How to understand the Expert Picks for the NFL?

How To Understand Expert NFL Picks?

So you want to learn all about expert NFL picks, but you are new to football and sports betting? Check out this guide, where we break down all the essential information on our expert pick pages, to help you understand the terms, numbers and what to look for when betting on the National Football League.

What does S/U mean?

When you see S/U on an NFL betting prediction, it means the team’s record straight up. The Pittsburgh Steelers went 13-3 last season, which is also their record straight up. You will see S/U for a team’s record at home, on the road, last season, and this season and sometimes over a particular amount of games.

What is a Point Spread?

Online sportsbooks make point spreads on football games to balance the game and make betting on either option attractive. Point spreads are determined through multiple factors including home/road team, recent head-to-head results, weather, injuries and quality of each team’s roster. Once taking into account everything, online sportsbook releases their point spread to the public.

What does ATS mean?

ATS is a short form for against the spread. It is a team’s record against the point spread, not their win-loss record. For example, in Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 24-23. However, the Packers were -8.0 point favourites. This means they did not cover the spread and are 0-1 ATS this season.

What is a Game Total?

A game total is a betting line on how many points will the teams combined to score in a football game. For example, in Week 1 of the NFL season, the game total on the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers game was 46.0 on Sports Interaction.

The Vikings won the game 24-16, meaning the two teams combined to score 40 points. If you bet on under 46.0 points, you would have won your bet.

What does O/U mean?

The last of the three vital betting statistics to understand is O/U. O/U stands for over/under. This metric applies to game totals. For example, if a team is 5-11 on O/U, it means five of their games went over the game total, and 11 games went under the total. This means that more often than not, the team and their opponent played in lower scoring games.

Head-to-Head Record

One of the most important aspects experts consider when making predictions and bets is the head-to-head record of the two teams playing. Take the Pittsburgh Steelers – Kansas City Chiefs game in Week 2 of the 2018 NFL.

Pittsburgh is 7-3 against the Chiefs in their last ten meetings (Kansas City is 0-5 straight up in their previous five games in Pittsburgh).

However, unlike other sports where teams play each other much more often, the ten games between these two franchises (including the playoffs) date all the way back to 2003. Still, even with the extended team frame, it is still a good indicator of a team’s chances of winning.

Head-to-head record is most important when betting on Divisional games. Since each Divisional opponent plays each other twice a year, their recent head-to-head history is better reflective of the talent on each team’s current roster.

Last Ten Game Information

Also on the expert pick pages is the record of each team over their last ten games (including preseason and playoffs). Seeing how a team has performed over the last ten games gives you a good idea of their current talent and ability to win games.

However, not too much weight should be placed on preseason games. Often NFL starters play sparingly (or not at all) in the preseason, meaning the results are not necessarily a great indicator of the team’s prospects going forward.

Based On Odds Explanation

When you bet on an NFL moneyline, the odds reflect the likelihood of each team winning the game. For example, a team with odds of -215 has about a 72.2% chance of winning the game. The larger the number gets increases the teams perceived chances of winning.

Odds of -500, implied 83.33% chance of winning

Odds of -1000, implied 90.9% chance of winning

Based on History Explanation

This percentage represents the chances the expert pick is correct based off the recent history between the two teams (usually last ten games). If a team is 8-2 against another team in their last ten, they have an 80% chance of winning based off their history.

Other Information on Expert Picks

Expert picks provide bettors with more information than just the team’s record and numbers against the spread. They also have information on team strengths, weaknesses and injuries.

Injuries are a significant factor to consider when betting on an NFL game. When a team loses an important starter (especially their quarterback) their chances of winning declines. The odds will reflect injuries.

For example in 2017, star quarterback of the Green Bay Packers missed nine games. In the nine games, the Packers were without Rodgers, they were an underdog in seven of those games. In the seven games with Aaron Rodgers starting, they were the favourite in four games and no smaller than a +3.0 point underdog on the road.

Why is this information important? Well, if you see the Packers as an underdog at home, it is likely due to injuries. Even though betting on the Packers as underdog pays out more, they were only 1-6 last season as an underdog without Aaron Rodgers. Make sure to make a note of injuries before betting on an NFL game.

What Does It All Mean?

All the information provided on expert pick pages are to help you make better bets and understand the logic behind expert betting predictions. You can also use the information to form your own opinions and bets on NFL games throughout the season. 

