Sports fans and bettors rejoice as the new season of the NFL is underway. It is time to pull out the pen and paper, and start jotting down which team is strong, weak, has potential, and is in decline. The football odds are the sportsbooks and bettors way of recognizing which team has a better chance at winning, and which team just will not be able to defeat their opponent. What a bettor needs to take into account when playing the odds in the NFL is what time in the season is it; preseason, regular season, or playoffs. Odds should be treated differently during those three times, as the teams play differently in all three. Before getting into the NFL season and their odds, bettors should have a basic understanding of what odds are and what they represent.
Sportsbook Odds Explained
When the bettor goes to any of the many sportsbooks that can be found online, and search for the football section, there they will be presented with many different odds and betting options. Simply put, odds are just a way the sportsbooks, and the oddsmakers, have of conveying the belief that one NFL team is better equipped to beat the other team or teams. With the odds, there is always a favorite and an underdog; knowing which is which is important as the odds differ between them.
The Favorite Pick
The favorite pick is the team that is favored to win the match, which is why they are given the lowest value, but the highest odds. As the favorite pick has such higher chances of winning the match, the oddsmakers set those odds in that fashion for two reasons: 1) inform the bettor of which team is more likely to win, and 2) so they do not have to pay out as much money since the team has high odds of winning. Remember, sportsbooks are not in it to hand out money, but in the business to make money.
For various reason, the sportsbooks have the underdog clearly marked so as to entice the bettor with the higher odds, but lower chances of winning. The underdog team’s odds would give the bettor a much bigger pay out, but that is where they get you. Sportsbooks know that a team is less likely to win, and that is why the give them the worst odds. They do this for two reasons: 1) inform the bettor which team is less likely to win, and 2) entice the bettors with the promise of a larger pay out if they do end up winning.
The NFL Split in Three
As most NFL fans should know, the NFL is not just one big season, it is split into three main sections; the preseason, the regular season, and the NFL playoffs. Each one of these sections of the NFL must be looked at differently, regardless of the odds.
The preseason is a tricky time for bettors, as it is hard to tell which odds are the best ones. During the NFL preseason, the points and rankings do not really matter as much, since they do not count towards the teams overall records; this time doesn’t affect their chances at getting into the playoffs. So how can a bettor tell which team will win based on the odds.
Reading the Odds
There is a way to use the odds that are given during the preseason games to your advantage. The preseason can be viewed as a time where teams are training against their opponents, with their opponents. So, the factor to pay attention to is not the team or the players, but the coach. During this time the coach will be using all of his knowledge to call plays and give players their instructions. Look at how the coaches handled the training camps, and at their last year’s plays. It can give the bettor a general sense of how the coach wants the team to play. Instead of reading the bet as a Team vs. Team, read it as Coach vs. Coach, and see which coach you would bet on to win with those odds.
For NFL preseason odds, visit Bovada.com.
This is the time of the year that the NFL teams start competing with their best foot forward. The pressure to win every single match is higher than it was during the preseason, but much lower than the playoffs. For this reason, bettors need to pay attention to how the sportsbooks place the odds. Remember that the sportsbooks do this for a living and they will always pick the best team that they consider will win the match. There are two things that a bettor can do with these odds, ignore them or use them.
Ignore the Odds
If a better ignored the odds that are found at the sportsbook, they are essentially saying that they have a better method for figuring out who the winner might be. This is where they can employ handicapping and other methods to predict a winner.
Use the Odds
Most of the odds that are found at a sportsbook are relatively precise, since the oddsmakers use statistics to see where they could profit from any given match. Using these odds may be beneficial for a bettor, but they are also not a guaranteed win.
Reading the Odds
Here is where the odds have to be looked at in a skeptical way, since teams want to win, but it isn’t something rushed. During the regular season, bettors will have to measure one team’s stats against the others, and decide if the favorite or the underdog has better chances of winning.
For regular season odds, visit Bovada.com.
For the few teams that make it through to the playoffs, the pressure to win has gone through the roof. Being single elimination, teams must put forth their best performance in order to pass to the next round, and to the Super Bowl.
These odds are hard to decipher. Favorites and underdogs do not matter much during the playoffs, as there is a nearly equal chance of any team winning. The factor that the bettor has to look at during the playoffs is which team has the best players, and the most motivation to win. The odds here would simply be between which team you would bet money on that they have the most motivation and individual skill to outmatch the other team.
For NFL playoff odds, visit Bovada.com.