Sportsbooks Ready for NFL

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


As I write this, the NFL Lockout still hasn't come to an end. But, indications are that a full resolution should be coming soon enough to avoid any delays to the start of the exhibition slate and regular season.

The parties have until the end of the month to get everything finalized, because that's when training camps were scheduled to start. Knowing that the general public is VERY excited about betting pro football, oddsmakers here in Nevada are preparing to put numbers up on the board a soon as everything is official.

  • Odds for the first week of preseason action will go up quickly, with very small limits at first to protect the house against sharp information. The Preseason is currently set to begin Sunday Night August 7th with Chicago facing St. Louis in the Hall of Fame game on NBC.  Everyone else will play the following week...with TV games already locked in for Thursday, Friday and Monday Nights.

  • Regular Season Win Totals are virtually ready to go up now as soon as there's sure to be a season. You don't want to post them before that's locked in stone. And, there's some concern from sportsbooks that free agency transactions, trades, or other personnel issues could leave them exposed with these. For example, there are rumors that Kevin Kolb of Philadelphia may be headed to Arizona once teams are able to trade. Should a sportsbook just assume that's going to happen and price accordingly? Should they assume it's NOT going to happen? Do you leave Arizona off the board until the dust settles?

Oddsmakers want to create traffic in their stores. But, they don't want to give money away to well-informed or well-connected bettors. I think we'll see win totals go up very quickly, but with small limits at first so the house is protected.

  • Futures prices to win conferences and the league are ready to go. There are unlikely to be trades or free agency acquisitions that would influence those dramatically. An injury to a star quarterback during the Preseason would obviously have an impact. But, the games are still a couple of weeks away.

Sportsbooks don't exactly expect a flood through the doors when the Lockout is resolved. The public is more excited about the regular season and big TV games than they are about summer football. But, there will at least be a stream of action where none existed before because propositions are going up on the board.

Here's my advice for those of you looking to bet these first numbers:

  • Wait until you hear plans from head coaches before betting exhibition games. It's silly to bet those the minute you go up unless you already know that a certain key player is going to see more or less action than is commonly expected. I think "information" plays a HUGE role in Preseason handicapping. Don't bet before you have any information!

  • If you've done your homework on regular season win totals...I think it's best to bet those EARLY. As soon as you see a good number, take it. Even if the limits are low...most of you reading this don't have bet sizes that will be influenced by them. These particular props are strongly impacted by early sharp money. And, if you HAVE done your homework, you're probably going to be in line with the sharps (professional wagerers). Time wasted will cost you in moneyline vigorish, or maybe even half a win.

Again, this is for bettors who have done your homework. If you're just betting your favorite team to have a good year or something, time may not be as urgent. Maybe you'll even get a better number by waiting if there's some skepticism in the national media about your team. For the statheads who have mapped out the season and have their projections ready, bet early!

With Futures, it's almost never a good idea to bet these. Payoffs never reflect true odds. So, even if you do happen to win're getting a horrible price. Let's say you picked Green Bay last year to win the Super Bowl before the season started. It's great that your team won. But, you didn't get the payoff you deserved. You probably would have earned more using a running parlay on them through the postseason once you already knew they had qualified.

Futures are designed to separate avid fans from their money. Losses from the fans of 31 teams more than pay off the winnings for whoever happened to be right. Sportsbooks love futures because they get the cash early, and keep almost all of it. You should hate futures for the same reasons.

While football is still a couple of weeks away, baseball is going hot and heavy every night. You can purchase my BEST BETS here at the website with your credit card. Game day releases go up a few hours before first pitch. If you have any questions, call my office at 1-877-822-2276.

Build your bankrolls NOW in baseball so you have that much more to bet with in Las Vegas or Reno this Fall in football.

And, whether you're talking football or baseball, always remember that the best information is going to come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.


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