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NFL preview: 10 betting tips for a successful season
5th September, 01:11You might know me as a mild-mannered VSiN reporter, but I am just a humble prophet delivering the 10 NFL Gambling Commandments from Hermes, the Greek God of Gambling (apologies to Exodus 20 and watching the skies for any lightning bolts for such blasphemy).
And Hermes spoke all these words to me after meeting him on Mount Vegas:
I Thou shalt have no other lucky charms before me
Praying to the gambling gods for luck is OK, but you're not allowed to count on luck in your sports wagering by having rabbit's feet or lucky statues or other trinkets. Do your research in handicapping the games and make wise betting decisions and do not just rely on fate (this goes for voodoo-type handicapping on "this team is due" or over-relying on silly trends that have no logic behind them).
II Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
Own your gambling mistakes. Don't go swearing or cursing the gambling gods for your fate. If a team plays poorly, it's your fault for picking it.
III Remember NFL Sunday and keep it holy
This is more for non-football fans, but don't be scheduling weddings or big birthday bashes for NFL Sundays (this also applies to college football Saturdays in certain parts of the country, as those fans are even more religiously loyal to their favorite teams or sport).
IV Honor thy mama when she said you better shop around
Get as many "outs" so you can shop around for the best number. This is a big key to success in sports betting. Watch the market from the opening lines on Sunday nights and through the week. Wager ASAP if the bet you like is starting to move toward a worse number ... and if the line is moving in your favor, wait to get the best number possible. You should be able to improve your overall win by several units each year by turning a few losses into pushes and pushes into wins. Every half-point counts.
V Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
I hear people knocking each other's picks all the time and cheering against them. Don't be that person. Cheer for your own picks and wagers and don't waste your time worrying about what others are doing (and especially not wishing them ill). The enemy is not other bettors but the books we're all trying to beat. We should be supportive of each other.
VI Thou shalt diversify your portfolio
The best way to beat the NFL is with well thought out, disciplined plays against the point spread, but there are times to invest other ways. Sometimes, especially when two teams' style of play dictates, the Over/Under is the better bet. Parlays (where you have to hit multiple games but get higher payoffs) are often called sucker bets (and you do pay a higher takeout built into the odds), but they can also help you maximize your profits if you have a great weekend when you hit all your top plays. They also can give you action on lesser plays you might not feel confident enough to bet your usual unit(s) but would give you a nice bonus if they come in. Also consider first-half lines as a way to shorten the game. Bet the favorite here if you believe it is primed to jump out to the early lead; or in my case, I love betting underdogs in the first half if I'm afraid they might be run over late. The bonus for underdog bettors is you usually get more than half the game spread. An example is in Week 1, when the Giants are +7 at the Cowboys, but I've seen the first-half line offered at Giants +4.
VII Thou shalt not think of teasers as sucker bets
Teasers (the most common being when you move the line six points in your favor on each game) are sucker bets if played wrong. If played right, which means in the NFL crossing both the key numbers of 3 and 7, you're actually using the bookmakers' knowledge against them, as the closer the games fall to their lines, the more we win.
VIII Thou shalt look at the game within the game
Even if you pass on a game, there may be opportunities betting in-game. It used to be you could only bet a football game at halftime for the second half (and that's still a great time to bet based on what you've seen in the first half or to hedge/middle your full-game wagers), but now in-game prices are being offered more than ever before. We see teams rally all the time, so there are a lot of chances to cash nice tickets by betting before the momentum turns.
IX Thou shalt learn from the fantasy craze
This includes prop bets. The DFS giants such as DraftKings and FanDuel used to deny their games were gambling, but we all knew they were, and now they're two of the biggest gambling companies. If you love daily fantasy, go for it on the weekend football cards, but since most of those contests are very hard to win, most bettors will be better-served by putting that work into betting props such as a quarterback's Over/Under passing yards or a receiver's yards, etc.
X Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's picks
Do your own handicapping. Don't follow anyone blindly (and that goes for yours truly). No one hits 60 percent over the long haul in the NFL. Sure, you can listen to knowledgeable handicappers like we have here in The Post and at VSiN and pick up helpful advice and useful nuggets of information, but incorporate those into your own analysis before settling on your plays each week.