Top 10 Football Betting Tips for that Sweet Home Run
Betting on football is a lot of fun and can be very profitable, too. Whether you're new to betting on football or just want to find some additional angles, you should follow our top 10 football betting tips that we have outlined below.
These football betting tips will help set you apart from others and give you the best chance to find consistent betting winners.
#1 Look at Offseason Changes
At the beginning of each new season -- especially in the NFL and NCAAF -- it's important to understand the offseason changes that occurred. Teams that were really good last year might not be nearly as good this year if there were major players that departed from the roster.
On the flip side, teams that underperformed last year may be ready to take the next step forward if they made great additions and/or if they are returning a bulk of their roster that can gel together for a new year. Especially early in the new season, it's important to analyze the roster and coaching changes that happened in the offseason and factor that into your analysis.
#2 Don’t Chase Losses
Football Saturdays and Sundays provide tons of great action to bet on, with games starting in the early afternoon Eastern Time and stretching into the night. Because of the different time slots of games, it can be easy to try to chase your losses from earlier games by placing bets on later games.
Whenever possible, you need to avoid doing this. Only bet on the games that you have a good read on. Don't simply place bets on games that happen later in the day because you lost some games earlier in the day. This is only a recipe to pile losses on top of each other. Your betting analysis should be done independently of the games' time start.
#3 Only Buy Points That Matter
It can be enticing to "buy" points when you're betting on football. For example, you might have the opportunity to take a point spread of -6.5 and "buy" a half point so that you bet on -6 instead. To do this, the sportsbook will typically charge an extra 20 cents of juice. So, if the odds were originally -6.5 (-110), the new odds would become -6 (-130).
While you always want to bet on the best odds you can, only buy the points that really matter. In football, this means you should only really consider buying to points such as +/- 3, 7, 10 and 14. The others don't really matter as much and aren't worth spending the extra 20 cents.
#4 Find the Best Lines and Odds
Along the same lines, you always want to bet on the best lines and odds possible. When you do your analysis, you should have a target line and odds in mind. For example, if you believe that a team you want to bet on should be -5 on the point spread line, you should only bet on them if the line available is that or better. If the line is -7, avoid betting on it.
Likewise, if you're betting on a moneyline in football, set a target for the odds and stick to that within a short range. If you believe moneyline odds should be around -135, don't bet on it if it's -200, but consider betting on it if it's -140.
#5 Monitor Point Spread Moves
As injuries happen, weather occurs or money is bet on games, sportsbooks will alter the pre-game point spread of all football games. You should monitor the line movement to see if there's anything you might be missing.
When the lines first open at the beginning of the week, you can jump on any lines that you immediately love. Otherwise, monitor the line movement throughout the week to see what might be happening. The line movement can sometimes give you insight into a game that you may have missed -- and could even give you a more favorable line or insight on which to bet.
#6 Consider Betting Live
Today, you don't have to just bet on a pre-game line. You can wait until the game starts and then bet live. Sportsbooks will update lines and odds on football games as each play occurs. This allows you to see how the game is progressing before you bet any money on it.
Betting live gives you the advantage of trying to get better odds or a better line than might have been available pre-game. If you don't have a great feel for a game, too, you could see what happens on the field first before placing a bet.
#7 Factor in Home-Field Advantage
Home-field advantage is huge in football. In both the NFL and NCAAF, home teams will usually be given at least 3 points on a point spread, for instance. If two teams are considered to be equals on a neutral playing field, the home team will be favored as -3 in a lot of cases.
This is something you definitely need to keep in mind as you're doing your analysis. Home teams will almost always be given extra points on the point spread, or it'll be factored into the odds on the moneyline.
#8 Keep Emotions Out of It
It can be hard to separate emotions when you're betting on football, but you need to do your best to keep emotions out of betting. Don't boost up your favorite team when you're betting or downgrade the teams you don't like in the same situation.
If you have trouble keeping your emotions out of betting, then it might be a good idea to just never bet on your favorite team (or against the teams you don't like). This way, you can ensure you are betting with your head and not your heart.
#9 Analyze the Matchups
In any sport, it's very important to fully analyze the specific matchups that you're betting on. This is especially important in football, as teams have a full week to prepare for their upcoming opponents.
Because of this, teams are much more prepared for the matchups they're facing than in other sports, where there are much quicker turnarounds. In other words, how a football team plays one game could dramatically differ from how they play even the next game. Coaches will switch up the game plan based on how they match up with their next opponent.
So, don't just take into consideration the teams' performance. Analyze how they match up against each other.
#10 Be Careful with Divisional Games
In the NFL, teams seem to play much better against other teams in their division. Whether it's the familiarity they have with each other -- since they play two games against each division opponent -- or the rivalry, it seems that divisional games are often closer than you might expect.
Factor this into your analysis at all times when you bet on the NFL in particular. The same goes for conference games in the NCAAF and also divisional games in the CFL and other leagues. Divisional opponents just seem to "get up" and be more prepared for games against their rivals than against other teams in the league.
Check out our Football Betting Guide to get on the football betting action on the NFL, NCAAF, CFL, USFL.