Betting Systems - Win Without Purchasing Picks
In this article I'll discuss the easiest ways to beat NFL football betting without ever purchasing a pick. Prior to discussing this, I think it's important to expose the ugly side of the sports gambling industry, which are touts (someone who sells picks) and similar services. If I was to set up an office where I employed 12 guys, each flipping coins to make picks against the point spread - there is an 80.4% chance that at any given time one of my guys will have a win-loss record of 9-3 or better over his last 12 picks. This is a statistical fact based on binomial mathematics, and root calculation.
The statistical fact just mentioned, along with marketing and sales training is how the tout industry thrives. The typical tout website will have a featured box along the lines of "handicapper Brandon Lang is on a 10-2 streak for college football picks and for $24.95 you can get his 40* play of the week". They don't tell you how the other guys flipping coins have done. Or maybe this is a 4 person team, in which case they don't tell you how their basketball or NFL picks are running, which certainly they'd be touting over college if the results were better.
When you purchase picks from a tout, the picks often come with write-ups that are impressive to an untrained eye. Here you'll find editorials with claims such as - Since 1993, home teams, playing on Monday night, on artificial turf, after losing their previous game are 7-0 against the point spread. They'll tell you how poorly the opposing QB has done the past 3 or 4 games on artificial turf, and find all sorts of ways to support their picks. Unfortunately, almost all these touts are just picking at random, and then deeply digging through all sorts of possible scenarios looking for whatever stat justifies their pick.
Honestly, save your money! If you absolutely want to find free sports picks, check twitter, facebook, betting forums, or Google search free picks! There is no reason to pay tout services as these companies are simply master-marketers, salesmen and data miners, and their picks have no better of a chance of winning than you yourself flipping a coin. Discouraged? Don't be, I'll conclude the remaining 75% of this article by discussing football betting systems.
Football Betting Systems
Betting systems are not as ideal for betting football as learning advanced football betting strategy. However, they're a lot easier to understand and are quite suitable for recreational punters. The ten football betting systems I'm about to cover are not guaranteed to be +EV 100% of the time. In fact, chances are if you don't manage your bankroll well, you'll go bust in a hurry. However, these bets are far better than the typical sucker's bets. If you're simply looking to reduce the bookmaker advantage, thus gaining an increased chance of winning, these systems are for you.
System #1 Shop for Off Market Prices
Football is no doubt America's sport, and likewise most of betting action on NCAA and NFL football comes from Americans, probably 70% of it anyways. What's an absolute must is to have an account at a reduced juice sportsbook such as www.5dimes.eu. Please, Please, Please pay attention here - make 100% sure not to accept a bonus at 5Dimes. Doing so costs you reduced juice which is worth far more, and you'll also need reduced juice for this system.
System #1 is to simply shop off market prices, which I explain more thoroughly in my article on handicapping the betting market. For reasons 5dimes operates on the lowest margins of all US friendly sports betting sites and is friendly to winners, you'll want to shop their betting lines with recreational betting sites such as Bovada. The system is anytime Bovada is offering a better line than 5Dimes - make that bet at Bovada, regardless of how you feel about the game. This is because 5Dimes is sharp and has very tiny advantage built into their lines. If you can get better than the 5Dimes line, chances are you're betting against a tiny house advantage smaller than can be found at Baccarat, and the bet might even be +EV.
Betting System #2 Take Advantage of Sports Betting Bonuses
Right now www.topbet.com is offering a 50% up to $250 cash bonus to new first time depositors who register using the code FREE250. If you use this bonus along with system #1 your bets are for 100% certain +EV. Simply shop 5Dimes with TopBet and anytime Topbet has a better line than 5Dimes, bet it! You can find additional bonuses in my article on sports betting bonuses.
Betting System #3 Purchase Half-Points
This system applies only to NFL (not college) football. Many online betting sites sell half points for 10 cents each, meaning if the point spread is +4.5 -110 you can also choose to bet +5.0 -120, or +5.5 -130. When dealing with point spreads of 7 the half points cost 15 cents, when dealing with a point spread of 3 they cost 25 cents. The system I'm about to suggest works really well at www.betonline.com because they're not known for shading their lines. What I mean by this is if all betting sites have a point spread at+7.0, and one site has +6.5, then this system would not apply. At BetOnline you don't need to worry about checking to see if the line is the consensus, because it will be.
