The Importance of Betting Trends in the Handicapping Process

Anyone who loves to bet on sports and sporting events is always looking for an edge against the sportsbooks. Oddsmakers have a knack for setting the sharpest betting lines for the biggest betting sports such as football and basketball. This makes gaining that edge all the more difficult.

Just about every betting report that you would use as part of the handicapping process includes recent betting trends for the matchup at hand. Some of these trends pertain to the performance of each team straight-up and against the spread. Other trends focus on the recent results for the actual head-to-head matchup.

Studying the past can offer certain clues as they pertain to future results, but this only goes so far. The full handicapping process for any game you are thinking of betting on needs to focus on the matchup at hand. Just because one team has beaten the other nine times in a row does not guarantee a victory in the 10th meeting.

As mentioned, recent betting trends can provide certain clues. If one team has beaten the other nine times in a row, the probability they win the 10th matchup would be a bit higher.

One of the most helpful trends used for the handicapping process determines a team’s performance at home and on the road. This can be in terms of SU wins and losses as well as their record ATS for both home and road games. If a strong pattern emerges one way or the other, that could have some bearing on the outcome of that team’s next game.

Another good way to break down a team in terms of betting trends is its record both SU and ATS as a favorite and an underdog. Once again, a certain pattern could emerge based on the actual results.

The best betting trends are closely related to tendencies. This team has a tendency to cover the spread as a road underdog. This team’s record ATS is extremely strong when favored on the road. Whatever the case may be, the trends that relate directly to the tendencies of a team should carry the most weight.

If the total has gone OVER in six of a team's last ten games on the road, that points to a slight lean in that direction. If the total has stayed UNDER in nine of a team's previous ten home games, that lean becomes relatively strong.

Betting trends carry the most meaning when they are extremely strong. If a team has covered ATS in their last five games, betting them to cover in their next outing does make sense.

Sometimes you may find recent betting trends that have little or no bearing on the matchup at hand. Just because a team covered in their last five Tuesday games on the road does not mean they are a sure bet for this Tuesday’s road game.

Solid trends point out a team's tendencies. Fluff trends point out coincidences. There is a considerable difference between the two. You should always focus your handicapping efforts on uncovering tendencies. This is when the past does have a greater probability of repeating itself. Coincidences are interesting to point out, but they should never be used in any kind of matchup analysis or handicapping process.