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NFL Handicapping: The Impact of Thursday Night GamesIt’s football season, which means you can expect to get things fired upon early every week. If the MAC and Conference USA aren’t duking it out on Tuesday or Wednesday, then the NFL boys are going to be playing a Thursday night clash. This is fun and all, but for our purposes, we need to know how it impacts NFL picks. Here is what NFL games mean for NFL bettors.

Low-scoring games

Often, a Thursday night game means that the two teams will be a bit off on offense. It is hard to install an NFL gameplan in a short amount of time, so you might see these games go under the total a lot of the time. You need to check whether the two teams have had a week off before the game, however. This can make the short week a moot point in terms of team prep. 

More time for the next week’s preparation

The flipside of this is that Thursday night games provide teams with an extra long week the next time out. You may want to look at teams coming off of Thursday night games. They tend to have an edge in terms of readiness and health in the next week. You may be able to find an edge that you can exploit when you look for these opportunities.

Watch for sportsbook line manipulation

Since this is the only game on the slate, the sportsbooks will be looking at a big handle. This means that they might be moving the line around a little bit more in order to manipulate the action. Be aware of line movement in conjunction with the public betting percentages. If a line starts moving hard one way or another, this could be an indication of who the sportsbooks think is going to win that particular game.