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How to Handicap Hyped Football Teams

Steven D. Thompson


It has become usual practice to find huge pre-match or early-season hype on favourite football teams in American football betting. The hype, of course, makes the games more fun and wells up fan expectations. But American football bettors need to take it with a pinch of salt so that it doesn't eventually break their hearts.

The easy step would be to handicap the hyped team since everyone is talking about them. However, this could be the downfall of any bettor if certain things are not put in place. That a team is great in the eyes of the media and the general public does not mean bets on them will always win.

How then do you make a great betting decision amid hype in the media and the betting public? In this guide by Betpack, we'll be showing you all about football handicapping, especially for the hyped teams.

Table of Contents

    Football Handicapping Tips to Note

    Whether you're betting on college football or the NFL games, there are certain factors to consider. With these in mind, you can properly handicap the right teams. They include the following criteria.

    Football Handicapping Tips to Note Football Handicapping Tips to Note

    What's the Cause of the Hype?

    You should first understand the cause of the hype before placing your bets. This is what we mean: a team may have an outmatched opponent, or maybe they are strong favourites, therefore the hype.

    Another thing that could create much noise is the presence of a star player or a great young opposing quarterback in a team. While this is a good point to consider, many sports bettors fall because they base their judgment only on that. This is because a team does not revolve around just a player. It takes a combo of individual skill and teamwork to win a match. 

    Consequently, understanding the reason for the hype is key to placing accurate bets. Most times, the public don't plunge deeper for the details; they are swayed by surface happenings. Blindly following the crowd is never a gooda for a football bettor.

    So what should you do as a bettor? Firstly, you should find out the cause of the hype. Then you can go ahead to check if it's a factor that can really turn things around, or maybe it's a mere public fancy. When the hype on a team is too much, betting lines on them could be overpriced. And in many cases, such public perceptions tend to be wrong.

    Win and Loss Records

    A team's win/loss record is the first step out of the cave if you're looking to bet on them. This gives you an overview of their track record. How is their performance at home compared to when they are on the road? 

    Though you shouldn't base your entire betting on past records, it's a good way to start. If they are going against a similar opponent, you should check their performance in the previous match. You should then compare the former football group strength with their current form. Are they likely to beat their own records?

    That said, you should carry out an unbiased comparison of the team and their opponent. This should include comparing the win/loss records of both teams and individual player strength on both sides.

    Team's Gameplay

    Another important point to consider is the playing pattern of both teams. Will a pass-heavy team that plays stellar defence be opposing an undersized offensive line on the opposing side? Does the team have a skilled young opposing quarterback who knows how to call the shots and break defences?

    All these are major factors that determine the outcome of games. A team's gameplay largely rests on the coach. So it's important to find out the style of the football coaches of each team. New football coaches would do all they can to get on a red hot start and grab some impressive early wins. This boosts the coaching status of the new coach.

    So, instead of focusing only on the preseason perception, you should pay more attention to the spectacular style of the team to predict their actual final score in a match. A team with a defective pass rush or an inexperienced secondary may find it hard to remain in the game for long.

    Injury News

    News are the major mover of the betting lines. If there's an injury update in a major team or other news surrounding some teams football play, it's very likely to find the betting lines changing rapidly.

    Even just a couple of news could sway the sports betting public's affection. Events like this can indeed affect even very good teams, but bettors should be careful with their response.

    Instead of following the general reaction, bettors should consider thect effect of such news on the football team. Is the injured player a major part of the offence or opposing defences? Is there a proper substitute for the player?

    These and more should constitute your response to injury news. However, there are certain points where the news could be your reason not to handicap such a team. Either way, what matters is that you don't blindly follow the crowd. Blind betting is the trap that sports bettors usually fall into. You need to understand how certain things affect a team and place bets accordingly.

    Important Things to Note About Handicap Bets

    Before you go ahead placing those handicap bets on teams live, here are some important tips to note:

    • Firstly, the lines are always changing, so you should consider betting early if you're sure of a team. 
    • Besides levelling out the field, the initial advantage or deficit assigned to teams is also the sportsbook's attempt to ensure they don't run at a loss. You should be careful about being carried away by the numbers.
    • It's a good practice to compare the betting lines at several top 100 bookmakers. This way, you can go for the best offers.


    Having a good strategy for your handicap bets cannot be overemphasized. Bettors should take out a good time to analyze the hype on popular teams before making a betting decision. This way, you're sure to be placing more profitable bets.

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