Mastering NFL Betting: Tips and Strategies for NFL Wagers

Written by Brian Donovan on 08.12



Introduction to NFL Betting

The world of NFL betting has seen significant growth in recent years, with millions of fans worldwide placing bets on their favorite teams and players. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of NFL betting, the importance of understanding the basics, and how betting can be both a fun and potentially profitable hobby.

Brief History of NFL Betting

NFL betting can be traced back to the early 20th century when sportsbooks started offering odds on professional football games. As the sport grew in popularity, so did betting on it. The legalization of sports betting in several US states in recent years has only fueled this growth, with more people than ever placing wagers on NFL games.

NFL betting can be an enjoyable and potentially profitable hobby, but it’s important to approach it with the right mindset. Understanding the strategies and risks involved will help you make the best decisions and enjoy the process.

Popular Types of NFL Bets

Point Spread


Definition and Explanation

The point spread is the most common type of bet in NFL wagering. It involves assigning a handicap to one team, essentially leveling the playing field and making the game more competitive from a betting perspective. The favored team must win by more points than the spread for bets on them to pay off, while the underdog must lose by fewer points or win outright.


How Point Spreads are Set

Bookmakers set point spreads based on factors such as team performance, recent form, injuries, and public opinion. They aim to create a line that encourages equal action on both sides, ensuring they make a profit regardless of the outcome.


Strategies for Point Spread Betting

Some strategies for point spread betting include looking for key numbers (like 3 and 7), analyzing line movements, and considering home-field advantage. It’s also crucial to stay informed about team news and performance trends.




Definition and Explanation

Moneyline bets involve simply picking which team will win the game outright, regardless of the point spread. The odds for each team are expressed as a positive or negative number, indicating how much you can win or need to risk.


Calculating Potential Winnings

To calculate potential winnings on a moneyline bet, divide your wager by the odds (if positive) or multiply your wager by the odds (if negative).


Strategies for Moneyline Betting

Some strategies for moneyline betting include looking for value in underdogs, considering recent form and head-to-head matchups, and analyzing public opinion and betting trends.


Over/Under (Totals)


Definition and Explanation

Over/Under bets involve predicting whether the total combined points scored by both teams will be over or under a predetermined number set by the bookmaker.


How Over/Under Lines are Set

Bookmakers set over/under lines based on factors such as team performance, recent form, and historical data. They aim to create a line that encourages equal action on both the over and under, ensuring they make a profit regardless of the outcome.


Strategies for Over/Under Betting

Some strategies for over/under betting include analyzing offensive and defensive strengths, considering weather conditions, and looking for trends in past matchups.

Key Factors to Consider When Placing Bets

Team and Player Performance


Recent Form

Consider a team’s recent form when placing bets, as it can provide valuable insights into their current strengths and weaknesses. Be cautious of placing too much emphasis on a single game, though, as it may not accurately represent a team’s overall performance.


Head-to-Head Matchups

Evaluate how teams have performed against each other in previous matchups, as this can reveal trends and potential advantages that could impact the game’s outcome.


Injuries and Suspensions

Keep track of key injuries and suspensions, as they can significantly impact a team’s performance and affect the odds.


Weather Conditions


Impact on Gameplay

Weather conditions can influence gameplay, particularly in outdoor stadiums. Rain, snow, and strong winds can affect passing and kicking, while extreme temperatures can impact players’ stamina.


Adjusting Bets Based on Weather

Consider adjusting your bets based on weather conditions. For example, adverse weather conditions might lead to lower-scoring games, making under bets more appealing in over/under markets.


Public Opinion and Betting Trends


Line Movements

Monitor line movements, as they can provide valuable insights into public opinion and betting trends. Significant line movements may indicate sharp money on one side or an injury announcement.


Contrarian Betting Strategies

Contrarian betting strategies involve going against public opinion and taking advantage of potential value in less popular bets. This can be particularly effective when public sentiment is heavily skewed towards one side.


Home-Field Advantage


Effect on Team Performance

Home-field advantage can have a significant impact on team performance. Teams playing at home tend to have higher winning percentages, partly due to familiar surroundings and crowd support.


Factoring in Travel and Scheduling

Consider travel and scheduling when evaluating home-field advantage. Long road trips and short rest periods can negatively affect a team’s performance.

Common Mistakes and Misconceptions

Overvaluing Favorites and Recent Performance


Avoid putting too much emphasis on favorites and recent performance, as this can lead to poor decision-making and missed opportunities.


Betting Based on Personal Bias


Don’t let personal bias influence your bets. Objectively analyze each game and make decisions based on data and informed opinions.


Failing to Manage Bankroll


Properly managing your bankroll is essential for long-term success. Set a budget, stick to it, and adjust your bet sizes based on your overall bankroll.


Chasing Losses


Avoid chasing losses, as this can lead to poor decision-making and further losses. Accept that losses are part of betting and maintain a disciplined approach.



Ignoring Statistical Data and Analysis


Utilize statistical data and analysis to make informed decisions. Don’t rely solely on intuition or gut feelings.


  • NFL betting is a constantly evolving challenge. Stay up-to-date on team news, strategies, and trends to maintain an edge in the market.


  • Develop a personal betting style that suits your preferences, risk tolerance, and knowledge. Experiment with different strategies and learn from both wins and losses.


  • NFL betting can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby when approached with the right mindset and dedication. Embrace the challenge, continually learn, and enjoy the process.


Yes, many sportsbooks offer prop bets on individual player performances such as total yards, touchdowns, and receptions.

While sports betting is legal in many states, it’s important to check the laws in your specific state to ensure that you are betting legally.

Yes, many sports betting sites offer online betting for NFL games.

Written By

Brian Donovan

B-D is a passionate sports writer based in Washington, Maryland. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he grew up cheering on the Eagles and has been a devoted fan ever since...though more so in recent years.


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