If the NFL Divisional Round didn't teach you beware the NFL Playoffs

Jan 16, 2018 3:00 AM

It’s the NFL playoffs, so obviously you want to bet serious money on the games, right? And because of many factors (the hype in the media, the better teams that make it to the playoffs) it’s a natural phenomenon why people bet more money from the playoffs into the Super Bowl than anytime of the year.

But particularly with regard to NFL sides, let’s look at this past weekend for example of why you’re really “gambling” more this time of the year.

The Patriots were the clear winner this weekend for sure. However the total in the game was 48. That could’ve gone either way and at the last second it went OVER.

The Philadelphia/Atlanta game line was Atlanta -2 and even -3 earlier in week. This also came down to the last play of the game when the Falcons dropped a go-ahead TD that would have put them up by one. However in that situation they would have gone for a two-point conversion and, depending if they made it or missed, that could make you a winner or loser.

The Pittsburgh/Jacksonville game was a total shootout and a very exciting game to watch. If you placed a wager on the second half the line was Pittsburgh -7.5. This also came down to a play at the end of the game that made Pittsburgh cover.

And then the grand-daddy of them all – Minnesota/New Orleans. Another very exciting game to watch. The spread earlier in the week was -3.5 and by kickoff was -5, -5.5, and I even saw a -6 for the Vikings. Nobody who had a pulse should have lost this game. At worst you should have pushed.

That’s not actually the point. My point is this game came down to a fluke last play touchdown that made the game land on 5. And then to aggravate some sports bettors they made the teams come out on the field to kick the extra point and Minnesota decided to kneel down instead of kicking the extra point.

The real point of all this is you need to realize how much more you are gambling this time of the year than earlier in the season. Just look at the limits in the casinos. You can bet whatever you want on an NFL game. Yet you are limited to a far smaller wager on sports like college football and college basketball. I literally get a max bet of $300 at some places in town on college basketball while in the NFL I am welcomed to bet basically whatever I want… and upon doing so, offered drink tickets with a smile.

This time of the year,the market is just very tight for the NFL – sides in particular. I’m not saying I don’t bet the NFL. I bet lots of money on NFL totals and with the help of my friend Warren Sharp I have never had a losing season doing that. However, one thing I avoid is betting a lot of money on sides this time of year. I bet a few here and there, but very cautiously, and for about 5-10% of the size bet I wager on a college basketball game.

The one area you can try to attack as far as NFL sides is to fade public perception. The public has more “say” in the lines this time of the year than at any other point in time. The reason? Jump back to the first sentence of the article: everyone wants to bet more during the playoffs. So the public can influence lines more at this time of year than any before, which is why you sometimes end up with an undeserving team like the Falcons laying a full 3 points on the road to an Eagles team with two weeks of extra rest.

As always, my advice is to play with your head not over it; especially on NFL sides at this time of year.