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.
Ignore a team's win-loss record.
It's the point differential – the number scored versus the number given up – that good gamblers are focusing their energy on when they're guessing. Look for teams with losing records and total point differentials under seven times the number of games played. Teams that lose small have often fallen victim to penalties or turnovers. That's part of football, but it doesn't set a precedent for the next contest.
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