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Avoiding Bad Odds

NFL Betting: Avoiding Bad Odds

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

In some cases, the book offers alternatives to commonly-placed wagers that enhance your odds. Even if you can shift the percentages in your favor by 1%, it’s worth it. But in some cases, you can do a lot better than that--just by being aware of which wagers offer better odds. The first thing to do is switch to a book that allows you to bet on games at -105 odds (5Dimes). And finding a book that doesn’t charge too steep of a price for buying points is also a good idea.

People like making parlays. You know our opinion on those, but if you absolutely must make them, there are actually some better alternatives. If you bet a 2-team parlay, you wager $100 to win $260. Both teams need to win in order for you to get paid. Let’s try something different. Now this is assuming you’re betting with -105 lines and that the games are not happening simultaneously. Take that same $100 and bet it on the first leg of the parlay. If you win, you now have a little over $195. Now take that money and bet it on the second leg of the parlay. If you win, you earn $185+. So doing it like this, you collect a total of $380, $20 more than the $360 you would have collected on a two-team parlay.

And what’s the difference, really? With a parlay or even an if-bet, you get the luxury of betting on games that are simultaneously running. OK, that’s a consideration, but if the games are not running together--consider the other option. And if you lose the first game, you’re finished, but that’s what also happens in a parlay, so while the dynamic might feel different, it’s almost exactly the same.

Let’s look at a 3-team parlay. Betting it straight in one after the other is the same as parlaying it. Rather than betting a $100 parlay to win $600, you just bet the games straight. You put $100 on game one and it wins. You now have $195.24 and bet it on the second leg. If that wins, you bet that amount to win $185.94 for a total of $381.18. Take the $381.18 and bet it straight again. A win earns you $363.03 for a grand total to $744.21. That’s just one benefit to having access to -105 lines on NFL football.

One upside to betting this way instead of a parlay is that you will have the option to bail out if you need to. Who knows how your Sunday is going--maybe not so good. Now you have a profit after the second game and change your mind about making the three-teamer you had originally intended. Or maybe your weekend is going good, so why not collect another guaranteed profit and walk away from a productive Sunday? Freedom to choose is worth something, isn’t it?

Another key point is avoiding falling on the wrong side of the hook when the number is hovering around 3. Being at +2.5 or -2.5 is for the birds. Over 15% of all NFL games fall on the number 3. That means you will miss out on a lot of “pushes.” Granted, that 15% number can be a bit misleading because all those games didn’t land on the 3 that the line had it at, but nonetheless--it happens an awful lot. Buying a half-point to get off the dreaded 2.5 number can be useful, especially if the price is right. It might vary from book to book.

A big part of being a successful NFL bettor is maximizing any edges you can get with the odds--which are always in the house’s favor. And the further you go from straight bets, the bigger the juice will inevitably be. The bookie knows that some of the high-wire plays that are made are almost impossible to calculate for the average player. So it’s a lot easier to hide juice in these extravagant bets where the bettor is a bit transfixed on the seemingly great payout possibilities. But while the number you stand to win in these kinds of bets seems big, you can just go ahead and assume that you’re getting the short end of the stick juice-wise.

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