In what has become a rite of spring, the NFL releases the schedules of all 32 teams to generate a monthly buzz about the league when games are not playing played. At the same time, football fans insatiable hunger for anything NFL related is nonstop.
Across all facets of football fans life, they can listen to sports talk radio or podcasts about their favorite team's schedule, read in innumerable websites or check out videos about any of the 32 squads. While this is great to talk about and listen to around the water cooler, your favorite watering hole or with a water-based adult beverage, it is important to listen and just not go all in.
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At this point, you are probably wondering if this writer had opened up too many cold ones. But rest assured, there is truth in what we print.
Every Season Is Different In The NFL
The problem with making futures bets at Intertops or any sportsbook for that matter is using last year's results that are not indicative of the upcoming season.
In the NFL, the turnover of division champions since 2005 is over 50 percent annually and if you subtract the entire time Tom Brady has played for New England (take out the AFC East), that number rises to over 65 percent in the other seven divisions.
No question, scheduling plays a part in that occurring in looking at previous division champs who do not repeat or last place teams who shock us all by winning their division.
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However, that is normally only a part of the story. Rosters change yearly with the draft, free agents or salary cap additions or subtractions. A team might be on the rise but lacked the right quarterback or head coach and changed those spots, filled a couple of other needs and just like that, they went from six wins to 10 or 11 and are in the playoffs.
These type of events are more important year to year than scheduling.
Schedules Do Matter, In-Season
What has a greater impact to teams is what their opponent is playing like that season or coming into the next game. In any sport, there is a limited number of games a team will get up for and there are flat spots for every club. The rest of the contests are just playing with a variety of circumstances determining the outcome.
It is impossible to look at a lot of scenarios of perceived poor teams facing better opponents and decide when that weaker squad could win, particularly on the road. Yet, it happens every season and sometimes those clubs that were supposed to lack a punch end up having one and upset unsuspecting foes.
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Usually, as the season rolls along, the scheduling narrative takes a turn and the discussion everywhere turns to how every team is playing THIS SEASON and how that has impacts the results. Much like the NHL preseason, the talk of schedules before a game is played only comes up when it is correct and all the misreads are forgotten about.
Best Schedule Advice
The best method to understand schedules is to know the strengths and weaknesses of any team. Look for specific spots of short weeks or tough travel situations. A series of four home or road games in five weeks. Those elements will likely have greater importance than last year's record for any sports bettors.