NFL Handicapping

Written by: Alonzo Solano, Sports Analyst and Content Writer
Last updated:
6 minute read

NFL HandicappingThere is a lot of glitz and glamor associated with professional NFL handicapping thou only a few know how to handicap NFL and win at the same time.

The league’s nearly universal appeal and the amount that can be wagered on it have made many decide that it’s their mission to be an NFL handicapper.

In general, the reality of betting on football and other sports is that it’s a true grind to profitability and not a get-rich-quick scheme.

Separating yourself from the betting masses, the clear majority of who lose when gambling on sports is hard work. If it were easy, everyone would be handicapping NFL games and getting rich.

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NFL Handicapping Picks

What is Sports Handicapping?

Sports handicapping is the practice of spectators and sports gamblers trying to predict and quantify the results of a match or game in order to place a winning bet.

NFL handicappers are primarily judged on their predictions, most commonly on the NFL point spread bets, but also on NFL totals and money lines.

Let’s not forget, oddsmakers are handicappers themselves. They measure the probabilities between two teams, which is exactly how the point spread was invented.

But, it’s a little-known fact that sharp bettors or professional handicappers, actually help shape a sportsbook’s odds. The best handicappers in the world are the true ones driving sports betting markets and moving the odds.

Handicapping NFL Improves Your Betting Results

Handicapping NFL Improve Betting ResultsHandicapping NFL improves your betting results in every way possible. It’s one thing to look at a game and think this team is better than that team based on the point spread.

That’s the way that people wager on NFL football, using their gut and feel. They’re not paying attention to line movement, probabilities, or any other aspects that are important to making profits bets.

Not only is important to change your habits when it comes to betting NFL football, but it’s also vital to avoid the significant downfalls that cause sports bettors to lose when they bet NFL games.

These are three mistakes you must avoid when handicapping football:

Mistake to Avoid #1Forgetting to NFL Line Shopping

NFL line shopping is the most critical aspect of becoming a profitable sports bettor. Shopping for the best odds before placing your wager can easily save bettors thousands of dollars over an NFL season if they’re betting any significant amounts.

I can’t tell you how many bettors choose not to shop odds and bet at the first sportsbook they come across.

Mistake to Avoid #2Placing Too Many Football Bets

There is no set number of football bets that you should or should not place when betting NFL. The biggest mistake amateur NFL handicappers make is placing bets when they have no discernible edge on the market or against their own numbers.

Another major issue is the number of parlays and teasers placed by the betting masses that assures them of no chance of winning.

Mistake to Avoid #3Not Taking Advantage of NFL Betting Sites Bonuses

NFL deposit and reload bonuses are the main reasons to bet at online betting sites, compared to local bookies or regulated land-based sportsbooks.

Those new to online betting can easily cash in on thousands of dollars in free play, which is the best way your bankroll early on as an NFL handicapper.

how to handicap NFL games

How To Handicap The NFLThere are many reliable steps to becoming a successful NFL handicapper and picking winners. It’s also worth noting that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to betting on football.

Some players don’t use spreadsheets and algorithms and instead handicap by feel. While others are strict line shoppers.

You can adopt any number of the steps below and they will help improve your skills as an NFL handicapper. Let’s see how to handicap football games like a pro.

1. Use Multiple NFL Betting Sites & Line Shop

There are no sports bettors that utilize a single sportsbook that are profitable. Spreading your bankroll around to multiple sportsbooks is the best way to assure you get the best price.

To go further, you might want to use three different sportsbooks that cater to different types of players.

One that is more geared towards professional bettors with sharper odds, another that may line shade towards recreational bettors, and finally, one with reduced juice. See Line Shopping.

2. Maximizing Your Bonuses

More bankroll is always a good thing. Those that are new to online betting can take advantage of thousands of dollars in free play. And this is even on the load end.

Be sure to maximize your bonus amount when depositing so you receive the max bonus. For instance, if a sportsbook is offering 50% up to $1,000 – you should deposit $2,000 to receive the maximum bonus. See How To Max Out NFL Sign Bonuses.

3. Use Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin are now the preferred cashier option for online sports bettors. If you’re not using them, you’re making a mistake. Other methods, such as credit cards and debit may have fees up to 8% when making a deposit.

Payouts via check and bank wire also come with fees. Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others come with no fees on deposits and withdrawals.

Bettors will save 10% or more of their profits if they use cryptos. See Cryptocurrencies Sports Betting Guide.

4. Don’t Pay for NFL Picks

In 90% of situations, I would advise players not to pay for picks. There are a few honest touts out there, but it’s impossible to search through that web of charlatans to find a gem.

Most times, amateur handicappers will pay someone for picks that has no proof of even being a winning sports bettor. In fact, when someone calls themselves, a “professional handicapper”, you should be wary of what comes next. See Paying For Picks.

5. Examining NFL Team Motivations

Look ahead and let down spots are key aspects of NFL betting. Teams motivations do change, especially depending on their coach or which team they are facing that week.

There are a whole host of splits and different situations for teams that handicappers need to successfully analyze. See NFL Betting Strategies.

6. Factoring in NFL Weather

Weather is one of the most misunderstood factors when it comes to handicapping NFL games.

Analyzing the weather leading up to a game is important, especially when it comes to what affects teams the most, such as high winds. See NFL Weather Factors.

7. How to Attack NFL Bye Weeks

Analyzing bye weeks is one of the most important factors to consider when betting on NFL teams. It’s one of the areas that many of the betting public seem to forget about or not factor nearly enough. See NFL Bye Weeks.

8. Don’t Forget About NFL Preseason

Wagering limits are lower in the preseason and there is far less interest compared to the regular, but the betting opportunities are excellent. Many handicappers write off the preseason, but it’s one of the best times to wager if you’re betting on football. See NFL Preseason Betting.

9. Bet NFL Propositions

Propositions have lower betting limits than sides, totals, and moneylines, but bettors have a much higher edge when it comes to betting props.

For bettors who are looking to build a bankroll, propositions are one of the best ways do to so. However, be aware that betting a lot of props may get your betting amount limited. See NFL Prop Bets.

10. Use Live NFL Betting to Your Advantage

Live betting is one of the best tools for handicappers who follow teams and coaches closely. It allows you to bet on how you see the game unfolding and to lock in profits or hedge your bet.

It’s one of the best tools handicappers have and something you should be looking at while watching your wagers. See Live NFL Betting.

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About the Author

Alonzo Solano

Alonzo Solano

Sports Analyst and Content Writer

Alonzo is a Sports Betting Analyst and casino games enthusiast who has covered Football extensively at SBS, but don’t be surprised if you read him on other sports. He's the host of the NFL Latino TV podcast.

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