You will know that you have mastered the meaning and language of the football odds board when you begin rolling your eyes at commentators that say such things as “the experts think” or “Las Vegas says” when referring to the NFL odds and how teams stand to fare against it.
NFL odds are based far more on consumer demand than actual team merit. In reality, the NFL odds are no different than the stock market and its commodities. For example, do you recall that tech-stock boom of the late 1990's when high tech commodities where priced way over what their actual value and merit was truly worth? These stocks went way up in price not because of their own merits or profit potential but because of consumer demand for them. These stocks, much like your more popular “name brand” power football teams like the NFL's New England Patriots or college football's USC Trojans, became popular without any real consideration being given to their actual merit. The stocks crashed and people lost money. The same thing happens at time in NFL odds when teams are overpriced. The public looks at NFL odds strictly based on “name value” without any regard to other factors. Just like the stock market, when things get overpriced there is value on the other side.
The NFL odds work exactly the same way. And today, more than ever before, it is easy to check out the relative merit of what a team and game is truly worth in comparison to what the NFL odds board claims is the case.
Once you understand that the ultimate language of the NFL odds board is consumer demand and public perception, you will begin the process of understanding that second language that you must master in order to profit versus the football odds, which is the language of value, which comes down to knowing true worth versus perceived worth in terms of football odds.
Just because you can read the NFL odds doesn’t mean you understand how they were made. If you realize that public perception plays a big part in NFL odds and you will be well ahead of most of the gambling public that bets football odds.