Definitive Guide to Betting on NFL Football
How to Bet on NFL Football Games
Betting on NFL football games can be fun and profitable. Of course, it’s always more fun when you end up with a profit at the end of a week’s series of games. You may have done some preliminary research about sports betting. If so, you’re probably aware that the percentage of winning bets is less than that of the losers.
However, you don’t have to be part of the latter category. With a little basic understanding of the different types of bets, and how the odds are established, you can improve your own chances of winning. Then, by employing some solid strategies and studying individual nuances for each game, you can gain an additional, valuable edge.
Here is a helpful guide to betting on NFL football that will help get you started. We’ll explain how to manage your finances, what are odds, plus some different types of bets. We finish with a section that will help you develop a strategy and gain that valuable edge.
Money Management and Your Bankroll
We begin with discussing the financial aspects of betting on NFL football. It’s logical to assume that placing legal bets on games is going to involve some portion of your income. One emphatic suggestion is to never bet monies that you cannot afford to lose.
This is a necessary place to establish a bankroll management foundation. If at any point in your sports betting experience you feel you may have crossed a line; there are helpful agencies in every state that can steer you back on course. The simplest underlying principle is, don’t bet your mortgage money on a wager of chance.
There is more to managing your sports betting bankroll than simply designating what constitutes extra cash. A solid betting system also manages these funds prudently. While there are countless sports betting bankroll strategies and suggestions, no single spending guideline is a one-size-fits-all.
Key concepts to keep in mind are basically to avoid mistaken ideas. One, just because you’re on a winning streak doesn’t necessarily mean you should ride-the-wave and ramp up the amount of your bets.
The other side of that same analogy involves thinking that a losing streak is bound to change. Throwing more money at such a problem can actually compound the issue. Most consistent sports bettors stick to the idea of flat betting. This is betting a set amount on all your bet choices.
Staying consistent will help you avoid chasing a whim, or throwing money at a bad streak of luck. When thinking about managing your bankroll, rely on the first principle first and foremost. Never bet money you cannot afford to lose. After that, start slow and build gradually. If you employ good bankroll management, you may soon find your profits are outgaining your losses.
Odds and the Point Spread
Rarely are you going to find an opportunity to simply bet on who you think will win an NFL football game. It’s a little more challenging than that. Oddsmakers take into account a wealth of information about two opposing teams and pick a favorite and an underdog.
The degree to which one team or the other is favored is referred to as the odds, or the betting line. Often there are two betting choices based on which team is favored. There is a moneyline and a point spread, plus an over and under bet established for each NFL game. These specific types of bets are covered in the next section.
The guiding principle that oddsmakers use is to generate a profit. Under a perfect scenario, the cash value of wagers placed on both teams in any given game will be equal. When this happens, and does more often than not, oddsmakers will earn their percentage.
Now, there are dozens of factors pertaining to each game that oddsmakers use to set these numbers. In fact, becoming a professional oddsmaker can be a career. If you understand the difference between these two basic concepts, however, you can apply other strategies to improve your chances of betting success.
When we mentioned that you cannot make a direct bet on the winner of game, this is not entirely true. You can bet on the winner only, ignoring the point spread altogether. This referred to as betting the moneyline. There are a variety of bets you can make on NFL football games. Here are different ways you can bet on NFL football.
Betting the Moneyline
The first type of bet is frequently referred to as a straight bet. This is when you pick the winner of the game. The tricky part of this type of bet is to understand the moneyline that governs how much you win, or how much you lose.
A negative number designates the favored team, and the underdog will show a plus sign. For example, say oddsmakers put New England at -120, playing against the Buffalo Bills listed at +140. All moneyline bets base on a $100 value.
If you are confident the Patriots will win, you must put up $120 in order to win a $100 profit. Conversely, bettors who feel the Bills will pull the upset can bet $100 on Buffalo in order to win $140. Betting the moneyline is the simplest type of NFL football bet, but it also places a ceiling on how much profit you can win.
The Point Spread
The second type of bet you can place on an NFL football game involves the point spread. This is where the oddsmakers earn their living. Professionals, who study intricate nuances of each game in detail, establish this point spread. Once again, it designates a favorite and an underdog.
The same negative and positive symbols are used to indicate which team is which. Using the teams from our previous example, New England may be favored to defeat the Bills by a touchdown and the extra point. The odds will show New England – 7 and Buffalo +7.
What this means is, if you take the Patriots, they must win by more than that touchdown plus the extra point spread. In simple terms, if you take Buffalo, then you start the game with a seven-point lead. Now, what happens if the final score is New England 27 and Buffalo 20?
This is where the oddsmakers earn their living. When the game hits to point spread exactly, it is called a push. When the oddsmakers hit the point spread exactly, nobody wins. This is the reason some point spreads indicate a half point.
If the point spread is 7½, then deciding factor is either 7 or 8 points. A bet on New England -7½ in the previous 27-20 example would be a loser. Conversely, if you took the Bills +7½, you would win a point spread bet 27½ to 27.
The Over and Under
There is a third type of bet that removes the necessity to determine who will win and who will lose. Oddsmakers set what is called an over and under value for every game. This number is how many total points they feel will be scored in the game. This total is for both teams, not just one.
Using our previous example, the final total for the New England vs. Buffalo game would have been 47 points. Prior to the game, an over and under number value would have been set. For example, this number might have been 50 total points.
Betters who chose under would have won their bet, and those who wrongly felt more than 50 points would be scored, would have lost. This is another fairly simple concept. However, it is a type of bet where employing a few of the strategies we discuss next, might prove profitable.
There are also different types of bets beyond just picking the winner, covering a point spread, or determining the total points. These are referred to as proposition bets, or prop bets. There is such a wide array of prop bets that some refer to them as novelty or side bets.
For instance, you can apply the previous types of bets to each quarter of the game. However, there are dozens of other types of fun prop bets. You can bet on how many touchdowns a quarterback will throw, or how many interceptions a defense will make.
There are bets on which team will score first, or in what fashion the first points will be scored. While every NFL game throughout the season offers prop bets, the Super Bowl seems to be that special game where everyone grabs a piece of the action.
During the big game, you can bet on everything from who wins the coin toss to how long the halftime show will last. Remember, prop bets can be fun, but they also involve a little deeper understanding of various aspects of football betting.