It’s already Week 6 of the NFL Football Season and despite (too) many bad incidents, exposure and piss poor executive management, the NFL is still drawing record ratings.  It doesn’t matter how many players hit women, and kids, or owners drive drunk, the NFL has simply has no competition when it comes to television on Sunday.  John Cena & The Undertaker prevent us from making that statement about Monday nights.  Sorry PGA, not even your beloved Masters can achieve the ratings from a Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game.

Another associated pastime on a similar skyrocket is sports gambling.  Everyone is betting on NFL games these days.  We’re not talking about the Dungeons & Dragons populous that has gotten older and found a new make-believe game that involves crunching NFL stats for their fake team, with their fake friends and annoying everyone around them.  We’re talking about laying out cold hard cash to a bookie or sports gambling website every weekend, and millions are doing it to the tune of $50 Billion per year.  Fantasy football is like going to one of those “Casino Night” parties, where everyone gets dressed up in James Bond attire and the hosts set up blackjack & roulette tables and everyone gambles,  (Shh, here’s a secret .. its not gambling if its not real money, and its not fun. Are you going to pour me a fake martini too?).

It’s impossible to host a male lifestyle site without acknowledging the popularity of betting on NFL games the last 5 years, its become completely mainstream – women even know the line on games.  Some of us here at The Rugged Male are no different, and have been doing it for years and with good results.  We thought we would provide some tips on how to be successful in betting on NFL Games.  There is certainly money to be lost, but if you are a sports fan with some discipline there is money to be made and it can be really fun.

  •  Decide On A Unit Size – How much can you afford to lose in a season?  Stay within your means, don’t gamble your rent payment or car payment or mortgage if you cant afford it.   Deciding a unit size and sticking relatively close to it is critical in being successful.
  • Do Your Homework – You must research the game.  For instance had you known that Andrew Luck went to high school in Houston, would you still have taken Texans +3 vs. the Colts last night?  Injuries to offensive linemen are huge. You need to know who is healthy, who is motivated, game time weather, etc.  Find a good objective website that will give you game information.
  • Shop For Best Line – Have an account at more than one sportsbook.  Some books have as much as a 1.5 point difference in NFL game spreads.  Some dont have their shit together and when the line moves, they dont adjust their lines.  One time I won by betting on both teams.  The sportsbook forgot to take down their World Series odds after both ALCS and NLCS games were over.  I picked up both teams at 4-1 odds each.
  • Resist Boredom Plays – This is perhaps one of the most difficult.  You are sitting home by yourself on a Monday night .. and bored.  Even a $20 wager on Monday Night Football makes it MUCH more enjoyable.  The margin of winning over the long haul in sports betting is so small, the books are definitely counting on you to make that boredom play.  Without these plays you stand a much better chance at being successful by season’s end.
  • Look For Mistakes – The process for setting the line in an NFL game can be flawed at times.  Look for possible mistakes.  Try to find potential blowouts.  For instance most NFL lines will not go over 10-14 points, but yet we see complete blowouts every weekend.  Last week was no exception:  Packers 42 – Vikings 10 and Chargers 31 – Jets 0.  You don’t want to have your fate decided by a kicker as time expires. That would be like betting on an NBA game that you think will go down to the final possession.  Avoid these games, look for lopsided victories.
  • Money Management – All the top bookies, linesmakers and handicappers cite this as the most critical element in being successful.  The best handicappers only win around 60% of their games over a season. When you factor in the juice, this profit margin becomes even smaller.  You need every advantage you can get because the nuances of sports gambling are heavily slanted toward losing.  Vegas cites statistics of 1 in 12 people will be winners by the end of the NFL season. You must have a financial strategy and discipline to be successful.  You could have your dog pick games and if you stuck to a solid financial strategy you would still be ahead of many players.
  • Live Betting – Many online sportsbooks have a section called Live Betting where you can wager on a game that has already started.  This is interesting to look at. Often the book will overreact to the first score of the game, taking a team that was at -4 to even money if they score first.
  • Be A Sharp, Not A Square – Vegas loves Squares.  Those are the people that are very emotional.  They win one game, then they double their bet on the next.  They bet on their favorite teams and ALL the big nationally televised games, simply because they are on television.  Vegas hates Sharps.  These are the people that look at all the game data, they do not have a favorite team, rarely watch the games and are never swayed by the media.  They are sharp, wicked sharp, and Vegas doesn’t like these players.

Betting on NFL Games can be alot  of fun but can also be dangerous and has gotten alot of people into financial ruin.  Don’t be one of these guys, especially if you have a family.  They have another name for people like that inside and outside of Vegas – Deadbeat. Wagering even $100 across 5 games per weekend will make it fun and will test your own discipline which is useful in other areas of your life.  The truth is, the most successful gamblers could have been successful in other trades simply because of their discipline.

All of that said, enjoy the weekend and  take the Broncos -8.5 at Jets … the Jets are a hot mess.

Thank You For Reading !