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 below highlight teams' early-game ability through the first 11 weeks of the season. These will be our guide as we look for value in some other derivative betting markets.
Our last written picks went 1-1, pushing us to 11-12 on the season. After a hot start, things have cooled off considerably for NFL derivatives. It is time to right the ship, with a few quality plays popping up that appear to offer value.
The early-week line movement toward the Minnesota Vikings has reversed, with injury situations not breaking favorably for the Vikings' offensive unit. Both WR Adam Thielen and TE Irv Smith Jr. are out, with Justin Jefferson starring as the lone dynamic playmaker in the passing game.