On This Page

Football Betting Strategy for Beginners

There are a few points that we mention time and time again throughout our football betting guide. Trust us when we say that it’s NOT because we’ve run out of things to say. Nor is it because we’re trying to bore our readers. It’s simply because some points are so important that they are worth repeating.

One such point is that it’s hard to win money consistently when betting on football. There are lots of strategies you can use that will improve your chances of success, and it IS possible to become a long term winner. But the harsh reality is that there’s no simple plan to follow that will instantly lead to big profits. There wouldn’t be many bookmakers left if there was. Everyone would be doing it, we’d all be rich and the bookmakers would be out of business.

It’s vital that you understand the challenges you face in becoming a profitable football bettor. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment if you think that you can learn a little bit of strategy and start winning a fortune. Genuine success takes dedication and plenty of hard work. There’s a lot that you need to learn and put into practice.

The good news is that you don’t have to master everything all at once. Just learning the basics of football betting strategy can immediately improve your results. It will also give you the foundation you need to go on and achieve your long-term goals.

The purpose of this section is to teach you the basics that you really need to know. We recommend reading through this whole page first, and then going through each of the articles included in the section. To jump straight to something specific, you can use the links below.

Before You Start

We’ve deliberately kept this part of our football betting strategy guide simple. That’s kind of important, seeing as it’s specifically designed for beginners. We start with the basics and try to give you a solid understanding of what’s involved. This should provide you with a good platform for expanding your knowledge even further, and eventually help you become a successful football bettor.

However, there are some basic sports betting terminology and knowledge that we assume our readers have.

Learning about football betting strategy is much easier if you’re already familiar with certain aspects of sports betting in general. A lot of what you need to learn just won’t make much sense if you’ve literally never placed a sports wager in your life, or if you don’t really understand sports betting.

So if you’re completely new to betting, you might want to go back a step before continuing here. First up, you should take a look at our introduction to sports betting. This explains all about the most fundamental aspects of what’s involved. Here’s a list of some of the key topics covered.

  • Understanding odds
  • Managing your money
  • The risks and rewards of sports betting
  • Betting for fun vs betting for profit
  • The basics of sports betting
  • Important sports betting terms & phrases

Ideally, you should check out our section on the basics of betting on football too. This serves as a useful introduction to betting on America’s number one sport. It explains the pros and cons of betting on football, and details the various different types of football wagers. It also features some simple tips for beginners, and a list of common mistakes to avoid.

Once you’ve done all that, take a look at the following page. This explains some important facts you really need to know about betting on football. It also dispels a number of myths, and covers some simple theories that are relevant to football betting strategy.

We have one more piece of advice to give you before we move on. This is simply that you should do your football betting online. Although this advice is not technically related to strategy, it’s still worth mentioning here. There are several benefits to betting online, some of which can directly improve your chances of winning money.

Please make sure that you use the right betting sites though. Most sites are pretty good, but the best ones provide a much better all-round experience. Most importantly: don’t sign up anywhere before checking out our recommendations first.

Football Betting Strategy Explained

OK, so you’re ready to start learning about football betting strategy. But what does this term actually mean? What exactly IS a football betting strategy?

Let’s focus on the word strategy first. Here are three different dictionary definitions that we’ve found.

  • A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall goal
  • A careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time
  • The skill of making or carrying out plans to achieve a goal

It couldn’t get much simpler than that! A strategy is basically a plan to achieve your goals. So how does this apply in the context of football betting? Well, before we can answer that, you must answer one simple question!

What are you hoping to achieve from betting on football?

You might think that the answer to this question is obvious. It’s to make money, right? Actually, that’s not always the case. Not everyone has the same goal when betting on football. Some people bet primarily for the entertainment, so they might be aiming to just enjoy themselves without losing too much money. For some people, betting is about the challenge. They bet because it’s a good way to test their football knowledge. So their aim might be to win as many wagers as possible, in order to prove they’re skilled when it comes to making accurate predictions.

People who bet on football for fun can easily put a suitable plan of action in place to achieve their goals. They should set a budget for how much they’re prepared to lose each week or month, and then size their stakes according to that budget. That alone should ensure that they achieve their aims. If they learn a little bit about the basics of betting on football, and follow some of the simple tips we provide, they should be able to win at least a few of their wagers.

That’s all the “strategy” they need to worry about. With strict spending limits, they can have their fun without the risk of losing large sums.

People who bet for the challenge need a slightly different plan. They should also have a budget in place of course, because no-one should be risking money that they can’t afford to lose. Beyond that, they should be looking for games where they’re confident of making a correct call. They should probably stick to point spread wagers and totals, and only put their money down when they’ve got a high level of confidence in their prediction. This strategy should enable them to win plenty of wagers, as long as they are properly educated.

All very simple so far. So why does this strategy guide feature dozens of pages? Well, it’s because a lot people reading this will have the singular aim of making regular and consistent profits from their football betting. And that’s where things get a little more complicated.

Finding a winning football betting strategy that will return those regular and consistent profits is a challenge.

The basic definition of strategy is straightforward. There are certain aspects of football betting strategy that are simple and easy to understand. But for real success, you must explore the subject far beyond the basics.

The fact is that you’ll never find one single strategy that will help you achieve all of your goals. There are lots of different individual strategies that can be useful, but they’re not all appropriate in every single situation. So the aim is actually to combine different strategies into an overall approach that brings results. A longer term aim should be to develop your own unique strategies.

