The NFL plays games on Sundays. And while that’s great, football being our nation’s most-watched sport is a little more problematic than it should be. Most NFL teams are terrible. The practice of thematic team alignments has only made things worse.

And the constant nature of the league makes it nearly impossible to have computer programs that can effectively handicap games against the spread, meaning that fewer and fewer people are winning money with their college football picks against the spread.

If you want to win some money, or just get back into it regularly, you need to know how to beat the spread in NFL picks against the spread.

Here are things you need to know about beating the spread in NFL computer picks against the spread so that your next weekly tournament doesn’t end up as a long losing streak but instead as a glorious victory lap around your house after eliminating your friends from their “weekly pool” for another year at least:

Know The Odds

The first thing you need to know when trying to beat the spread in NFL computer picks against the spread is that the odds are in favor of the team with home-field advantage. The home team gets a half-point in the spread and if it wins gets a full point.

If the visiting team wins, the bettor loses that amount. The spread is just an addition of two fractions to the result of the game. Now, while the spread is just that, it’s the bookmaker’s line and it’s not set in stone. What the bookmaker is doing is betting on the likelihood of each team winning.

They do a lot of that because it is what legal entities do. But a good bookmaker will make money regardless of who wins. So, why don’t we just bet on the game?

It’s Not Just About Picks

Of course, you’re going to want a good pick, but you need to know that what you’ve got might not be enough. Football is a game of momentum and players’ confidence is often built in the first half of a game.

While you can pick against the spread based on which team the computer likes more, you need to also know who’s playing. For example, if both teams in a game are 4-5, you’re picking against the spread because one of the teams is getting a boost.

This can be enough of a boost to give them the win. But, if both teams have losing records and you’re picking against the spread, you’re going to have to know who’s playing.

You Need To Know Who’s Playing

With home-field advantage and the actual football being played being a huge part of beating the spread in NFL picks against the spread, you need to know who’s playing. The key to this is to know who’s not playing.

In the case of injuries, you need to know who is out so you can avoid them. For example, if you pick against the spread in Week 1 and know that the Chicago Bears have a starting quarterback who is out with a shoulder injury, pick another team.

It doesn’t matter that they’re 4-5 or that the Seattle Seahawks are ranked second behind the Bears. You need to bet on the Seahawks to cover the spread because their team is too injured for the Bears to win a game against the spread.

This knowledge of who’s healthy and out can make a huge difference in beating the spread.

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