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10 tips for creating an NFL betting strategy

Home » Sports Betting » NFL Betting Strategy: Tips and Advice to Successful Betting on NFL

For anyone who enjoys betting on football, it’s imperative to have an NFL betting strategy. Betting on NFL games can be difficult with the margin of error incredibly low.

The last thing you want to do is bet on games blindly or without a clear purpose. Those who want to bet need to know what to look for when betting on football and the best way to bet on NFL games. It might sound easy, but it’s not.

NFL betting strategy

That’s why we wanted to offer some NFL betting advice to help bettors create a clear NFL betting strategy. Granted, having a strategy doesn’t immediately equal winning bets. There is no such thing as having NFL betting secrets.

But by having a few guiding principles on what to look for when betting on football, you can create an NFL betting strategy that works for you. That being said, here are 10 pieces of NFL betting advice to consider.

Home field matters

In the NFL, home field almost always matters. It’s a common betting practice that oddsmakers give an extra three points to the home team when determining the spread in games. Obviously, we don’t know if that holds true in every NFL game.


But we do know that it’s rare to see a home team that doesn’t have some discernible advantage. This is a factor that should be taken into account with every NFL game, especially if a team is an underdog by a few points at home; they might make for a good upset pick.

Check the injury reports

Unless there’s a quarterback missing, injuries don’t have much impact on the spread of an NFL game. However, a team dealing with multiple injuries could be at a disadvantage. This is why it’s sometimes a good idea to wait until teams announce what players are inactive about an hour before kickoff.

This will tell you whether players battling injuries are suiting up or not. Specifically, look for injuries at key positions, including a good pass rusher, a left tackle, or a top-flight offensive playmaker. Injuries to players like this can end up making a big difference in a game, even if they don’t cause the betting line to move much.

Monitor line movement

Bettors who are serious typically monitor changes to the spreads of NFL games during the week. The spread of an NFL game could open at a certain number but end up being two or three points different by the time Sunday rolls around.

This usually means that a large amount of money is being placed on a certain bet and oddsmakers are trying to balance things out. The reason why most of the money is flowing in a certain direction is something to consider. If you can understand why this is the case, try to figure out whether it’s best to jump on the bandwagon or go against the grain.


Limit your parlays

Parlays are always a tempting proposition because they can result in big winnings. Just keep in mind that oddsmakers offer them because they know most aren’t going to pay off, allowing them to end up profiting more than they lose.

Winning three or four bets at the same time, whether it’s betting on multiple games or a same-game parlay, can be difficult, especially for novice bettors. It takes a lot of experience, research, and luck to keep coming out on top in parlays. Outside of the sharps, it’s not always a good idea to engage in a lot of NFL parlays.

Diversify your portfolio

If you can find one type of betting that works for you, by all means, stick with it. But it’s usually best to explore different betting options.

Try betting on moneylines, spreads, and game totals as a way to mix things up. For certain games, betting on the over/under of total points will be easier than betting against the spread, and vice versa.

In the NFL, it can also be worth exploring alternative point spreads. Of course, this alters the payout that you’ll receive for a winning bet. But with alternate spreads, the bettor has more power to find a spread and a bet that they’re comfortable making rather than only going with the primary spread that oddsmakers are offering.

Know the key numbers

If you’re not going to explore alternative betting lines, it’s critical to know the key numbers in NFL games. Nearly half of all NFL games end with a point differential of 3, 6, 7, 10, or 14 points. Oddsmakers are well aware of this, and so they like to play games with these numbers when it comes to point spreads.

For example, a 2.5-point spread can be much easier to cover than a 3.5-point spread. The same can be said of 6.5 points vs 7.5 points, and so on.

This can change the way bettors value the chances of a favorite covering a spread compared to an underdog beating the spread. Of course, oddsmakers can sometimes use the numbers 3, 6, 7, 10, and 14 to entice betters to take a particular side, so always be careful when spreads are within half a point of these key numbers and be confident with your bets when these numbers are involved or stay away from them.

Look for unders and underdogs

Most casual bettors are focused primarily on betting on favorites to win games and the point total to go over the over/under value. This is because these are the simplest ways to make and monitor bets.

Fans don’t want to root against points being scored or for an underdog to just keep a game close. Of course, oddsmakers know this and are able to use it to their advantage by bumping up spreads and point totals just a little.

This means that savvy bettors can be on the lookout for underdogs with a strong chance of beating the spread or point totals that are inflated, making the under more likely to win. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should bet exclusively on unders and underdogs. Just keep in mind that oddsmakers can sometimes skew things to make unders and underdogs a little more valuable.

Bet against the public

If you want a good NFL betting strategy, bet against the public.

Typically, the betting public is not as smart as oddsmakers, nor are they as smart as the sharps and pro bettors. If a vast majority of the betting public is betting a certain way on a specific game, don’t assume that they’re going to be right. More times than not, the betting public can be wrong. Plus, if a lot of money is going toward a particular team, it can skew the spread and make the opposite bet more valuable.

Go live

The first rule of live betting is don’t bet on what you’re not watching. But for bettors who are planning to watch a game, live betting can be a lucrative option. One trick with live betting is to see if the pre-game spread changes after the first drive or two of the game.

If the team that’s favored to win scores on its first possession, it can significantly increase the live spread. However, the favored team was always going to score multiple touchdowns in the game, it just happened to take place in their first drive. An early touchdown shouldn’t dramatically change your pre-game assessment, so if the live spread changes significantly after an early touchdown, bet in the other direction because there will be far more leeway and good value.

Use your head, stay away from your heart

Perhaps the best rule of NFL betting is to not bet with your heart. Don’t place bets on what you hope will happen, which usually means staying away from bets on your favorite team.

While you might know them best, it’s hard to be objective about them. Ultimately, objectivity is what’s going to lead you to make smart bets. In other words, use your head, not your heart when making bets.

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