of offensive packages, and the fact that many teams run the ball, gives them a great advantage if they can run the football well.
Ultimately, a successful football bettor will put the odds in his or her favor. Sometimes this means going against the grain and making what is typically an underdog the favorite. However, the sports books do not make you a winner by giving you a 2 point favorite when you should be giving the opposition a 10 point favorite. Make sure you are practicing the importance of situational handicapping and why it is important to analyze the point spread versus the moneyline!