02/12/2018 01:00 PM
Football
NFL
Chicago Bears -4.5
Based on Odds50%
Based on History50%

  • Bears 5-0 ATS over last five games
  • Bears 3-2 SU on the road this season
  • Bears 3-2 ATS on the road this season
  • Bears 7-4 O/U this season
  • Bears scored at least 23 points in eight straight games
  • Giants 0-4-1 ATS at home this season
  • Giants 5-6 O/U this season
  • Giants 4-13 over last 17 games
  • Giants topped 21 points last three games, after failing to do so for three weeks prior
  • Giants have been an underdog in all but one game this season
  • 26/11/2018 08:15 PM
    Football
    NFL
    Houston Texans -2
    Based on Odds70%
    Based on History50%

  • Titans are 17-36-3 ATS in their last 56 vs. AFC South
  • Titans went 5-1 ATS vs the AFC South last season
  • Texans are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings
  • Texans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Tennessee
  • 19/11/2018 08:15 PM
    Football
    NFL
    Rams -2.5
    Based on Odds30%
    Based on History50%

  • Rams are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall
  • Over is 4-1 in Rams last 5 vs. a team with a winning record
  • Chiefs are 4-0 ATS against teams with a winning record
  • Under is 7-1 in Chiefs last 8 vs. a team with a winning record
  • 08/11/2018 08:20 PM
    Football
    NFL
    Pittsburgh Steelers To Win
    Based on Odds83.3%
    Based on History59.2%

  • Panthers were 11-6 S/U last season
  • Panthers were 6-3 ATS on the road last season
  • Panthers were 10-6-1 ATS last season
  • The team totals went OVER in 10 of the Panthers' last 17 games
  • Panthers were 2-2 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • Steelers were 13-4 S/U last season
  • Steelers were 3-6 ATS at home last season
  • Steelers were 7-10 ATS last season
  • The team totals went UNDER in 10 of the Steelers' last 17 games
  • Steelers were 3-1 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • 04/11/2018 04:25 PM
    Football
    NFL
    New Orleans Saints To Win
    Based on Odds-
    Based on History-

  • Rams were 11-6 S/U last season
  • Rams were 5-3 ATS on the road last season
  • Rams were 9-8 ATS last season
  • The team totals went OVER in 10 of the Rams' last 17 games
  • Rams were 2-2 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • Saints were 12-6 S/U last season
  • Saints were 5-4 ATS at home last season
  • Saints were 9-9 ATS last season
  • The team totals went OVER in 11 of the Saints' last 18 games
  • Saints were 2-2 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • 29/10/2018 08:15 PM
    Football
    NFL
    Patriots -13.5
    Based on Odds50%
    Based on History50%

  • Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. AFC East
  • Patriots are 9-2 ATS vs. a team with a losing record
  • Bills are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
  • Bills are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss
  • 22/10/2018 08:15 PM
    Football
    NFL
    Atlanta Falcons to Win
    Based on Odds50%
    Based on History73%

  • Giants 2-8 S/U over last ten
  • Giants 4-6 ATS over last ten
  • Giants 4-6 O/U over last ten
  • Giants 2-9 on the Road since 2017
  • Giants last in the NFL in rushing attempts per game (19.17)
  • Falcons 4-6 S/U in their last ten
  • Falcons 4-6 ATS in their last ten
  • Falcons 7-5 at home since 2017
  • Falcons 5-0 O/U in their last five (average of 65.8 points)
  • Falcons rank fourth in passing yards this season
  • 18/10/2018 08:20 PM
    Football
    NFL
    Arizona Cardinals To Win
    Based on Odds11.1%
    Based on History60%

  • Broncos were 5-11 S/U last season
  • Broncos were 1-7 ATS on the road last season
  • Broncos were 4-11-1 ATS last season
  • The team totals went OVER in 8 of the Broncos' last 16 games
  • Broncos were 2-2 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • Cardinals were 8-8 S/U last season
  • Cardinals were 4-5 ATS at home last season
  • Cardinals were 6-9-1 ATS last season
  • The team totals went UNDER in 10 of the Cardinals' last 16 games
  • Cardinals were 2-3 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • 14/10/2018 01:00 PM
    Football
    NFL
    Seattle Seahawks To Win
    Based on Odds-
    Based on History-

  • Raiders were 6-10 S/U last season
  • Raiders were 2-5-1 ATS on the road last season
  • Raiders were 5-9-2 ATS last season
  • The team totals went UNDER in 11 of the Raiders' last 16 games
  • Raiders were 0-4 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • Seahawks were 9-7 S/U last season
  • Seahawks were 2-6 ATS at home last season
  • Seahawks were 6-9-1 ATS last season
  • The team totals went UNDER in 9 of the Seahawks' last 16 games
  • Seahawks were 4-0 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • 07/10/2018 08:20 PM
    Football
    NFL
    Dallas Cowboys To Win
    Based on Odds75%
    Based on History37%

  • Cowboys were 9-7 S/U last season
  • Cowboys were 5-2-1 ATS on the road last season
  • Cowboys were 8-7-1 ATS last season
  • The team totals went UNDER in 10 of the Cowboys' last 16 games
  • Cowboys were 3-1 S/U during the 2017 preseason
  • Texans were 4-12 S/U last season
  • Texans were 3-5 ATS on at home last season
  • Texans were 7-9 ATS last season
  • The team totals went UNDER in 8 of the Texans' last 16 games
  • Texans were 2-1 S/U during the 2017 preseason
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