Free Sports Picks: Home CFB NBA CBB MLB MMA Boxing Super Bowl
LootMeister NFL Picks
Online SportsbooksBest Sportsbook Bonuses

Betting NFL Favorites

NFL Wagering: Pitfalls of Betting Favorites

By Loot, NFL Handicapper,

When we bet on the NFL, we’re going to have to take some favorites. Something would be wrong betting only on underdogs. When we bet on favorites, we’ll naturally be giving points. In other words we’re down before the game even starts. Since the favored team is perceived as having an edge, that often works. Other times, we’re going to be pained by our predicament.

A team that is a favorite is obviously playing an underdog. Certain feelings come when playing an underdog and none of them are particularly good. The favored team might not have the same fire lit under them as was the case when playing a more formidable team. The underdog team might not command the favorite’s full respect. As a bettor laying points on the favorite, that can be a big problem.

Bet on NFL football long enough and you’ll see it happen time and again. Maybe you take a team that is -7 on the point-spread. Their opponent is not very respected, so the favored team starts out flat. The underdog team get off to a fast start. It’s 3-0 and now you’re 10 points off on the spread. They get a touchdown to make it 10-0 and now you’re 17 points off. Now it’s an uphill battle.

If the underdog team scores again, your bet is probably toast. And now we’re dealing with the unpleasantness of the team you bet on just trying to stay in the game, with the chance they can come back and win it. But when you’re giving 7 points, just coming back to win the game isn’t going to get it done.

NFL Betting Tip: When you wager on a game at -110 odds you're wasting money. This has always been the traditional way to bet on games, but the times have changed. You can now bet on pro football (and college too!) at only -105 odds. This means you save money every time you bet! Find this great offer as well as 20 point teasers and giant point buying opportunities at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

When betting on favorites, especially when giving up more than a few or several points, there is only one way to win. Your team needs to have their act together and win by a certain number of points. An underdog, conversely, can cover the spread by winning or even just by coming sorta close. A favorite leaves you with no wiggle room.

Try and make sure that a favored team has a component of urgency behind their play. If a favored team has a few losses and is playing a hated rival, that urgency is more likely to be there that a late-season favorite with the top seed locked up playing a non-conference team. Most games will fall somewhere in between those two extremes.

It’s just when laying more than a few or several points, you want a team that has a fire lit underneath them in one form or the other. Maybe a QB is playing for his job. A new running back is eager to establish himself. A defense that is supposed to be good has been getting called out and they want to reestablish themselves. Or it could be a team-wide sense of urgency and they simply need a big win to get back on the right track.

When picking a favorite, you should be able to envision them winning by more than what the point-spread says. If you sense a toss-up nature to the game, try to avoid laying points. There’s a good chance that team is going to fall behind early and make the next three quarters an excruciating grind. Sometimes, that’s not so bad. A lot of NFL football games are like horse races, where the leader always seems to come back to the pack. But those horses win by a nose and again, when laying points, a nose usually isn’t going to be enough.

The favorite is supposed to be the better team. The public bets favorites heartily. Betting on the better team is a more comfortable feeling. We just need to remember that this isn’t boxing, where the better fighter almost always wins. It’s a team-wide sport where any number of things can run off-course.

In 16 games, a playoff team could easily drop 6 games. A team that is coming off a few 10-6 seasons is considered a good team and will be a favorite in a lot of games. They lose almost 40% of their games and a few more are probably agonizingly-close wins where they didn’t cover the spread. So what is a favorite? They’re favored to win the game outright. Let’s not forget that when we are betting against the spread, the favored team is no really longer a favorite. Favorites have a point-spread to beat and the underdog theoretically has as good a chance to cover the spread. It seems almost too elementary to pay mind to, but bettors can sometimes stand to retool their understanding of what a favorite in NFL betting truly represents.

Share this article with friends:

Leave a comment:

Quit wasting your hard earned money! Make the switch from -110 to -105 odds today!
Doc's Sports NFL Picks

NFL Betting

  • Reduced Juice - Loot explains how reduced odds football betting works and where you can find this valuable asset.
  • What is a Point Spread? - Many new to the game struggle to understand why one side has a (+) while the other has a (-) in front of a team. We explain what the spread is and how it works.
  • Football Bets - All the different types of wagers that you can make when betting on football games.
  • What Professional Handicappers Do - Learn the tricks of the trade and increase your odds of beating the books!
  • Key Numbers - The article that bookies don't want you to read!
  • NFL Betting Quiz - Test your football wagering prowess with Loot's 10 question quiz!
  • Super Bowl 52 Predictions - Loot gives his preseason picks for which teams are most likely to win "the big game" along with middle of the road and a longshot that is sure to surprise you!
  • 2017 NFL Season Wins Predictions - Loot breaks down every team and gives his opinion on how they'll do vs. the number!
  • 2017 NFL Bye Weeks - The first set start in Week 5 and the final byes take place in Week 11. Loot also gives tips on betting on teams coming off byes.
  • 2017 NFL Coaching Changes - We seem to be in an era where football coaches become disposable in an instant if they don't win. 2016 was no different as a handful of teams made the switch. Check out who went where right here!


  • Famous Football Players - Biographies of the best and greatest NFL football players of all-time.
  • Greatest NFL Players of All Time - A list of all time greats at each position. Each position has it's own dedicated article!
  • Best Quarterbacks of All Time - Joe Montana heads our list of top 10 QB's, however, Tom Brady is a sure bet to give him a run for his money by the time his career is said and done.
  • Best Running Backs of All Time - We list the top 10 greatest ball carriers of all-time. The order may be debatable, as Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and Walter Payton all brought something special to the gridiron.
  • Football Lingo - One must be very familiar with all of the terms, slang and jargon associated with this game to win at football betting. Find a slew of pigskin terminology right here!
  • Football Quotes - Funny and memorable sayings from around the National Football League including comments made by Vince Lombardi and John Madden.
Reduced Juice Sports Betting 100% Sportsbook Bonus Best Parlay Odds Online