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From skimpy padding and paper-and-pencil to Riddell Revolution Speed helmets and Pro Football Focus analytics, the game of football has evolved both on and off the field. NFL teams are constantly incorporating the latest high-tech gadgets and technologies into their scouting, player development, training, and game planning routines. Early adopters of these technologies gain an edge over their opponents, thus improving the betting odds for the football team. Sharp bettors are taking notice and cashing in.
A prime example of an edge created by high-tech gadgets is found when exploring the Philadelphia Eagles’ miraculous Super Bowl run to close the 2017/18 NFL season. Numerous members of the Eagles’ franchise have attributed their success to the use of RFID giving them real-time data on player movement, speed, and strength. RFID stands for radio-frequency identification. The Eagles place these radio-frequency sensors on the pads of players to accurately measure movement, speed, explosiveness, and the spacing between players. Having access to this data can help coaches substitute players more effectively while also leading to better pre-snap positioning. Having the right man in the right spot could create an extra big play or two for a team. As any NFL bettor should know, football is a game won or lost on big plays. A big play late in the game is often the difference between the favorite covering that five point spread and coming up a field goal short.
New technologies are also being implemented to detect muscle overloads, perfect running and throwing form, and help prevent injuries. Companies like Lumo Run and Motus Global have products currently in use by NFL teams that attach to the athlete’s skin or clothing as they train and gather detailed information on that player’s movements and strength. Teams that evaluate potential draft picks using these methods rather than relying solely on the combine results will have a leg up on the rest of the league come draft day. Stealing a productive rookie late in the draft could add a win or two to that team’s record this season, making them an enticing pick in their early games before Vegas catches on and adjusts the lines accordingly.
Perhaps the most prevalent factor affecting team performance late in the NFL season is fatigue. All players suffer from accumulated fatigue throughout the course of the grueling NFL season. For this reason, teams without much depth often lose that edge they had early in the season. This is where sharp bettors can take advantage and improve their betting odds. Some teams have made their players wear WHOOP smart wristband that can calculate muscle strain while also tracking how restorative their sleep is. This can provide valuable information to coaches and trainers on when to push a player and when to back off and give him his rest. By understanding which teams are embracing this technology and alternatives like it, you can better predict who will be more susceptible to fatigue related slumps in the home stretch of the season. This knowledge will provide an excellent opportunity to improve betting odds, especially if live betting in the second half of games, where fatigue is magnified.