The National Football League (NFL) is the most popular game around for sports bettors. Many online sportsbooks feature the NFL, and they try to garner highly coveted football bettors by advertising various promotions associated with the season. NFL point spreads tend to be a tough nut to crack, yet this is the most popular wager for bettors to make.
The challenges of dealing with highly accurate point spreads calls for sports bettors to be extra-attentive to details when they handicap weekly NFL games. Bettors will always look for any edge that they can get, and those that wager on the NFL are no exception. The fact is with so many accurate spreads on the board bettors really do require additional help.
With a strong list of tightly made odds, betting on parlays is even more difficult than it is on other sports, and if you decide to play football props, they can siphon off cash quickly. These spreads also make it difficult to win a parlay wager. Instead of trying to beat three, four, or more spreads on one parlay ticket, it’s important that sports bettors make careful wagers on individual games, betting more units on games of which they are most sure and fewer units on those of which they are less sure.
NFL Betting Articles
- NFL Betting and Matchups
- NFL Betting and the Preseason
- NFL Betting Daily Routine
- NFL Draft and Sports Betting
- NFL Halftime Betting
- NFL Playoffs Betting
- NFL Smart Bets
- Pro Bowl Betting
- Super Bowl Betting
You’ll find that if you want to be a successful NFL sports bettor, you will need to do a lot of prep work. That work starts right about the time that the Super Bowl ends and the futures for the league are posted by bookmakers.
Monitoring the NFL Draft and its effect on each team, studying preseason analysis, and checking out what’s going on in training camp are all important to a sports bettor’s preparation. As the preseason progresses, you’ll need to look for clues that will help you determine exactly how good a team might be and what their chances are of winning.
An important factor in your success will be setting up a daily routine that goes into effect once the NFL season begins. Monitoring spreads and totals, checking on injuries, and considering how any controversies may affect a team are all important.
Matchups should be done as soon as possible, as this will allow you to take advantage of any early and loose lines. Stay current on all aspects of the league.
Importance of Matchups
You can never underestimate the value of analyzing the matchups in each area of the game. This can take time, and what you focus on will often vary from team to team. As an example, one club may have a dominant tight end who has to be controlled by the opposition’s defense, while another club may have a tight end who can be neutralized easily and is not a factor in the game.
Weather, travel, time of game, wind factor, whether a team is playing on a short week, and more aspects may also affect matchups. Depth is always a factor, as is versatility and coaching prowess.
The most common wager for NFL games is the point spread. Usually the odds for spreads are listed at 1.00 : 1.10. The team that’s favored must beat the spread, while the underdog club will pay off if they either lose by less than the point spread or win outright. Spreads may, at times, offer games as a tossup.
NFL moneylines can be tougher to find. Once you locate an NFL moneyline, it may certainly be worth taking, especially for the right favored team. The fact is one of the best ways to beat the spread is not to play it if you can help it.
Finally, football over/unders can be a good wager to make. Totals are often listed at around +/-45.5 (they may be higher or lower). The primary manner in which handicappers create totals involves using the latest stats on how many points on average each team scores and how many points on average each team gives up.
Focus on betting the spread and totals, and see if a moneyline bet may be worth your while. Careful research, well designed matchups, and overall solid handicapping will pay off.
Value in Early Lines
Odds that are posted on Sunday night and Monday for next week’s NFL games are often soft. If a bettor is able to make intelligent choices based on solid evidence while utilizing early lines, they can often score big that week. However, in order to bet on soft odds, you must be able to recognize value in an early line. If you can find an early point spread where the point spread is off, you should go for it.
Why do early lines often have value? It’s because the odds have been made quickly, basically right after the last game each team plays on Sunday. Bookies want to get them online quickly so that they can get action going. Chances are that a mistake or two will be made when posting early odds. Always be selective when deciding on which early odds bets to make.
QB or Other Player Down
When an important player goes down or is designated to sit out the next game, if you act quickly, you’ll be able to exploit odds that have already been posted and not updated in relationship to the loss of the player. You have to act within 24 hours of the incident, or you’ll lose value when the bookmakers adjust the odds in relationship to the changes in the game day roster.
Many times the injury will put the team that is favored at a disadvantage, making a bet on the underdog a good one. This bet can be exceptionally advantageous. The bookmakers will change the spreads, probably posting the underdog with a reduction on the plus side and the favored a reduction on the minus one. It is essential that you wager using the old odds to get as much value as possible.
Half-time odds are also very popular with NFL sports bettors. These odds are created quickly and posted immediately so that bettors have a chance to wager on them before the second-half kick off. With these odds, you’ll be given a totals bet and spread. Both pertain only to second-half results.
Thus, if a team is at -7.5 and they score 14 points in the second half and their opponent scores 3, they win the half, even though they may lose the game. If you wagered on the winner of the game at +3.0 and a final score of 23-17, and you wagered on the winner of the second-half at -7.5 and a score of 14 to 3 for the half, you would win both bets.
