Betting on the NFL can be challenging, but there are several reasons it’s viewed that way. One, people bet on too many games. Two, bankroll management seems to be a lost art. Three, gamblers think they’re “being tricked” by Vegas and the bookies.
If you can get these three things out of your mind, then you will have a much better chance of winning. These three factors as well as several others will be covered below. If you apply the betting tips below, then you’re going to have a lot more success when wagering on football games.
Winning Money Wagering on Football Games
People Bet on Too Many Games
The house wants you to bet on a lot of games because it means more vig for them. If you’re not familiar with vig, it’s what the house (bookie) charges when you lose. In the NFL, it’s 10%. Therefore, if you bet $100 on a game and win, you win $100, but if you bet $100 on a game and lose, you lose $110. This is how the house wins. It also means that you need to win more than 52.4% of games to be profitable, but let’s just call it 53%.
That might sound easy to beat, but everyone has a bad weekend once in a while. When you go 2-8, all you’re doing the following weekend is trying to get back to even, but maybe you caught the error there. You should never bet 10 games in one weekend. That is a recipe for disaster. A friend once said to me, “Do you know when you look at the NFL lines and one game jumps out at you as an absolute lock?”
I knew exactly what he meant, and it’s definitely true. In fact, if you were to only bet your favorite game every weekend, you would very likely come out ahead, even if you’re a rookie. That’s because you’re being highly selective. The house also wants volume. Their biggest fear is someone betting a large amount on one game. This takes the vig factor away. They’re playing the long game, assuming that the vig will catch up to you by the end of the season. That’s usually the case because people go crazy on volume when betting on American football.
Let’s look at this logically. If that’s what your opponent (the house) once you to do, then do the opposite. I’m not saying you need to bet just one game per weekend, but strongly consider keeping it to a maximum of four games per weekend, three being an ideal number.
The Importance of Bankroll Management
If someone asks you, “How’s your roll?” They’re not talking about toilet paper. They’re talking about your bankroll. And you never want to be the guy that says, “Gone.” That equates to loser in this world. Always avoid being a loser. You can do that by using a simple bankroll management strategy, which is to never bet more than 5% of your bankroll on one game. The key is to stay in the game.
The following is the most important betting tip when wagering on football games: Never fall in love with one game! While one game in particular might stand out to you each week, that doesn’t mean you’re going to go 16-0 in the regular season.
Let’s say you only bet one game per week, which was your favorite game, and went 12-3 heading into the final week of the regular season. You’re now so sure of yourself that you decide to put it all on the line on that last game. If you lose, you just wasted 15 weeks and have much less money available for the playoffs. It is absolutely imperative that you don’t fall in love with a game. You can make sure this doesn’t happen by following one strict rule: Always bet the same amount on every single game.
If you listen to any gambling podcast, especially the RJ Bell Dream preview, you’ll hear about money management. It’s very important.
Gamblers Are Not Being Tricked
Some gamblers believe that Vegas sets some NFL betting lines as traps. That’s not the case. They want the same amount of money on each side so they can collect the vig. If you ever see an NFL betting line that doesn’t make sense, it’s because of something you don’t know. This doesn’t mean it’s a secret, it just means you’re not aware of it because you didn’t do enough research. It could be that the Bears best linebacker is playing hurt, it’s going to pour in Seattle, or the most reliable kicker in the league is out for the Dolphins. These seem like small factors, but there are no small factors in the NFL. The difference in talent between teams is small, which makes every player and coaching decision incredibly important.
In order to avoid falling into the trap of thinking you’re being tricked, and in order to make more money betting on American football, there is one simple rule to remember: The Winners Keep Winning. Repeat that motto in your head over and over again. If you do that, you’re going to win more. Think about it. How many times have you doubted Tom Brady and he won? How many times did you think the Chiefs would finally score less than 30 points and been proven wrong? The teams who win continue to win. The betting line only comes into play 26% of the time. Put those two facts together and what do you come up with? The Winners Keep Winning!
- Be sure to read our NFL picks column.
Future Bets Are A Good Option
If you want to make sure you don’t get crushed in the NFL due to volume and the vig catching up with you, look into future bets. This means you can make a season-long bet. For example, you can bet that the Bears will make the NFC Championship, or you can bet that the Jets will have less than 6 wins.
When you place future bets, keep one very important factor in mind. A lot of gamblers like to go over on win totals for good teams, but one big injury can kill that bet in an instant. It’s better to bet under on win totals for bad teams because it’s extremely rare for an unknown player to come out of nowhere and save the day. If a team is bad, they’re bad. It’s not like a good team that can get worse due to injury.
Another neat part about future bets is that you can bet in the opposite direction if you get into trouble. This is called hedging your bet. For example, if you bet that the Chiefs would have more than 9.5 wins, they have 9 wins going in the final game, and they’re the favorite in that game, you can bet against them and take the points. If they win, you win the future bet. If they win and cover, you win the future bet and lose the straight bet. If they win and don’t cover, you win the future bet and the straight bet.
This last betting tip is easy. If you’re going to be wagering on football games, you will find tons of sportsbooks competing for your action. Sometimes, you will find a sportsbook that gives you much better odds, or a better line, than all the others. In order to find this situation, all you have to do is look around. Be sure to find a list of all sportsbooks so you can see all the line comparisons in one place. This will save you time.
If you follow the NFL betting tips above, you’re likely to do better than last season. If it’s your first season, welcome to the game. Remember the following: be selective, bet the same amount on every game, the winners keep winning, future bets are an option, and always shop around for the best price.