If you’re anything like us, the NFL is probably why you’re so interested in betting on sports in the first place. Every year, countless new online gamblers sign up to place their first ever bets online, and those bets are almost always on the NFL.
So, for many of you, the 2022 NFL season is bound to be your first time.
To help ensure you remember your first time fondly, we’ve put together a few of the most basic betting tips and tricks for new sports bettors. Follow these, and you’ll have much better odds of make your first 18+ NFL betting campaign a success.
NFL Betting Dos And Don’ts
Do Get Started Early
Bet during the 2022 NFL preseason.
All the best online 18+ sportsbooks are taking wagers on preseason games (which start next Thursday, by the way). While you won’t get as many player props or team props for these games – they’re exhibition games mostly used as “tryouts” for players at risk of getting cut or those on the cusp between first team and second team status – you will get all the normal lines, including NFL point spreads, NFL straight bets, NFL over/unders, and so on.
Spend just a few dollars on these games, too. While their max betting limits are generally lower than regular season games, they’re still high enough that you can burn through your bankroll in a hurry. Use the preseason like the players do: as practice.
Don’t Bet On Every Game
This one’s self-explanatory. There are 16 games per week during the NFL regular season, which means you’ve got plenty to bet on. But don’t bet on everything.
Our advice for new 18+ gamblers is to limit the games on which you wager to just 2-3 contests. Explore the props for each of these games (there are well over 100 for every matchup), but don’t get carried away there, either.
Bet the spread when you think the favorite will win easily, and bet the moneyline when you think the underdog is primed for the upset. Totals are hit or miss, so try a few and see how you like them.
As far as those props cited above, be careful. A flier on a given QBs total touchdowns is a good place to start, along with another on a given WR’s total receiving yards. Keep it simple to start, and as you get a hang for more complex props, you can mix those in.
Don’t Start With Parlays
Parlays are the fastest way the poorhouse for the new bettor.
But we understand the allure. Maybe you’ve won all three of your bets for Week 1, and you’re feeling pretty good about all that free money. But then you look up what the payout would have been on a parlay of those three games, and – because that number’s so much bigger – you start getting some really, really stupid wise ideas.
Then Week 2 rolls around, and you combine all your individual game bets into a single parlay. You hit on two games and lose one, and now you’re out all your cash instead of up 50% or so (odds depending).
Parlays are tempting, but they’re a lot harder to hit than they appear. Not everyone is Doug Flutie.
Dont’s Chase Losses
So, you’ve lost some bets, have you? It happens to the best of us. And if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will.
Remember, a win rate of just 55% or so and you’d be good enough to be a professional sports bettor. Anything above 52%, and you’ll be in the black.
But sometimes, you might miss every wager you make for a given week of football. When that happens, it’s crucially important that you let sleeping dogs lie and don’t chase your losses by wagering on more games than usual or on individual contests you’d otherwise ignore. Take the L so you can take the W later. With so many bets available for each game – and practically infinite wagers at those sites with prop builder tools – it can be difficult to avoid the temptation to go all in on some obscure player prop or tenuous live betting line to make up for a prior loss.
Resist this at all costs.
Do Track The Odds
It’s important to strike while the iron’s hot, but it’s also important to consider the benefits of waiting before you place any wagers.
Remember, NFL odds are published for the upcoming week’s games pretty much the moment the last game of the previous week ends. Typically, these early lines are weighted only on the outcomes of the previous games and cannot account for mid-week developments like injuries, suspensions, and so on. Since those reports don’t come out until Wednesday each week, wagering on any game lines or player props prior to that can be exceptionally risky.
Of course, you can also get much better odds by betting early, depending on the circumstances.
Always follow the latest NFL news for the clubs on which you usually wager, and bookmark the official NFL injury report index.
Do Ignore The Crowd
Now, we don’t mean that you should ignore the crowd at the field itself. Home field advantage – specifically because of the “12th Man” – is a real thing in the NFL. No, here we’re talking about ignoring the betting crowd.
Naturally, this is easier to do online than in person. At domestic sportsbooks, regional favorites attract a lot more wagers no matter how good or bad the teams actually are. This generally skews the odds significantly compared to online sites, and it usually means that legit local favorites and underdogs both always pay out less than they should.
That’s annoying, and it’s one of the major benefits of using an offshore sportsbook that takes action from all across America instead of a local book that takes action only from one concerted regional fandom.
Do Shop Lines
As we said above, local sportsbooks have hopelessly skewed odds. But that doesn’t mean offshore 18+ sportsbooks don’t.
All books have odds that show some bias in one way or another. That bias is simply much less impactful when a book takes bets from all over the country instead of just one state. And that’s where line shopping comes in.
For beginners and veterans alike, shopping the odds is basically the best sports betting edge you can ever get. Different sportsbooks have different odds for each game, and it’s important that you make sure to place your bets with the sites that payout the most on any given line. And that means you’ll need memberships at multiple sites.
Many gamblers pick a single sportsbook and run with it, placing all their bets there. That’s fine, we suppose. It’s better than nothing. But if you want to maximize your potential payouts, joining multiple books – and comparing every line between them – is a great way to get the most money for every possible win. Sometimes, the simple act of placing a bet at one site instead of another can net you twice as much cash as keeping everything under one roof.
And Do This Other Stuff Too
Aside from the above, there are other things you should consider when betting on the 2022 NFL season or on any other sport.
Obviously, you’ll want to be sure you pick a legit online sportsbook or two. That goes without saying.
But you’ll also want to keep an eye on your bankroll and squeeze every last ounce of buying power out of the thing. For example, we recommend depositing with cryptocurrency – particularly next-gen proof-of-stake coins like Cardano or Solana. Bitcoin is fine in a pinch, but it’s more expensive to use, which means you’ll get less bang for your buck.
And, of course, you’ll want to accept whatever current sports betting bonus your site is offering. Sportsbook bonus rollovers are generally so small that there’s really no reason not to accept them.
Anyway, you get the drill.
Master all of the above, and you’ll master the art of NFL betting – and, really, the art of sports betting in general. Ignore the above, and you do so at your own peril.
So do your due diligence. Don’t be the Cleveland Browns.