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Hi folks, Bob Akmens here. Thanks for visiting our website BASports.com to see what Bob Akmens Sports is all about.

Let's talk a little bit about some of the challenges you may face handicapping football.

Bob Akmens Sports actually handicaps and releases plays in 4 different kinds of football: college, NFL, Arena Football and the Canadian Football League.

Over the years we’ve been in business, we’re proud to say that we have finished in more first-place categories of documented monitoring contests in the NFL – and in more #1-categories in all football contests than any sports service - ever.  You can see the current number below. And, you can find a complete list of those #1's here.

Each of those 4 sports play football, but every good handicapper should approach each a bit differently.  Let's talk about those differences.

College football involves intense, emotionally pumped-up young men who, while they may be subsidized with special favors while allegedly attending college, still have one ultimate goal in mind:  some sort of shot of making the pros. Of course, there still are such things as student-athletes, and guys who go to really top-notch schools such as Stanford or Duke or Northwestern usually are there because they're bright people who also happen to be good athletes.

But realistically, those are the exceptions and not the rule.  The vast majority of college athletes are not rocket-scientists and they operate on a very instinctual-level rather than thinking things out.  Which may not necessarily be a bad thing - especially if you're faced with what appears to be an impossible task like coming back from 3 TD's with a few minutes to go.  An intellectual-type of QB might reason that this is just not possible - and even if  he does this subliminally, might fail at his task.  So, in a situation like that, you'd much rather have a Joe Willie Namath throwing for your Crimson Tide team than a guy who might be a smarter person but doesn't have the instincts that Broadway Joe had.

There is no sport where the factor of revenge plays a bigger role than in college foots.  In college hoops, a revenge-match will be one of maybe three other games a team will prep for in a given week.  College football rituals often take on ancient, pagan-like aspects.  When a school has a pep-rally and builds a huge bonfire and students chant, just replace their clothes with animal skins and you're back in 10,000 BC!

Coaching is often the common thread in the continuity of success - or failure - of a college team.  It's usually a much-less important factor on the pro-level. One of the strongest college football plays you can find is a revenge game coached by someone who excels in just that situation: avenging a recent loss to an opponent you play with some regularity.

I recall discovering this angle with Terry Donahue back in the early '80s.  He coached for 20 seasons at UCLA from 1976-1995.  And sometime back in '81 or '82, I noticed the positive correlation of going with the Bruins in any revenge game where UCLA had lost to a team they had played the prior year. When I first jumped on that angle, Donahue was 8-1 ATS (against-the-spread) in his last 9 such games.  And then the Bruins went on to cover 9 more in a row over the next years!  You can bet I released UCLA for every one of those 9 straight wins which ran his revenge-game run over those years to a remarkable 17-1.

NFL football is a different beast. You simply don't see the same intensity-level from week-to-week from a pro player that you do from a college player. The reason is obvious: the pro has made it to the top of his profession and may be signed to a multi-million dollar contract. So, just to survive in his jungle, he has to pace himself a bit more than a young college kid.  What should be formful often isn't in the NFL, and upsets occur with more regularity than you'll see in college ball, so you might want to look at more dogs than favorites when the woofers are live-ones.

One important angle to look for in NFL games in how teams do after a bye-week. Most do quite well - but you have to look at their prior performances which may very well be a result of how their coaching-staff approaches things.  If you find a team that's covered a good majority of the time right after a bye- week, chances are quite good they'll do it again for you.

Arena Football is a good betting-sport if you do your homework.  And that's because the public perception is that these teams do nothing but score and score and score - all the time.  Well, that's just not the reality. But almost all the lines for AFL-totals are predicated on that misperception.  You'll rarely see a low line for an AFL total - something in the 60's or 70's-range - even if the reality is that the two teams are low-scoring.  So, you'll often get lots of winners when you play an under 90-something, or even 100-something, if the two teams have averaged appreciably less in their prior games. You can get basic stats like this at many sites online - for free - such as www.statfox.com.  I'd have to say that the average line-differential is greatest in AFL games of all types of football. This means that the average difference between the line and the reality is greatest in these affairs.

I got involved handicapping the CFL - the Canadian Football League - during the 1987 NFL strike, when Vegas put up CFL numbers in every sportsbook to replace that lost NFL-action.  So, I've been professionally handicapping the CFL for a couple of decades.  And, by and large, I find that the CFL games are the most formful of the 4 different types of football - in other words, favorites have to be shaded more than they do in college, NFL or AFL games.  The reason is "inbreeding," that is, the CFL has only 8 teams which means they play each other often and they know each other's strengths and weaknesses much more so than many NFL-matchups where teams might not meet for years.  The same is true in college ball, where even teams in large conferences may not meet at the same site for several years.  Most CFL teams will meet twice each season - and even a third time in their post-seasons.

As a matter of fact, the most challenging games to handicap are those between teams that almost never play each other. Just don't force the issue by trying to always pick the winner in games like that. Instead, try to look for high-percentage probabilities.  You just won't get that in a bowl game matching up South Florida and Boise State - who probably have never met each other in a football game.

I hope some of these points help to make you a few more bucks when you bet football.  And I hope you'll come back to Bob Akmens Sports to make you profits with your football action year-after-year. 

Thanks for visiting with me and good luck to you!





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