In our series of football betting articles, we’ve already discussed the handicapping styles of football betting trends and football betting systems. There are more handicapping styles professional sports handicappers use to selection their football picks, and here we will go over the method of picking games by football betting statistical matchups.

Football Handicapping tutorialAccording to most bookie pay per head, football betting matchups is by far the most time consuming football handicapping method, as it really requires the football handicapper to follow and watch as many teams as possible. They are two types of football betting matchups handicapping: statistical and player-based.

Football betting statistical matchups are all based on game stats from past games.  Of course, a predicted outcome of stats for the current game is also part of the equation. Player-based matchups have far more bias. It is because they rely on the sports handicapper predicting which team will have matchup advantages based on the players on the field.

For example, if a 6’5” receiver will be matched up against a 5’10” cornerback, and the defense usually leaves that cornerback on one-on-one coverage, then the handicapper may give that matchup advantage to the receiver.

Understanding Statistical Match-Ups When Betting on Football

For this football betting tutorial, we’ll focus on the statistical matchups. The main statistics most handicappers rely on are:

  • rushing yards per game
  • passing yards per games
  • points per game
  • yards per rush
  • first downs
  • time of possession

These stats would be tabulated for both offense and defense. Once all the information is gathered, the handicapper can then compare the statistical averages.  He will then use it to make a prediction on which team has advantages in the different statistical categories.

For example, if the Pittsburgh Steelers averaged 120 rushing yards per game on 4.5 yards per carry, and went up against a Cleveland Browns defense that allowed 135 rushing yards per game on 4.8 yards per carry, then the football handicapper could assume Pittsburgh would have a pretty good game rushing the ball.

Of course, there are many other factors that would have to be taken into consideration. If a team has great passing statistics, but their starting quarterback is injured.  Another factor is whether they are playing in Buffalo in January.  Such factors will affect the statistical probability of their stats for that game, regardless of past results or who they are playing.

Despite the hours needed to compile and analyze football betting statistical match-ups, it is a very useful tool.  A good football handicappers will use such tools to make a prediction.  It is usually a great starting point when handicapping all the games for the weekend. A person looking to be a bookie will also use such tools when creating football betting odds.

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