NFL Betting Systems

When it comes to wagering on the most popular sport in America, most casual bettors just go with their gut feelings a few minutes before kickoff. And while betting on a hunch is the most common of all NFL betting systems (aka NFL betting strategies), it’s actually not the best one. Not even close. And that makes sense in a sport driven by statistical performances where bookmakers primarily set lines based on historical trends. Because the NFL epitomizes this approach, going with your gut should be reserved for low-dollar “fun” bets.

If you intend to actually make money or wager large sums, you’ll definitely need to research some of the most effective NFL betting systems and make them all a part of your varied repertoire. After all, there are no one-trick ponies in sports betting, and the wider you cast your net, the more wagers – and more cash – you’re bound to win.

Choosing The Right System

While there are dozens of “tried and true” NFL betting strategies out there, those few listed here are the primary ones to consider, particularly if you’re just getting started with the wagering pastime. Choosing the right system or systems is absolutely critical to your long-term success. Remember, at most sportsbooks, spread bets (the most common kind placed on NFL games) are typically offered at -110 odds. That means that in order to win $100, you must risk $110, with the difference going to the house as “juice” or “vigorish.” This means that in order to break even, you’ll need to win roughly 52.4% of your bets. Sounds easy, right?

Wrong! On aggregate, most bettors hover at around 50% (a “coin flip”), and “professional” gamblers consider themselves on-point when they successfully pick winners upwards of 56% of the time. That might seem simple on paper, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, fewer than 10% of NFL bettors break that threshold, and just one in 1000 actually sustain win rates of 60% or higher. But it isn’t luck that separates the profitable bettors from the perennial money-losers. Instead, the folks who can actually make a living from this do so because they choose the right NFL betting systems.

Best NFL Betting Systems

The best NFL betting systems are not universal for all bettors. Different people always have different interests, and one successful bettor’s go-to strategy might be dramatically different from – but just as effective as – another’s. Regardless, you’ll want to get a firm handle on the most basic NFL betting systems out there. The following strategies fit that bill nicely.

Shopping Lines

Shopping lines is the number-one edge any gambler of any skill level can get, and it is by far the most effective and accessible of all the NFL betting systems out there. Shopping lines means that instead of limiting yourself to a single sportsbook, you actually have memberships at several competing sportsbooks. Then, whenever a game comes up that you wish to wager on, you simply find which book is offering the best terms.

Shopping lines is especially useful when using legal offshore sportsbooks, as it’s not at all uncommon to find dramatically different numbers for the exact same matchups. Why would anyone bet on the Patriots at -230 when another reputable site has them at -190? Similarly, you’d be silly to bet on the 49ers at +280 when another top sportsbook is posting them at +340. And no, these numbers aren’t exaggerated. Online sportsbooks often have wildly different odds for the same matchups, so shopping lines can literally increase your bankroll by 50% or more!

Hedging Your Bets

People talk about “hedging bets” all the time in the gambling world, but most folks don’t know what it actually means. Hedging your bets doesn’t just mean that you wager cautiously on several different games, it literally means that you bet against yourself. Remember, lines move, and successful bettors are aware of those changes. Let’s say, for example, that some sportsbook is way off the public’s “temperature” re a certain line, and they post the Cowboys at -6.5. After a few days and a few thousand big bets, the book realizes it’s made a mistake and corrects the line to Cowboys -2.5.

Such is uncommon, but if you then consider your earlier bet a bad one, you can effectively “hedge” that bet by wagering some amount of money on the new line. If you considered your initial bet a good one, however, you can also use this hedging strategy to double down with less risk. Hedging your bets goes both ways.

Analyzing Betting Trends

Analyzing betting trends sounds more complex than it really is. Essentially, all this method requires of you is to look not just at a team’s win-loss or matchup record, but to look at that team’s record against the spread (ATS). Further methods of analyzing betting trends are seeing how often a given home team wins in a given matchup or climate or time of year, how often bettors hit on the over/under, etc. Betting results on a given team are recorded just as a team’s standard NFL statistics are. All you need is a little Google-Fu, and you can have twice the insight in a snap!

Betting A Lot To Win A Little

This is one of the oldest NFL betting systems going, and betting a lot to win a little is what really separates the pros from the amateurs. While newcomers and casual bettors will make large bets on long odds (the allure of the big payout is irresistible!), the most successful bettors’ bread and butter is the “sure thing.” Professional gamblers are willing to wager thousands of dollars to win a few hundred dollars, and that strategy can really add up. Imagine that the first-place Steelers are trending at -1200 on the moneyline against an injury-depleted Bengals team. Are you willing to put down $1200 to win $100? Or $12,000 to win $1000? Or $120,000 to win $10,000? Sounds crazy, right? But it’s not. Those are big league bets, right there.

Biggest Mistakes With NFL Betting

There are lots of errors you can make when it comes to betting on football, and ignoring the above NFL betting systems is something you should never do. However, there’s always more to consider. Some of the biggest mistakes with NFL betting are listed below, and you should always take care to avoid falling into these traps.

Ignoring Money Management

Ignoring money management is one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make, not just gamblers. You should always be aware of your bankroll’s status at all times, and you should never “wing it” or risk too much on a supposed sure thing without considering the long-term sustainability of your account. Many professional NFL bettors advocate for limiting your bets to tiny amounts at first, never wagering more than half a percent of your bankroll on a single bet. Over time, you can increase this maximum, but it is always smart to have a hard maximum that you never violate. In this way, your betting will be more fun and more sustainable.

Not Considering All Bet Types

The point spread is the most popular football wager type, but all the best NFL betting systems consider all wager varieties as a matter of course. In fact, not considering all bet types available to you can be extremely detrimental. Spreads are great, but straight bets often carry enormous value, as do over/unders, props, and futures. All of these are easy to browse at every book, too, so there’s no excuse for not considering all the bet types for every NFL contest.

Trusting “Experts”

There are tons of “experts” in the sports betting game that will give you NFL betting tips. And trusting experts can be a total disaster. An expert that publishes picks is not necessarily in it for you. After all, if an expert who wins at a high rate shares his actual personal picks with a large audience, that wave of people will be enough to materially move the lines on any given event. An expert can use this to their own financial advantage – at the cost of yours! In simpler terms, these experts have obvious conflicts of interest. They might help you at times, but they will actively harm you at others. Caveat emptor.

Making Big Bets To Recoup Losses

Making big bets to recoup losses aligns with money management above, but it happens so often – and ruins so many bettors – that it deserves to be highlighted. There are no sustainable NFL betting systems that allow for the quick recovery of recent losses. Remember, the best bettors in the world lose about 4 times in 10. The point is to weather your losses little by little. If you attempt to reverse your fortunes in one fell swoop, you’ll be out of cash in no time.

Betting With Emotions Instead Of Logic

Betting with emotions instead of logic is probably the most common mistake for the majority of casual bettors, and it’s one they repeat again and again. People have their fandom, and they root for their home teams. Someone who lives in Cleveland and loves the Browns will always bet on them, going from Dawg Pound to dog house every Sunday like clockwork. If you cannot bet against your team, do yourself a favor and simply refrain from betting on any of your team’s games in the first place. Always bet with your head, not your heart at NFL betting sites.

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