Welcome to another glorious NFL season, the perennial heartthrob of the gambling public. Advancements in technology, the innovation of odds boosts and alternate spreads have created a utopian NJ sports betting vision.
There are thousands of available wagers every week.
But how do bettors stay in the game amid endless NFL betting options? In the video below, I chat one on one with colleague Kim Yuhl about NFL betting.
Here are some wagering strategies, which you might want to view as part of your always-expanding betting handbook.
In the spirit of seven points for a touchdown (including the traditional extra point), here are some ideas for you to score with in 2020.
1. Follow the trends
The most profitable gamblers prepare and hone in on what they consider their strengths: certain teams, matchups or trends.
These ideas develop over the course of the season.
Profitable gamblers play what they like, pounce on what they love and keep “action” bets, something to just say you have money on a game, to a minimum.
They can live with success or failure resting on how they did on bets they loved.
2. Watch the data
Decide how you feel about the game prior to checking the odds. Determine what you believe the final score could be and measure it against the actual line.
If there’s a discrepancy, e.g., you believe the Philadelphia Eagles will win by six points but DraftKings Sportsbook is giving 3.5 points, that’s highly playable for you. (If the disparity is too wide, however, check to see you didn’t miss something, e.g., a quarterback injury).
On the other hand, if the odds match your pregame sentiments, you have a 50-50 situation. Not bad if you bet accordingly.
3. Establish your own evolving database
For this example, let’s use the entire NFL.
Monitor teams week by week to determine betting-specific matters like whether they score touchdowns or settle for field goals in the red zone.
Some teams just can’t finish drives, often because of the play-calling near the goal line. Watch long enough and you will get a sense for who these clubs are.
There are also aggressive coaches who forgo punting on the 4th down near midfield. This is becoming increasingly prominent in the NFL and is an edge for the over bet totals.
Punts drive teams back near their own goal line and give them a longer field to navigate. Teams that punt often will lean toward the under.
Watch the end of the games, too. The elite teams have traditionally gone for the dagger in the final couple of minutes. Less-secure clubs will protect a small lead.
4. Hunches in bunches
The Miami Dolphins lost the first two games of the season by combined scores of 102-10 last year. The worst team in the league, right?
In Week 4, they shifted to Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.
And “Fitz Magic” led this team on a tear. The Dolphins went 9-3 against the spread over the last 12 games. Anyone who spotted this trend cleaned up on the Dolphins.
Miami rarely won outright, but the Dolphins were big-point underdogs and played tough. The Dolphins even beat the New England Patriots in New England on the final game of the season — as a double-digit dog.
For some reason, there are teams you will get a feel for and others that you can’t. It’s good to know your own win percentage with different clubs. Try to dismiss those you can’t figure out.
5. Keep your eyes on the odds
Find a team with a bad defense and think “over.” Those bettors could have thrown a post-season bash for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.
Bad defensive teams give over bettors the added options of forcing their offense to throw often.
As you sense how teams play, versus either division foes at home or away, you will get a feel for the point range they will be capable of in a certain game.
This will help if you take a spread and over-under parlay to improve odds. It’s harder to hit two bets than one, but if you have a feel for a game, that’s when making multiple bets makes sense.
Line movement may happen modestly throughout the week and become prominent closer to game time. That will reflect public betting sentiment.
Many teams are overbet in their own market. If they come off of a win, the handle may be extraordinary for them the following week. If you want to go against them, you could gain favorable odds in those cases.
6. Don’t chase
There are several thousand NFL bets to choose from.
There is no need to “get even” with a late bet on a bad week. The bets will be there again next week. And maybe you’ll be hot. Yes, that’s easier said than done, but true nonetheless.
Spend a little funny money. Want to try a crazy five- and six-team parlay? Why not? Assign a small percentage of your budget to try to nail a big one. That’s where the fun is.
But always watch your wallet and keep tabs on your NFL bets. Be smart, and gamble responsibly.
7. Develop a strategy
Parlay winners who make the news have been jumping on the moneyline using big favorites. They may combine several of them, sprinkle in one or two risky spread bets and walk away with a multifold profit.
Most of these tickets lose, because every game must be hit in order to collect, but it does show a strategy. Gamblers are taking what they believe is a given for perhaps 75% of the ticket, taking their chances on the other 25% and hitting big when they are right.