Football is the most popular sport in the US, so it’s no surprise that it brings in the most sports betting in the country. In fact, Super Bowl 56 brought in an estimated $7.61 billion with around 31 million people betting on the game.
Although team sports are easier to analyze, predict, and bet on the outcome, you might still find that you haven’t found a consistent strategy to cash in. This article will cover 10 NFL betting strategies that will help you start cashing in like the pros.
Why Use NFL Betting Strategies?
The biggest difference between a casual bettor that wins the occasional wager and a professional bettor who consistently brings in money is that a professional follows a consistent set of rules.
These strategies aren’t guarantees to win every time, but they at least will allow you to win on a more consistent basis based on actual proven statistics.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Arbitrage Betting
Arbitrage betting is typically the easiest and most steady betting strategy that you can use to make guaranteed profits.
It’s based on the idea of finding odds that don’t represent the real chance of an outcome — basically finding odds that are wrong. Once you find it, you cover the other outcome on sharp, right odds.
Let’s look at an example.
Let’s say the Atlanta Falcons normally have odds of 1.50, which means they have a 66.7% chance of winning a game. Then a certain bookmaker changes those odds and offers odds of 1.72 for them, which is a 58% chance of winning.
In this situation, you can bet $100 on the Falcons on the odds of 1.72. At the same time, you place wagers on the team they’re playing against to win (and draw) at a different bookmaker with odds of 2.55 and place $67.
No matter what happens, you’ll gain a profit of $4.50. Although that doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you’re making hundreds of bets like this a month, you can make a pretty sizable profit.
Although it might take some practice, knowledge, and experience, arbitrage betting is a great way to make money, and can even make you a living if you get good enough at it.
2. Value Betting
Value betting is similar to the strategy we used in arbitrage betting. The goal here is to find markets where bookies are offering the wrong odds again.
You want to find betting platforms that are giving odds that are higher than the actual probability of them winning. If you find odds like this — place a wager.
According to probability, it’s generally known that the outcomes are super close to the odds that the best bookmakers make.
Let’s say the Denver Broncos have a 66% chance of winning a game. Most bookies are offering odds of 1.40-1.45 for the Broncos to win — but one bookmaker is offering 1.70.
The goal here is to take these betting opportunities whenever they are available. If you know that the team has a 66% chance of winning and continue to place wagers on these wrong odds, you’ll make a profit in the long run.
3. Statistics-Based Football Betting
The way bookmakers create odds is by analyzing databases of tons of information throughout the league. This can include individual player statistics, past performance, current form, weather, and much more.
The thing is, not all bookmakers have access to the same information. And furthermore, they don’t always have the resources to react to every single new piece of information for every single game.
This is how statistic-based betting works. You can take advantage of the holes that bookies miss. One great way to do this is by following games live and taking action when bookmakers aren’t fast enough to react.
But be aware that winning bets based on statistics only work if your information about the game or players is more accurate than the bookmakers.
Experienced bettors often debate on what are the best statistics to pay attention to.
Some believe that yards are more predictive of future points than points made in the past are. Others believe turnover margin can predict the over-under better than anything else. Others think that the early-down pass rate tops the list of advantages.
Dig deep into the stats to find what can help you make the best predictive bets possible. There are several databases which you can look up NFL statistics for, like Pro Football Reference.
4. Follow Tipsters
Another great strategy for online sports betting is to use tipster services. A tipster is simply someone who gives information for likely outcomes of certain sports games.
Several experienced bettors believe that all you need to have a good betting strategy is to find a tipster platform that has a long and profitable history.
This can be a dangerous thought process because tipsters can always change their betting history to show more favorable results by simply deleting lost bets or changing the stakes.
But if you can find trusted experts, it can be a great way to make winning bets while other experts do the research for you.
5. Matched Betting
Matched betting is one of the most simple strategies for football betting. It’s another strategy that can guarantee you a profit. However, this only works when a bookmaker is offering free bets.
You’ll often see these with promotions for new platforms or memberships all over the internet. Here’s how to do it.
First, you need to find a free bet by signing up for a new bookmaker. Next, you’ll need to find a game to bet on that doesn’t have a clear favorite. Use your free bet and place a wager on a winner.
At the same time, go to a different betting exchange website (where you bet against other people rather than bookies) and lay a bet against the team that you backed with your free bet. By laying a bet, you’re pretty much saying that you don’t think the team will win, so you cover the loss and draw.
