The NFL Draft is well behind us, organized team activities are underway and football season is right around the corner. With that blissful season of incredible Sundays on the horizon, the age-old question remains: Will I win money betting on football? Whether it’s the NFL Week 2 Odds or player prop bets, there are some simple ways to increase your chances.
Do Not Chase Big Money Right Away
Typically, the smart thing to do early in the season is to build your bank. This means you may not be making “sexy” wagers that have large payouts. There are some advantages to this, as safer bets mean eventually you’re betting with house money later on in the season.
As you wager with house money later, you can make bigger plays after seeing the product that each organization is putting on the field. Regardless of what you think you know, week one in the NFL is a crazy, unpredictable monster. There is always going to be a team that ultimately disappoints or overachieves during the first few weeks of the season. The Kansas City Chiefs of the first half of last season immediately come to mind in terms of the former and the Arizona Cardinals for the latter.
Gather your information, find out what new arrivals fit the scheme correctly, as well as how first-year players integrate themselves into the team.
Stay Away from Crazy Parlays
This is perhaps the most difficult rule to follow. Parlays look fantastic on paper, but there is a reason that a six-team parlay is paying 40-1. It’s because the chances of hitting it are slim to none.
A lot of people scoff at the suggestion of playing a teaser instead of parlays. Don’t be deterred. Remember to laugh in their face as you build your bank. While a teaser bet is not a sexy or wildly exciting wager, there is also no value in a losing bet. For those who are unaware, a teaser is typically a three-team parlay where you lower your payout when you purchase points to add or subtract to each side’s spread.
The whole point of this rule is that a win is a win. You should prefer to win ugly than lose doing something brave or chasing big money. Build that bank, gather information, and save the crazy parlays for later in the season when teams reveal who they really are.
Pay Attention to the Trends
With so much player movement in sports these days, it is sometimes difficult to put a whole lot of faith in the trends. However, some trends can represent a culture within an organization given a long enough timeline. One of the trends that represent an organization’s culture better than any other is its success at home. Good teams win, and great teams cover, especially at home.
That said, some of these instances are safe to dismiss, or are they? For example, since 2015, the New England Patriots have the highest winning percentage against the spread in the National Football League at over 63%. That number has fallen substantially since Tom Brady’s departure, right? Wrong. The Patriots are still covering the number at home nearly 59% of the time.
Some trends just defy logic, however, as the Dolphins represent the biggest head-scratching trend in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins have been the BEST team in the league at covering the spread at home since 2018 at 66.7%. Is that a number that you can trust? It represents four seasons of results, so why not? Numbers such as this one are why castles are built in the desert.
Also, don’t forget about the totals! Giving credence to trends in totals really falls on the quarterback. For instance, the New York Giants are going under the total of an NFL “best” 81% of the time over their last sixteen games. Daniel Jones is still the quarterback for this team. That is all you really need to know.