Betting on teams with bad opening weeks
Not all NFL teams begin their seasons with a bang. In fact, some of the best teams or favorites, sometimes play down right awful the first couple of games of a new season.
Sometimes they win ugly, or even worse lose badly. When this happens, the betting public panics, and often times turns their back on these teams, creating real value for NFL handicappers that can recognize whether a bad performance or two is indicative of things to come, or just a passing stroke of bad luck.
With that we have put together a few factors handicappers need to consider when looking at betting on a good team that has gotten off to a bad start.
First who was their opponent? Were they caught off guard by a team that has put more importance into the game than the team in question did? If so, why were they ill-prepared or less motivated? Also, did they look flat or emotionally drained during and after the loss? Maybe the issues are more than on the field.
Next, how did they lose?
There are a lot of ways to lose a game. And while a loss is not good any way you slice it, in some cases, losses are much easier to handle than others.
For example, did a team lose on bad penalties, or did they just not get any breaks? Did it make a lot of mistakes, or did they play well but lost on the final drive? There are the questions handicappers need to find answers to when analyzing this, searching out and determining whether a loss was legitimate, a fluke, or maybe the early signs of bigger issues that could continue to be an issue down the road.
Another factor when betting on a team who has struggled in the opening weeks, is figuring out who they are playing next. Maybe they were caught looking ahead in prior weeks, or saving their weapons for what they perceived to be a much harder fight.
This could be because a team is battling injuries.
While injuries usually become more of a factor later in the season, players do get hurt early on too. Some players may have even entered the season nursing injuries, and may have not fully recovered yet. This would be crucial if a team is playing without a key player. Sometimes it takes several games for a team to adjust, so health issues might not be as much of an issue in the coming weeks.
Finally, how is the betting public reacting to a top team that has struggled to open its season?
NFL handicappers need to keep a very close eye on the line movement and the distribution of bets between the two teams in the next game. This is a good indicator if the public and odd makers still have faith in that team or have given up hope.
If the public still supports a disappointing team, it might be hard to find extra value.
But this is where handicappers need to be bold, wagering on the wild line swings, and finding ways t back the teams that have struggled in their opening weeks.