By Steve Rieder
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"The difference between sharps and squares is that sharps bet numbers and squares bet teams."
Most successful sports handicappers use a quantitative standard for assessing the game. In order to do that, it 's imperative to use power ratings, also known as 'power rankings,' to identify the point differential between opposing teams. By comparing two teams’ power ratings and accounting for home field advantage, bettors can objectively determine what the point spread should be and take advantage of any difference in the actual line. Regardless of the difficulty to create, having power ratings is a must to properly handicap the NFL. We'll dive a little deeper into this below as we break down Week 2 in the NFL.
NFL WEEK 2 POWER RATINGS
We had a monster Week 1 at Betting Predators, going 5-2 on our best bet teasers, sides and totals originating from this column. We have now followed it up with 7 plays we've already given to our subscribers that are already showing line value (more on that later). First off, betting this many sides/totals is a very uncommon practice. I honestly would not anticipate this many plays moving forward.
Also, while the percentage we hit and the amount of units we won in Week 1 is fantastic - and I certainly hope we continue being this productive - it's important to remember that our goal is and forever will be to win 55% of the time. We will have great weeks and weeks that we underperform, but the key is that we never get too high during the victories or too low during the defeats. There is variance and vacillation in our emotions and earnings, but if we bet smart and take advantage of the opportunities that we find, then we can absolutely make some money by beating the hardest market in the world. Now onto Week 2.
There is little doubt that Week 2 NFL Power Ratings are the hardest to create as well. Some teams outperformed expectations (like the Texans, Cardinals, Eagles, and Saints) while their opponents (the Jaguars, Titans, Falcons, and Packers) leave their collective fanbase praying the opening game will just be an anomaly. As handicappers, we spend the entire offseason looking at last year’s data, analyzing additions and departures to players and coaches, identifying scheme changes, determining matchup problems, and valuing unexpected injuries and their impact. Then Week 1 hits and suddenly we feel validated, defeated, or, most likely, both based upon a one-game sample size. We cannot overreact or underreact to each team’s performance, which is certainly a season-long dilemma, but it's even more true heading into Week 2. As we attempt to balance this figurative tightrope, we must give credence to what we saw and what the data tells us, without ignoring our comprehensive rating from the offseason.
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