You hear about it during different points of every NFL season. Whether it is during a snowy time of year in the winter or early in the season where rain and lightning play a role. Weather is often deemed to be a big piece of the equation when it comes to betting on NFL games. But given just how many different weather patterns there are surrounding football games, are those concerns about weather always warranted?
Generally speaking, the impact of weather on a football game is not as much as bettors tend to make it out to be. There are tons of reasons for this, but the biggest one is that public perception often blows something like inclement weather out of proportion to the point that smart NFL bettors are usually too busy looking at more legitimate factors that will impact a game than the weather.
That isn’t to say that extreme precipitation or wind can’t affect an offense’s ability to put points on the board. But things like rain or snow can make things just as difficult on a defense as they can for an offense. A perfect example of this was the snow-filled 2013 contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions, which saw the field almost become invisible under all of the snow. The total of that game was 51 points, which many assumed would result in an under based on the weather. Instead, both teams combined for 54 points in a game that boasted two explosive offenses.
Another great example of this phenomenon was the freezing cold 2008 NFC Championship Game between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. With wind chills down around negative-30 degrees, one would have expected teams to have trouble on special teams and in the passing game. But the two teams combined for 43 points to go over the 41-point total that was set before the game. This game was great proof not to judge a book by its cover or, more accurately, a game by its temperature.
When it comes down to it, focusing too much on the weather can be downright detrimental to a football bettor’s success. Given the high level at which NFL players can move the ball offensively, and how well they can defend even in bad weather, you are better off going with a more tried and true NFL betting system than you are assuming that the weather will disproportionately impact one team or another in an extreme way.
For example, with teams having to be aware of the presence of hurricanes in the Southeastern United States, one might think to bet the under on a game set to take place in the area where a storm is set to hit. After all, wind and rain can impact a team in all phases of the game. But at a level as high as the NFL, most quarterbacks are able to make throws even in windy and rainy conditions. Rather than putting too much stock into the forecast, observing long-term trends such as the performances of NFL teams after a loss will be a more profitable series of plays in the long run.
Jay is a sports writer who has been featured on Deadspin, BetAdvisor. In addition to penning wager previews and features, Jay has broadcasted for MAAC school as well as ESPN Radio’s Northeastern Affiliates.