Betting on the NFL is a big business, with sports fans around the world glued to Sunday Night Football to check whether their bet against the spread will come good.
But if you’re new to the gambling scene, even your standard moneyline bet can seem a little confusing. Don’t worry; it’s pretty simple. Here’s a lowdown on how to prepare for the 2021 NFL season, ensuring you enjoy the game and giving you a chance to make some money while you’re at it.
Let’s go over some of the basics first.
Can you bet in your state? First, find out whether your chosen sportsbook operates in your state. Legislation in the United States is complicated; for example, betting on sports online and offline was only legalized in New Jersey in 2018.
We don’t recommend trying to game the system. Don’t use a VPN, don’t ask your brother who lives in NJ to manage your account. Do it by the book, and you’ll sleep a little easier.
Find a bonus. Sportsbooks want your business. Take advantage of it, as the juiciest deals are the sign-up bonuses. BetMGM, for instance, boasts an impressive range of bets and league coverage, or availability on smartphones and tablets, also gives new users up to $600 to play with, and a chance to get a free $10 bet every week. And name me a person that doesn’t like to start an NFL week with a free wager.
Know the terminology. Go beyond the basic moneyline bet. Betting against the spread is the one most veterans use, and it’s a system that levels out the playing field between teams that are not evenly matched. There’s more:
- Over/Under. One of our favorites. You don’t have to pick a specific team, but instead, you bet on the total number of points in the game. This one is interesting for the matchup nerds, as you can really make money by analyzing matchups, as well as offensive and defensive statistical data.
- Prop bets. Props, or propositions, are incredibly popular for the Super Bowl, but you don’t have to limit yourself to that. Props offer a range of unique bets, such as the first scoring play, total touchdowns, and total passing yards.
- Futures. These are bets that cover future events, such as the winner of the Super Bowl, the Defensive Player of the Year, or the MVP. If you have done your research in the offseason, this may be a solid avenue to pursue. Bleacher Report sees the Bengals and Colts as decent picks for 2021; what do you think?
- In-game betting. This one is for the experts, as the odds change almost every minute. But sportsbooks often offer bonuses for those who bet in-game, so if you are able to place a bet during a game, there’s definitely money to be made.
Now that you have a grip on the simple stuff, here are some tips to help you push the odds further in your favor.
Tip 1: Ignore Your ‘Gut’
You know when you just get a feeling in your gut that a game-changing touchdown is about to happen? Yeah, ignore that feeling. It’s almost always wrong. Sure, by the law of averages you’ll hit one once in a while, but you’ll end up losing money in the long-term.
If you want to make money gambling on NFL football, use your head, not your heart. Ignore the team you cheer every week and leave that in the ‘for fun’ section. Don’t let biases for or against certain players cloud your judgment. Approach your gambling like you would a job, professionally.
Tip 2: Read the News for an Edge
Making money on football isn’t easy. Gambling companies have a bunch of math wizards making sure that the odds are slightly skewed in the casino’s favor. But there’s one thing they can’t account for: unexpected changes.
You need to follow the rumor mills, figure out which players may be missing out through injury, who has been lighting it up in practice, and whether an unexpected name is dropping to the bench.
The best way of doing this is through social media, Twitter being your best bet. Follow the beat-writers for individual teams and if you’re confident in the source, anonymous handles. Of course, you’ll have to make your bets quickly; bookmakers will also be following these sources, and odds can flip very quickly.
Tip 3: Be Ready to Walk Away
There’s one thing that gamblers don’t like to discuss: losing money. It happens often. The reason for this is mostly psychological. Instead of walking away when the math tells you to, people decide to chase their losses. They put in more money than they can afford to lose, enhancing the emotional side and dampening logical decision-making.
You need to be ready to take a losing day. Even the most successful punters lose. The point is winning more often than not. But if you kill your bankroll on the first day, you’re done.