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Examples of Good Bets

Football Betting: Examples of Good Bets

By Loot, NFL Handicapper,

In NFL wagering, we never know how good or bad a bet is until it plays out to its conclusion. Still, there are good and bad signs you can pick up just by looking at a guy’s wagers. Let’s look at some examples that show the bettor is at least in the right mindset as it pertains to making money at NFL betting.

There are things that will give you an edge if you do them consistently. It really has nothing to do with the actual handicapping of the games. It’s more tied into the type of bets that you make. Let’s look at some examples of bets that have some good elements in place, keeping in mind that it still says nothing as to whether he will win or not. There are just good signs.

Example: A bettor makes 5 straight bets:

Carolina +6
Houston -5
St. Louis Rams +8
Tampa Bay +3
Indianapolis -2

In the above example, the bettor makes 5 straight bets. First of all, that’s a good sign right there. Whatever happens, at least he’s getting good value on his money by avoiding more extravagant wagers and sticking to the basics. Especially if he’s betting on a -105 line, at least he’s getting a good shake in a value-sense. In addition, by choosing 3 out of 5 underdogs, it shows he isn’t glazed over by who the supposedly-better teams are. And none of the 5 teams are really what you would call marquee squads. It’s a nice mix.

Example: A bettor makes 4 straight bets:

Oakland +6.5
Pittsburgh -9.5
Detroit +2.5
Miami +4

In this example, the bettor takes 4 teams and again, is doing the right thing with straight bets. A total here and there would be nice, but okay. It’s just that this bettor is on the wrong side of the key numbers--the more common margins of victory in NFL football. If Oakland loses by a touchdown, the bet loses by half a point. If Pittsburgh wins by 10, they lose by a half-point. If Detroit loses by a field goal, they lose by half a point. And if Miami loses by 4, you only get a push.

Try to avoid getting suckered in with being on the right side of a key number when you sense the bookie wants you to take that side. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. At the same time, we don’t want to have a group of bets that are almost all on the wrong side of a key number. While it may not manifest negatively during a single weekend, it’s something that may cost you over the long run.

Example: A bettor makes 4 different wagers for the upcoming NFL Sunday:

New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos, Under 48.5
Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants, First Half Line--New York Giants -2
Money Line Parlay: Green Bay -270 and Baltimore -240
2-Team/6.5-Point Teaser: San Diego-Oakland, Over 54.5 and Kansas City +10.5

Looking at this bettor’s plays, one can see a lot of diversity and a dash of imagination. There’s a total in there, a first half line, a parlay with two favorites on the money line, and a teaser using a total and a side. This bettor might lose all these bets, but he’s doing some good things. He’s making full use of the different wagers at his disposal. He is showing a lot of range as to which bets he’s liable to play. He’s got a few parts of his bets where he is on the right side of key numbers and it looks like a well thought-out group of bets. It looks like someone who spent some time handicapping the games and fully considered what the proper play would be.

A lot of bettors get stuck in a rut. Many of them either exclusively make straight bets on the whole game. You can play against the spread or play on the money line. You can bet on just parts of the game and not necessarily the entire game. You can find great value on totals, sometimes more often than sides and some of those totals can be really attractive when teased a certain number of points.

At the end of the day, we want to mix it up, using different types of wagers and picking different kinds of teams. A lot of us get comfortable and start developing a pattern with the kinds of wagers we make and what teams we are looking to put money on. There are also a lot of things we want to avoid doing a lot and sometimes all of this can be gleaned from just looking at your bets and asking “What am I doing right/wrong here?”

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