NFL Betting: Analyzing Game Schedules

Posted by Joe Solari on Tuesday,May 3, 2016 5:56, EST in

With a variety of factors always contributing towards the success of teams in any given season; analyzing game schedules (especially in the preseason) can be very difficult. Personally, I prefer waiting until the preseason to place my bets, mainly because I usually have a more representative picture of teams and how they are likely to perform in the season at such a time. Of course, there’s nothing wrong if you are among the millions of people who opt to bet on teams way before the season begins. You just have to remember to do it the right way, especially when it comes to analyzing game schedules appropriately. Here are some NFL betting tips that can help you handicap game schedules in a better way…

NFL Betting: Analyzing Game Schedules

 

 

Travelling

One of the biggest reasons why teams tend to perform well at home is because of the convenience that comes with not having to endure long travels. Traveling, especially cross-country trips, often wear down the players more son when teams have several trips condensed together in their schedules. When betting on game schedules, be sure to consider the aspect of exhaustion, as it can easily be the difference between a winning and losing effort in any game.

Strength of Schedule

Obviously, playing a strong strength of schedule (SOS) is something that all NFL teams would love to avoid, largely because it is often more difficult to beat a team that played strongly in the previous season as opposed to playing a lighter opponent. But then again, playing a soft schedule is not a guarantee that things will be easy; something that has been repeatedly proven by members of the AFC South and NFC South Divisions, who have a tendency of playing underwhelming football and finishing with bad records in spite of regularly facing soft SOS. When handicapping games based on strength of schedule, you should therefore keep in mind that, although tough schedules make it difficult for teams to win games consistently, different teams perform differently when subjected to different schedules.

Bye Week

The placement of the bye week is a key consideration when assessing how teams will perform in their schedules. If the bye, for example, comes after a bad streak, it could be a good thing, offering a team a chance to heal and rebuild. If it comes too early, it often predisposes teams to exhaustion towards the end of the season. If it comes too late, it may also not be a good thing, as certain teams can’t change much or build any momentum from it. The best time for a bye is arguably mid-way through the season. But not all teams get byes at the middle of the season, and not all teams that get it at mid-season use it to their advantage. In short, the bye week is a case-specific element that is best analyzed during the season with real facts rather than during the preseason when we don’t have an idea about things like a team’s form entering the bye.

 

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Team and Roster Changes

Coaching changes, front-office reshuffles, roster tweaks (through trades and drafts), along with related issues such as suspensions and injuries can have a huge impact on how teams perform with their respective changes. It is therefore paramount to pay attention to these details during the offseason just in the same way we should take note of them during the regular season.