NFL Betting Guide: Four Key Steps To Follow

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Whether you are new to betting and eager to learn or an experienced bettor that has been at it for some time, there’s something in this article for everyone. It’s an excellent starting point and a refresher course at the same time, covering key aspects of the importance of adopting good betting practices and positive habits in order to achieve success in the realm of sports betting.

Sports betting is nuanced, and none more so than betting on American football. The NFL is becoming one of the most popular sports to bet on worldwide. The NFL is committed to expanding its brand internationally, introducing more and more people from around the world to the gridiron every single year. And as the popularity of the NFL grows amongst mainstream bettors, gaining any edge will help in the long run.

NFL betting involves many forms of bets with varying degrees of risk and reward – from moneyline odds, to point spread betting, game totals and more. Understanding how NFL betting works is one of the first steps a novice bettor must take. As well, it’s also worth appreciating the fact that not all market operators are created equal, the NFL odds will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook and bespoke betting offers will differ too as bookmakers look to expand their reach and customer base.

However, as experienced bettors know, understanding the inner machinations of NFL betting isn’t enough to ensure a successful and positive experience. In this space, we’re going to look at four guiding principles that bettors should follow without fail no matter their level of knowledge and experience.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA


Due Diligence

Whenever parting with your hard-earned money, it’s important to know, amongst many things, why you are doing so and where it is going. This applies to betting on the NFL – or any other sport for that matter. Doing your due diligence is the first step that must be taken before placing wagers anywhere, otherwise, you risk losing your money on ill-advised bets.

As the old adage goes, knowledge is power. Knowledge is gained through study, research, learning, investigation, and so on. It sounds tedious, but it’s necessary. You’d be surprised to learn how many people skip this crucial step, choosing to give in to knee-jerk reactions instead of doing their due diligence.

The internet is riddled with information that can help bettors gain insight and knowledge. The ever-increasing popularity of the NFL along with the loosening of restrictions on online gambling has seen considerable growth in sports betting content and articles that encompass reels of analytical data, statistics, betting trends, injury reports and so on – all great stuff to know before placing a bet.

In fact, data-driven strategies are highly recommended in NFL betting. Looking at team reports, injury updates, matchup trends and, even, weather forecasts can help understand the odds. Getting across such information provides context for the odds, allowing a bettor to determine where the value is in any given matchup. Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed in betting, and no strategy is 100% full-proof, but it’s much better to have a strategy over willy-nilly betting in the long run.

Money/Bankroll Management

Before starting it’s important to set out a daily, weekly or monthly bankroll (budget) that is exclusively just for betting. This is a specific amount of money that you can afford to lose without going broke or having to significantly alter your lifestyle. Of course, nobody likes to lose but it’s an inescapable reality of betting. Therefore, accepting that losing is as much a part of the process as winning will lead to a healthier experience.

Novice bettors should start small and look at a reasonable daily or weekly budget. The rule of thumb is to bet no more than 2 to 5% of the total bankroll per bet. It’s important to stick to all these set limits, especially when starting out. A common mistake novice bettors will make is to increase their bankroll when winning or when chasing losses. Both represent a slippery slope, and they should be avoided at all costs.

Shopping Odds and Lines

As mentioned earlier, no two sportsbooks are created equal. Shopping for the best odds and lines can mean the difference between a winning and losing bet. It’s quite common to find differing NFL odds and lines on the same game from one outlet to another. This is particularly significant when it comes to point-spread betting or total betting. A half-a-point difference might not sound like a lot, but it can be huge and lead to a bet winning, pushing or losing.

Get Help If You Suspect That You Have a Problem

For many people, betting is harmless fun and an enjoyable pastime. But it can become an addiction that can lead to problem gambling. If at any point in time you believe you have a problem betting, seek help and advice from an appropriate professional or the problem gambling helpline.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.