Reasons to Bet NFL Now
by Trevor Whenham - 06/11/2008
Football is always in the news, and the NFL is the unquestionable king of sports, but June isn't always when you think about betting on the gridiron. After all, there is still NBA action, the Triple Crown just ended, baseball is getting into swing, the French Open just wrapped up, and the U.S. Open tees off on Thursday. Who needs football? That's probably okay, but there are a few good reasons why you should at least take a look at what is available on the board for the NFL. Most books have a wide range of futures available - division winners, team total wins, and Super Bowl champs.
For the most part it doesn't make sense to make bets now. After all, good betting is about finding as much information as you can and processing it in the most effective ways possible. That means it only makes sense to wait until roster cuts have been made, training camp is at least underway, and we know which veterans will keep playing, which rookies will find playing time, and which new coaches are happy with the talent they have. Here, though, are five reasons you might want to bet on the posted numbers now instead of waiting until later:
No one else is betting the NFL - This is an exaggeration, of course, but the point remains the same. The public isn't throwing their money into the NFL yet, so the odds haven't been moved towards the public teams like they inevitably will when the cash starts rolling in. If you like a team that the public is likely to jump on, or you currently see value in a line on a public team, then you are much better off to jump in now than you are to wait until any value gets bet out of the line. The hugely popular teams like the Colts and the Patriots, and the current sweethearts like the Browns and the Chargers, aren't going to enjoy any better prices than they are now.
You're ahead on your homework - The key advantage of waiting to bet until later is that you will have more information later on. If you have already been doing your homework, though, then you might already have a sizable advantage over those that have yet to get serious about catching up on what changes the offseason has brought. If you have done enough homework to have an edge over the current lines, and you don't think that that edge is likely to get bigger as the season nears, then it only makes sense to bet now.
Basing decision on things that aren't going to change - Sometimes you may be making your decisions based on things that aren't likely to change significantly, so there's no reason not to jump on a nice price now. For example, we don't yet know which one of the three quarterbacks in the mix is going to get the starting job in Miami, but we do know that whichever one of them does is going to be inexperienced and faced with all sorts of questions, so he probably isn't headed to the Pro Bowl just yet. If your opinion, then, is that the Dolphins will struggle offensively, but you feel that the public will warm up to the Fins if Jason Taylor joins the fold again and as Bill Parcells talks more, then it could make sense to bet now instead of later.
Too soon to have become biased - Does this sound familiar - you develop an opinion of a team, but then the media comes out in full force with a contrary opinion, and your conviction wanes? As often as not, you were probably right in the first place, but you let the coverage bias you away from your opinion. If that is a problem for you, then you can largely avoid it by betting now instead of waiting. By September there will be hundreds of beat writers and national reporters with hundreds of words to write that will be turning out endless and confusing drivel. Those writers are all on vacation now, so you can make your picks before they make your head spin.
Look for opportunities to play both sides - This is especially the case with team totals. If you find a line that seems out of line now, or one that you are certain that the public will move significantly, then you may be able to play it now and then play the other side of it when the number moves. That way you have middled the number, and for the cost of just one juice you have a shot at a big payoff if the total falls between the two numbers you have bet. Low risk and high potential rewards - the bettors' dream.