Sports betting has flourished in the United States after the 2018 PASPA repeal. Numerous states went on to legalize it and more are expected to follow the pattern in the near future. That said, gambling is only to get more popular with time. What does it mean? More and more bettors (beginners) will join the party train and start placing bets without knowing what exactly are they getting themselves into. This is exactly what the oddsmakers and sportsbooks want. They can live with the relatively small number of profitable bettors (2-3%) as they make loads on the other 97% of people who lose money in the long run by wagering.
This particular article is dedicated to both newcomers and experienced punters. The main question is whether there is a strategy for correct wagers? The answer is ambiguous as we can say the real secret does not exist as much as we can say there are hundreds of small secrets and patterns you need to follow to be successful and make a living long-term.
Before proceeding to the actual strategies for NBA and NFL betting, we want to underline a couple of super-important tips you need to pay attention to when wagering on any sport out there:
- There are no 100% expected outcomes – Everyone can lose and every bet can let you down
- Non-successful punters bet TEAMS, the professionals bet NUMBERS
Get access to as many sports betting operators as possible
The first of many tips would be to increase the number of outs you have. We live in an era where the sports betting industry is huge and you should take full advantage of it. If you don’t know where to start, sites like AmericaGambles.com are ideal because they put together big lists of sports betting operators available for the state you live in. Access to as many sportsbooks as possible allows you to shop for lines. Just think of it as a discount. Why would you stick to one specific sportsbook and its lines when you can enjoy the competitive market and get a better price for the same line elsewhere? We will show you the difference with an easy example:
Let’s say you live in California and believe the San Francisco 49ers are underrated by sportsbooks. You feel they have what it takes to outscore the Atlanta Falcons by more than six points difference. You head over to your local betting operator and back the -6 spread on the 49ers at $110. Now, the bettors in Georgia also know how bad their team has bet throughout the season. However, Georgian sportsbooks will likely offer better odds/line for their home team knowing the fans would still back them on a large scale. The Georgian bookmakers offer the 5.5 line, instead of California’s 6.0. They can back San Francisco to win by six or more difference at the same -110 odds. The game unfolds and the 49ers win by exactly six points. Those who took the 5.5 line in Georgia have won $100 by betting $110, while those who placed wagers in California only got their stake back at a 6.0 spread line. Can you notice the massive difference in returns even though we were looking at the same bets? You may say it would be a longshot to expect a team to win by exactly six points, but trusts us, it happens much more than you generally think.
Moneyline, spreads, and totals
The sportsbooks will offer pretty much identical markets for competitions such as NBA and NFL. Moneyline spreads and totals dominate the field and are by far the most used lines among the Americans (and globally). While the money line is the most straightforward kind of bet, it can’t give you the desired amount of thrill in all situations. You can be looking at a massive -500 favorite. Betting $500 for a potential return of $100 does not sound so appealing.
This is where spreads come in quite handy because the sportsbooks always set the lines to offer you the -110 odds on either side. With this type of bet, you predict the margin of a team’s victory. You will get the same odds for the totals where you wager the number of points scored by both teams combined at the end of the game.
There are numerous variations on the theme as you can bet Moneyline, spreads, and totals for each quarter or half.
Parlays and teasers
A parlay allows you to predict several outcomes in a single bet. To make it a winner, you need to get each of your picks right. If only one lets you down, it all falls apart and you get nothing despite landing all other bets in a parlay. While it promises higher payouts, it has a much greater level of risk involved and we would generally advise you to avoid multi-leg parlays as much as you can. If you really want to go for a parlay, make it a two-leg or three-leg parlay at max.
A teaser allows you to move the lines (usually by 6-7 points) in any direction you want. You can do so to get longer odds or to reduce the risk while going for shorter odds. Identically to parlays, you need to make all of your picks in a teaser right to win the cash.
The most important elements
- Power rankings
- Home court advantage
- Gameday injuries
- Situational factors
These are the four key elements to investigate before placing any NBA or NFL bet. Sportsbooks will set the odds and the lines based on them. However, they won’t quite get the 100% accurate odds all the time and it’s your job to recognize when it happens and take advantage. You’ll be surprised how certain operators are slow to react to gameday injuries and the latest news. If you are quick enough to react in these situations, you will significantly increase your chances of beating the sportsbooks in a long run. That’s what we are all striving for at the end of the day.