Hey you! Yes you! Do you want to be a successful football bettor? If your answer is yes, then you better get to work. There’s a lot that you need to know, and do, if you want to be a success. Most of the advice we offer for betting on the NFL can also be applied to the Canadian Football League or even college football. This is because the sport is fundamentally played the same way in each of these three competitions.
Notice that we said MOST. Not all. There’s an important distinction. The basics of football betting always apply, irrespective of what you’re wagering on. Much of what you need to research and analyze is always the same. And there are several straightforward strategies that work equally well on both the NFL and college football. There are, however, certain aspects of betting that DO change dependent on what you’re wagering on.
That’s why we’ve compiled this section of our football betting guide. It’s dedicated solely to betting on the NFL. Please note that it doesn’t replace the rest of the information and advice we provide elsewhere in our guide. That’s all still relevant. It’s just that this section is targeted directly at those who want to learn more about wagering on the NFL specifically.
This section is primarily made up of a collection of articles on various topics related to NFL betting strategy. We’ve detailed each one these articles below. We’ve also explored some of the main reasons why you might want to bet on the NFL on this page, and provided some basic tips too. We finish off with some other general football betting strategy that you should be aware of.
Most people bet on the NFL for one, or more, of these three primary reasons. Some people bet for other reasons too, but we’re confident that these three are the most common.
To make a profit
To make watching the games more exciting
To put their football knowledge to the test
These are perfectly valid grounds for betting on the NFL. In fact, we personally bet for all three of these reasons ourselves. Our primary motive is always to make money, but there’s no doubt that we also get a greater enjoyment from watching games when we have some money down, and we definitely enjoy the challenge of putting our football knowledge to the test and trying to take on the bookmakers. We love the buzz we get from simply winning a wager almost as much as we love the fact that it’s made us some extra spending money.
There are a couple of other good reasons for wagering on the NFL too. Namely the number of betting opportunities it presents and the amount of coverage it receives. Let’s take a look at these two reasons in a little more detail.
Number of Betting Opportunities
One of the first rules of profitable sports betting is to be patient and wait for the right opportunities to bet. You should only ever place a wager when there’s a good reason to do so, otherwise you greatly reduce your overall chances of making money. It’s fine to bet for the sake of it when you’re only having fun, but not when your goal is to make money.
The good news is that there’s no shortage of betting opportunities in the NFL. So although you do still have to exercise patience when necessary, there’s usually plenty of good spots for getting some money down. The sheer number of games being played each season ensures this.
With 267 games to bet on there are obviously going to be many occasions where you can identify some value in the betting markets. You shouldn’t be placing wagers on every game, of course, but you don’t need to. Even if you only bet on 20% of the games each season, that’s still over 50 games.
It’s also worth noting that there a lots of different wagers you can place on football games. Unlike some other sports, you’re not limited to just one or two options. This increases the overall number of betting opportunities that arise. Here are some examples of the wagers that most bookmakers offer on football games.
Teasers & Pleasers
And we’re still not done. Even more opportunities exist in the NFL outside of wagering on the individual games. There are a number of futures available too. These are wagers based on outcomes over the course of an entire season, such as the following.
Super Bowl Winner
To Make the Playoffs
So, all in all, it’s fair to say that the NFL presents more than enough betting opportunities. Which wagers you place and how often you place them will ultimately come down to your knowledge and skill of course, but there are certainly plenty of them to take advantage of.
Coverage & Available Information
Relevant knowledge is extremely valuable when it comes to sports betting. Without it, there’s very little chance of being able to make accurate assessments about what’s likely to happen in the future. So you really want to know as much as possible about a sport and its participants. In the case of football specifically, you need to learn as much as possible about the teams and players.
What’s their overall quality like? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What sort of form are they in? What’s their preferred playing style? These questions, and more, need to be answered. And it’s pretty easy to answer these questions for NFL teams and players, simply because of how much information is readily accessible.
The NFL receives an incredible amount of coverage. All the major sports channels show games and highlights throughout the season. Most of them have additional shows dedicated to discussions the NFL too. It’s a similar story with the written press. Most national and regional newspapers give lots of space to game previews and game reports in their sports sections. There’s generally plenty of editorial stuff too.
And then there’s the internet. We use the internet A LOT for the NFL research we do for our betting. To the extent that we genuinely wonder how we coped before the “world wide web” was created. There’s an incredible amount of useful information to be found if you know where to look, especially useful are all the websites that provide detailed statistics on NFL teams and their players. These stats really help us make our betting decisions.
All this coverage and information means there’s simply no excuse for not keeping up to date with what’s happening in the NFL. Everything you need to know is readily available and easily accessible. This puts you in a great position to take on the bookmakers. The people who set the NFL odds and lines are VERY informed, so the more you know the better.
Basic NFL Betting Tips
If you had any doubts as to whether you should be wagering on the NFL, the above information has hopefully helped you make a decision. There are clearly some very good reasons for choosing the NFL over alternatives such as college football or other sports.
So what’s next?
Assuming you’re new to all this, it’s now time to think about how to actually approach wagering on the NFL. There’s a lot to consider, but there are few simple things that you definitely want to get right from the outset. The purpose of the tips we’ve provided below is to help you do exactly that.
