• Offensive and Defensive Strategies for Betting on American Football

    Added - Sept. 8, 2014 Sports

    One of the most popular games to analyze for betting is American football. Everything basically boils down to trying to figure out how many points each side is expected to score and what their variance is going to be like on that average number of points. The idea here is that you compare a team's offense to the defense it's going to be facing to try to come up with a model that will give you an expected number of average points for them to score. From there, you can figure out what you believe the average point spread will be and who will win a given percentage of the time.

    If you start with the offense, then what you can do is look at the defense of the teams that they have played against to start to get a basic idea of where they stand. You can look at things like turnovers, points scored, average yard gains and things of that nature. It's a pretty solid starting point, but you'll have a hard time getting a lot of information without it being a few games into the season. For this reason, you can cascade out and look at the offensive teams that defense has played and get more of an idea of what they will be able to do to stop your team's offense.

    Moreover, you can look at the defense of each team your team has faced so far and look out to the offensive teams they have faced earlier. This will give you a much better idea of where things stand and what they will need to do to score. Generally speaking, this takes a good bit of work, but as long as you keep your information organized, it's not too hard. Spreadsheets are a good tool for this.

    Once you have a model for the average points, don't forget that there's going to be some volatility in there as well. Some teams score more consistently than others, and teams that have more erratic scoring patterns will have a distribution of scoring that makes it harder to determine whether or not they will beat spreads. It can also make it harder to determine which team will win if two of these types of teams play each other and one only has a marginal advantage over the other in terms of deciding which team is the favorite.