NFL Betting Basics

The NFL and Betting

The NFL is one of the largest and most popular sports being played, professionally in the U.S. It is a multi-million dollar industry, and what makes it even bigger is the fact that the sports betting on the NFL is a billion dollar industry. For this reason, a lot of sports fans have been placing bets on the NFL and the competitive matches for years. With the amount of bettors increasing each day, there are several basic attitudes and guidelines that these bettors should follow or at least know of. It is better to know what kind of mistakes previous bettors have made, and learn from them instead of getting caught up in the same mistakes.

As money is extremely involved with sports betting, it is only logical to talk about proper money management. There are other attitudes and habits that bettors should stay clear of, as well as different methods that will help the bettors when wagering.

Proper Money Management

The first and foremost thought that any sports bettor should have, if they are going to make betting a habit, is to look towards their finances. A bettor’s financial health is very dependent on how well they deal with, and handle their bankroll. The first thing a bettor should do is separate their personal finances from their bankroll; a bankroll is the account(s) that are only for wagering purposes. This is important as the money a bettor wagers with should never be or come from a personal account; this can lead to disaster. Remember to only bet with the amount of money you are willing and able to lose; anything above that is reckless.

Wagering Amounts

An important question that every bettor has made themselves is how much money should they wager each time they place a bet. Well, this would depend on two factors; how much money is in their bankroll and how many bets will they be making.

Usually for those bettors that have a large bankroll of $10,000 or above, should really only use 2% – 3% of their total bankroll on each bet. As for those bettors with a smaller bankroll of $1,000 or below, should only really use 6% – 8% of their bankroll on each bet. The reason the smaller bankroll has to wager larger percentages is because betting $10 won’t get the bettor anywhere, so they have to be a little riskier with their bets, if they actually want to see any kind of real profit.

Obviously, the percentage they would use depends on how many bets they are going to place. The fewer bets they place, the larger percentage they can use; do not go over the max amount though. A bettor should also never use all of their bankroll during one betting cycle; a betting cycle in the NFL, could be the wagers placed on the weekly match-ups.

Fun vs. Profit

From the start, the bettor has to determine if they are simply placing bets for fun or whether they are doing at as good way of making a second income; no one should rely entirely on sports betting as their primary source of income.

If it is for fun, the bettor wouldn’t really need any constraints, as they are not worried about how much money will be lost or won. Either way, these types of bettors are dangerous, since they tend to bet based on their emotions; it could become a habit to wager this way, which in turn would become an addiction. Usually, bettors that wager for fun do it very sporadically, like once every two or three months, and they tend to have extra income that would enable them to do so.

Those bettors that are in it for the profit need to have a very structured and strict way of thinking, as it is important because it is their finances. These bettors can still have fun while watching or gathering data on the NFL teams and matches, but when it comes time to place a bet, they should do so thinking of it as business. This way they eliminate emotion, and can use the remaining logic to make the best decision.

Betting Habits

There are some habits that can be deadly to most sports bettors if they are not kept in check. One very important habit is involving emotion into the betting process. In the world of gambling it is referred to as Tilting. Tilting is when a bettor lets their emotions get the best of them.

For example, if a bettor places several bets, accounting for half of their total bankroll and those bets lose. This particular bettor could start feeling uneasy or angry or even worried about their finances. This could lead them to try and “win back” the money that they already lost, and this is a terrible idea. Placing bets based on these negative emotions tend to be just that, negative. The bettor is most likely to lose the money if wagered in this fashion. Keeping a level head, thinking of it as a bad investment, and learning from what they did is the best way to not only improve as a bettor, but also increase the chances of winning the next bets.

Going right along with the previous point, bettors should get into the habit of recording their bets. Most online sportsbooks have a Bet History function where a bettor can check and see what bets they have placed in the past. The reason for this is in order to figure out the best possible ways of placing the winning wagers.


Bet #

Reason for Bet

Did it Win?


Winning streak at Home Yes


Won previous Road game Yes


Better rushing than other team No


Opposing team had several key injuries Yes


Has #1 offense in the League No


Team has excellent defense and opposing team is prone to Turnovers Yes


Home team, with better defense Yes

From just 7 wagers, the bettor would already have a 71% winning ratio; this will obviously fluctuate as more wagers are made. By looking at the reasons the bettor placed those particular wagers and whether they won or not is a good indication of what habits to keep and which to improve or get rid of.

For instance, just because a team has better rushing that the other team does not mean that the team will win the match. On the other hand, if one team’s key players are injured, and the opposing team has its first line players, it is very likely that they will win. These are several ways a bettor can improve their chances of winning bets.

Betting Methods

As mentioned previously, keeping good records of the bets previously placed, and why they were placed is very important. Another key factor when betting on the NFL is to keep in mind that most of what happens in this competitive sport is quantifiable. This would be called, handicapping, where bettors look at the several details like the team and player stats, or other elements that could impact the outcome of a match and use that information to predict the possible outcome. There are infinite factors that can be considered when handicapping, the bettor simply has to see which have more impact with their wagering style.

Another great betting method is too shop around. In other words, they should look for the best possible odds that any online sportsbook can offer. Do not settle for just one sportsbook, but you shouldn’t have more than five; having more will only limit the amount in the bankroll. This will help the bettors get more for their money. Remember, it is your money and it should be used as best it can be.