By Tony George
Interdivisional contests offer great value to professional handicappers for a number of reasons. The most obvious being the fact that the handicapper can analyze the first meeting for insights into potential personnel mismatches on the field the second time around. However, after you consider all of the �on field� issues (match-ups, injuries, emotional motivation, etc�) there remains some rock solid numbers to consider from a pointspread covering percentage standpoint.
� The �Season split�: The majority of interdivisional rivalries see the teams split the season series ATS. There are many cases where a good capper can graph out the last 10 games between 2 divisional foes and see a noticeable trend for each team�s performance at a given location or as an underdog or favorite against a certain foe. Certainly there are exceptions to this rule as some teams tend to dominate others, but a good handicapper with a solid database of information can earmark these games and use them to his advantage.
� The �O/U season split�: With the overall NFL Over/Under numbers being a near 50/50 over the last 9 years it should come as no surprise that it is very common for divisional foes to split the Over/Under in their 2 games during the regular season. Again, a solid database of head to head match-ups can aid you in identifying abnormally long strings of consecutive Overs or Unders between two teams. If the circumstances around a game make a reversal seem likely, the odds are in your favor to make a play on the streak coming to an end as the percentages begin to moderate back towards the overall league average.
� �Streaking�: As alluded to above, the presence of abnormally long pointspread covering streaks either for a given team or an O/U gives the seasoned capper an advantage. There are currently 65 separate divisional rivalries in the NFL (15 in the AFC Central, 10 in the other 5 divisions). You can count on one hand the number of these series that currently have one team possessing a streak of 3 or more straight ATS covers against their divisional foe.
� The �Tendencies Angle�: While it is a safe assumption that teams will split games ATS and the O/U over the long haul, there are certain divisional rivalries that show a decided advantage to a home team, a road team, a favorite, or an underdog. I have these in my database and will expose a lot of second games in certian rivalries the second half of this season
These are just a few of the more notable angles that I analyze on a weekly basis for my clients. In doing so we are very happy to say that our success in divisional selections over the years has greatly exceeded many of our peers in the business, and allowed our clients to prosper as well. Naturally, we blend this historical trend information with the latest information available from our many sources around the country. Find our plays daily my www.pregamepros.com