If you're looking to improve your financial over-under by throwing money at weekend games, you'll need more than just a hunch. "Most casual football bettors place wagers with their heart, not their mind," says Johnny Avello, executive director of the sports book at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. "But there's less 'luck' in football than in most other kinds of gambling. You've gotta do your research."
Avello's wisdom in setting the lines has made the Wynn the country's go-to sports-betting parlor. He gave a us some tips so that we could create a set of guidelines for gamblers looking to mitigate risk and make a bit of coin.
Avoid college coaches in the NFL.
Teams hire college coaches to "rebuild" – not a word you want to hear when you're betting. Bobby Petrino and Steve Spurrier won 70 percent of their college games but only 25 or 30 percent in the pros. For every Pete Carroll, who is flourishing with the Seahawks, there is a Greg Schiano, who presided over a successful Rutger's program before arriving in Tampa Bay and sinking with the Buccaneers. A guy like Chip Kelly, whose hurry-up offense made waves before Michael Vick got himself (predictably) injured, is a total wild card. Avoid wild cards.
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