If you are eager to try your hand at sports handicapping, then the first step is to know what handicapping is all about and what you intend to do to become a serious handicapper. First of all, you need to be aware of the various terminologies used in sports handicapping. For starters, handicapping refers to betting or predicting the outcome of a particular game and this involves studying and analysing the statistics of the game, the sports trends, weather and injury related information as well as resorting to other complex methods such as calculation of mathematical formulas which helps the handicapper forecast and clearly reckon the end result of a particular match. Point spreads and money lines are the other common terms used in sports handicapping which indicate how one team is preferred over another.
Sports handicapping has been around for centuries but has evolved professionally only in recent times. On one hand it is a means to add excitement and glamour to a sport, on the other; it is a lucrative investment tactic for some. To be able to predict the winner of a game or match one requires expertise and skill that do not come easily to one and all. For example, if you are a football handicapper, it involves keeping a close watch on the people involved in the sport, scrutinising the sports trends and football statistics carefully and constantly reading and updating yourself about the various aspects of the game.
A sports handicapper is usually aware of all that is happening in the sport of his interest only because he is following it day in and day out dedicatedly and spends considerable amount of time watching the sport or reading about it. A professional handicapper at most times spends days researching on a team, its players and the sports trends. What most of us are not aware of is that sports handicapping methods are of three different kinds: fundamental, technical and situational handicapping.
Fundamental handicapping studies and examines how two different teams compete against each other. The advantages that one team has in its favour which the opponent team lacks is analysed and the performance trends of both the teams are evaluated to be able to judge which of the teams is superior and has an edge. Technical handicapping also called sports trends handicapping involves understanding the technical aspects of the team such as their records in home matches and away matches and the advantages they have over the opponent team etc.
Situational handicapping involves analysing how the matches are scheduled and spread out, the motivation levels of the teams and the probable disappointment situations. Although a lot of sports handicappers rely on one of the above mentioned techniques of handicapping, the truth is all the different kinds of handicapping must be used at some point or the other to analyse a future game and successfully predict its result.
Professional handicappers take their sport very seriously and explore the various aspects of the game. For successful handicapping, the factors that you need to consider include the team’s strengths and weaknesses, performance at home and away, performance in different climatic conditions, the strategies adopted by the team in different situations and the scoring pattern maintained. The sports trends followed by the team is also very crucial; this means assessing whether they usually win most matches or have been the underdogs, how two teams have stood against each other in the past and the coaching and training methods adopted by the teams etc.
Knowing and understanding the rules of betting prior to placing a bet is very important too as bookmakers tend to change the rules at the last minute without prior intimation. So, one needs to be very careful of bookmakers and move pawns carefully during a bet. Not only should a handicapper keep tab of the football statistics and other sports trends of his favourite game but should also be well versed with the happenings in the betting world, the attitude of local bookmakers and the various rules of the profession so that he is not left behind in the race.