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Sports Handicapping 101: How to Become a Better Handicapper

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The current market value for gambling stands at $46 billion. The numbers are expected to double within the coming years. It is likely that by 2024, the gambling market will be worth $94 billion in the U.S.

The gambling market comprises of two types of sports bettors. The first kind is made up of those that bet blindly. They place their bets on a team based on who they feel has a better chance of winning.

The second category comprises of bettors that do extensive research and handicap games accordingly. By performing smart sports handicapping, they can avoid the risks and increase their winnings more often.

But how do you handicap games? Here is a detailed guide on how you can use sports handicapping to grow your payroll.

What is Handicapping?

No teams in any sporting game are equal. All of them have their weaknesses and strengths. Some may have a high defense line while others may be strong on the offensive.

Additionally, the circumstances during the gameplay may directly affect the scoring potential of a team during the game.

Sports handicapping takes into consideration all of the above aspects and more. It is a method through which you identify the strengths and weakness of a team and use that information while making your betting decisions.

Understanding Key Football Statistics

You need to understand the data of a game so that you can adequately handicap it. The main trick is to know the numbers that can help you tell if a team will win or not. When looking at an NFL game, for instance, some significant numbers to consider include:

  •    Rushing yards in a game
  •    The number of yards every rush attempt
  •    The Turnover ratio
  •    The number of interceptions a team has per game
  •    The yards met per every pass attempt

Expert handicappers also consider the performance at home and on the road, the first half scoring record, or the difference in yards per point for both the defense and the offense.

Accounting for the Offense and Defense of a Team

In handicapping, you need to evaluate the offensive line of a team. By knowing its strengths, explosiveness, and efficiency, you can have a good picture of the team’s scoring potential in any game.

Additionally, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a team’s defensive line helps you see the ability the team has in preventing any scores. Tracking these numbers is vital in handicapping.

Looking through a Win and Loss Record

A win and loss record is an integral part of predicting the results of an upcoming game. A good example is, if a team has nine wins and one loss throughout the whole sporting season, they have a vast potential to make another winning.

However, the numbers themselves do not tell the whole story. What matters most is the reason that led to the win. How did the team get to win the game?

Does the team have a player instrumental in the winnings? If the player is injured, will the team still win more games?

By knowing the reasons that led to a team’s win, you can know where to place your bets. The same works for losses.

Analyzing the Matchups

After deeply analyzing the critical statistics of a team and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the team’s offensive and defensive lines, you can now focus on learning about the opponent.

For example, when analyzing an NFL match, you can try to figure out:

  • Have the two teams met in the past?
  • How did they fare against each other?
  • Is the opposing team’s offensive line made up of players that can overwhelm the less-experienced defensive players?

Months of continuous playing can have a significant toll on players leading to an increase in mismatches.

Anticipating a Team’s Disposition

The disposition of a team is a critical aspect of sports handicapping.  It can, however, be challenging to track. But how does it work?

When a team wins a game, it becomes highly motivated to win a game. This motivation leads a team to keep on winning, hence creating a winning streak. The same thing happens to a losing team.

Once the team loses a match, it becomes disheartening, and that may affect the next games.  However, losses may act as motivations, especially if the game is between long-time rivals creating the desire for the team to win the next match.

Different Handicap Betting Markets

In handicap betting, a bookmarker creates a money competition from a sporting event with various odds by giving one outcome an advantage and the other a disadvantage to even the field. Since the likelihood of the underdog winning increases, the odds of the favorite team also become appealing.

There are several variations of handicap bets in the market. Here are some betting markets with some examples to help you understand better.

  • Handicap League Betting

It is one of the popular forms of handicap betting where you make a bet on a team’s performance throughout the season. Here, you have to place the stake during the start of the season.

The league favorites are given the scratch handicap of zero whereas all other teams are awarded according to the expectations of the book marker.

Therefore, teams that the bookmarker deems to be weaker get more considerable handicap advantages to even the field.

To calculate the outcome of your handicap bet, you need to first apply the respective handicaps to all the teams in the league.

  • Asian Handicap Betting

This type of handicap betting was made famous in Asia. It comprises of handicaps with both whole and half numbers. It does not have any draws.

What sets Asian handicap bets aside is the possibility of a split handicap. Such a bet can have one handicap as a whole number while another as a half number.

  • No Draw Handicap Betting

A no draw handicap bet guarantees a winner to be present in a match regardless of the outcome of the game. The handicap is set up in a way that gives half handicaps to individual teams.

A good example is if in a game one team has a handicap of +1.5, and you place a bet on that team to win. If the game ends in a win of 3-2 you will receive a payout. Due to the +1.5 handicap, the score effectively becomes 3.5 to 3.

In a no draw handicap betting, it is not possible for a game to end in a draw. It is because it is not possible to have half goals in football.

Applying Sports Handicapping to Betting

To a smart bettor, handicap betting markets increase their opportunity to make more winnings. By understanding how sports handicapping works, you can make smatter bets that will make it more profitable for you.

The success of handicap games lies entirely on you. How deep are you willing to analyze a match? How much time and effort are you ready to use to maximize your chances of winning?

Visit our blog to get more information on the various ways you can make smarter bets.