The system here is very easy to follow: bet all point spread of +6.5, +9.5, +13.5, -7.5, -10.5 or -14.5, and when doing so purchase 2-half points. This is one the best blind bets in football as the half point purchases on these spreads near entirely negates the bookmaker advantage. If you're interested in the more advanced explanation of why, you can read my article on buying half-points in football.
Betting System #4 Bet Basic Strategy (Wong) Teasers
In my article on football teaser strategy I covered the basis for this system in great depth. The idea here is to shop for point spreads +1.5, +2.0, +2.5, -8.5, -8.0 and -7.5. In any week you find two or more teams meeting these point spreads you'll want to add them into 6-point teasers. When dealing with college football teasers, it's ideal to avoid any point spreads with high betting totals. For NFL football however, this system will work regardless of the betting total. Be however sure that the odds are -110 on 2-teamers and only bet 3-teamers if the odds are +170 or better. For 3-teamers Bovada.lv is best, they offer 3-team 6-point teasers at +180.
Betting System #5 Bet Based on Motivation Factor
I hear many professional bettors say motivation factor is one of the most overrated concepts in football; I wholeheartedly disagree. In fact, I believe this is one the most overlooked aspects of football betting. There are two circumstances you want to look for in last week's results - games that were decided by final minute heroics and game that ended in a blowout.
Blowouts - Team's that get blown-out generally bounce back the following week and play a great game. You should lean towards betting these teams. Meanwhile teams who blowout their opponent generally face over confidence issues and don't practice as hard; you should lean on betting against these teams.
Heartbreakers - Team's that come from behind pulling off a miracle are busy celebrating their win, are emotionally charged and take an extra day or two to become fully focused on the next week's game - you should look for this team to have a potential let down the following week. Meanwhile team's that get beat late, hear about it from their coaches, teammates, family and fans, and not wanting to experience this again end up right in the film room, and then on to the practice field play hard while focused and determined. These are most often teams you want to bet.
To be clear motivation factor does not make a team a great bet in and of itself, however when added with any of the other systems covered on this page it becomes powerful.
Betting System #6 - Understand and Exploit the Bye Week
As a general rule of thumb the better a team is coached the more they benefit from the bye week. However, having the extra week to rest the market often tends to overreact, and gives too much credit to poor teams. Likewise they don't give enough credit to strong well coached teams. With this said, you should look to bet the best teams the week following their bye week, and look to bet against poor teams the week following their bye week.
Betting System #7 - Be Aware of Look Ahead Games
When a strong favorite is playing a weak opponent, look ahead and see who they are facing the next week. If it turns out the week following they'll be playing a critical game for the division or playoff seeding, chances are - this team started preparing early and is less focused on this week's opponent. In such a situation it makes sense to place a small wager on the underdog.
Betting System #8 Look for Correlated Parlays
As explained in my article on parlay betting, there are times where making parlays instead of straight bets is ideal. Take the case of a game with betting lines of Steelers -7.5 -110 / Browns +7.5 -110 | o35.5 -110 / u35.5 -110. This is case where there is a slight correlation between the point spread and the over/under. In this case I'd suggest parlaying either Browns +7.5 / u35.5 or Steelers -7.5 / o35.5. Although this will turn an otherwise win into a loss some percentage of the time, on average you'll win more betting the parlays. This is because in this case the correlation leads to the parlay having better expected value than the straight bet
Betting System #9 Consider all Option
This gets a little more advanced, but in my article on football prop betting I provided the formula for pricing the prop "which team will score first". This is one of the many options that can be considered prior to making a bet. Another example would be strong teams that play poor in the fourth quarter, here you might consider betting they'll score first, or betting the 2nd quarter will be the highest scoring, or consider backing them on the first half instead of the full game. This system is to simply think out and decide, is there any correlated option I can find a logical reason to bet instead of the wager I'm about to make?
Betting System #10 Bet Against What you Hear on TV
When the commentator on a popular pregame show makes a comment the odds makers are nuts or there is no way a certain team will lose - it is far better to bet against their advice, than to back it. What they just said on TV, you heard it, and 4 million others watching the broadcast heard it as well. Generally speaking, players, coaches, and sports commentators are not good sports bettors. Their opinion is generally a clue as to which side fans are betting and would be a good time to go shopping for any odds falling into System #10.
This concludes my article on football betting systems. As a reminder these systems in and of themselves are probably not +EV, however you stand a far better chance of winning when using them than you do purchasing a touts picks, flipping a coin, or just betting on gut feel. With that all said we at gamblingsites.org wish you the best of luck this football betting season, and encourage you to bet responsibly, risking no more than you can afford to lose.