By doing this, you have all three outcomes covered: win, loss, and draw.
Of course, you have to calculate how much stake to lay to cover the potential loss. But doing this correctly means guaranteed cash in your pocket.
Here’s an example:
The Seattle Seahawks are playing the New England Patriots. You place your free bet on the home team, the Patriots. Let’s say the odds are 2.30. You can lay this bet in a betting exchange (Patriots will lose) at 2.42.
$10 free bet x 2.30 = $23 – $10 (you don’t get your free stake back) = $13
$5.42 lay bet x 2.42 = $13.12 (liability being $7.70)
If your free bet wins, you make $13 and lose $7.70 from your betting exchange bet, which means you made a $5.30 profit.
If the Seahawks end up winning, you make a profit off your lay bet with $5.42 + a small commission that betting exchanges usually charge.
6. Price Boost Exploitation
Every day, almost all bookmakers offer their customers some sort of enhanced odds.
Most bettors will take the bet hoping to win at the increased price. However, there’s a small minority of smart bettors that can take advantage of these offers to get a positive return.
The basic strategy here is to “back” a bet on boosted odds, then go to another online gambling platform to cover all other possible outcomes, usually by placing a lay bet on a betting exchange like in the last example.
7. Lay Betting
We covered a few examples of Lay Betting already, but let’s dig into how experienced bettors can make more money by studying this strategy carefully.
Lay betting is basically saying a certain outcome won’t happen as opposed to a normal bet saying something will happen. Here are a few strategies that can take advantage of this.
One example would be to lay bets on correct scores. Predicting the exact score of a game is one of the hardest bets to win. However, by placing lay bets, you can bet on it not being a certain score. You would have to place several lay bets at once. You would lose this bet only if the outcome actually does match one of your scores, which is not very likely.
Another strategy would be by following the games live. Let’s say you’re watching a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans. The Chiefs are heavily favored to win the game, giving you terrible odds to bet on at the beginning of the game.
But let’s say the Texans have started playing really well and are actually giving the Chiefs a run for their money. Live odds would start to improve. You can then lay a bet against the underdog (the Texans) based on the idea that the much stronger team (the Chiefs) will mount a comeback.
These are just a few examples of opportunities that lay betting provides.
8. Fading the Public
Fading the public basically means going against what most of the public and the media expect to happen in a game.
No, this does not mean you just blindly make bets on every single underdog. It means you look for certain markets where public perception has led picks to become overpriced.
If most people strongly favor one side, most of the money ends up going to that side. When bookmakers see this, they’ll shift their lines and odds to create action on the other side of the bet.
This is when value is created for smart bettors. Let’s look at an example.
Let’s say there’s a game between the New York Jets and the Los Angeles Rams with these spreads:
Most of the bets come in to favor the Rams, so the bookies edit the spread to:
Although it was a close game at first, the updated odds suggest that the Rams are huge favorites. Because of this, there’s much more value for the Chargers for bettors who are up against public perception.
Fading the public doesn’t work for every situation, but can create a few opportunities for experienced bettors.
9. Shop For the Best Odds
This is a pretty simple tip that applies to all sports betting, but make sure that you’re always getting the best possible value for your bets. Look around at several different platforms and keep them all handy when you’re looking to place a wager.
If you see one sportsbook offering a better line, make sure to take that one. A rookie move is to just stay on one platform for all of your bets.
10. Incorporate Live Betting
We mentioned live betting earlier a bit, but we’ll mention it again to really drive home how useful live betting can be. It has been hugely popular ever since it was introduced in 2002 and continues to be one of the best ways to beat bookies at their own game.
It’s useful for several reasons:
- Bettors can place bets even if they happen to miss the chance to put a pre-game bet
- Bettors can make a bet with more information by watching a quarter of the game to make a more informed bet
Mainly, if you are highly aware of statistics and circumstances, you can use live betting by taking advantage of certain in-game situations where bookmakers aren’t fast enough to update odds.
For example, if the Buccaneers are playing the Cowboys and a major injury happens, you can go and place a live bet quickly before oddsmakers can adjust the lines to reflect the event.
Sports gambling can be an incredibly fun way to get incorporated into your favorite games, but it can also be a frustrating disaster if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Start testing out different NFL betting strategies to see which one works best for you.
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