How to Win NFL Bets Pt.1

The NFL season has officially arrived and many revitalised American bettors can now legally bet on their teams for the first time. The Packers played the Bears in Chicago this Thursday kicking off the season and continuing one of the NFL’s biggest rivalries. Two hundred games between the two and they still aren’t separated by more than ten games in the win/loss columns.


However, the history of these teams should not be the main focus for bettors. Whether you are a Packers or Bears supporter the number one priority for bettors is to win money. This goes for any teams or matchups throughout the season. Playing favorites based on emotional affinity for a team is prohibited when betting. 

In football, this can be difficult for many reasons. The first reason, is that the NFL is a wildly competitive league where no team is guaranteed a win. They say any given Sunday can go either way, and it is true. Just ask the Patriots whenever they have to play the Dolphins. Bypassing this unpredictability is hard, but it is doable. 

We will go through the main types of football bets and the strategies you can implement with them to get the most out of your wagers this NFL season. Strategic advice for wagering on totals and futures bets can be found in part 2.

The two most popular markets for betting on football are betting on the outcome of a game and on the outcome with a handicap. In the former you are simply betting on which team will win. Nothing else. Betting with a handicap is similar in that you are betting on the winner, however in this instance each team has a predetermined number of points added or subtracted from the final score. 

In order to win a bet on the handicap the team you bet on must win the game with the predetermined points included. For example, the Bears are favored and currently have -3 points going in to the game while the Packers are the underdogs and are therefore given +3 points. For a bet on the Bears to wind up successful, then they must win the game by at least four points. 

If they win the game by exactly three points your bet will most likely be considered null and your money will be returned. Not every bookmaker has the same terms for this bet so you will need to read them before wagering to be sure. Usually, bookmakers will give a handicap of 3.5 or 7.5 to avoid the possibility of this scenario. 

The second reason it is difficult in football is because the games are usually quite close. This is why the point spread is very important to pay attention to! According to statistics, 30% of all NFL games end with a difference of either three or seven points. So when making football bets on the handicap you must have extra confidence in the team’s ability to win, and to win thoroughly. 

For both of these types of bets you need to do a complete analysis on this specific game. Starting 11s , weather, where it is played, etc. It is also a good idea to study each team’s current form. You can check this quite easily by looking at the team’s records and key statistics from the past few games. 

However, it is more important to look at the whole of the teams instead of focusing on specific players or statistics. Although these extra details can certainly help you, the bettor needs to be sure that both the defense, offense and special teams of the team you are betting on are all superior throughout the game. This is usually not clear-cut for most games. Usually, one teams offense will be better while the other team has a better defense. 

In these cases, it is important for the player to note key strategies or advantages that the team has and how well they will work against this opponent. For example, if the team you bet on has stellar running backs and a rush-heavy offense then you need to look at the opposing team’s linebackers and defensive lines. If the opponent has three All-Pros within these positions it would be a good idea to rethink a bet on the spread, at the very least.  

You can do this for both sides of the ball and gain a good understanding of how well the team will perform that week. The opposite can also be done by looking at a team’s weaknesses and analyzing how well its opponent could exploit them. If after looking at these things you are still not completely sure, you can start to look at individual matchups that will be key for each team.