What Mistakes To Avoid When Betting On Professional Football?

What Mistakes To Avoid When Betting On Professional Football?

Published Date · March 25, 2022 · Last Updated · July 19, 2023 ·Read Time · 5 mins

Football incorporates the largest amount of wagers out of any sport in all of the US, and it’s no wonder that the average viewership of NFL games in 2021 was 17.1 million. In addition to the excitement that the game already brings, nothing makes you feel like more a part of the action than when you have money on the line. While betting on the NFL can be very fun and potentially lucrative, there are some easily avoidable mistakes that you can make sure never happen to you in your betting career.  

Don’t Be A Homer

Most football fan bases (sorry Jaguar fans) think their team is the best. They wear the gear, know all the players, and bleed their team colors. While fans should never tone down their enthusiasm, they should keep a level head if they decide to wager on their favorite team. Just because you believe the third-string running back on the team is the next Emmit Smith, doesn’t mean that they’ll have an impact on the game. Players who want to gamble on their team should always take their fandom with a grain of salt or it may be best to avoid their team altogether. Especially since there are so many other games to wager on. This brings us to our second tip.

Don’t Bet On Every Game

Vegas oddsmakers are smart. They have behind-the-scenes data that the rest of us will never see. But with enough research and analysis of your own, you should be able to find games that have good value in them. These are the games you should be wagering on. However, not every game has value and if you’re wagering on every game on the schedule for that week, you need to change your strategy. Even with a hot winning streak, the odds and games with no value will eventually catch up with you and you’ll lose any profits that you made. Even if it’s the Sunday primetime matchup or the Monday night game, that doesn’t mean you have to make a wager if the odds aren’t in your favor. Just sit that one out and work on your analysis for the next great value game. 

Don’t Ignore The Kicker

One of the most common spread lines in football is the plus/minus 3.5. This means that the Vegas oddsmakers believe that this game will be not only incredibly close but close enough to be decided by a field goal. That’s why evaluating how kickers perform and how teams use their kicker is so important to overall NFL betting success. How many field goals are attempted per game, overall field goal percentage, and longest field goal kicked should all be metrics to look into when evaluating kicker success.  

Don’t Chase Your Losses

We’ve all been there. You didn’t hit on your wager for the early game because of a missed field goal. Your next bet fell short because the refs blew a call late in the game. You’re down this week but you have a bet you’re sure is going to hit for the primetime game and you make a bet to cover your losses for the day. Never do this. You’re betting above your normal wager which is a big betting no-no. It might work the first time it happens and it may even happen a few times after. But eventually, your chase is going to fail and it’s going to hurt not only your wallet but your pride. You’ll create a hole either too big to get out of or you’ll continue to chase which could end your gambling career altogether.


Don’t Make Any Wagers Under The Influence

Similar to the emotional response of chasing your losses, betting while drunk can be an emotional bet and not a rational one. And more often than not, this will end in a loss. A simple rule to wagering is to always have a clear head when putting any kind of money on the line, whether that be $5 or $5,000. 

Blindly Following The “Experts”

In today’s age of everyone having a voice on the internet, there are many so-called “experts” that claim to have the answers to all your betting problems. You should never follow just one person’s analysis and expertise when it comes to sports wagering. Your information should be coming from credible and reliable sources that have a track record of putting their money where their mouth is. While it’s alright to follow the advice of analysts in the industry, make sure you watch their choices for a bit of time before putting any money behind their bets.   

Stay Away From Unregulated Sites

There are numerously accredited, regulated, and legal online sportsbooks for you to bet with. Betting sites that have little to no information about them on the internet should be avoided at all costs. Never trust a sportsbook that is not regulated and licensed by the state you’re wagering in. Even if they have unbelievable odds, it’s probably too good to be true and not worth the risk.

Not Taking Advantage of Match Betting

Speaking of all the top legitimate online sportsbooks that you can wager on, it would be a big mistake not to take advantage of all the first-time offers and the subsequent existing player offers that all the sportsbooks have for their players. Many premier online sportsbooks offer a free first bet up to a certain dollar amount, a 100% deposit match, or some combination of the two. In addition to first-time deposit offers, many sportsbooks have different promotions going on depending on what games and events are happening. DraftKings has many different parlays regarding same game betting while BetMGM has different daily bonus offerings.

Only Making Parlays

Who doesn’t love a get-rich-quick scheme? In a nutshell, that’s what a parlay is. A parlay is when you make a wager with two or more bets attached to it. In order for the bet to payout, every wager you make must hit. So if you pick 7 teams to win on a parlay, all 7 must win. The reason for a parlay is that the payout is much higher than making all of the 7 game wagers separately. The problem is that more often than not, they won’t hit. And in the long run, you’ll be losing money. Once in a while, they can be fun, but parlays should not be utilized as a betting strategy.


Ian Dincuff

US Content Writer