7 Things Every Sports Gambler Should Know About NFL Betting

Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Need to Know - Hand Holding Cash

Americans love football. Not only do they enjoy watching the NFL more than any other sports league, they also love betting on it.

With the football season right around the corner, it’s time to get ready to gamble on the country’s favorite sport.

There are several reasons that a variety of sports gamblers are drawn to bet on the NFL. The sport is entertaining, marketable, and is easier to bet on than other sports.

Additionally, tracking the results of your bets can make for an incredibly exciting experience. But, just because it’s enjoyable doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone.

If you’re considering starting to bet on football there are certain things you need to be aware of. Here are 7 things every sports gambler should know about betting on the NFL.

1 ‒ It’s a Great Sport for New Sports Bettors

Football is often known as one of the easier sports to bet on and is a perfect way for gamblers to get their start. This is the case for a few key reasons:

  • Football gets more coverage than any other sport in the United States
  • The average sports fan knows more about the NFL than other types of sports leagues
  • Beginners don’t have to over-analyze past results, unlike other sports
  • While there are upsets in football every week, heavy favorites are safe bets a majority of the time

In summary, betting on the NFL and even NCAA football is a solid starting point for gamblers. Sundays revolve around football, at least during the season.

Because of this, it’s quite easy to happen upon quality information and gambling tips. Additionally, professional gamblers and handicappers often offer a few free picks to gamblers.

So, even if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s still relatively easy to find solid NFL tips and picks that can lead to wins.

If you’re going to start betting on football this season, it’s important not to do it blindly and to start slow. While it is the most popular sport to bet on among the gambling public, it still comes with its own difficulties.

2 ‒ Betting on the NFL Won’t Guarantee Returns

Betting on the NFL might be a popular pastime among sports gamblers, and we’ve already established that it’s relatively easy. However, just because it’s simpler to win football bets than baseball and even basketball, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see returns on your investment.

In sports gambling, one of the best and most utilized methods of tracking performance is by monitoring your ROI (return on investment).

That, together with pure win percentage are the best ways to measure the success of a gambler. However, I would argue that a bettor’s ROI carries significantly more weight than winning percentages.

This doesn’t bode all that well for many football gamblers. You see, while it’s easy to manufacture wins and pump up your percentages, it’s hard to find value when betting on football.

Please Note:

Sure, betting on a huge favorite will likely result in a win, but that doesn’t guarantee a significant return. To make money betting on football, you have to be willing to risk more than wagering on money lines with terrible odds.

So the next time you see someone boasting about a 60% winning percentage in all NFL action, make sure to keep in mind that there’s no way of knowing how much or how little they’re cashing out.

3 ‒ You Need to Focus on Different Types of Analysis

When gambling on football, it’s important to stick to hard-hitting news, trusted sources, and in-depth analysis that can increase your chances of winning a bet.

Unfortunately, this brand of content isn’t necessarily the most glamorous or purely entertaining type of material to consume.

You see, the casual sports gambler likes to focus on less analytical, stat-driven data. Instead, they tend to stick with the less mentally straining side of the sports entertainment and media industry.

For example, it’s entertaining to listen to 2 people discuss who the best quarterback in the league is. But, it’s better to spend this time pouring over numbers and statistics that can make or break potential matchups.

Patrick Mahomes Arms Up

Discussing whether Patrick Mahomes truly is the best QB in the league won’t help you get a leg up on your bookie.

4 ‒ There are Many Popular Types of Bets

There are several different types of wagers you can place on any run-of-the-mill game of football. Like almost every other sport, some of these types of bets are more popular and profitable than others.

Among the most commonly placed bets are wagers on the moneyline and the spread. When you bet on the moneyline, you are making a declaration that one team is going to win.

The spread on the other hand is slightly more complex. These lines are set by sportsbooks, betting sites, and professionals who make their best guess how many points a particular team will win or lose by.

There’s certainly a time and a place to wager on either the moneyline or spread. When betting on the moneyline your potential ROI will be lower if you plan to stick with favorites.

However, you’ll almost certainly have a better chance of winning the bet. On the other hand, if you believe an underdog can pull off an upset, it might be worth sticking to the spread.

Outside of these 2 types of wagers, you can also place futures on particular players, or even props on games. Prop bets involve betting on anything ranging from the outcome of the coin toss, to how many touchdowns you think a certain running back will score.

5 ‒ Don’t Rely on Your Fanhood

For one reason or another, die-hard sports fans often believe that they’ll make excellent sports gamblers.

I thought the same thing. I remember sitting at home watching football all day and thinking that I was more than qualified to start betting on the games.

So, I decided to run with it and hopped onto the first sports betting site I could find. Fast forward a few weeks and I had blown through my bankroll twice over.

I was stunned and confused. How could someone who watched as much football as I do struggle so mightily when it comes to betting on this game that I loved?

The answer to that is simple: being a sports fan doesn’t guarantee you anything. Behaving like a fan is much different than behaving like a responsible, intelligent sports gambler.

Sports fans aren’t beholden to anyone but their team. They can be as passive or active in the sports viewing experience as they want.

However, sports gamblers (at least the sharp bettors) don’t have the ability to be complacent. If you want to win money, you need to think outside of the box and become more involved in the sport.

Don’t think watching one or two football games a week can turn you into a professional handicapper.

6 ‒Live Betting is Incredibly Difficult

Live betting on sports is complicated and is not for the faint of heart. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of live betting, it’s best to stay far away until you feel confident in your decision-making abilities and knowledge of the game.

Live betting involves following the movement of lines and odds as the game progresses. It’s a gambler’s responsibility to monitor this movement, and the in-game action in order to spot value and make money.

These odds can shift every second, depending on the results on the field. While sharp bettors can make an absolute killing on in-game wagers, it takes a considerable amount of time to develop this skill.

7 ‒ You Can Get Started Today

The advancements the sports gambling industry has seen over the last decade or so have been startling. Now it seems like everyone is getting into the sports betting game and there are almost too many online casinos and sportsbooks to count.

Instead of having to head to your nearest sportsbook, you can now find any one of these real money NFL betting sites, create an account, deposit money, and start betting.

There are plenty of excellent options to choose from. Just make sure that sports betting is legal in your home state, find a site that works for you, and get ready to gamble.


Always make sure you’re fully prepared before you start gambling.

Even though starting with football is a great introduction to sports betting, there are some difficulties you’ll face along the way.

Familiarize yourself with the best sources of information and research a matchup thoroughly before you decide to wager on the country’s most popular sports league.

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Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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