NFL Market Is The Sharpest


It's common knowledge in the sports betting industry that the NFL is the 'sharpest' of the markets. But far too many sports bettors don't realize the full ramifications of this reality.

Why is this true?

*It's the LARGEST market in all of sports, which means the 'wisdom of the crowds' as they call it has so much force that the lines pretty much get to where they need to be. No market is perfect because there's just too much information to be absorbed. The NFL market is as close as it gets in sports.

*It's the BEST INFORMED of all the sports markets because all 32 teams are covered very closely by the media. And, that was true even before the internet! College football has so many teams that a lot of information slips through the cracks. Pro basketball and baseball have a manageable number of teams, but aren't as popular with bettors (or TV viewers if you look at the ratings). The drive to present up-to-the-minute information is stronger for media companies in the NFL, which therefore makes bettors more informed than in other sports.

*There's a week between games, meaning there's MORE TIME for lines to get knocked to where they need to be. NBA teams play 3-4 games a week. Bettors/investors don't have several days at a time to make their calculations and adjustments. MLB teams play every day. There's a HUGE difference between gathering information over one day and gathering it over seven days.

Now, I'm not saying the NFL market is unbeatable. Smart players can find some edges and make money. What I'm saying is that it's the toughest to beat. Therefore:

*If you're playing a lot of action every Sunday, you've pretty much already guaranteed yourself a loss. There may be a few mistakes. There aren't so many that you should be betting most of the board. Even if you win one week, you'll just lose it all back the next once the larger sample size is allowed to humble you.

*If you're betting on game day rather than early in the week, you've pretty much missed most of the value. Sharps hit the openers... largely sit on their hands for several days...then bet late in games where public action may have moved the line too far. That's why it's REALLY dumb to wait until Sunday morning to start your handicapping...then place a lot of bets. If you like action, bet the openers and buy back some of the moves.

*If you're placing your biggest bets of the week in the NFL rather than other sports, you'd better have a really good reason. I know it makes you feel more macho to place big bets in the country's most popular sport. It's the toughest market to beat. Consider increasing your bet sizes in other sports, and reducing them in the NFL. Now...sharps are limited in some of the other sports because sportsbooks will only take so much action on small conference college action. For most of you reading this, it's not an issue. You're recreational players rather than professionals. A 'big' bet for you can be placed in any game. Be smart with your money management, and tailor your legal bet sizes to the caliber of the market.

Think about that Sunday and Monday as you watch the markets move early in the day, then the games on TV later on. Review how your personal bets have done in the first part of the season. What's your record in the NFL? How have your biggest plays done? Are you making more bets in the NFL than you are in the colleges? Does your record justify that decision?

The NFL is a sharp market, but still a beatable market if you're disciplined, aggressive early, patient late, and smart with your money management.

by Las Vegas linesmaker Nick Bogdanovich


Today’s Hot Plays