There are basically three different types of sports handicapping. They are situational handicapping, fundamental handicapping and technical handicapping. For those of you unfamiliar with these three categories, allow me to briefly explain what these three types of sports handicapping are and also provide some examples.
First, let’s take a look at situational handicapping. This type of sports handicapping deals with analyzing scheduling, motivation, letdown scenarios, etc. For example, Team ABC is coming off a huge win over their arch-rival. Now they must travel cross-country to face what is perceived to be an inferior opponent. Team ABC may also have another crucial division opponent on deck. Team ABC would be a good go-against team in this spot due to the travel, the look ahead and the possibility of sports handicapper picks a letdown from their huge win last time out.
Next, let’s take a look at fundamental handicapping. This involves analyzing how two teams match up against each other. For example, Team ABC is ranked first in the NFL in passing offense. They are facing Team XYZ, who is ranked last in the NFL in pass defense. In this case, Team ABC holds a significant fundamental advantage over Team XYZ. In baseball, another example would be Team ABC is starting a lefty today who owns a 2.30 ERA on the season. Their opponent, Team XYZ, is 2-10 and scoring just 3 runs per game vs. lefty starters. In this example, Team ABC also holds a significant fundamental advantage over Team XYZ.
The last type is technical handicapping, sometimes referred to as trend handicapping. For example, Team ABC is 6-1 against the spread this season when playing at home against teams with a losing record. Their opponent, Team XYZ, is 2-5 ATS this season as a road underdog coming off a home win. In this case, Team ABC has a technical advantage over Team XYZ. One problem with this type of handicapping is you can find plenty of trends supporting each side in a game if you dig deeply enough.
Some handicappers hang their hat on one type of handicapping. Some market themselves as technical experts. Others claim to be situational handicapping experts. I do not agree with that line of thinking. I do not believe you can truly handicap any game by just looking at it from one of the three aspects. I believe it is important to use all three types of handicapping when analyzing any game.