NFL Betting & the Playoffs
Sports betting is considered a type of entertainment, just like any other gambling activity. However, if you want to be good at it, you may need to put in the hours and do your homework before you bet. The same goes for any other poker player, casino enthusiast or even e-sports connoisseur. You will need to learn all about the game and the strategies that can help you win so that your bet is less than a risk and more of an investment.
In the National Football League, this is easier said than done. For one, the season with their main events are divided into three separate periods, the preseason, the main season and the playoffs.
Preseason games are also known as exhibition, which tells you that they are less on-the-record and more for serving the purpose of a preview. Coaches and teams use this time to tighten any loose ends and prepare for the main season. This season consists of 256 games played over the course of a few months, so that every team gets to show their capabilities and reach the appropriate level. Ultimately, the playoff eliminates any unprofessionalism and offers bettors 11 games, including the Super Bowl, played among 12 teams. These playoffs are known to cause some hardships to bettors who are eager to test their skills on the games.
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What Makes Playoffs Different From the Rest
The simple comparison provided above is enough to notice that there are some significant differences between the playoff and the NFL preseason and season. In order to correctly construct your bets and assess your chances of winning, it is crucial that you are able to identify such inconsistencies and act accordingly.
Game & Betting Volume
The playoff seems to be a reduced version of the main season of the NFL in just about every sense of the word. For one, the number of games has been drastically lowered from an astounding 256 games in the main season to just 11 in the playoffs. This lightens the load on bettors, as their analysis can focus on less than a dozen games, one of which is the Super Bowl and usually receives ‘special treatment’.
However, this advantage due to lower game volume is also available for sportsbooks and their oddsmakers. They are bound to make use of the lighter schedule as well, allowing them to adjust the odds in their favor.While the number of games played is drastically lower, the volume of bets placed is exponentially on the rise when it comes to the playoffs. This is due to the fact that most people wait for the final stage due to the quality of the gameplays, while even more focus solely on the ultimate event – the Super Bowl.
As I had just mentioned, the quality of the gameplay is a few levels above average once the season reaches the playoffs. This is because the main season can be seen as somewhat eliminatory, and the 12 teams which manage to enter the playoffs are rarely there due to luck. The standard of the teams and the quality of the games that are played is quite different than the main season. There, highly professional favorites faced complete underdogs that are established as a weaker team. On the other hand, there are no such wide gaps between teams in the playoffs. Considering the fact that all of them have won their way to that final few games is proof enough that they are ‘le crème de la crème.’
Motivation in the playoffs may not seem as too different from the one at the main season, but there is a huge distinction to be made. Season games spread all over the board, with all kinds of team matchups and thus, levels of motivation. However, once all the teams are more or less on the same level of professionalism, motivation soars due to great competitiveness on the whole.Injuries also cause intensified effects during playoffs, as teams can feel the hole in the structure. While this is evident in games from the preseason and the main season, when the stakes are higher, the loss is greater.
Considerations for NFL Playoff Betting
We have accumulated a list of the top tips that can help improve your chances of success when betting on playoff games. They are even harder to predict than the massive volume of games in the main season, so you can use all the help you can get. Watch out for these signs and analyze each team accordingly.
Appreciate The Defense
Defense is definitely one of the least appreciated aspects of an NFL team, mainly due to the heroic appearance of the O-line. They may be the ones that score the points, but that is solely possible because of the assistance of the defense.
Analyzing the offense may give insight into the scoring potential of a particular team, but if you pay closer attention to the defense, you should also be able to discover the team’s endurance potential. World fame may be destined for the offensive players, and the quarterback in particular, but defense is extremely popular in circles such as NFL bettors, so it is advisable to join in.
Consider the Advantage of the Bye
Opinions are rather split on this matter. One portion of NFL betting experts and handicappers claim that the bye provides great advantage to the team that gets it. Getting a week’s rest while the other teams are already playing their first games of the playoff is no small deal.
On the other hand, there are those who claim that this move puts the team out of tune and disorients the players from their primary goal, the Super Bowl. They believe that the team which was chosen for the bye week is bound to lose their first game in the playoffs.
No matter which side you decide to turn to, it is still important that you consider the teams of the bye week with due recognition. The effect will be evident sooner or later, but if you account for it correctly, the odds are in your favor for that bet.
Avoid One-Dimensional Teams
Yes, humans do exist in 3D, but there are still some one-dimensional teams and players in the NFL. These teams got their nickname after their habit of acquiring a single advantage or developing one technique solely.
Once you have identified which teams have this feature, you should analyze them accordingly. They may be at an advantage in some cases when their expertise is useful, but they are bound to fall short in various other situations. Therefore, it is best to steer clear from bets related to such teams.
Give the Placekickers Some Credit
Apart from the quarterback, there are rarely any other players that get due recognition from the public for their excellent skills. This is usually due to the fact that some player skills are hardly noticeable to the untrained eye, but expert sports bettors are bound to appreciate these players.
Thus, the placekicker should definitely not be disregarded; in fact, a team is bound to be at a significant advantage if they have a strong, precise kicker who is able to get close to the ball.Pay special attention to these players when betting on the playoff teams – their hit, their precision, current or former injuries, all of these factors can give you the much needed edge over the sportsbooks.
Bet With Your Mind, Not Your Heart
This is a crucial guideline which must be obeyed in the playoffs. During this period, bettors normally want to make the most use of the 11 games, which is why they feel obliged to bet on all games using bigger wager amounts.
The added risk makes it imperative for bettors to follow this rule and always think before they place their next bet.
Do Not Get Carried Away By the Super Bowl Frenzy
The Super Bowl is one of the most watched sports events in the world, so it is understandable that every sports bettor would like to test their chances against it. Still, it is important to keep a cool head at all times. The basic thing is to resist diverging from your regular staking plan – just because this game is more famous than the previous one does not mean that it deserves a bigger wager. Bear in mind that this popularity causes sportsbooks to set quite unfriendly odds for the bettors, since they know that everyone will still place a bet.
An extra tip for the Super Bowl: favorites for such major events do not always turn up victorious! Making a few different bets to cover several case scenarios and reduce your chances of losing instead is a much better betting strategy than following the public’s opinion.