By: Chris Dyer “Dirty”
American football betting at William Hill, one of the largest and most respected sportsbooks in the world, is one of the most difficult things to be profitable at as a sports gambler. The NFL is one of the world’s most popular sports to wager on and each year it seems to get more difficult. Especially for the average gambler.
As sports gambling evolves into the digital age and more and more wagering options are available to gamblers it seems the odds-makers are getting sharper as well. The information that is attainable is easier to come by and is readily available for virtually anyone with an internet connection and a computer, tablet or smartphone. It used to be to get information that really was critical to beating the line moves you had to subscribe to a line service like Don Best to get all the latest information. That is not the case anymore for 95% of the sports gamblers. The 5% that do need a line service are the ones that are truly your professional gamblers and have to beat the line moves, by watching the screen, to grind out a profit. This is never more important than it has been the last 5 or 6 seasons in the NFL.
The parity in the NFL makes it to where the saying “On any given Sunday” really means something. It used to be true somewhat but you had your upper echelon teams that dominated for years on end. I am not talking just one team like we have now, but there were five or six teams every year that you knew were going to compete for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. That is just not the case anymore.
We see it every year now a team goes 3-13, or something similar, and the next year they can go 11-5 and make the playoffs with only the addition of a couple of key free agents and getting a couple of injured players back. Or vice-versa, a team can go deep into the playoffs and then win just a few games the next year.
This happens for one reason and one reason only. The NFL wants parity and wants fans to think they have a legitimate shot to have a playoff team every year. That is the case for the majority of the teams. You still have bad teams like Oakland and the Browns (which show signs this year of being better) that have bad ownership and management, but it is not like it was just 10 years ago. The NFL sets their salary every year depending on revenue from the year before. After the salary cap was introduced many years ago they raised it proportional to salaries and there were loopholes to allow teams to defer money and pay it after players had retired or things like that. Over the years they have closed those loopholes and the cap doesn’t rise proportionate to salaries. The salary cap for 2014 is $133 million for 55 players on their roster. That is not a lot compared to the salaries paid to your stars and top draft picks. You have your QB’s and top skill position players taking up well over 50% of your cap space in some instances and with minimum salaries being in the millions for vested players (5 years or more) that doesn’t leave much space to have any depth with experienced players. You can have a good starting 22 with a few quality backups at key positions but you can’t have experienced people on the offensive and defensive lines and in the defensive linebackers and secondary positions. You have to spend the extra money on decent backups at quarterback, running back and wide receiver.
This is evidence in week 4 in the NFL when Tampa Bay got drilled by Atlanta 56-14 in week 3 and then turn around and go on the road to face one of the traditionally strongest teams in the AFC in week 4, the Pittsburgh Steelers and win 27-24. The Atlanta Falcons go to Minnesota, without Adrian Peterson and starting a rookie at QB, and lose 41-28. The Falcons, at the time, were the best team in the NFC South division but they lost 2 offensive linemen in the 1st quarter and another in the 3rd and had to play the game with a tight end playing tackle on the line. This was brought on because of the depth situation. It is prevalent all over the NFL. It is set up now to where 2-3 key injuries at certain positions and your favorite NFL team’s season is doomed. The odds-makers know this and they figure it into the lines they make. The average better may or may not know this and they will get murdered betting on the NFL and potentially lose a lot of money.
Historically the NFL is one of the hardest sports to wager on because the lines are so sharp, but the last few years with parity that has taken hold in the sport it makes it that much harder for the average bettor. Those bettors will not put in the time to study the injury reports and other relevant information unless it is handed to them in fantasy football and by then it is usually too late to take advantage of any line moves. To be successful in the NFL you have to study the games and keep up with injuries on a daily basis.
If you do decide to wager on the NFL please do your homework and make yourself as prepared for the games as possible, because the odds-makers are already there.
William Hill is a well-respected sportsbook around the world. They are based out of England and are publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. They operate around the world with walk up betting shops as well as offering online gambling to players everywhere except the USA. They recently entered the gambling market in the US with sportsbooks in many brick and mortar casinos in Las Vegas and will be eying the sports gambling situation in New Jersey as it moves forward. To keep up with all the news and updates about William Hill you can like their Facebook page and get the information as it is posted to the site.