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One way to handicap games is to use situations.  Not surprisingly this method is called situational handicapping.  Situational handicapping is one of the best ways to beat the NBA and NFL odds.

What Are Situations?

There are circumstances surrounding every single game.  Some simple examples are previous game, upcoming game, weather, time of day, and location.

The key is to find profitable situations and exploit them.  I’m going to show you how the process of situational handicapping works in a step by step format.

Situational Handicapping Process

It starts with an initial idea that is profitable.  We then expand on the initial idea with variables.  The hope is to make the situation even more profitable by finding the right spots.

When you start looking to add variables you have to know what is important, and why.

What are Situations That I Look For?

  • Previous Game Result – if a team was up big or down a lot early in their last game they might have rested starters.
  • Letdowns – a team that is coming off a big game.
  • Look Ahead – a team that’s next game is against a rival or good opponent.
  • Sandwich – those meaningless games scheduled between a couple of key games.  A combination of letdown and look ahead.
  • Rest – how tired teams are plays a big role.
  • Overtime – extra time spent playing typically leads to worse results the next day.
  • Streaks – teams on a big losing streak want to stop the bleeding.  Teams that are rolling want to keep it up, but the public tends to take notice.
  • Time of Year – early in the season every team has hope.  The last few games playoff and draft positioning are both in play.
  • Time Zones – is a team playing across time zones?  Western conference teams starting early out East don’t typically do well.
  • Time of Day – some teams are used to playing late at night. It can be tough to have to deal with playing an early afternoon or late morning game.
  • Day of the Week – not real important but occasionally plays a role.
  • Holidays – it might be tough to get focused when you are missing family time.
  • Conference – you don’t see teams out of your conference as much. They don’t matter as much for the playoff standings.
  • Division – you see these teams frequently and know their strengths. They are also important for playoff positioning.
  • Previous Matchup Result – is one team out for revenge after an embarrassment?  How long ago was it played?  Did one team win or lose big?  How many total points were scored?  What was the spread and total?
  • Injuries – obviously guys recently going out or coming back from injury are important.
  • Total – how teams perform with high or low over unders.
  • Spread – how teams perform in certain spots as big or small favorites and dogs.
  • Winning Percentages – when a good or bad team plays a good or bad team.
  • Weather – what is the wind and temperature? Here’s our NFL weather guide.

Let’s take a look at one of my favorite NBA situations and break it down step by step.

Step 1

Let’s start with something easy.  How do teams fare who are playing on back-to-back nights in the NBA?

If you look up every team playing back-to-back you’ll find those teams are 5,799-5,995 (49.2%).

But, sometimes both teams are playing back-to-backs.  Let’s see how teams have done with a day off against teams without one.

3,867-3,679 (51.2%)

Not blindly profitable but we are on the right track.

Step 2

Think about other situations teams that are in back-to-backs have to deal with.  How about if it’s their 4th game in 5 nights.

588-539 (52.2%)

Now we are getting close to a blindly profitable situation.

Step 3

How about at different points in the season?  I think teams are a little fresher at the beginning of the year.  As they wear down maybe the tough rest situation would affect them more.

After Game 21 of the season fading teams playing their 4th game in 5 nights would bring you a record of:

451-375 (54.6%)

That is a lot of games to be hitting at a rate that beats the juice.

Final Thoughts

We have found a blindly winning situation based solely on a situation.  That is situational handicapping at it’s finest.

This is why an experienced handicapper like myself has such an edge over newer bettors.  I have seen teams in many different types of situations.  I’ve done the research on how those teams do.  Now I know very quickly where you want to back teams and where you want to find them.

Check out my handicapping guides on each sport to learn more ways to beat the books this season: