NFL Betting Systems

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

An NFL betting system is a method handicappers use to bet on football games with the edge provided by the system.

A  football betting system’s mission is to find betting value, the edge, and increase the chances of winning bets.

Football betting systems can range from simple to very complex as you will read below in our guide.

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One should keep in mind that regardless of the many intricacies of a system, none of them can guarantee that you will win each time you place a football bet.

When I hear someone mention an “NFL betting system” I cringe. When they start talking about “betting systems,” in general, usually what comes next is something that isn’t going to help you win at sports betting.

Best NFL Betting Systems?

There are football betting systems that work. Though, bettors should be wary of anyone claiming that they have “the best NFL betting system”.

Despite many of these systems not working or offering profitable bets to place, there are some that do have some merit. In this article, we will go over some of the top football betting systems for NFL football and evaluate their effectiveness.

Football Betting Systems

nfl betting sites signup bonusSports betting systems are not only used for football but also in other sports. However, their popularity may not be warranted. In sports betting, people are always looking for an easy way to profits or success.

These systems promise that with little effort. Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case in life or sports betting. Of course, as mentioned above, some football betting systems do work.

There are a few not worth following for any reason while others that make far more sense than others. Before you dive into any NFL betting systems, though, it’s important to understand the basics of NFL betting before choosing to adopt a betting system.

Martingale System For Football Betting

The Martingale betting system is the oldest on this list. It has origins dating back to the 18th century. The system is basically betting the amount if you win and betting more on the next wager if you lost your previous bet.

Let’s say you lost a $5 wager on the Thursday Night Football game – you would then double your bet amount on the Sunday afternoon game to $10.

If that bet lost, you would bet $20 on the next wager and so on. Each time you win, you would make the same bet for the next wager. For instance, if you won your $20 bet, then you would once again bet $20 on the next game.

Pros of the Martingale System

  • Martingale does make you more likely to win the short term
  • If you could always double your bet – you could guarantee yourself profits

Cons of the Martingale System

  • Always being able to double your bet is almost never possible when betting sports
  • It’s not ideal for football betting due to the limited number of games

Labouchere System For NFL Bets

The Labouchere betting system is also known as the Cancelation betting system. It is similar to the Martingale system and only has slight modifications.

The purpose of this system is to capitalize on two bets that have equal probability (or close to it) happening at around the same number of times.

This system doesn’t work for sports betting as much as it does for casino gambling, such as playing roulette or craps.

Pros of the Labouchere System

  • If you run well in the short term, this system could produce profits
  • Set a maximum bankroll amount to make sure you don’t lose more than you allocated

Cons of the Labouchere System

  • It’s far less applicable to sports betting and football than the martingale
  • If you have bad luck early on it can be a disaster for your bankroll

Kelly Criterion System For Football Betting

The Kelly Criterion is by far the best and most accurate NFL betting system on this list. Using a mathematical formula, it allows bettors to choose the optimal size when placing football bets.

It’s more of a bankroll management strategy rather than a betting system. The Kelly Criterion has many other uses besides sports betting. It’s used to manage risk.

Warren Buffet and Bill Gross used the strategy to build their business empires.

Pros of the Kelly Criterion System

  • It’s the most accurate way to calculate risk in sports betting and mitigate risk
  • It’s the best and most accurate bankroll strategy or betting system

Cons of the Kelly Criterion System

  • The formula for bets can be too complicated for some
  • It’s difficult to do on the fly if you’re making a lot of wagers quickly

NFL Hedge Betting System

Hedging is more of a general strategy, than a “system”. There are a lot of ways to hedge your bet or create middles when betting on the NFL.

There are differences between hedging and middling, but both of them offer plenty of value if you do them correctly.

Hedging can be done via live-betting. This is important part of betting the NFL and all sports if you want to maximize your edge.

It’s important not to use this system so much that you limit your upside. However, hedging and middling is an excellent way to lock in a profit and if done properly, can give you a chance to hit both sides of a bet.

Pros of Hedge Betting System

  • Will lock in a profit on a bet that may end up as a total loss
  • Easy to understand and implement

Cons of Hedge Betting System

  • Used too often in some cases and does lower overall profit potential
  • Bettors make a -EV bet as their hedge wager

NFL Money Management System

This strategy is a must if you want to win when betting NFL football. The football season is a long one, at 17 weeks, plus the playoffs and the Super Bowl.

If you want to have money to bet on the Super Bowl you will need to adopt some form of bankroll management.

We advocate a standard wager of 2% of your bankroll on each wager. That’s just one option for bankroll management.

There are many variations but the key takeaway here is to establish a bankroll management plan and stick to it. Too many bettors go broke by betting too much and put themselves out of action long before the start of the playoffs.

Don’t make the same mistake.

NFL Favorite Betting System

There are many systems that advocate betting on favorites. NFL fav betting systems are common, but nearly all of them are not worth considering. This is not a strategy that I would ever recommend. In fact, a much better strategy would be to focus on wagering on more underdogs.

Avoid any system that advocates that you consistently bet favorites is one to avoid.

So, no, there is no system that I would consider if the main objective was to bet on favorites. Most of the gambling public is obsessed with these wagers, as well as the overs; and they consistently lose.

NFL Underdog Betting System

An underdog betting system makes a lot more sense than one that focuses on betting favorites. There are many of these systems online and there are many variations.

Yes, a general strategy when betting sports is to bet on more underdogs and unders, rather than favorites and overs.

However, this is not a hard and fast rule. There are plenty of spots to bet the other way and a lot of it depends on what price you can get in relation to the betting market.

NFL Halftime Betting Systems

Halftime betting systems are likely the most viable when it comes to a profitable betting system. There are a few different reasons this is ture.

All of them make targeting halftime odds, totals, and moneylines an excellent idea.

  1. For one, halftime lines are not as sharp as full game odds. The oddsmakers have all week to adjust odds before kickoff while they have just a fraction of the time to come up with halftime numbers.
  2. Also, many games are going to halftime at the same time, meaning they have to push out odds quickly and make adjustments to many markets on the fly, as well. You will not only be able to attack lines that are far less sharp than pregame markets but also have a larger selection of different odds.

Halftime betting systems also allow you to take into account the first half of play and draw your own conclusions about how the second half may play out.

Betting underdogs at halftime is one strategy that has produced results for bettors in the last few years.

NFL Playoff Betting Systems

Betting on the NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl is one of the best parts of wagering on football.

However, developing a system for these games not only goes against general betting theory, but also isn’t a valuable use of your time.

  1. For one, playoff games have higher stakes for the teams involved, but they’re no different than regular-season games. Betting action is larger and the public’s betting action may have a larger effect on the odds, but in the end, it’s still just another football game.
  2. Secondly, the NFL Playoffs are much shorter than the regular season. They’re just a few weeks and the number of games is far less than one regular-season NFL Sunday lineup. Devoting your time to creating an NFL betting system that can only be used on ten games a year isn’t a valuable use of your time.

Best Football Betting System – Welcome Bonuses Advantage

Taking advantage of deposit bonuses and other promotions offered by NFL betting sites is by far the best “system” that new bettors can quickly adapt.

Free play and cash bonuses are extra money added to your bankroll as a new bettor – it’s as simple as that.

Bonuses Advantage System Example

For instance, let’s say a sportsbook offers a 50% Bonus up to $1,000 on your first deposit offered by

If possible, you should deposit $2,000 to receive the maximum bonus of $1,000. All bonuses come with what is called a “rollover.”

Remember To Take The Rollover Into Account

The rollover is the amount you must wager before you can withdraw your bonus. The rollover is generally calculated deposit amount + bonus amount x rollover.

So if you maximized the above bonus and deposited $2,000 to get the $1,000 bonus and the rollover was 15x – your rollover would be 2000 + 1000 * 15 = 17000.

You would need to wager $17,000 to be able to withdraw your bonus.

This may seem like a lot of money, but remember, everyone who signs up receives the same deal, so the sportsbook is dishing out a lot of free play funds. The standard rollover rate is around 15x.

Greater Reward, Greater Rollover

Typically, the larger the amount of free play, the larger the rollover. Bettors who are new to online sports betting can sign up for multiple online sportsbooks and easily receive thousands of dollars in free play in welcome bonuses.

If your starting bankroll is big enough, it’s not unreasonable that you could eclipse $10,000 in welcome bonuses as a new player.

Should You Pay For An NFL Betting System?

Do not pay for an NFL betting system.

Proper bankroll management and understanding of the basics of sports betting will take you much farther than any paid picks or systems.

If you want to try your luck at a betting system, there are plenty of free ones available online. The reality is that if someone had a betting system that could beat most of the online sportsbooks out there – they likely would not release it.

If you had a betting system that was beating the top NFL sportsbooks in the world, would you release it for the masses or keep it to yourself?

Are There Winning NFL Bet Systems?

As mentioned above, finding a winning NFL betting system online is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are a lot of free systems out there, but most:

  • Don’t have a proven track record.
  • Have already been adjusted to by the sportsbooks.

Stick to the basic strategies for wagering on the NFL and don’t focus on finding a system that most likely will not be profitable.

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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