Handicapping NFL Injuries



When you handicap NFL games one key factor to look at is player injuries. If you do not do this and you wager on a game then you find out the star QB or RB is out for the game you may be out some serious green.

The skill positions of a QB, RB, and WR are obviously payers that you need to check if they are available for the next game, but the offensive lineman are also important since they are so important to moving the ball. Any legit NFL handicapper will look closely at the injury report so if that info is out there you should do it as well to get as much information about who will or won’t be playing in a game.

When you look at the injury report for the NFL you have to know what to look for. Usually the report will come out on Thursday and, typically, if the injury is a major one you will know of that player will be available before that. Key players injured, especially the QB, can also affect the line on the game There are 4 player listings in injury in probable, questionable, doubtful, and out. Obviously, if a player is listed as out the they will not be playing in the game. However, for the other three you can break it down to a percentage to if they will play in the game. If they are probably there is a 75% chance they will play, doubtful 50%, and questionable 25%.

Breaking down the injury report, in terms of percentages, is not right on the money, but it is pretty close. When a player if questionable or probable there are some things to look at. First of all, as stated before, the QB is the key player on any team. Pinpoint their team’s situation and schedule when looking at a QB as well as the injury and the player’s injury past. If a star QB is injured in a game and questionable and it is late in the season and their team is battling for a playoff spot it is more likely they will play. On the other side of the coin if they are out of the playoff picture or it is early in the season there is more of a chance they will miss some time.

If the injury to a player happened in a game and is not a season ending one they will have a Monday to rest and recuperate. To this point if the injury happened after Monday in practice there is more of a chance they will not play.

I mentioned that the QB is the most important player on a team, but the other skill positions of RB and WR are also important. Also, if a key offensive lineman is injured for a team that is mostly a passing one you need to see if their upcoming opponent has a solid pass rush and secondary. The guys on the line keep the QB upright and give them time to pass, but if they are injured facing a team with a solid pass rush and/or secondary then they may struggle in the next game.

The official NFL injury report comes out on Thursday, but other media outlets such as ESPN.com and others will have injury information. Again, more attention will be given to QB’s and star skill position players in their injury updates.

Before you bet on any NFL game you have to be aware of the injuries to players. The more you know who or won’t be on the field can give you important information on what team to wager on or what team to stay away betting on.