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Three Tips For Mid-Season NFL Betting

If you had a rough start to betting football this season, you’re not alone. Nevada sportsbooks cleaned up on football in September according to reports from the Nevada Gaming Commission. 

Books earned a hold of 11.94 percent in September for a win amount of almost $37 million. That’s up 18 percent from last year and I’m sure you’ve heard the groans from your friends in NFL pools that winnin’ ain’t easy this season.  

Fret not, my degenerate friends – things usually even out over the course of a season. But that doesn’t happen on its own. Oddsmakers make adjustments throughout the year and bettors would be wise to do the same. 

Below are a few adjustments I tend to make with my handicapping as the NFL season moves into the second half:  

Last three game stats 

Recency bias is something that hurts bettors a lot of the time but mid-season is one time I look more closely at recent stats. Teams are finally starting to get comfortable and they are making adjustments based on what happened early in the season so more recent stats might be more predictive than the season results. 

Take the Miami Dolphins. They average 120 yards rushing this season but they’re averaging 166 yards per game over their last three games. That would actually rank as tops in the NFL if it were over the course of the season. 

Miami finally got a fully healthy offensive line four games ago and suddenly the Dolphins are doing everything better. They have won and covered their last four games and bettors were slow to adjust because O-lines are something that tend to get overlooked by the public. 


I often say injuries are the most overblown element in pro sports because there is so much talent among the backups. You can thank daily fantasy for the injury hype. 

But injuries pile up this time of year and I start to take them a little more seriously. What I’m looking for especially is multiple injuries to a particular unit of a team – the secondary, the O-line, the linebackers. While each member of a team’s secondary may not impact the spread on its own, having two or three of those players banged up could have a huge impact on which way the bet goes. 

AdjustING to the trends

The NFL is the most popular sport to bet and that makes the lines the most scrutinized. It’s amazing how good oddsmakers are because the typical spread and OVER/UNDER records usually work out close to 50-50 by the end of a season. 

That makes the NFL a grind because there isn’t much edge if you blindly bet on a certain side, say road faves or home dogs. Home teams are 70-69-8 against the spread heading into Week 11, which shows just how good the odds typically are in the NFL. 

So when you see a discrepancy in a typical record over the first half of a season, you may want to start taking a hard look the other way. The OVER/UNDER is 80-64-3 through 10 weeks, or 55.5 percent for the OVER, for example. That's an unusually high rate and don't be surprised if we see more UNDERs in the second half. 

Hope these tips help make it a better second half of NFL betting.

Follow me on Twitter @JonnyOddsShark for more NFL info.