So you think you’re ready to take the plunge.
Realize this; once you place your first NFL bet, there’s no turning back. Pro football is easily the sport of choice for most bettors, from Joe Public to Sam Sharp.
Every Sunday brings another opportunity to strike it rich - at least that’s what most believe.
Here are several keys to making your NFL betting experience a profitable one.
Don’t follow the crowd
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
With so many media outlets piling on so much information over the course of the week, everyone suddenly becomes an expert.
But you’ll see more public burials on Sunday than any other day of the week.
Remember, the lines are set in an effort to put an even amount of money on each side, not to trick the betting majority. Keeping that in mind is key to keeping your bankroll intact.
Check consensus reports, browse sports betting forums, do whatever you can to get a feel for what appears to be the week’s so-called locks. Even if you don’t bet the other side, staying away is often the right move.
Taking the path less traveled is a good rule of thumb when it comes to choosing your spots.
Off a win vs. off a loss
Motivation is huge when it comes to NFL football.
It’s often the teams that are fresh off a tough loss that make the best bets, even if they’re not the most attractive on paper.
That angle becomes even stronger when you talk about teams coming off a shutout loss.
No one likes to be embarrassed, and we’re talking about some of the biggest egos in all of sports taking the field each week. Pride plays a major role in motivation.
Those teams that are fat and happy off a win, especially over a divisional opponent or rival, are more likely to suffer a letdown the next week.
I’m not talking about pastrami on rye here.
Keep an eye out for situations where a team is facing a non-conference opponent between two divisional games. They have reason to hold a little back in these spots, and can get caught looking ahead.
There are also those games where one team can essentially name its score against an inferior opponent. The Detroit Lions were on the wrong side of plenty of those situations last season.
In those spots, the superior team can ease off the gas pedal, opening the door for an underdog cover.
Every team has numerous flat spots in its 16-game schedule. Locating those games prior to the start of the season can put you ahead of the curve.
Betting TV games
This is another situation where knowing how the public is betting is key.
For most nationally televised primetime games, the betting majority will lean to the favorite and the over.
The oddsmakers know this, and take it into consideration when setting their lines.
I’m not saying that the underdog and the under are always the way to go, but giving those plays an initial look is imperative.
While weather is rarely a major factor in the early stages of the NFL season, it takes on a critical role later on.
The most common mistake bettors make is assuming that bad weather leads to less scoring. It’s often exactly the opposite.
High winds or extreme rain/snow storms can have a negative effect on scoring, but for the most part, slippery fields give the advantage to the offense.
Knowing how each team plays in different types of weather is also key, particularly when we’re talking about extreme cold or heat.
Conditioning plays a major role in a team’s success playing in hot weather.
Meanwhile, teams from the south can struggle when heading north to play in harsh conditions from the end of November on.
Speaking of traveling, pay attention to teams playing across multiple time zones. West Coast teams tend to have a tough time in early starts on the East Coast.
Revenge? Not so much
Revenge is best left to the college game.
There are few trends that support revenge as a long-term winning angle in pro football. With that said, there are still a great number of bettors who will back a team based solely on that angle.
That often provides us with excellent value going the other way, especially when it comes to much-hyped same season revenge.