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Football Handicapping for Experts
by Website Staff

If you talk to ten gamblers there is a good chance you will hear ten different ways to handicap football. Some suggestions might be valuable while others will cost you money.

Expert handicappers consider all variables including power ratings, trends and angles, situational and match up analysis.

Trends and angles are tendencies that repeat. Most trends and angles have a small sample size that cannot be proven valid over time. Only use a trend if it statistically significant or a team trend that you are intimately familiar.

Situational Analysis measures the impact of outside influences. This may include the weather, injuries or a mid-season coaching change.

John Madden mentioned on Monday Night Football that passing teams had the advantage over running teams on a slippery field. The reasoning is offensive lineman and running backs can not get any traction in the mud. True or not weather should be considered when handicapping.

Who would have thought Florida would take one on the chin from a disappointing Michigan team in the 2008 Capitol One Bowl? The Wolverines had enough fortitude to win their last game for Coach Carr. Meanwhile the Gators experienced a classic letdown game having played in the BCS Championship game the year before.

Injuries are often over compensated for by handicappers. Exceptions are cumulative injuries to a specific position or side of the ball and season ending injuries to Pro Bowl caliber players. When I say Pro Bowl caliber players I mean Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Most winning teams can handle any player loss for a few games but a long term injury to a team leader can be the cause for a team giving up after a few losses.

Match up analysis compares a teams style of play with their opponents. A position by position analysis might be used. When analyzing match ups we are looking for specific strengths or weaknesses when comparing two teams. Bill Belichick's Patriot teams are well known for exploiting the competition by taking advantage of mis-matches.

Remember to include returning starters in the equation when handicapping college football at the beginning of the season. Mediocre NFL teams that perform better then expected often regress the following year due to having a tougher schedule.

Due to the abundance of sports television networks football has become a year round pastime. With national signing day, spring games, free agent signings, the draft and training camp it never ends. For football handicappers the crowning of the Super Bowl Champion should signal the start of the next season. Now is the time to update your statistics database and start crunching numbers because it will be time to pay a visit or logon to your favorite sportsbook before you know it.

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