It has always baffled us how many people make their NFL picks without putting any real thought into it. They just go by a gut feeling. We suppose this is all well and good when you are gambling a couple of dollars here and there, but once you start gambling larger sums of cash on your picks (and you’re seriously hoping that you win), then it is worth putting a bit of thought into the picks that you make. Actually, scratch that. It is worth putting a lot of thought into the picks that you make.
Our goal here is to give you some of the information you need to analyze and make proper NFL picks. This isn’t a complete guide by any stretch of the imagination. We just want to give you a bit of a nudge in the right direction.
Understanding the Different Types of NFL Picks
We don’t want to dwell on this section for too long, but we do want to mention that you must be familiar with the NFL picks you are making. The statistical analysis techniques that you use for determining the moneyline will be completely different from the stats that you’d look at for a point spread, or maybe a player prop pick. Maybe try these with a few free nfl picks you may have picked up from leading online sports portals to give them a risk-free try first of all.
If you’re new to making NFL picks, then stick to money lines and basic spreads. It’ll be much easier to wrap your head around things.
Historical Statistical Analysis
Most of your data analysis will focus on historical information. No. We aren’t talking about 10-15 years ago. We’re talking about over the last 3-4 seasons. You’ll want to look at the following (depending on your picks)
- Match-up information, i.e. how well these teams before against one another
- Whether weather conditions have an impact on a team’s performance
- Whether there is a home advantage (there normally is, but some teams can overcome it)
- Average points scored
- Defensive/offensive stats
- Advantages/disadvantages of certain teams, players, etc.
Honestly, there is a treasure trove of stats out there to analyze, such as running back depth charts and lots more. It can be a bit overwhelming at the start, but the more that you dive into that historical data analysis, the clearer the picture will become.
Most of this information should be easy to come by. Read any game report and you should have access to about 90% of the information that you need for your picks. You’ll also find countless guides that compare stats between two teams. The issue isn’t really finding the information, it is learning how to interpret it.
One final point of note here¾when you are analyzing historical data, always try to spot patterns. For example, if a team always seems to do badly against a certain team, then chances are that will continue to happen (unless something drastic has changed). If a player has a low performance in away games, chances are that they are not going to suddenly turn that around in the next game.
Current Form for NFL Teams
Of course, historical data can only get you so far. You’ll also need to look at the current season. This should give you a far better indicator of what could happen with your picks.
The stats that you look at here won’t be that different from the historical stats that we just looked at. In fact, you’ll be comparing the information. For example, if historical data suggests that a particular NFL team performs well in certain situations, the current season data could indicate something different. A top-performing team, for instance, may be going through a bit of a downer this season. It is up to you to analyze the data to work out whether this can be overcome.
We suggest that you pay special attention to any injury information, particularly when it comes to the star players. Barely anybody ever makes it through an NFL season unscathed. While they may still play every game, small injuries could impact performance. Keep an eye on the news, see whether players are losing their speed, etc.
If you want to make cash from your NFL picks, then you need to do the research. All top NFL gamblers will spend a ton of time poring over stats, news, etc. to make the best picks possible. While it may not always lead to a winning pick, the chances of winning a well-researched pick will be a whole lot higher than if you decided to blindly bet on whatever your gut was telling you.