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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

I know many of you are already mapping out your expectations for the coming NFL season. Maybe some of you based in Las Vegas have already placed some bets on regular season win totals. I wanted to outline some basic fundamentals for you about big picture “direction” tendencies that represent the nature of the NFL before we talk more specifics through the course of the summer.

*The first thing for you to remember about NFL teams is that they tend to move in the opposition direction this year than they did last year. A team that improved from 2012 to 2013 will likely fall back in 2014. A team that fell back from 2012 to 2013 will likely improve. Always look for the zig-zag rather than momentum.

 

Among the reasons:

Good injury luck turns to bad injury luck

Good turnover luck turns to bad turnover luck

Good scheduling luck turns to bad scheduling luck

Opponents make adjustments against your most productive players

You make adjustments regarding your least productive players
 

You’ll often hear fans of certain teams say something like “Hey, we went from 6-10 two years ago to 9-7 last year…this season we’re going to win our division!”

That’s very rare. It’s more likely that the 7-9 team is going to fall backward or tread water this season…before perhaps making a jump forward the following season. That’s just the nature of pro football.

*The second thing for you to remember is that the parity principles of the NFL generally pull teams toward the center. If you see a team that just went 5-11 two years in a row, the parity principle will suggest they’re about to move toward 8-8. Conversely, if you see a team that just went 10-6 two years in a row, the parity principle will have them moving down to 8-8.

The laws of competitive balance are such that teams below .500 will do what it takes to move toward respectability, while the teams above .500 will have a tendency to relax and assume that almost all of the pieces are already in place.

*Your strongest predictions against regular season win totals will come when those two principles are lined up together. If a team crossed the magic .500 mark during their “zig,” they’re probably going to go back toward it or cross it again in the other direction on their “zag.”

 

In other words

--A team that rises from 2-14 to 4-12 is less likely to go backwards because they’re still not approaching the .50 mark yet.

--A team that rises from 6-10 to 10-6 is much more likely to get pulled back to at least 8-8.

--A team that rises from 10-6 to 14-2 is VERY likely to get pulled back toward the .500 mark, and may miss the playoffs even though they’re seen as a league juggernaut entering the season.
 

I’ve lost track of how many times that latter example has happened over the past few decades. Their fans never believe it’s going to happen to THEM.

I suggest all of you hardworking students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping spend some time this week looking at the NFL standings of the past two seasons. Look at how each team “moved” from 2012 to 2013…and then make a projection for 2014 based solely on the principals I’ve outlined today.

 

In this exercise, don’t think yet about:

Coaching changes

Quarterback changes

Draft picks

Stars returning from injury

Strength or weakness of the 2014 schedule

Just look at the teams and their records to develop a sense of flow. Once you have that, THEN apply developments from that short list above to see what might magnify the likely trends that are already in place. I can assure you that you’ll find some great bets against the regular season win prices that you can make this summer. And, you’ll already be well positioned NOW to hit the ground running when the regular season begins in September.

Prepared handicappers are winning handicappers! Take that from the Dean of Sports Handicapping.

We don’t have any football games to bet right now. But, there’s plenty of daily baseball to hold us over until the NFL exhibition slate arrives in August. If you’d like some help building your sports betting bankrolls, you can purchase my daily BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions can be answered by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office. Call 1-888-777-4155 with queries.

We’ll be talking about pro and college football throughout the summer as we gear up for the coming season. I’ll also have periodic baseball reports for those of you who are trying to make good money through June and July. I’m not sure yet what our next report will cover. Visit back Friday to see if that’s baseball news or more football prep work. I look forward to seeing you then!

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