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Examples of Bad Bets

NFL Betting: Examples of Bad Bets

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

All bets will be different. Who’s really to say if they are any good until they actually come to fruition? Success in the game of football wagering is tenuous, anyway. The best in the business are looking to maybe hit 60% against-the-spread and that’s if they’re lucky. So it makes it really important to exact every edge we can get.

Some of those edges exist in between the lines. It’s not even so much about the actual handicapping of a certain game, but rather about how you’re betting. In other words, there are telltale signs of a bettor who is wagering on football for entertainment, as opposed to the bettor who is more geared to treating it seriously. There are obvious signs of an ill-informed bettor or one who is not getting the best bang for his buck.

Let’s say a guy has 4 straight bets on the weekend. His picks are:

Cleveland +2.5
Buffalo +6.5
New England -9.5
Washington -3.5

First, there is no way to know if these bets will pan out or not. Maybe he goes 4/4 and what could anyone say to criticize him? In addition, at least this bettor’s wagering is restricted to straight bets. Especially if he’s getting -105 (Bet on games at reduced odds @ 5Dimes), he’s doing something right as it pertains to getting good betting value. But ugh, look at all of those key numbers where he’s on the wrong side.

Key numbers are the commonly-decided margins of football games. With touchdowns (usually 7) and field goals (3 points) being the main ways a team can score, a lot of games are decided by those amounts with 3 points being the most common number. In the above example, there are two games that would be on the wrong side of a field goal victory. Another team would lose if the margin were a touchdown, while another is on the wrong side of ten points, another key number.

Sometimes, we might end up on the wrong side of a key number like 3, 7, 6, 10, 4, etc., but we don’t want to make a habit of consistently being on the wrong end. The bets above all fall on the wrong side and though it might not manifest over the course of a single Sunday, it will adversely affect results over the long-haul. Use line movement to your advantage and consider buying a half-point or a point here and there.

Also be careful of the sucker-element of tantalizing lines where you are on the right side of a key number. If you see a team getting a juicy line like -2.5 or -6.5, don’t just gobble it up mindlessly. Sometimes it will fall on a number like that and it will seem fishy, like the book is almost beckoning you to take the number. Deep down, they are probably wanting more bets to come in on that side because they like the other team. So there is a delicate balance between being on the right side of key numbers and not falling prey to lines that are too juicy to be true. Here are some more examples of bets:

4 Straight Bets
New England Patriots -12.5
New York Giants -5.5
Dallas Cowboys -10
Green Bay Packers -8.5

In this 4-bet package, the numbers aren’t so much the problem, but it’s disconcerting that the bettor is taking 4 favorites. In addition, they are generally the more nationally-followed teams, meaning that the value this bettor is receiving may not be completely up to par. The bets reek of “follow the leader” type wagers.

6 Team Parlay
Cincinnati +4
Washington -4.5
Carolina +5.5
Tennessee -1.5
San Diego -8
Seattle -4

In this parlay, the bettor is taking some more obscure teams and isn’t getting burned too bad in a key numbers sense. But by asking for 6 teams to all cover the spread without fail is falling into the category of asking for too much to go right. In addition, the juice is a little steep on extravagant parlays like this. Unless the bettor backed up all these picks with straight wagers, he runs the risk of going 5-1 and having nothing to show for it. Brutal.

$500 Money Line Bet
Green Bay Packers -500 at home vs. Carolina

OK, so Green Bay will probably win. Then you win $100--big deal. You had to put $500 on the line in order to win that $100. When betting like this, all that needs to happen is to lose a few consecutive bets to be in a gigantic hole that would require you hitting a ton of these in a row just to recoup your losses.

If you're a guy who absolutely has to swing for the fences, looking for that huge payday that only parlays can offer, at least consider making the switch to an online sportsbook that offers increased parlay payout odds. The reason for this is that your picks are calculated at -107 odds instead of -110, which makes an ENORMOUS difference. Check it out for yourself at Sportbet. Be sure to select the "Super Saver Bonus" to assure that you select the proper program that will get you the best parlay odds on the planet!

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