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NFL Betting: The Sandwich Game Scenario

· NFL,Betting Tips

The NFL season is seemingly is a short season, but it's actually a long and daunting experience for players each year. Just like with NBA teams falling short due to long road trips, top tier NFL teams suffer in the same fashion.

Simply put, each week you're not going to get players and teams overall at their very best. Fatigue, travel lag, nagging injuries throughout the season and behind the scenes issues taking place in the locker room. As a bettor, you must account for these factors when wagering on games in the NFL.

The Sandwich Game Scenario

This is where the classic "sandwich game" scenario comes into play. A sandwich game is defined as a game scheduled in between two important games. What is considered an important game? In the NFL, each division game is probably the most important game in all of sports. Next would be non-divisional games with opponents in the top-tier of the NFL.

In this scenario is where you will hear the phrase "throw-away" game thrown around or don't expect to get the "best X team" this week. Not to say NFL teams don't want to win every game, but they realize they have to save some "juice" for these marquee games.

How to Bet on Sandwich Game Scenarios

A good example to use is this: Let's use the Patriots. Week 7 they play the Buffalo Bills, Week 8 they play the Detroit Lions, then Week 9 they play the Kansas City Chiefs who ties them for first in the NFL rankings.

The Patriots grind out a physical win over the Bills, 24-21. Brady comes out banged up, Sony Michel has an ankle injury, they lose one offensive lineman and the others are banged up. Now in Week 8 they play the Lions that 1-6 on the road. The line opens up at -7.5, Patriots favored on the road in Detroit.

The average bettor will see this line and automatically think this is a slam dunk. You've got the 7-0 Patriots favored by -7.5 over the sucking Lions, this is too good to be true. Well it is....

When you look closer this weeks Patriots aren't what they were all year. Brady has a nagging ankle injury, Michel has an hamstring issue, key o-lineman out with the rest of the lineman banged up. Where they normally would run the ball, now are forced to pass the ball more thus forcing Brady to be exposed.

Sharp bettors that do their homework will sit on this line waiting for the "average Joe" bettor to raise this line to jump on the other side of the bet with the Lions as the "dog". Knowing that coming out of this game the Patriots are getting ready for the Chiefs at home to stay in the race at the top.

Bookmakers make a good bit of their money off of these games because they know most bettors bet blindly on hyped and popular teams.

What to Looking For (Handicapping Strategy)

The #1 thing to do in this scenario is to monitor what most of the public bettors are doing. If they are running to the window in droves to bet the Patriots start looking for how quickly the line jumps.

Teams that can win in versatile ways stand a better chance to win as favorites in these scenarios. If a team has a nagging injury at running back and the o-line spots and their strength is running the ball. Their game plan will have to shift which means you'll need to bet the game based on that.

If they are stronger with the pass and they are down a star or key receiver or their QB has some nagging injuries, you'll need to account for that as well. The whole goal with handicapping "sandwich games", it's important to research and feel confident with all factors.


It's important to bet sandwich game with all factors in mind. Fully understanding all injuries, players sitting out, and potentially how their game plan will impact your bet. Throw-away games are more common in the NBA but they do happen in the NFL as well.

Even the greatest teams in the NFL lost at least one or two games during the regular season. It's your job now that you're equipped with the right information to find the value with your wagers and cash in!

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