How To Spot Teams That Could Start the NFL Season Smoking Hot

With the NFL season less than two months away, all of us as football bettors are looking at getting money down on the NFL preseason along with of course the regular season.

While season win totals are clearly in the wheelhouse this time of year and should be looked into diligently, there are other elements to consider for the upcoming season for NFL picks.

By now, several offshore and U.S. sportsbooks have posted on the opening week of the season, as those seem to come out earlier every single year. While most do not look at the NFL really carefully until the season approaches or getting a feel from the NFL Preseason on all 32 teams, there are aspects to prepare for.


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Here are aspects of NFL teams that lend themselves to playing well in the first half of the season and having real value.

Marginal Teams That Finished Last Season Rolling

Unless you are a huge football fan or in the handicapping business, when you look at last year's standings and see teams that are any from 9-7 to 6-10 and they missed the playoffs, it's easy to forget how a club finished the previous season.

If that's the case, it is always best to refresh your memory. Annually, included in this contingent is a team or teams that finished anywhere from 5-1 to 6-2. Oddsmakers are certainly aware of who these squads are and have priced them accordingly for a season win total or betting odds that relate to winning their division or conference.

This does not mean this team will have tremendous success all season long and there are still notes on your assignment list to review before making this club or clubs a thought full-fledged Play On unit.

Nonetheless, often, the carryover of finishing the previous year playing extremely well is a building block leading into the next season.

Understand Why and How They Why They Closed Strong

There are "buy" signals to look for on these certain teams. One would be stellar quarterback play. This would be true in any given situation, but possibly this particular QB was injured or not healthy in the first part of the previous season or the entire offense was not a cohesive unit and it came together in the second half of the year. Here, we are looking for teams that averaged 26 or more points per game to finish the season.

Another great indicator is defense, a group who permitted 20 PPG or fewer in this same window. If the personnel losses were minimal and trades, free agents or the draft made the defense appears even stronger, this is another buying signal.

Be On The Lookout For Frauds

By doing proper research, you can weed out phony teams, who had more than their fair share of luck to finish with a superior record.


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What to look for here are clubs that won at least half those contests by four points or less. Also, look to see if they were outgained by 70 or more yards and if possible, what the turnover differential was. If these pieces were all correct, we have the makings of a phony team that the public will be buying into.

Scheduling Could Count In This Case

This writer/handicapper is not a big proponent of scheduling because teams change from year to year. The models that say - hardest to easiest - schedules in August, are often less a factor or completely irrelevant come November.

However, in the first five to six weeks of a new campaign, if a club has a favorable road slate and will be a home underdog of three or more points in those series of games, this is where the confidence gained from the prior year pays off, early in the season.

Bottom line, find these teams, do the work, follow the path, pick up the cash!

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