Successful Handicapping


Handicapping is a popular way of betting. It usually occurs when betting on any kind of event that involves points, as most of the world sports do. This is a more advanced form of sports betting, and is usually reserved for the more experienced gamblers. The general definition of handicapping is when the sports matches are evened out due to special circumstances that allow a bettor to improve their odds; it makes the Favorite and the Underdog a more equal match up. It is hard to define what handicapping is, since the definition changes depending on which sport it is being used in. In this case, we will be using the NFL and anything football related. When talking about handicapping and football it isn’t about adding points to one side or the other, but about exploiting weaknesses that the regular odds system has. There are specific ways of handicapping a NFL match, and these fall under general methods. There are numerous ways of being able to handicap a match, but we will only discuss a few.


General Handicapping Methods

There are three general handicapping methods that can be used to determine which kind of handicapper would best suit a bettor. The three methods are Fundamental, Situational, and Technical handicapping.

Fundamental Handicapping

This kind of handicapping relies a lot on the statistics, and is referred to as well as statistical handicapping. This kind of handicapping uses the team and individual player statistics, as well as the use of the power ratings of each team. Power ratings are basically an overall number that is given to each team based on their performance and are usually tied to the team statistics, also known as power rankings. This helps the bettor visualize how the match up will be between teams, and allow them to make a better bet based on this information and not simply based on the odds given.

This is the most rational form of handicapping as it does not base its decisions on other factors that might influence the outcomes, such as emotional stress. The reason for this is because the NFL is such a short tournament, lasting only 20 weeks, and each team plays just 16 games (during the regular season). This lowers the likelihood that outside factors will influence the games. A good statistical and rational bettor will more than likely use this method.

Technical Handicapping

The handicapping factor is very similar to the fundamental handicapping, as they both use statistics as a means of gaining an edge over the odds. Instead of looking at overall statistics, technical handicapping takes a look at past occurrences, events, and games, as well as how the players performed in those past games. This is considered to be the weakest form of handicapping of the three general methods, since past events do not mean that they will repeat again; the chances of it happening exactly the same is close to zero. Bettors shouldn’t use this method solely, but instead use it with one or both of the other two handicapping methods.

Situational Handicapping

This method of handicapping relies mostly on situations that occur before, during, and after the matches. The method is more popular when it comes to College football, but can also be used in the NFL. This kind of handicapping includes various factors that can influence a match such as, rivalries, rematches, player motivation, and any system that does not use math to determine if a team increases their chance of winning.


Different Methods of Handicapping

These are several methods that can help a bettor when they want to start handicapping. As mentioned before, there are numerous methods and ways to handicap in the NFL, but we will only give you a few as examples. Bettors need to look at Turnovers, Team play, Statistics, and Ignoring the Hype.


Turnovers occur when a team is out of balance; either because they are playing poorly or they lack experience playing under pressure. A bettor needs to look at all the possible reasons why a team would be more inclined to turn over the ball. The team may have a bad quarter back, that every time he throws the ball it ends up with an interception. The wide receivers may have butter fingers or even the running back doesn’t know how to protect the ball properly. Bettors should be able to pinpoint these problems, and take advantage of them.

Team Play

When the players on a team play really well together, they usually have very good chemistry and can sync up very well. This translates into wins, and teams that have winning streaks more often than not, have good team play. However, a team that has a winning streak does not mean it is a trend, and should not be treated as one. Team play and winning streaks do not last forever, so a bettor needs to be able to figure out when this is likely to end.


Learning to read, analyze, and make a decision based on the statistics is a very important method that every bettor should use; regardless if they use it for handicapping. Team and individual statistics can help the bettor determine when a certain team will be at an advantage, and when they will be vulnerable. Bettors should not use old statistics, as this outdated information will not reflect present reality. Keeping up with the news and stats is vital to this step.

Ignore the Hype

Predictions and the odds are based on what the public think will happen. A bettor needs to learn to ignore this hype and make their own decision based on the facts, not speculation. It may be hard to go against what thousands of people are saying will happen, but this is when it is vital to look at the stats and everything else that makes up the NFL and rely on that information to make an informed decision. This does not mean that whatever the public thinks is wrong. If after careful consideration the public opinion is the best choice, go with that one. The whole idea of this method is to not let yourself get influenced by outside forces, but instead make a well-thought decision.