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Football Betting -- Be Ready to Pounce on an 'Over-Reaction'

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Football Betting -- Be Ready to Pounce on an 'Over-Reaction'

By Charles Jay

Have you ever seen one of those situations where a team does extremely well one week, and then when the line gets posted for the next game, that team seems to be over-valued?

Well, sometimes that is exactly the case. In fact, you see that kind of thing all the time - where the latest result impacts the next line to a considerable degree.

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The fact is that these are the things that are freshest in the minds of bettors, and that is reflected in what an oddsmaker will put up.

And while that doesn't necessarily represent the strength of any given team, it may indeed represent the PERCEPTION about that team, at least at that moment in time.

And to a lot of people who are engaged in sports betting, perception is reality. When SportsCenter and all the other sports media outlets bombard you with highlights, it's invariably the last game that was played.

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This is what is known as "over-reaction," and it is one of the things you always have to be on the lookout for if you want to meet with some success in the way of sports betting, specifically (for purposes of this discussion) football.

Of course, this works both ways. A team may look really bad one week, and then they turn out to be under-valued, because too much weight was put on that.

You're probably more likely to see this kind of phenomenon earlier in the season than later, because there are fewer results to fill out a more substantial picture.

It is actually predictable that such a thing would take place at online sportsbooks. After all, the sports betting atmosphere is a "market." And like the commodities or stock market, a lot of the value is based on perception. And in a market where there is a lot of volume, public activity will have a huge impact.

If you understand that, and then understand that oddsmakers often operate in anticipation of where the public action is going to go, you will not be all that surprised if a line may differ with what YOUR perception about a matchup is.

So it follows that from your point of view, one of the two teams that you see in front of you is a good value and the other isn't. We use the term "value" because that is one of the key things you ought to be looking for when it comes to handicapping sports - maybe THE key thing - because it pays off in the long run.

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With value comes opportunity. You do not necessarily have to consider yourself to be smarter than the oddsmakers in general; just smarter than the general betting public - the group largely known as the "squares."

But if you see this opportunity, don't procrastinate; when opening numbers get posted, the "sharp" bettors will affect a move if they see the necessity for a market "correction." Again, if we are talking about a desire on your part to see long-run results, this is important.

Remember that it's never a bad idea to have something in the way of a "power rating" to assign to the teams. That will give you a notion - when you figure in certain other factors, like home field, injuries, etc. - what the line should be, at least in your estimation.

Then you will have a chance to strike when the iron is hot.

If you are able to do this, and do it successfully, then congratulations, for you have become a part of the "smart money."
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