Online bookmakers will also offer second-half totals. Once again, this is an over/under on the second-half only. As it is with the second-half spread bet, these can offer good value to the savvy handicapper.
In making second-half bets, you’ll need to have solid knowledge of how the first half went, and, also, a good understanding of how the last half of the game will play out. Often a team that was favored to win and underperformed in the first half will crank it up to the second. And although they may not win the game, they could be victorious in the second. As a handicapper, in order to play second-half lines and totals, you’ll need to work quickly.
Many sportsbooks also provide bettors with first-half bets. Once again, you are only making wagers on half of the game; this time, it’s the first-half outcomes, focusing on spreads and totals. This type of wager is harder to handicap than the second-half, as with this one, you have no prior performance on which to base your bet.
If you make a first-half and a game wager, you’re trying to predict two different results for one game. However, you’re at much more of a disadvantage with the first-half bet, as teams have very little time to adjust to defenses and reach their potential. With a full game bet, you’ve got an entire half of a game where, if your team is losing, they can turn it around. First-half bets are hard to get right.
Betting on Defenses
In handicapping a game, one way to develop a matchup is to focus on each team’s defense and to determine how they will perform against the opponent’s offense. Many times sports bettors do the opposite, evaluating the offense in an effort to see how they will do against the defense. However, defense wins games and one way to determine if a team can win a given contest is to start with the D.
Defenses can ultimately control a game, shutting down a pass attack and run game. It’s not a bad idea to think of defenses as being proactive, and being able to take control of a game. If a defense cannot do that then chances are they will have a tough time controlling the opposition’s offense and the team will lose the game.
Also, thinking in this manner will allow you to look at the totals bet a little differently. If you can determine if a defense can or cannot stop an offense, you’ll begin to get a handle how many points may be scored by both teams.
Field Goal Kickers
The point spread is between 1.5 and 3.5 points. When you see that type of spread you automatically begin to consider the importance of a field goal and the guys who are charged with making them.
The first thing you want to determine as a handicapper is if the game will come down to a few points. The next thing to figure out is what team will be the one with the game on the line if a field goal needs to be made. The next thing to determine is does the team have the ability to get within field goal range to try to make the kick. Finally, ask yourself if the team’s field goal kicker would be able to seal the deal.
Although this is a complex scenario and it is highly specialized, it is certainly a probable one when you consider how many games between evenly matched teams come down to getting into position for that final field goal. This is not always the case with college football, as kickers tend to vary a lot in terms of skill and talent. However, in the pros, where just 32 kickers have jobs, chances are the guy trying to split the uprights is pretty good at it and very capable of making the big play at the end of the game.
Parlays, Teasers, Pleasers, and More
Many NFL sports bettors enjoy playing parlays, and some make a habit of it. Others will also place bets on pleasers and teasers. Parlays are notoriously hard to hit, and it’s suggested that if you are going to play a parlay that you play either a two-team or three-team. Although the odds on four-team and bigger parlays are very attractive, these bets are very hard to hit.
Parlay payouts vary, but generally speaking a two-team bet pays 13-5 and three-team pays 6-1. As an example of how much more the odds go up, the four-team offers odds of 10-1 and the five-team 20-1. But sports bettors rarely see any profit from a parlay, and the best way to realize cash on this type of bet is to limit your risk to two- and three-team bets.
Teasers allow sports bettors to buy points and use those points on their parlay card. The more points you purchase, the lower your risk on the parlay and the lower your payoff if you do hit on your teaser. These are considered to be bad bets because the teaser negates the reason to play a parlay, which is to garner a large payout.
Teasers range from 6 to 7 points. If you bet a three-team pleaser, your odds on the parlay go form 6-1 to 9-5. Thus, a $10.00 bet on a three-team parlay would pay $60.00, while a teaser would pay $18.00
Pleasers are for sports bettors who believe that the teams chosen for their parlay will outperform expert projections. The pleaser is the opposite of the teaser, as teams lose points and must win by a greater margin. Pleasers vary from book to book with the top point reduction being 7. As an example of how a pleaser can change odds, a 7-point, three-team pleaser pays 25-1 and not 6-1. Thus, if you hit on your pleaser, you’d win $250, whereas you’d win $60.00 on a three-team parlay.
Betting on the NFL
Wagering on second-half betting can be a very good move for many sports bettors. In other articles, we discuss the value that can be found in the second-half wager. We also look at other analyze the differences between regular season, the playoffs, the Super Bowl, and the Pro Bowl.
Sports bettors love wagering on football and especially on the NFL. If you’re planning on making the most out of your sports betting bankroll, remember that it’s a good idea to make single game wagers rather than more risky parlays. Point spread, moneyline, and totals bets are standard wagers when putting money on the NFL. Limit the number of teams on which you bet, look for value and soft lines, which are often published early, and consider second-half betting.