As the weekly National Football League schedule comes to a close and the postseason draws near, bettors are turning their attention toward making 2020 NFL playoffs predictions.
Before placing any wagers on games in January, however, you may need some guidance on how to navigate betting odds during the postseason. Here, we're laying out NFL playoffs betting tips to help you grow your bankroll in time for Super Bowl 54 in Miami on February 2.
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How To Bet NFL Playoff Games
The first thing to understand about the postseason in pro football is that it's an entirely new animal compared to the regular season. The very nature of playing a one-and-done game where the loser goes home is inherently different than gearing up for one game out of 16 on the regular-season schedule.
Here are a few things you need to understand about postseason football before making any NFL playoff predictions at NJ betting sites:
- All The Teams Are Good
Reaching the playoffs in the NFL is no small feat, as teams either won their divisions or beat out several other clubs for one of two Wild Card positions.Some groups may be more elite than others, normally the ones with home-field advantage, but every single team in the NFL postseason is of high quality. Especially compared to the 20+ that went home after Week 17.
- Less Traditional Betting Opportunities
Every Sunday throughout the NFL season, there's an entire slate to wager on, giving you plenty of options when it comes to picking games. That isn't the case in the postseason, as there are only one or two kickoffs per day. This fact means that extra attention is paid to the conventional lines, spreads, and totals since there are so few games to keep track of, which makes lines tighter than normal.
- More People Are Betting
When it comes to sports betting in the United States, we all know the NFL is king. The incredible popularity the league has hits an even higher level in the playoffs as more casual fans flood the market to join to wager on games alongside the entrenched masses of regular sports bettors. The increase in betting action may impact lines throughout the week, but especially as kickoff nears and many scramble to place last-minute wagers.
2020 NFL Playoff Betting Tips
If you're looking for a recipe to lose all your money, by all means, go blindly into gambling on the NFL and start making picks. To give yourself the best opportunity to win, however, you need some type of preparation and a little bit of guidance. Keep in mind these NFL playoff betting tips:
NFL Playoff Betting Tip #1: Don't Blindly Fade The Public
This actually flies in the face of a popular NFL betting strategy as old as sports gambling itself. During the regular season, the public tends to side with favorites and overs. The prevailing thought is that it will automatically be the case in the postseason as well, but it's not always true. We aren't saying side with the public either, but don't blindly fade the public because it's ability to inflate lines lessens in the postseason.
The amount of money coming in on NFL playoff games means that oddsmakers are constantly tweaking the odds as a reaction to create less liability for themselves. This leaves less room for the masses to drastically sway the odds of games that are just one of many on the schedule that day.
NFL Playoff Betting Tip #2: Health, Coaching & Experience Matters
The types of teams that win and cover in the postseason are generally healthy, have experience playing on the biggest stages, and/or have extensive coaching experience. Most champions have multiple, or all three. When it comes to your 2020 NFL playoff predictions, most ties can be broken by using a combination of these factors to make your betting decision.
NFL Playoff Betting Tip #3: Beware Of Regular Season Trends & Records
Just as you shouldn't automatically fade or side with the public, don't make decisions based on regular-season records and betting trends alone.
Of course, you want to know whether a team that covered the spread during the season or scores more points at home than on the road. But statistics like a team's personal playoffs record over time have absolutely no bearing on the game you're about to watch in reality. Take the information (the stats that are actually useful) and apply it to formulate a coherent pick, but don't do so blindly based on a single factor.
NFL Playoff Betting Tip #4: Don't Chase Your Money
As is the case throughout the entire regular season, don't chase your money after one bad game, week or playoff round.
You shouldn't view the impending close to the season as a deadline for you to earn back every penny. Highly-scrutinized NFL playoff odds are among the worst to make a reactionary 'win it all back' type of bet, so manage the bankroll in a similar way tot he regular season, especially during the first two rounds.
Want to know more about wagering on the postseason? Visit our NFL playoffs betting guide and prepare yourself for life beyond Week 17!
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NFL Playoff Betting Strategy
In order to wager successfully on football during the postseason, it's necessary to have both tactics to apply and overall philosophies to live by when it comes to making your NFL playoff predictions.
Tips, like the ones we just handed out, are specific hints for a single action. A strategy, on the other hand, is an overall plan of action designed in order to achieve a goal. In our case, it's a vision for how to go about making bets. Consider not only the tips above, but the following NFL betting strategies for the 2020 postseason:
- Look For Unders In Wild Card Round
One thought bettors have is that defenses tend to show up in the playoffs and game plans are sometimes close to the vest, along with weather potentially being a factor in some cases. That leads to thinking postseason games tend to go under, but the over is actually 98-95 since 2010 in the postseason, per stats from Team Rankings.
In a much smaller sample, however, profits have been found by betting the under in the Wild Card round, which . has seen some inflated totals recently. Over the past five football postseasons, the under has gone 13-6-1 in Wild Card games, including 6-2 in the past two seasons.
- Bet NFL Teasers During Playoffs
Because there are so few contests in the postseason, oddsmakers and sharps pour over these odds for days leading up to playoff games. This extra scrutiny leads to the lines being extremely tight, meaning there isn't much value on either side of the point spread.
For this season, giving yourself a few extra points by playing a teaser can be the difference between winning and losing wagers during the postseason. The additional points help you cover key numbers, along with any movement the odds made throughout the week.
- Live Bet 2020 NFL Playoff Games
Wagering on the NFL is unpredictable whether it's the regular season or the postseason. Even oddsmakers and sharp bettors get it completely wrong before a game begins. If you're not committed to one side of the line or the other, sometimes the most beneficial NFL betting strategy can be waiting for the game to begin and wagering based on what you watch with your own eyes rather than blindly following the talking heads beforehand.
NFL live betting during the postseason is more popular than it is during the regular season because with fewer games to choose from, bettors will look to put down extra action on markets like in-game odds and props.
- Bet On Futures During Playoffs
Rather than just wager on a game-to-game basis, some bettors pick one or more teams at the start of the postseason to win the conference title, the Super Bowl, or both. This allows you to take the best teams at plus-money odds instead of giving away points with the spread or betting on high-cost moneylines.
Holding a futures ticket can also mean a great opportunity to hedge, double down, or look for a point spread middle in order to guarantee a profit at some point throughout the playoffs.
- Bet Props Exclusively During Postseason
The extra attention paid to NFL playoff betting lines by oddsmakers, professional bettors, and the public can seriously hinder your ability to find value in traditional betting markets. Less attention, however, is being paid to the hundreds of prop markets that are available for each postseason game. Finding an angle on game or player props is an excellent way to potentially find more value than you can by going after traditional markets.