NFL Handicapping Recap (Through Week 5)
Author: MasterBets - 10 October 2012
October 10 - Here is the documented and honest breakdown of my performance in the NFL so far for the 2012/13 season (after five weeks):
Week 1: 8 picks, 5 wins, 3 losses.
Week 2: 8 picks, 6 wins, 1 loss, 1 push.
Week 3: 7 picks, 4 wins, 3 losses.
Week 4: 8 picks, 4 wins, 4 losses.
Week 5: 8 picks, 5 wins, 3 losses.
OVERALL RECORD: 39 picks, 24 wins, 14 losses, 1 push (63% winners).
Betting on the NFL is never easy because there is more parity between the teams than one thinks, and of course there is luck involved as to whether your team wins or loses by enough points. All you can do as a smart NFL bettor is identify VALUE and try to have the best of it.
For instance on Monday Night Football the Jets were spotted a crazy +9 to +9.5 points vs the Texans. Now Houston are the best team in the AFC and if they stay healthy (which they never do unfortunately) they would be my pick for a Super Bowl spot. They'd still lose to the 49ers, who as of right now are in a league of their own, but they're a great team. The Jets have lost the core of their team to injury and those who are left have zero confidence. You could see it with your own eyes, and yet there is no NFL team bad enough to receive a +9.5 point start at home.
That was the value play and the Jets ended up losing by only 6 points and giving my clients an easy cover. The reality is that the Jets could have even won that game. They were down 10-7 late in the first half and deep in the Texans red zone with a great chance to take the lead. Sanchez threw a tipped pass that went straight to the Texans and they raced back down the field and eventually went in at half time up 17-7. That's a 14 point turnaround right there. Many games are not as one-sided as they would appear on paper.
When a team like the 49ers is at home to a woeful outfit like the Bills then by all means lay 2 TDs or more and wait for the rout. But sometimes even when the value team is identified we can get unlucky and lose. That happened on Sunday night when I went for the Chargers + the points at the Saints. San Diego were up 24-14 in the 3rd quarter and had a +4 point start for our bet, and yet they managed to fritter it all away and concede 17 unanswered points. That can happen, but all you can do is manage your bankroll effectively (play the same amount for every game you wager on, no matter how strong your "feeling" for a match up) and keep making value-based decisions.
My teams to watch this season for betting value are:
SEAHAWKS - very tough at home, real sleeper team.
RAMS - improving rapidly this season, also going to cover a lot at home.
DOLPHINS - scrappy bunch of fighters, and my underdog selection in Week 5 (beat the Bengals straight up). Still undervalued.
BEARS - best points scoring defense in the league, and will be hard to beat if Cutler and Forte stay healthy.
VIKINGS - look set to make the playoffs, unbelievably, but they have the ground and pound game complemented by a fast D that Rex Ryan dreams about.
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