Over the last five years or so, the sports betting landscape in the USA has changed dramatically. After being essentially outlawed in 1992 when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was introduced, only four states had some form of legal sports betting. This ruling remained in place for over 25 years with New Jersey the only state within that timeframe to have successfully enacted a legislative effort against the act.
However, in 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that parts of PASPA were unconstitutional, thus allowing states to take control of their own gambling laws. In the five years since, tens of millions of Americans have enjoyed wagering on the NFL with online sports betting now legal in 26 states and counting. In the first 10 months of 2022 alone over $70 billion was wagered legally on sports. NFL is of course the most popular sport to bet on amongst American’s with a study showing that 81% of mobile sports bettors wager on NFL games every week. The American Gaming Association estimated that some 50 million bets were placed on this year’s Super Bowl game, smashing records.
The impact this has had on the league is clear to see. The same study previously mentioned showed that two-thirds of mobile bettors watch the NFL more often when they bet on a game.
Although it is incredibly popular, betting on the NFL is still in its infancy in the US especially when compared with the rest of the world’s gambling laws. As such, some beginners may need some help in their first foray. Here are five tips for betting on the NFL.
Understand the odds and markets
Before you get started, you need to know what exactly you will be betting on. NFL odds are easy to understand: a + number tells you how much you would win on a $100 bet and a – number tells you how much you would need to bet to win $100. There are tons of markets in the NFL and though some may seem similar, there are nuances that make all the difference. Take some time to familiarize yourself with at least the major markets e.g. moneyline, total and spread. By doing this you can wager on each confidently and follow along as your bet is in play. You may also want to look into more niche markets to broaden your horizons. Diversifying your bets gives you a better opportunity at maximizing success.
Bet with your brain
Avoiding emotion when betting on the NFL, though it may be difficult for diehard fans, is imperative. You may not want to back your team to lose or your rivals to win but if all signs point towards those results then leave your heart at the door and bet using your brain. By doing so you will be able to make much more informed choices when betting. And if you can’t bring yourself to go against your road underdog team, maybe it’s best to avoid that game all together and go for one where you are less attached.
Listen To The Experts
It is no secret that every now and then we as football fans think we know better than the pundits and even the players and coaches at times. But when it comes to betting, don’t let your ego get in the way of winning. Throughout the season there are thousands of hours dedicated to covering the betting plays to make, be it podcasts, youtube videos, articles or however you like to get yours. The stats and trends in NFL betting are important and it can be hard to keep track of it all on your own so look to the experts to do the work for you.
Don’t chase big odds plays
Whether you are a sports fan or not I’m sure we have all heard of bettors winning thousands on 12-game parlays or backing the underdog. Sure, it would be nice to score a win of that magnitude ourselves, but the likelihood of that happening is eye strainingly slim. Big wins from low wagers are attractive but just not practical and you are more likely to end up losing money the longer you try to score them. Instead, bet smarter and steadier and build your profit over time rather than all in one go. Nothing in NFL betting is ever guaranteed but this is the best strategy to make a profit when wagering on any sport.
Monitor the lines
This is one of the main strategies that experienced NFL bettors use. The spread and total lines for any given NFL game are often volatile right up to kick off and may differ significantly from what they opened as. It is a skill in itself to know when or if this is likely to happen but, as mentioned in our previous tip, this is likely where you can gain help from the experts. By monitoring these lines you will be better equipped to know exactly when to strike as that one or two point move can make a huge difference between a winning bet and a losing one.