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NFL Betting Strategy

NFL Betting Strategy: What the Bookie Wants You To Do

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

It’s no secret who succeeds in this business. It’s the bookie. Year after year, the books are in place. The players, meanwhile, are an ever-changing cast of individuals who fall by the wayside at an incredible 98% rate. One thing you can do to avoid becoming part of that 98% is to systematically avoid doing the things that the bookie wants you to do.

Number one is selectivity. This is one of the major problems bettors face--having too many opinions or not knowing how to categorize their opinions. They bet too many games. They are almost too in-tune with their opinions. Rather than looking for true betting edges, they allow their opinions to run rampant and put their money into too many situations.

Waiting for true advantages and betting only games where that advantage is present is a good first step. When laying 11 to win 10, that standard should be high. We need to win more than we lose just to break even in this game. So keeping the standards high is a big part of it.

Look at the totals. With everyone swept up in the frenzy of the spread, a lot of good value can be found with over/under betting. A bettor whose majority of bets are on totals is one possible sign of a dangerous bettor to the bookies. It’s not as sexy as other forms of NFL betting, but it’s one of the easiest to beat.

You know the bookie likes the parlay and teaser players. Other than the well-timed small teaser play, these are the kinds of bets you want to avoid making. If you think 11-10 is bad, the juice is only worse when it comes to the exotic plays. Subjecting your wagering money to such ridiculous juice is a long-run losing play that the bookie wants you to make.

The explosion in recent years with prop bets should clue you in on what the book wants you to do. There can be value found from time-to-time in NFL games--make no mistake. But again, the juice is usually a killer, especially in prop bets with a field of different possible results. Like on bets where you have to pick which quarterback in the early games will throw for the most yardage. Even if you are good at this particular type of betting, the juice will eat you up over the long run.

There are elements in the point-spreads that the real pros know how to handle. The book obviously doesn’t want the general betting public to be overly-savvy with point-spreads, so we should be the opposite. The real pros are extremely leery about doing things like laying 3.5 points, with so many games ending with a 3-point margin of victory.

The book wants players to have the worst number possible. If the Patriots open at -9 and we want to take the Patriots, the book counts on a lot of people making that bet on Sunday. By then the Patriots might be -11. You just gave away two points. Project this over thousands of players and it’s no wonder why the books thrive. You can’t just throw away 2 points in this business willy-nilly and think that isn’t going to devastate your long-term results.

We need to develop an insight into the lines, how they move, and whether they have good value. We don’t just base all our analysis into the simplistic issue of “who will win?” We’re all about the spreads--do they offer value, will the line move in our favor, etc. We don’t pick sides and assume all is fair with the spread and blindly make a wager.

Another thing the book likes is the habitual chalk player--the guy who bets favorites almost exclusively. As illustrated before, the favorite is usually not a great value. The public likes the favorites. The bookie sometimes has to go out of its way to make the opposite side tantalizing. Therefore, a bettor who is always betting favorites is usually getting the short end of the stick odds-wise.

To make it work in football wagering, you have to bet underdogs. Not exclusively, but you need to bet them. Playoff teams in this league are not as dominant as one would have you believe. A good team can be 10-6. That’s a lot of losing. It’s a fine line and taking favorites all the time won’t get it done. It takes more to winning in football wagering than just trying to figure out who the supposed better team is.

And now for what may be the most important thing you ever do relative to betting on games... This will also give you an instant increase on your return on investment every time you bet... Almost all bookies force you to wager on games at -110 odds. Did you know that there are online bookies out there that offer discounted odds? Imagine how much money you'd have saved over the past 5 years if you were laying -105 odds rather than -110? Make the switch to by signing up at the web's best sportsbook: 5Dimes.

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