The sports betting industry has exploded in recent years, ushering in an assortment of new and innovative betting opportunities. At this point, it feels like someone can wager on almost any event occurring during the course of a football game.
Some of the most worthwhile betting opportunities exist in the derivatives market. A derivative is any betting line that is derived from another; the most common example is first-half odds, which are derived from the full-game counterpart. Numerous other options exist, however, spanning from first-half spreads and totals to betting by the quarter.
Bookmakers spend a significant portion of their time and resources handicapping full-game lines efficiently. This helps as a proxy for derivative bets and creates opportunities for those willing to research and find discrepancies in markets that can be capitalized on. Full-game markets get all of the headlines, but the bread is buttered in places where people often don’t look initially.
Before kickoff, we can evaluate individual derivative bets by utilizing some of our predictive models along with team tendencies and production when starting a game. The charts referenced highlight teams' early-game ability through the first 16 weeks of the season. These will be our guide as we continue to look for value in some other derivative betting markets. Our written picks went 1-1 in Week 17, pushing us to 20-16 on the season.
At this point in the season, team strength is fully understood by most involved in the betting market. There are few, if any, opportunities in the full-game markets, as most of the value that arises is due to recency bias or uncertain injury situations. These are the main reasons why targeting some of the lesser-known markets for inefficiencies is the correct approach as we move toward the end of the season. Let’s dive into the best derivative bets to make for the NFL Super Wild Card Weekend.