The NFL season in American Football has just begun so it’s too early to be betting on totals and handicaps. However, Bet Enthusiast subscribers have been advised which team to back to win Superbowl XLV111 which will be played in New Jersey next February. The draft system means that data from last season is not a reliable guide to the relative ability of sides so no match bets will be recommended before the end of September.
The NFL draft is an annual event at which teams select eligible college players. Each team is given a position in the draft in reverse order to where they finished in the rankings from the previous year. Teams can either select a player or trade their position in the draft. The objective is to make the league competitive as in theory the weakest teams from one season can select the best rookie players for the next season.
Since 2000 eight different teams have won the Superbowl so the system has worked in that spell. The multiple winners have been the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants. The Patriots were champions in three years out of four at the start of the millennium which suggests a coaching structure was in place that offset the consequences of having the last picks in the draft.
The draft system is viable in American sports because the markets are not oligopolies, defined as the economic domination of a few. Salary caps also help to maintain competitive leagues and maybe some soccer leagues should adopt a similar system. However, in Spain for example Barcelona and Real Madrid would never advocate this and in any case they would still have the financial clout to buy their way up the draft ranking.
Ante post markets in US sports are known as futures and in their version of football you can bet on the winners of the Superbowl and each Conference. The prices are subject to significant fluctuation because at the start of the season even the best informed odds compilers are not too sure how the draft will pan out and injuries can seriously affect the relative strength of sides in the league.
In betting on American Football statistics are key to identifying winning bets and in no other sport can they be so meaningful. In soccer its sometimes better to pass sideways or backwards but in the US version there is only one way to go and that is straight down the field. The stats reveal exactly how successful teams are at doing just that and how good they are at stopping opposing sides from doing it to them.
American Football is a very direct game and the objective is to move the ball forwards efficiently. Knowing a team’s efficiency is different from how knowing many points they scored in a particular game or the total number of yards gained. Teams that play efficiently will beat teams who do not more times than the odds imply. Bet Enthusiast will be put forward tips in the next few months based on calculations of relative efficiency in individual matches.