The NFL is one of the hardest sports to predict accurately. Even the experts – those who pick games for a living – have a hard time breaking 50 percent on the year. Turning a profit is even harder, so if you go in without a plan, you’re doomed to fail.
NCAA football is a bit easier, but you never know when a defensively minded team is going to spring holes and hit the over.
Ahead, we’ll cover some football betting tips to make sure you’ll have an edge when the time comes to place a bet. No system is foolproof, but with some help from expert pickers, you’ll be on your way to coming out of the season ahead.
Manage Your Bankroll
Bankroll management is one of the most important football betting tips we can give you. In fact, it’s an essential element in all forms of gambling, from poker to horse racing.
First, assume you’ll lose all of your money. This is a worst-case scenario, but if it happens, it shouldn’t be the end of the world.
Budget your bets before the season starts. Never bet more than you have in your allocated bankroll.
Once you’ve decided on an amount you can afford to lose, use up to five to seven percent as a maximum on each bet. If you’re more confident in a pick, you can bet more. If not, bet less.
Make sure you never go below whichever amount you’ve declared as your bankroll – even if you keep losing.
Don’t Chase Losses
Bad gamblers will get themselves in a hole and think they have to bet even more to recoup what they’ve lost. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you.
Everyone loses, even the best in the business. Continue to bet your percentages until things turn around. If you finish the season in the red, dust yourself off and keep going.
Sports betting is a billion dollar industry for a reason. Too many players chase their losses until they don’t have any money left with which to bet. Don’t be one of these people.
Don’t Increase after Winning Bets
Much like chasing losses, some people start to bet big when they’ve had a few wins in a row. This strategy is one of the best ways to lose all of your winnings in a short period.
Stick to your strategy, and if you find that you’ve won a lot of money at the end of the year, increase your bankroll for the next season.
Sports betting is extremely volatile. A hot streak can turn into a cold streak in the blink of an eye.
Shop for the Best Lines
There are plenty of online sportsbooks out there, so there’s no need to use only one. If you like the Saints -6, take a look at where the line is with other sportsbooks. You may find the team favored by 5.5, or even 3.5.
The same goes for betting over/unders. If you see something like a “sure thing,” do your due diligence and get the most value out of your dollar. It may not seem like much, but that half a point can be the difference between winning and losing a bet.
Never Bet Every Game
As fun as it is to watch all the games on Saturday, or care about every game on the Red Zone channel, it’s just not practical. Out of our football betting tips, this is the one that’s most intuitive. Still, many people make the mistake of having too much money spread around.
Instead, look for the edges where you can find them. If you see a road team favored against Seattle, for instance, it’s probably a good idea to get some action on that game.
Try to get a leg-up where you can. If you see a game that you don’t know anything about, stay away from it.
These football betting tips are about making a profit, not making games more interesting. If putting $5 on a game is enough to get your heart rate up, more power to you. If your risk is higher, you should only make a few bets in a week – sometimes none at all.
Become Your Own Oddsmaker
One of the best ways to find an edge on bookmakers it to sit down and start picking teams every week. Make your own lines and see how they do. Try this out, learn, and adjust.
Eventually, you should be able to get close to the final result in many of the games.
After that, you’ll have a better recognition of where the value is. If your line has the Panthers as underdogs, but you see them as favorites, hammer that line. Betting is all about finding a slight advantage where you can.
Most people think that the oddsmakers are smarter than they are. While that may be the case, practice making the lines so you’ll be on as even of a playing ground as you can.
Don’t Bet Drunk
This tip should be self-explanatory, but never allow yourself to place a bet when you’re drunk.
Football and beer go hand-in-hand. That’s fine, but don’t gamble and booze. You’ll only lose your money.
Alcohol impairs your judgment, which is why casinos often offer their patrons free drinks. You’ll stop caring so much, and may bet more than your allocated bankroll on one game.
Football Betting Tips for New Gamblers
There’s no such thing as a sure thing. Your buddy probably doesn’t have any inside knowledge as to who is going to win the game, and when the under is the safest.
Find a few sources you trust and learn what they look for in games. Start to make your own lines to learn what you like about teams. Test your system against the house.
Above all, have fun. You shouldn’t be close to betting money you can’t afford to lose.
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