Betting on the NFL has become incredibly popular over the past few years, and with good reason. An incredible game, incredible stats, and incredible props make for an exciting playing experience that draws in even the most reluctant of sports fans. The beauty of online betting is that it allows for more opportunities to place bets on your favorite teams – something that wouldn’t be possible if you had to go to a bookmaker’s office every time you decided to take a flyer on the Raiders vs. Packers game this week.
However, reading the betting lines on NFL games can be a chore. Especially since the lines constantly change as the game approaches. If you’re looking to place a bet on an NFL game this season but don’t want to commit to placing a bet just yet, this can make it extremely difficult to decide which odds to use.
Step one: Determine the line trends
The first step in reading NFL betting lines is to examine the trends. Look at the previous weeks’s games and see which teams were playing well against the spread and which teams were struggling. You can find these stats easily enough. For example, if you look at the 2017 NFL regular season at arielon.com, you’ll see that the Rams had an incredibly tight spread edge in their home games last year – only one of their games went over the total. They were also extremely stingy against the spread in road games, only giving away an average of three points.
When a team has a history of narrowing the spread significantly, odds makers will often list that team as a home underdog. Conversely, when a team is laying big numbers, they’re often considered an underdog on the road. This can be extremely beneficial if you’re looking to take advantage of an underdog role and go against the spread. It just means you’ll have to do some digging to find the best odds available.
Step two: Learn to read the key stats
The second step in reading NFL betting lines is to learn to read the key stats. Key stats are incredibly important when analyzing an NFL game, and odds makers will often list a team’s rushing attack or passing attack as the key stat for each position. A quarterback’s completion percentage is also often listed as a key stat, as is his adjusted yards per attempt. Other important stats include turnovers and sacks.
These stats will give you a clear idea of how effective each position’s performance was in the game. If you’re struggling to come up with key stats, there’s a good chance you’ll struggle to come up with relevant numbers to compare the two teams’ performances. Remember, numbers can be manipulated, so don’t get too caught up in relying on them. Instead, look at how the game went and use your own judgement to determine which team performed better.
Step three: Consider the matchups
The third step in reading NFL betting lines is to consider the matchups. Odds makers will focus on the teams’ records and how they’re likely to interact with each other on the field. For example, the Arizona Cardinals are 15-3 against the spread this year, but they’re only 4-7 against the spread vs. NFC West opponents. While the Seattle Seahawks have only lost three times this year and have defeated all of their NFC West opponents, they’re only 7-9 against the spread.
Looking at the spread vs. winning percentage for each team in the National Football League this year, you can see that there are some pretty significant differences in the strength of each side of the ball. The New York Giants’ defense is significantly better than expected, while their offense underwhelms.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when analyzing a matchup like this. The first is that statistics can be extremely misleading in this situation. If you have a clear idea of how each team played throughout the entirety of last year’s NFL season, it’s easy to see how the matchup might not be in your favor. The second is that experience can also hinder your bet-winning ability in these situations. Despite the fact that the Giants’ defense is pretty darn good, it’s probably not a good idea to pick them against the spread based on that one statistic. The final thing to keep in mind is that there are so many variables that go into determining the outcome of a game. This is why it’s almost impossible to predict the final score of any NFL game. This is especially true if you’re relying on statistics to make your decision.
Step four: Use your instincts
The final step in reading NFL betting lines is to use your instincts. Odds makers will often use statistics to calculate a number that represents each teams’ chances of winning. However, there’s a lot more to a game than just who’s going to win based on the numbers. Sometimes, you get a feel for a game that just doesn’t match up with the statistics. For example, the Atlanta Falcons are 15-3 ATS this year with an above-average offense that drives the ball down the field, but their defense doesn’t appear to be up to par. So, even though their record shows they’re a good bet to win, your best guess might be that the Seahawks will cover the spread.
Sometimes, you can get a feel for a game and know exactly how it’s going to turn out. Other times, it’s going to be difficult to project exactly how a game is going to play out. There are simply too many variables that can change the outcome of a game to rely on the numbers alone to make your decision. This is why it’s best to use your own judgement and rely on your instincts. When you rely on stats too much, it can actually hurt your chances of winning. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to gambling, so make sure you utilize this last step wisely.
If you want to read NFL betting lines easily, there are a few guidelines you need to follow. First, look at the trends. Second, learn to read the key statistics. Third, consider the matchups and make the decision that’s best for you. Fourth, use your instincts. Finally, make sure you follow all the appropriate sportsbooks’ rules and regulations when it comes to online wagering.