The National Football League is everyone’s favorite wager. When it comes to sports gambling, nothing can touch the NFL when it comes to popularity and action put down. Baseball may be the national past time but football is king in the sportsbook, and at no time of the year is this more obvious than during the NFL postseason. With the regular season all done and the field narrowed down to 12 teams, the NFL postseason sees more action than it does during any week of the regular season.
In this second season of football play, wagering strategies change, and there are several factors a successful sports gambler will want to keep in mind before placing an NFL playoff bet. There aren’t as many games, and these are the good teams of the league after all. Your NFL playoff betting should have a different strategy than your regular season NFL betting. Obviously, there is much more at stake for the teams, and this will directly affect the point spreads, lines, and odds you’ll be getting. Here we have some strategies for you to employ this NFL postseason to be sure you are making the best wagers possible.
Injury Reports Mean Less
During the NFL regular season, the injury reports are some of the most under-utilized resources for a football gambler. Knowing who is in and out is a huge advantage to watch during the week, especially as the lines are set without injuries in mind. This all changes in the NFL playoffs. First of all, these are the elite teams in the league and elite teams are deep teams so injuries will not affect them. Secondly, this is the playoffs, and it will take a lot to keep a player out of the action. If they can get on the field, they will. Unless there is a high-profile injury during a playoff game, the injury reports just don’t carry the same weight as they do in the regular season.
Homefield is Definitely an Advantage
It is the universal rule that home teams generally have an advantage. However, this is hyper-elevated for sports gamblers as home teams in the playoffs not only win games, they also cover. Surprisingly, there are usually one or two games in a postseason where the home teams are actually getting points. This is due to the NFL’s parity and playoff system, but it can be a goldmine for sports gamblers. Stick to the home teams in the playoffs; not only will they win more games, but they cover more often as well.
Find the Hot Team
Getting hot at the right time is a key for any professional team to win its championship, and the NFL is no different. You will have your favorites who have the best records and more of the media hype. However, a team peaking at the right time is a dangerous one and can win plenty of games in the postseason. This could mean a low seed pulling off several upsets, or it could simply be one of the top seeds blowing out its competition. The hot team is the hot team and needs to be respected in the playoffs.
Lines and Odds Tighten
Another reason the NFL playoffs are such a popular time to wager is because the competition is tough. The NFL notoriously has some of the best parity of any major sports league, so when the playoffs come around you have nothing left but good teams that have a chance to win every time they are on the field, no matter who they are playing. These are good teams and having to win three or four games in a row to win a championship is a daunting task. Therefore, the lines and odds you will be receiving are some of the truest of the season. Experienced sports gamblers understand this and, in their never-ending quest to find the best wagers with the best value, they love the postseason for this reason.
During the regular season, lines and odds are set not as handicaps, but as enticement. They are set to get people to place a wager. In the playoffs, this changes for several reasons. One, the teams are simply better which will tighten the lines naturally. Two, and more importantly, is the fact that you have more people wagering on fewer games and this definitely has a big effect on the lines. During the regular season, you’ll have 12 to 16 games a weekend and sports gamblers will spread out their action over those matchups. But in the playoffs there are only a few games every weekend, so more money is coming in and moving the lines and odds accordingly. All of this action forces sportsbooks and oddsmakers to make the games as close as possible resulting in good spreads, good odds, and good value.