Many casual NFL bettors love to bet on team’s with flashy offenses. And while a dazzling offense may be fun to watch, it doesn’t always win games or add to their bankroll.
That’s why serious NFL handicappers need to spend more time analyzing a team’s defense, if they want to increase their Sunday winnings. But we’re not talking about just turning on ESPN to watch the nightly highlight reel of big sacks and imposing interceptions. We’re talking about really paying attention to a team’s defensive line.
A good D-line is critical to a team’s ability to win games, controlling the opposition’s running game and putting pressure on its passing attack. It’s also a good place to find an edge that can help handicappers find winners.
With that we have assembled a few factors to consider when NFL handicappers are looking at defensive lines.
For starters, while it has been proven over and over that team’s that run the football well are nearly always sure fire winners, the same is also true for team’s that can stop the run.
A defensive line that has a low rushing yards per attempt average, can make a huge impact in a game, as controlling the run forces the opposition to move away from the run and focus on the pass. This means that the secondary and the linebackers can spotlight the opponent’ s passing game,
hence, doing a better job shutting down its aerial attack.
The next thing football bettors need to look at, is a team’s defensive experience and scheme.
It takes players a decent amount of time to develop in the NFL, especially in the trenches.
A defensive lineman in the pros not only needs to learn to be comfortable on his own, but also with the scheme the team is utilizing and his familiarity with his teammates and coordinators. So generally any significant difference in experience between two lines would give an advantage to the more senior squad, while a team that has been playing under the direction of the same defensive coordinator for a number of seasons might also have an edge over a team that is learning a new scheme or adjusting to a new coach.
With that, handicappers need to determine if a team’s defensive line has the right personnel for the defensive scheme it is running. The answer to this question can usually be found by looking at a team’s opponent’s third down percentage.
In the NFL, the most intense pressure on a team’s defensive line is during third down situations. Especially those late-game third-and-inches or fourth-and-ones. This is where the defense really earns its stripes, and if they can stop their opponents, get off the field and rest, and let their offense try to score, as a team, they should be winning football games.
Finally, handicappers need to access a team’s negative pass play percentage. This tells bettors how effective a defensive line is overall, by providing a number that represents the percentage of pass plays by the opponent that end up in either an interception or a sack.
The better the NP percentage, the better the defensive line likely is. This can be especially useful when trying to compare two different football teams.
Bottom line. If a team has a good defense, then there better chance that they are a profitable team to bet on.