It’s been a while since I added anything to “Handicapping 101” section of the site, so I figured now is a good time to do so. So what do I mean by “Don’t be afraid to make the uncomfortable bet” It’s a concept that on the surface is simple to understand but not so easy to actually to do. I’ll explain. This week for example we have what might be the best team in the NFL, the Patriots, facing what might be the worst team in the NFL, the Browns. Now if the Pats cover and win this game 34-13 my point is still the same, and I’m just using this game for the sake of example. So please refrain from “you were wrong, you were wrong” this is one game, one example. Keep in mind I’m talking big picture. This is just currently the best example out there.
When most bettors see a game like this their thought process is something like… “Brady is back, the Pats are mad off a loss, Bellichick is mad off a loss, the Browns are the worst team in the league.” On and on, things along those lines. The Browns are a classic case of the uncomfortable bet. It isn’t easy to put your money on Cody Kessler against Tom Brady. It isn’t easy to put your money on Hue Jackson against Bill Bellichick. It isn’t easy to take the worst team in the league against the best team in the league. The brutal truth is most people just don’t have the guts to do it. It’s easier to put that money out there on the great team, the great coach, the great QB. It feels safer, it feels more logical, you can sleep easier at night with that bet. Sure enough as of my typing this roughly 85% of bettors are on the Patriots with about 15% on the Browns. Over the past dozen years double digit home underdogs are hitting at a 62% clip in the NFL. Most of which are games that fall into this Patriots/Browns line of thinking. For an NFL team to be a double digit dog at home they’ve got to be so, so, so much worse than the road team. Fact remains if you are brave enough to take that horrid team in such spots, and willing to make similar uncomfortable bets, that your bankroll will ultimately grow as a result.