A matchup between two teams can look a certain way on paper. After examining how they match up on both sides of the ball and even considering home-field advantage, there is one other variable that can impact NFL betting strategy.
Weather is always somewhat of a factor in the NFL, since most teams play outdoors. Covered stadiums help to even things out, but how can weather impact two teams battling outside? These are the significant factors to consider when looking at the weather from a sports betting perspective.
Total Lines and Over/Unders Decrease During Inclement Weather
When a weather forecast takes a turn for the worst, this is when it helps to start looking for some favorable odds that are below normal offensive production. It’s easier to play defense in bad weather than offense, which is why lines usually move down if the weather looks bad.
With the passing game, balls are harder to catch in the rain or snow. To make matters worse, making cuts on surfaces that are less than ideal slows down even the fastest players. That means teams will move to the running game more and more, which also means a running clock most of the time. All these play a factor in total scores going down.
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Wind Kills the Passing and Kicking Game
Some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL right now have had success because of their ability to take chances down the field. Letting a ball rip for a big play can shift the game, but it becomes very difficult when it is windy to let one fly.
Whether it’s with or against the wind, placement is going to take a bit of a hit. It can cause some players to not even think about taking a risk down the field. Even if they take a risk, it’s a chance to set up field goal opportunities that are not so easy anymore with that wind. Kickers can have an extremely tough time being dependable when the wind is impacting the ball significantly.
Remember, it can be a beautiful sunny day, but the wind can still be going 15 or 20 miles an hour. Pay attention to the wind when looking at the overall forecast. Teams relying a lot on the passing game might be preparing for a totally different style of play.
Teams Changing Climates Struggle
Most sports gamblers know that they should always be paying attention to teams changing climates for one week. For example, a team in Florida or Southern California heading somewhere in the Midwest or Northeast is not used to that type of weather by any means. They even go as far as building their offense around where they play their home games, so they could be a bit of a handicap going into this one particular week.
The worse the weather is, the tougher it will be for them to make adjustments. The home team might also struggle with that if the weather is that bad, but they will still have the advantage of players on the roster likely seeing it before.
Experienced Coaches Handle Bad Weather Better
A rookie or second-year head coach going into a game with really cold or snowy conditions won’t be able to gameplan as well as those who have experienced playing challenging games like these. Gameplans matter when the weather is bad, which means that coaching plays more of a role than usual.
It’s a lot like driving a car that is not built for bad weather. Some will just try to take risks anyway and hope for the best, while others know how to handle certain situations. They adjust accordingly, and do what it takes to win. Coaches who don’t panic and actually have a game plan for bad weather will succeed. If it seems like a push otherwise, favor the experienced coach.
Why Weather Reports Throughout The Year
Forecasts are fairly accurate for the most part, and they are usually available at least a week in advance. If it looks like a foregone conclusion that the weather will be terrible, it’s better to get a wager in early instead of waiting until the last minute. The day before, there’s a chance that sportsbooks have made adjustments depending on the weather already.
There are advantages out there when looking at the weather, as it plays a factor throughout the season. At the beginning of the year, some teams might struggle to go south and play in extreme heat. Once it gets later in the year, northern teams tend to have a bit more of an advantage. The adrenaline is pumping during a game, and it might not seem like a huge deal, but when talking about just a few points, everything matters.