As the betting world’s most popular sport, it seems every man, woman, and child has an opinion on how to handicap and pick NFL games.
We do not claim to have all the answers, but we can warn you of the most common betting fallacies you will need to avoid if you are going to find success in Vegas.
If you are someone who can never seem to pull consistent profits from sports betting, listen up. This one’s for you!
Mistake #1 – Buying Into Media Hype
If you typically conduct your betting “research” by watching ESPN, you need to stop immediately. Sports networks, columnists, talk-show hosts, etc. are not interested in providing you with accurate game analysis.
The public loves elite teams and high-scoring games. Sports media outlets make their money by catering to those desires. If the Patriots are good, you can expect you will be hearing a non-stop sales pitch for why you need to watch the Pats play this week.
Watch Tom Brady light up the scoreboard, they will say. This is regardless of whether the upcoming matchup is a favorable one for Brady.
The NFL pregame shows on Sundays – those feature legit analysis right? Wrong!
The so-called “experts” are deathly afraid of picking an unpopular team to win. Watch the segment of the shows where the panel picks games. They will overwhelming choose the favorited, big-name teams.
In the world of sports betting nothing matters but the final score. A team does not get any extra points for being “America’s team”.
Do not get your info from ESPN. You will soon be broke.
Mistake #2 – Thinking You Have to Bet the Spread
The beauty of online sportsbooks is that bettors now have a plethora of options at their fingertips for each game on the NFL schedule.
Given how popular they are, you may be surprised to learn that point spreads are not the only profitable method for betting NFL games.
If you have a hunch the game will be either very high or low-scoring, bet the total. If you do not want to worry about your pick covering the spread, simply bet them SU.
Nowhere does it say you must bet the point spread. In fact, many successful long-term bettors have found that alternate bets contain more value.
Mistake #3 – Believing in “Sure Things”
C’mon, we’ve all said or thought it: There is no way they are going to lose this one! Sadly, this type of thinking has lost bettors millions and millions of dollars over the years.
I am guilty of occasionally advising large favorite moneyline bets, but they are not +EV. If you consistently bet -400 favorites, you might win two, three, or even four in a row. These wins are simply building confidence in a system that is not going to make money in the long run.
It only takes one or two losses on these types of bets to absolutely drain your bankroll.
Believing a spread bet is a sure thing is even worse. Look at the odds, people!
If they are -110, the favored team is not guaranteed to cover even if you believe they should be favored much more heavily.
There is far too much money on the line in Vegas for the experts to afford posting a terribly inaccurate line. If the Vikings are only -4 against the Titans but you believe they should be at least -10, double check your research.
Chances are you are missing something. Is Vegas always right in hindsight? Of course not. But the oddsmaking experts can predict games better than anyone else in the world. Do you really think you know more than them?
Play it safe and never bet too much of your bankroll on one game. Sure, it feels bad to realize you could have bet more on a winning ticket, but do you know what feels infinitely worse? Losing three-quarters of your bankroll on one afternoon all because the game you picked was supposed to be a “sure thing”.