Please note that these tips are very basic. There’s nothing advanced here at all. If you’ve already been wagering on football for a while, they might even seem quite obvious. For beginners, though, this advice is pretty valuable. Even though it’s basic, it will ensure that you develop good habits from the moment you start wagering on the NFL. And those habits will give you the platform you need to push forward and become a successful bettor.
This piece of advice applies to wagering on all sports: not just football. It’s something that we mention a lot throughout our website, simply because it’s so important. There are so many advantages to placing your wagers online that it’s not really worth considering the alternatives. It’s by far the easiest way to bet, and the convenience factor alone is a big benefit.
Then there’s the fact that the best odds and lines are generally found online. Better odds and lines mean a greater chance of winning and higher potential payouts. The differences between what the online and offline bookmakers have to offer are not huge, but they’re big enough to matter. An extra half point here and there WILL improve your overall results in time: so will getting slightly higher odds.
Other major advantages include the option to bet in-play, a greater selection of wagers and extra value in the form of bonuses and rewards. So, if you don’t already, please start placing your wagers online. We promise that you’ll be glad you did. Just be sure to use trustworthy sites that are top quality and suitable for football. We’ve recommended the best sites that meet these criteria on the following page.
This tip applies to wagering on all sports too. And it’s also another example of something that we repeat very frequently. In fact, it’s one of the single most important pieces of sports betting advice we can give you. So please try to follow it.
Having a dedicated bankroll simply means putting aside a sum of money that’s specifically for the purposes of wagering. This will probably be more helpful than it sounds. It makes it easier to keep track of how well you’re doing for one thing, and it’s also helpful for sticking to a budget.
Ideally you should go a step further than simply allocating a proper bankroll. You should also apply proper bankroll management. This is something we explain in detail in the following article.
Remember what we said about all the coverage that the NFL receives? This is a significant benefit of wagering on the NFL, but only if you actually take advantage of it. And you really should. Specifically, you should spend as much time as you can spare watching games and reading game reports. This is one of the very best ways to gain some understanding of the teams and players that you’re betting on.
There’s one important proviso to utilizing the extensive NFL coverage though. You’ll encounter a lot of different views and opinions when watching the NFL on TV and reading about it in the papers. And it CAN help to take some of these views and opinions into consideration when doing your own analysis and assessments. But you have to be selective.
Don’t trust EVERYTHING the football “experts” say.
The media is full of so-called NFL experts. Many of them provide genuinely useful insight. Unfortunately, some of them do not. Some of them just state the obvious, or repeat what others have been saying. And some of them do little more than spout nonsense. So you have to be careful about exactly how much weight you give to what these people have to say. You certainly don’t want to assume that everything you hear on TV or see in the papers can be trusted.
Don’t Bet on Every Game
We touched on this already, when we were discussing the number of games that take place each NFL season. It’s something we want to make very clear though, because it’s something that a lot of NFL bettors get wrong. They look at the upcoming games each weekend and try to make a call on each one of them. This just simply isn’t a good approach.
Even professional gamblers who wager on the NFL on a full time basis don’t have the time to make proper assessments about what’s going to happen in every single game. It’s just not practical, because there’s just too much to consider for each game. Trying to make accurate predictions for them all is almost impossible.
The better approach is to be selective. Study a few of the games that stand out, and only put your money down when you’re confident that you’re making a good prediction based on solid analysis. This means placing less wagers, obviously, but is likely to yield far better results in the long run.
Bet With Your Head
Our final tip here is especially relevant for anyone who is a big football fan: which will probably be a lot of you reading this, as many people who bet on the NFL are fans first and foremost. Being a fan can actually be an advantage in some respects, but it also has one significant disadvantage. Football fans have their favorite teams, and teams that they don’t like. This can lead to betting for all the wrong reasons.
It’s very common for football fans to bet on what they WANT to happen. So they’ll back their favorite team to cover because that’s what they’ll be cheering for anyway. Or they’ll back against one of their rival teams for the same reason. This is DEFINITELY NOT a good way to about things.
There’s no place for “feelings” when betting on football.
Betting decisions should always be made based on sound reasoning and logical thinking. At a stretch, instinct can play a part too. But feelings? No. Placing a wager based on emotions is simply not the right thing to do.
Of course, this doesn’t really apply if you’re wagering on the NFL primarily for fun. You can pick wagers for any reason you like in that case, providing you’re only risking money you can afford to lose. But if you want a good chance of making money, then be sure to bet with your head. If you can do that, and also follow the rest of the advice on this page, then you’ll be well on your way to making a profit.
More Football Betting Strategy
In the introduction to this article we referred to the other information and advice in our football betting guide. The stuff that applies to football in general, not the NFL specifically. For those of you who haven’t explored our guide in full, please allow us to point out some highlights. The following articles are all especially useful. We strongly recommend reading them as they cover some of the most important topics related to football betting, and feature some very valuable advice.
In this article we explain the basics of football handicapping. This is a subject you really should learn about before betting on the NFL.
Between these articles, and everything else on this page, we’ve given you a lot to learn. You might be feeling a little overwhelmed as a result. Don’t worry! You don’t have to learn everything all at once. In fact, it’s a good idea to take your time to digest it all. You’ll absorb the information much better if you learn at a steady pace, rather than trying to cram it all into your brain as fast as you can It’s important to be patient when betting on football, and this applies to the learning process too.