Crazy NFL Betting Tip: Don’t Try to Pick Winners! (WHAT?!?!?)
1. The Right Mindset
Here is a very important concept that will be an "Aha! Moment" for some of you:
What matters the most is not whether your bet wins or loses. It’s whether you beat the closing line or not.
You have probably heard how the NFL betting market is very efficient. What this essentially means is the closing lines are very accurate.
In other words, NFL closing lines are extremely hard to beat on a long-term basis.
Concretely, if you always wait until a few minutes before kickoff to place your bets, you have almost no chance of being a winner in the long run.
A light bulb should be going off in your head right now. You are better off placing your NFL wagers as early as possible during the week.
2. A Concrete Example
Suppose Team A is playing Team B. Let’s pretend you bet Team A -5 (i.e. as 5-point favorites). If the closing point spread is Team A -6, then you made a good bet no matter if your bet turns out to be a winner or not.
On the other hand, if the line goes down to 4.5 or lower, your bet wasn’t profitable. Even if Team A ends up crushing its opponent by 20 points, you shouldn’t feel like a winner here.
Here is a simple truth: If you consistently beat NFL closing lines, you will make money in the long run.
3. How Valuable is Half a Point in the NFL?
From 2005 to 2019, betting all NFL favorites led to an 1859-1860-111 record.
Suppose you would have placed a 1-unit bet on each of those games at -105 odds (i.e. 1.95 in decimal format). Therefore, each bet lost incurred a one-unit loss, while each winning wager brought a 0.95-unit gain.
Overall, through these 15 seasons, you would have ended up with:
Profit = (1859 * 0.95) + (1860 * -1) = -93.95 units
Now, what if you had beaten the closing line by half a point on all of those games? The 111 pushes become wins, while it seems reasonable to assume that 111 losses would have become ties.
Updated record: 1970-1749-111.
Updated profit = (1970 * 0.95) + (1749 * -1) = +122.50 units
Do you see how valuable gaining just half a point can be when betting the NFL?
As you can see above, it can be the difference between being a loser and a winner when you have a long-term perspective!
4. How To Beat NFL Lines (on a Long-Term Basis)
I sincerely hope the arguments above have convinced you to avoid betting on NFL games at the last minute.
Here is how you can maximize your chances of beating NFL point spreads in the long run:
Be ready to attack opening lines. Bet the ones that you believe will move in your favor.
That’s it. Theoretically, it’s very simple.
However, beating closing lines requires a good mix of the following ingredients:
- A statistical acumen;
- Good knowledge of teams’ relative strengths;
- Being up-to-date on player news and injuries.
5. Want to Receive my Early NFL Picks?
Every Sunday, I’m watching four games simultaneously at 1 PM and all 4 PM games (thanks to DAZN.com!). And obviously, I’m also watching the Thursday, Sunday night and Monday matchups.
When opening lines are posted by sportsbooks, I’m aware of everything that’s been happening around the league.
Coupled with my 20-year experience and statistical background, I’m able to spot point spreads that are likely to move in a certain direction. As discussed earlier, beating closing lines is the best way to make money in the NFL.
Do you wish to receive those early NFL picks directly in your mailbox? If so, simply join my mailing list (see below).
Those plays, along with my player proposition bets, have a much higher ROI (Return On Investment) than my regular picks that are made available at mid-week.
Join the numerous other savvy sports investors and let's crush those bookies together!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)