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How To Handicap Football Using Power Rankings
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There is a very simple method that I use to handicap football games without even taking stats from each team into consideration. It's done using power rankings, sagarin ratings or an average of both and the opening Vegas line for the game. What you will be doing is comparing the two after you've come up with a spread.

The first thing you will want to do is gather up the opening spread for each football game you want to handicap. Make sure that you're using the opening line and not the line after it has moved one way or the other due to the betting action. There are numerous sites that can provide you the opening line.

The other preparation step you'll need to complete is coming up with your own spread using a power ranking or sagarin rating. Most gambling sites will provide a power ranking for each team with a number after it, such as Atlanta Falcons -7 and Carolina Panthers +2. They'll also suggest that you give the home team an extra 3 points when creating the spread. Let's use the two teams I listed as an example. Say Atlanta was the home team & Carolina was visiting. Atlanta is 9 points better than Carolina. The way we arrive at this is that -7 is considered a spread that a favorite would receive. +2 is a spread that an underdog would get. Atlanta is 7 points better than an average team. Carolina is 2 points worse than an average team. Therefore Atlanta is 9 points better. You also have to give the Falcons an extra 3 points because they are the home team. Most power rankings will provide you a number to assign to the home team for home field advantage. You now have a spead of Atlanta -12.

So what do you do with your spread? Well you want to compare it to the opening line you already have. Let's say that the opening line you found was the Falcons -8. Vegas oddsmakers have taken a line that should have been 12 and moved it down 4 points. Most people are going to look at this and think, "Vegas is off by 4 points! I'm getting a great edge by taking the Falcons!" Those people would be wrong. At least most of the time they are. This is referred to as a trap game.

If I were interested in betting this game I would ask my friends that bet football who they liked. I'll bet you most of them have looked at the line without even using the method that I just taught you and say the Falcons should easily cover that number. The reason the odds makers have lowered the line is to trap you. They know something about the matchup that the general public will miss. Why would they lower the spread and entice the betting public to take the team that is going to win? Vegas makes their money off of situations like this.

I'm taking Carolina in a game like this. If I'm going to be on the losing side, I want to lose with Vegas. If you start your handicapping with this step you'll find yourself betting on sides that you never dreamed you would. I think you'll be happy with the results too.


Street Talk

funa  

I like this article my question, is what happens if it goes the other way say Atlanta is -12 and the line is 14 does this mean vegas is scared of Atlanta do u then bet Atlanta?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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