|Exploiting Skewed NFL Futures|
|Written by TheSpread|
|Wednesday, 01 November 2006 17:30|
Sports Betting; Exploiting NFL Futures
With the halfway point of the NFL season here, Pinnacle Sportsbook’s NFL futures – revised after each week’s play – now accurately reflect the current standings. Not only does Pinnacle Sportsbetting offer odds to win the Superbowl, the AFC Championship, the NFC Championship, NFL division odds plus unique props on Indy or the Bears going undefeated but the Pinnacle Sportsbook offers all of these at low juice with odds that offer up to 50% better value than other sports books.
What we are seeing at Pinnacle Sportsbetting is that much of the betting on NFL futures is still a reflection of players’ perceptions of teams before the season began.
If you can divorce yourself from this mindset and evaluate teams solely on the basis of this year’s play, that objectivity can give you an edge over many other players, whose judgment of futures is clouded.
The first step to accurately price NFL futures is determining how many games you expect each team to win. Many bettors are one step ahead on this point, already doing this via custom “power rankings”. If you’re not among them, you can borrow power ratings from other handicappers, or better yet, simply use the average of several handicappers’ ratings.
The main concept of power rating systems is to provide a ready-reckoner for spreads between any two teams by taking the difference in their ratings. For example, if the Ravens were rated 24 and Cincinnati were 22, the Ravens would be a 2-point favorite on a neutral field. Conventional wisdom suggests that home field advantage (HFA) adds an additional 3 points.
Using power ratings, you’re in a position to set a spread for every match-up a team has for the remainder of the season. From there, you can evaluate a team’s chance of winning each game by looking at the moneyline for that spread. For example, a 3-point favorite is about a -150 favorite, which translates to (-150/-250 = .60), i.e., a 60% chance of winning. Following this process for each team, bettors can find a good estimate of how many games each team will win in total this season, giving a basis for assessing futures.
To arrive at a sophisticated personalized assessment to measure against futures at sportbooks, it’s best to customize your ratings further by considering how each team’s rosters might change in the coming weeks. Most power ranking systems try to predict performance based on a team’s average during the season, but this might be skewed by the impact of a key player’s absence, or return from injury.
A final factor to consider is how a team will play once it has locked up its division, a playoff spot, or home field advantage. If there’s nothing at stake – not even a home field factor in the playoffs - teams tend to rest players and perform below expectations. In these instances, players can “fudge” the power rankings by making adjustments.
Once you determine how many games each team should win, certain divisional prices may jump out at you. If two teams have similar prices to win the division and you expect one to win a full half-game more, this probably represents a solid play.
In addition to futures on divisional champions, Pinnacle Sportsbook offers propositions on the Colts and the Bears to finish the regular season undefeated. If you’ve already set point spreads for each match-up, it’s easy to adapt this to price the odds on either team going undefeated by simply multiplying the percentages for each team winning their remaining games. For this type of prop, there will frequently be value betting the “No” despite laying heavy odds.
by: Staci Richards - theSpread.com - Email Us
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