With the 2014 NFL season in swing, it’s a perfect time to bring up one of the biggest pitfalls of many sports bettors – wagering too often on their hometown teams. If your friends regularly bet sports, you almost certainly have that one buddy who seems always to be taking your hometown sports teams to cover or win every chance he gets.
This is clearly a losing practice and one that seems to affect so many sports bettors. Of course, I’m not saying that betting on your hometown is always incorrect (there’re plenty of times when taking them may be the right play), but the almost blind devotion some people have to their native sports teams is outrageous.
When I say hometown team, I’m more or less saying your favorite team. The one you follow the most and watch regularly; the team you want to win championships.
You Know Your Favorite Teams the Best
If you’re an avid fan, and not just what I call a quarterback “fan”, you follow your favorite teams more closely than any other teams in the league. Couple this with some basic handicapping knowledge, and you’re looking at an excellent combination to predict how your team is going to play on any given day.
For example, an NFL team receives loads of coverage from the local media nearly all year round and especially so during the season. There’s wall-to-wall coverage from various blogs, the newspapers, radio, and television. Coaches’ press conferences are played on local radio and shown on television.
There’s a wealth of information available for bettors to make their own conclusions when it comes to how their team is playing in relation to their betting line. Of course, since you’re a real fan, you’re usually watching the games as well.
This means you understand the coaching philosophy your team employs and know the personnel better than most other teams in the league. If their star playmaker goes down in the passing game, will their second option be able to pick up the slack? How good is the backup quarterback if the starter goes down? How will the coach handle injuries? Is he going to adjust his defense after the beating they took last week?
You may not know the answers to all these scenarios, but you should usually have a good bead on how your team might play that week.
Consider if you were as an avid as a fan for your hometown team as you were for every other NFL team in the country. Your knowledge and feel for each team’s playing and coaching style would be unbelievably impressive.
Use It to Your Advantage
As much as it hurts your “fanhood,” you have to take out all the biases and evaluate all aspects objectively.
Is it as fun to watch a game essentially rooting for your favorite team to lose (or simply not cover!) because you bet against them? No, probably not. However, taking emotions out of wagering is sports betting 101. It’s about making money, plain and simple.
As we covered above, almost religiously wagering on your hometown teams to cover or win is a terrible idea, but so is writing off betting their games altogether. Remember, this is the team you’re most knowledgeable about. If the odds look good and you think they are in a vulnerable spot, by all means fire away.
There’s no loyalty or favoritism in sports betting. It’s all about making money.
Further proof that pretty much everyone in your town is taking their hometown teams can be found with a neighborhood bookie. We all know betting online far outweighs betting with locals, but this is one area where you can exploit an advantage.
Most locals will be getting a disproportionate amount of money on the home side and will have to move the line much further than most offshore books. This can be as much as an extra point or two of difference, which is absolutely enormous, especially in football.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the time to bet the home side, as you will be doing so with a horrible price, but it does provide an advantage on the visitor’s or opposing team’s line that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. This not only provides players with the best price around for betting the visitor but may also present an arbitrage opportunity with online betting markets.
Author: Joseph Falchetti
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