When betting football games, handicappers usually only think about the point spread or the overall point total. However, if there can be money to made elsewhere, its certainly worth taking a look. And with moneylines can prove to be profitable.
Betting the moneyline can have its advantages, as bettors no longer have to worry about trying to cover a point total or lose by a certain amount of points. Just win.
Most betting lines are 11 to 10 odds. So for a $110 bet, bettors will get $100 in return if they play the point spread. But if the point spread is a team – or + a small amount of points, they may be able to get a value on a moneyline bet, especially if the side they like is the favorite.
A football handicappers worst nightmare is betting on a team that is -3, only to have them win the game by a field goal and all of their hard work throughout the week ends up in a draw. Therefore, if bettors are able to bet the moneyline at a price of -130 to -140, paying the extra $20 or $30 to win by any margin can be a better play.
Also, when betting a team inside of a football parlay, even though the juice is less, putting a team in your parlay on the moneyline as compared to the point spread can also be a successful approach.
The other great value to find is when handicappers are betting on home underdogs.
Many “sharp” bettors like to find their value on these home underdogs in addition to betting the home underdog on the point spread. Already having a good feel for the game, putting half of their normal play on the moneyline can be a quick way to make cash.
This now means that handicappers not only have the safety net of getting the home underdog plus the points, but if they pull off that upset, they are going to rewarded with their moneyline bet.
In all, betting the moneyline takes the heartache out of a team winning but not covering the spread.
There is not a worse betting feeling than winning the game but failing to cover on a last second meaningless drive.
Taking that factor out of the game when the juice is right, playing the moneyline can reduce the amount of back door covers that handicappers find themselves on the wrong end of.
Time zones and their importance on football outcomes
NFL football games are played at very specific times each and every week during the season. Games either start at 1pm (Eastern) and 4pm (Eastern) and the night game is always at 5 pm.
These times are scheduled on purpose, so that they are convenient for the viewers to watch the games, which drives the revenue stream up for the NFL. However, these NFL games can be kryptonite or some teams, as dealing with a time change and jet lag can be a huge factor in winning and losing games.
When a west coast team plays a 1pm (Eastern) game, it is really a 10 am game for them, and playing a football game at the highest level at 10 am can be very tough. Players have a really strict routine which can sometimes take hours until they are at the top of their game and ready to play.
If a game starts at 1pm (Eastern), players may be getting to the field as early as 7 am local time for a west coast team. From 2007 to 2011, when a Pacific Time zone team played visitor to an Eastern Time zone team, the Eastern team was 44-15 straight up.
These teams had a clear disadvantage being that they were playing their games at 10 in the morning where the local team was already used to being up for hours.
When a team is traveling west and playing a 10 am game, a handicapper’s first impression should be to look at the home team in these situations.
This same theory can be applied when Eastern Time zone teams have to travel out west.
During the same 2007-2011 period, when Eastern Time zone teams traveled to the west, the Pacific Time zone team was 39-32 SU.
This isn’t as drastic as when the team from the west flies east, but it still shows us that the power of travel is an important factor when looking which team may be the best to bet on.
Being able to play a game at a later time as opposed to an earlier time is a huge advantage the Eastern teams have had for years.
Finally, here is another key stat that handicappers should consider picking games on Sundays.
Anytime bettors have two teams paired up, and all is equal, they must look for a reason to not play the east home team. So, choosing a team not traveling too far can usually be the decision maker.
But handicappers need to keep in mind, that picking the east coast hosts 90 percent of the time leads to some very easy early morning cash, which leads to a larger bankroll for the weeks to follow.