Tips for Beginner NFL Bettors
The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles meet this Sunday in Super Bowl LVII. The highly anticipated matchup is set to be a dramatic conclusion to yet another historic NFL season.
With such a big game comes a lot of attention, including from those who may want to use this moment as an opportunity to dip their toes in the world of NFL betting. I have a few tips for beginners looking to get started but still want to play it safe.
Reading the Spread
When it comes to the point spread, I have a strategy for when to bet on it and when to avoid it. Vegas currently has the Eagles favored to win by 1.5. Such a small spread is the kind of thing I stay away from. It’s essentially Vegas telling you the game is a toss-up, and either team has a solid chance of winning. Bets like this can be dangerous when the contest is supposed to be so close.
It’s also dangerous to bet on heavily favored spreads. I’m talking spreads that get up to 13, 14, or maybe even 15 points. Usually, a spread like that means the favored team is much better on paper.
However, those are the teams most prone to letdowns. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bet on a team to cover a -13.5 spread, only for the inferior opponent to hold them to a dogfight. It’s usually best to pick the underdog to cover or just avoid it altogether.
For example, this past December, the Chiefs, one of the best teams in the NFL, took on the Texans, one of the league’s worst, in Houston. Kansas City was favored by 14. I finally let my experience inform me, and I stayed away from this spread. In fact, I recommended to friends to pick the Texans to cover.
Being at home (where they had some close games this season) held them in my favor, and the Chiefs, coming off a division-clinching win, were primed for a letdown. I figured the Chiefs would win, just not by 14. Sure enough, it took overtime for the Chiefs to secure the 30-24 win.
Be a Trend-Follower
As tempting as trend-setting may be, when it comes to getting started in the betting world, you want to be a follower. I mean that you should look at what worked in the past. If you’re betting on the Super Bowl, ask yourself: Which players usually score for the Chiefs? What happens in every Eagles win? What do these teams do best?
Finding the answers to questions like these will help inform your bets. For example, you’ll find that Travis Kelce is the Chiefs’ top touchdown-scorer and grabs one in nearly every game, or you’ll learn that the Eagles get a lot of sacks. Learning these things will indicate which bets to take and, perhaps, which ones to stay away from.