Understanding Vegas Lines - NFL
Throughout this Course, we’ll break down the various aspects of Vegas Odds and Lines in terms of their application in daily fantasy football. First, let’s break down what it all means. Shown below is an example of our Vegas Odds and Lines page for Week 1 of the 2013 season:
|Road||Home||Rd Sprd.||Hm Sprd.||Total||Rd. Proj||Hm. Proj|
|Tampa Bay||NY Jets||-1||1||41||21||20|
|Green Bay||San Francisco||4||-4||50||23||27|
Breaking Down the Vegas Lines Table
The first game shown is Baltimore at Denver. Denver is a 7.5 point favorite and the over/under line for total points is set to 49.5. From that, we infer the “projected scores” for each individual team. This number is found by simply subtracting half of the spread from half of the projected total.
So for Baltimore, it would be (49.5/2)-(7.5/2)= 21 projected points.
And for Denver it is (49.5/2)-(-7.5/2) = 28.5 projected points.
The usefulness of these figures comes in many shapes and sizes. Let’s discuss its importance for understanding the offensive side of the ball. A total point line of over 50 is generally a good sign for a high scoring game and should be targeted for both offenses (unless the spread indicates one team as a MASSIVE favorite).
When you find a game with a high over/under, next look at the spread. If Vegas thinks the game will be close AND high scoring, it might be a perfect spot for a quarterback who could be involved in a back and forth shootout. If Vegas predicts the game might be high scoring and unbalanced, then consider a running back who might be eating up clock by pounding the ground game late in the game.
You have to remember that daily fantasy football is a game of opportunities. Vegas Odds are an important step in understanding where opportunities may fall if you can interpret them correctly. The Atlanta at New Orleans game in the sample below is a perfect example of a game where you should target quarterbacks and receivers. The Oakland at Indy game with a larger spread and average over/under might be a good spot for the Colts ground game. The St. Louis defense may be worth a play when you look and see an over/under of 40 and Arizona has the lowest projected team score of the week at 17.25. All of these are different ways to apply Vegas Lines to DFS.
In the coming lessons, you’ll see how player specific lines, known as prop bets, can influence your daily fantasy football decision making as well as how to include Vegas lines when creating and interpreting projections.
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Player Prop Bets