Before you get to that point, however, you must learn how to implement football betting strategy effectively.

Implementing Strategy Effectively

We’ve established a basic definition of football betting strategy and touched on what’s involved. We now need to look in more detail about how to actually use strategy effectively for improving betting results.

Making regular and consistent profits requires analyzing a wide variety of factors before placing a single wager. Being knowledgeable about football is not enough by itself. You have to learn HOW to utilize that knowledge. There are some important concepts you need to understand, and some vital skills you need to master.

Above all else, there are three things you need to be able to do well. These are follows.

  • Manage your money correctly
  • Predict results accurately
  • Find value in the odds and lines

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Managing your money correctly

This is one of the most important aspects of ANY form of gambling. Gambling quite obviously involves risk. There’s nothing wrong with taking risks, but those risks should be calculated and not excessive. You should certainly never gamble with money that you can’t afford to lose, or borrow money for the purposes of gambling.

In the context of gambling in general, basic money management is very simple. Set a budget, then stick to it. Don’t risk more than you’re comfortable with, and never chase losses. That’s about all you have to do. There’s obviously more involved in managing your money when it comes to betting on football though, especially if you’re serious about long term success.

First and foremost, you need a dedicated bankroll. This is a sum of money allocated solely for the purposes of betting. It should be kept separate from all other funds. Once you’ve established a bankroll, you then need to learn how to manage it correctly. This is vital, for one very simple reason.

You WILL go bust without good bankroll management.

This is a fact. No-one can win every wager that they place, no matter how good they are. And almost everyone goes on long losing streaks from time to time. The only way to survive those losing streaks with a bankroll intact is to stick to some defined rules about how much to stake and when.

That’s essentially what bankroll management is. It’s a set of rules that determines the size of each wager that you place. The idea is that you’ll only ever risk a small percentage of your bankroll on any single wager. This should allow you to ride out losing streaks without going bust, meaning you still have funds to work with when results turnaround.

Our article on bankroll management and staking plans goes into more detail on this subject.

Predicting results accurately

It should be obvious that successful betting requires predicting results with some degree of accuracy. Luck and guesswork might get results in the short term, but to make money over the long run you must be able to make accurate predictions. This is where we run into problems because…

Football is an unpredictable sport where surprise results are common.

This is the reality that you’re facing. It’s not easy to predict football results, simply because they’re so unpredictable. Fans of the sport will already know this of course; it’s a major reason why watching football is so exciting. ANYTHING can happen. It’s not at all rare for a so-called weaker team to put in a great performance and beat a big favorite. Or for a team to make it through to the playoffs when no-one expected them to. We’ve even seen “bad” teams take us completely by surprise and win the Super Bowl.

So CAN you make accurate predictions when there is so much uncertainty? Yes, for sure. You won’t get it right every time of course, but you can get it right often enough to make an overall profit. Even though it’s tough, it can be done.

The trick is to use all the information that’s available to you. You won’t do very well if relying on just your instinct and a passing knowledge of the teams and players involved. You need to do some extensive research, and analyze a wide range of data that can help you to make informed judgements about what’s likely to happen. Please read the following articles for more advice on this.

Finding value in the odds and lines

Good predictive skills go a long way when betting on football. Let’s face it! They are what help you win! But winning lots of wagers is not necessarily enough in isolation of other considerations. For the best chance of making money you really need to understand the concept of value. Furthermore, you need to learn how to find value in the odds and lines that bookmakers offer.

The ability to find value is vital for long term betting success.

This is no exaggeration. One of the main reasons why most bettors lose is simply because they don’t understand the concept of value. They focus solely on betting on what they think is going to happen. As logical as that might seem, it’s actually not the best approach. It’s far more important to bet based on value. This means comparing the probability of any particular outcome to the odds available for betting on that outcome.

We know this might sound a little confusing. Betting for value is really quite straightforward though, once you understand exactly what it entails. The following article tells you everything you need to know, and this really is a must-read.

Taking everything that we’ve discussed so far on board is an important step on the road to football betting success. That’s all it is though – just one step. Now you need to start actually using football betting strategy to your advantage.

How to Get Started

There are two more articles in our section on football betting strategy for beginners. These provide practical advice for getting started. There’s some very useful tips aimed specifically at those who are new to all of this, and some basic strategies that are nice and easy to understand.

You should definitely take the time to read through these two articles, and indeed all the articles in this section. It might seem like a lot of information to take in, but none of it is very complicated and it’s all going to help you in one way or another.

There’s still a lot more to learn of course, as we’ve really only scratched the surface so far. Try to bear the following point in mind though.

Theory is no substitute for practical experience.

There’s simply no point in trying to learn everything there is to know about football betting strategy before actually putting things into practice. Some basic knowledge will definitely help, but there’s nothing wrong with learning as you go along. Remember, no single system or strategy is “perfect.” Your success, or otherwise, will always rely to some extent on how you interpret and implement various different strategies. The more experience you have, the easy this will become.

If you’ve gone through everything on this page so far, and made sure you understood it, you’re already ahead of most recreational football bettors. The additional articles we’ve linked to will help push you even further ahead. There’s still a long way to go before you can consider yourself a truly accomplished football bettor, but you’re certainly on the right track. There’s just one more important point to make.

You MUST be patient.

Remember those definitions for strategy we gave earlier? They referred to long-term aims and achieving goals over a longer period time. So don’t expect overnight success. It’s just not going to happen. Be patient, and don’t try to rush things. The slow and steady approach will yield better results in the long run.