If you’re new to betting on the NFL, there are a few strategies to consider before laying down your hard earned money at the online sportsbooks. For any new NFL bettor, most sports investors and bettors will tell you that betting is not gambling. I know it may sound contradictory, but once you get invested into understanding how betting on sports works, you’ll soon understand that gambling on sports is throwing your money at chance.
Serious bettors and investors know that when approached properly, betting can provide an excellent return on investment (ROI). Between bankroll management applied to your bets and employing straightforward NFL betting strategies, can provide any sports bettor or sports investor a strong possibility of a profitable return. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular, yet simple strategies for betting on the NFL and college football. Once you’ve established your bankroll and your management strategy to place on the games, these common and popular betting strategies below will help guide you to stronger returns.
Betting Against the Public: Psychological Advantage
Few people use psychology in their betting choices, and will often without good reason simply bet on a previous winner. Fewer people realize that many of the NFL’s rules and regulations are based around ensuring parity. What that means is that contrarian betting– betting against the public– is an effective way to profit when teams are, records aside, still relatively even. (Betting against teams that always lose, however, is usually pretty effective, however.)
Spread Betting | Point Spread | Against the Spread (ATS)
One of the most popular ways to bet on NFL games is the use of a point spread. While betting on the favorite is extremely common in using the spread, what few realize is that when you bet on the underdog the right way, the underdog doesn’t need to make the spread. They just need not cover the spread if they lose. Because of this, a smart bettor in a game that’s not heavily stacked in one side’s favor simply needs to bet the underdog.
If betting on the point spread remains one of the most popular choices among American sports bettors and investors who bet on the NFL. Commonly known as the line or spread, the myth is that Vegas sets the point spread as its predicted margin of victory for one team.
In reality this is not the case, but rather the point spread is a number chosen by sports books and online sportsbooks oddsmakers that will encourage an equal number of people to wager on the underdog as on the favorite.
The negative value (-7) indicates that team is favored by 7 points. The positive value (+7) indicates that team is the underdog by 7 points. Betting on the favorite means the team must win by at least 7 points to cover the point spread. The underdog team can lose by seven points and still cover the spread.
You will also notice a moneyline value (or stake) associated with the point spread (such as -7, -115). This indicates how much a sports bettor or investor must risk in order to book the bet (also known as the vig or juice).
This means the sports bettor would have to risk $115 to win $100. The underdog may see a value such as +7, +105. This means you risk $100 to win $105 if your team covers the spread.
The spread is not a static number, so you will notice line moves during the week. Philadelphia Eagles may be favored by 7 points on Wednesday and by 7.5 points on Friday. This indicates more sports bettors are wagering on the Eagles, so the oddsmakers increases the underdog value expecting to encourage more public wagers on the underdog.
Using the Money Line: Spread Betting Squared
As a sports investor looking at the value of spread betting, the next move would be to consider money line betting. Money lines are alternate lines that have larger disparities and payouts.
Money line betting takes advantage of the power of both the strategies above: often successfully employed at the start of the NFL season, when most betting is based more upon psychology of last seasons performance of the latest draft picks or new coaches, than actual game-play. Bettors can take advantage of wildly overmatched bets and profit even more successfully from them, or mitigate losses when scores fall within the spread.
Over/Under: Playing Against the Total
Betting over/under is somewhat different than the above methods in that you’re less interested in betting for or against a team but going after the combined score and betting over or under that total. Since this can often be affected by such things as weather conditions, it often shows up later than other bets. This is a bit of a different bet in that you’re not picking a favorite, but sizing up the two teams against each other, and betting based upon potential performance.
Teasers: Making the Odds Work for You
Teaser betting is probably one of the most clever ways to improve your success in NFL betting, but also among the higher risk, and greatest returns.
A teaser is a unique kind of parlay, a compound bet that relies the success of multiple bets taken at once. Unlike a typical parlay, a teaser allows you to shift the size of the spread across your bets in exchange for a lower payout, ensuring that if the teams you bet upon win, you will cover all spreads or totals necessary. Using teasers is one of the riskier betting strategies to ensure results that come reasonably close to real odds– and profiting from them.