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.
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.