NFL Betting Strategy: Overall or ATS Records

December 1, 2010 NFL Football

A bad team that keeps covering the football betting odds as the underdog will likely start being reflected on the NFL betting board as less of an underdog.

NFL betting fans generally consider a wide range of data before actually placing a wager on the football betting odds. Two of the most common statistics that NFL betting enthusiasts consider are a team’s overall record and a team’s record against the spread (ATS). These two records are quite different from one another, but both must be considered as you handicap the NFL betting odds.

NFL betting fans naturally look to a team’s overall record when handicapping the team, and most NFL football betting fans likely know each team’s record by heart anyway. A team’s overall record is the best indicator of its past success and future potential. Simply put, good teams tend to have good records and bad teams tend to have bad records. NFL betting fans should always consider overall records because NFL betting lines can only be handicapped successfully with knowledge about the past success of the competing squads. If a 5-1 team is playing against a 2-4 team then one knows that the 5-1 team should be reflected as a major favorite in the NFL betting odds. Handicappers who avoid paying much attention to overall records often overlook some of the most basic NFL betting information available. Nevertheless, it is also true that overall records can only tell NFL betting fans a limited amount about each team. Sometimes teams have great overall records but poor records against the NFL betting spreads, or vice versa. Consequently, overall records should always be consulted in combination with ATS records.

A team’s record against the football betting lines gives gamblers an indication about how a team has performed in relation to the expectations that the lines makers have set for the team. As was mentioned, it is not uncommon to see top teams have bad records against the NFL betting lines simply because the teams are unable to cover the high spreads, and vice versa. Therefore, it is necessary to consider a team’s ATS record as you evaluate the NFL betting lines. In fact, sometimes the best NFL betting value can be found on teams with overall records and ATS records that are not balanced. Such is the case because many NFL betting fans remain apprehensive about wagering on teams with poor overall records, even if they have been performing well in relation to the NFL betting lines. Nevertheless, as you consider teams’ records against the football betting lines you must also remember that the lines offered from week to week may reflect a team’s past performance against the NFL betting spreads. Consequently, it remains important to keep in mind a team’s overall record and remember just how good a team really is.

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