Whether you prefer professional football picks or college football picks, betting on the outcome of gridiron events adds excitement to the game and money to your pocket, if you get the right right. Most of the action takes place on weekends, so you have an entire week to get ready with your football picks.
The National Football League (NFL) is comprised of 32 teams. They play a 16-game regular season running September through December. It is preceded by 4-5 preseason match-ups and followed by a single-elimination post-season play to decide two conference champions, who then vie for the NFL's Super Bowl title in February.
More bets are placed on the Super Bowl game than any other annual sporting event. Thanks to a variety of side wagers offered known as proposals, or "props" for short, you have many more sports picks to choose from for this game. It may surprise you, however, that most sharps (professional handicappers) back off their wagering on this event. The reason: So many squares (recreational bettors) get in on the action, it throws the odds off.
Instead, sharps treat this as just one last game in a long season. They prefer to earn their profits on NFL picks week by week, and so should you. Look for teams that are rebounding from a big loss to play well the following week. Even if they are slumping, they often cover the spread.
Also look for teams with good defenses to cover the spread, even against teams with high-powered offsets. These are good picks. Watch for teams on winning streaks to continue winning after a loss, and slashing teams to return to their losing ways after a win. These are good NFL picks, too. And new coaches often fare poorly on the road. Your professional football picks must take into account all factors.
The rules of collegiate football differ only slightly from those of the pros, but your college football picks will be affected by a number of additional factors. For one thing, there are so many more football picks to choose from. NCAA Division IA football is comprised of 119 teams. There are another 119 teams in Division II-A. Will you limit your college football picks to the top schools, a few conferences or a single region? So much information is available that you really need to have some filters.
Intrastate rivalries play a big role at the college level. Expect teams that lost last year to be bringing their best game this season, especially if playing at home. These make great NCAA football picks. Also, keep an eye out for off-the-field events, such as player scandals, recruiting violations and academic issues that could affect on-the-field play.
Another difference between professional football picks and college football picks is the way champions are decided. In college, roughly half of the teams in Division IA get invited to special "bowl games" at the end of the season. Based upon computer rankings, the two top-rated teams play for the national championship at one of the big four bowls: the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. Betting on bowl games can be quite lucrative, if you get your NCAA football picks right.
It pays to remember that these picks are not carved in stone. Between the time the line opens and the game begins, a lot can occur. Players get hurt or benched. Weather turns nasty. And squares bet heavily on one team or another, causing a shift in the spread or money line. You should time your bets to take full advantage of last minute information. Be ready to flip your picks if need be.