7 Ways Bad Sports Gamblers Lose Money on the NFL

Man Holding a Wallet Upside Down With an NFL Logo on Left

With the National Football League back in action, now’s the perfect time to start betting on football in hopes of winning money. The NFL is the most popular sports league to bet on, and often treats sharp sports bettors well.

Even though it can be hard to find value in a market that’s filled, smart bettors continuously find a way. Some way or another these types of winners dominate the regular season.

While sharp bettors might thrive during football season, there are those people who can’t buy a win. Bad gamblers tend to bet on the NFL due to its perceived ease. However, winning money on NFL wagers is still complicated.

Plus, terrible sports bettors have a way of making their job much more difficult than it needs to be. Luckily, the football season is long enough to fix your mistakes and create a system that can help secure a profitable year of wagers.

But, to make sure you’re not shooting yourself in the foot, there are a few things to consider. Here are 7 ways bad sports lose money on the NFL

1 ‒ Betting on the Best Quarterback

Playing starting quarterback might be the most demanding job across all sports. There’s a reason that QBs are paid so well and continue to shatter salary records nearly every offseason.

Excelling at the QB position requires one to make split-second decisions, display physical prowess, and know the playbook inside and out. Even then, quarterbacks stumble every single week.

No one on the football field is indeed more valuable than a Pro-Bowl-caliber starting quarterback.

However, the position is sometimes overrated in the eyes of bad sports gamblers. Some gamblers will obsess over the QB matchup and end up wagering on the best QB.

This isn’t the worst strategy in the world. Arguing that you just can’t bet against a particular QB might even be an effective way to bet from time to time.

But, there are 52 other players on a standard NFL roster, 10 other offensive starters, and 11 men suiting up on defense.

In other words, a QB is just one person who can only do so much to carry a team. These players might be the most well-known and talented superstars in the league.

Still, putting your money on the “better” QB without analyzing other aspects of a matchup isn’t a winning strategy.

2 ‒ Paying Too Much Attention to Rookies

The NFL Draft is an exciting time for most fan bases.

For the worst teams in the league, the draft symbolizes hope for the future of the franchise and a fresh start. For contenders, it’s a means to add a piece and further bolster a roster that has its eye on the Super Bowl.

Either way, the NFL Draft is one of the most exciting off-the-field events in the entire sport. As you might know, the draft has passed the point of being a way for teams to select players.

The event is covered by most major sports networks and websites. It seems like every NFL insider must put out at least a handful of mock drafts starting months in advance.

NFL Patriots Players Celebrating

The hype surrounding this event is second to none, and easily captures the attention of all types of football fans.

However, this creates a bit of a problem for subpar sports bettors. You see, as a fan, it’s understandable to get caught up in the buzz surrounding your favorite team’s draft picks.

These players can potentially turn everything around for a team. Though more often than not, rookies take time to develop into the players they’re projected to be.

The professional game is faster and more physical than the college game. Even top-level talent must go through an adjustment to the way NFL football is played.

A handful of rookies might make some impact on a team during their first season. But, don’t pay too much attention to the rookies you were following leading up to the draft.

3 ‒ Buying Into the Hype Surrounding Has-Beens

The NFL is a revolving door of players.

If they’re lucky, players will make it exceed the length of an average NFL career which is just over 3 years. Of course, several players make it well past a decade, or in Tom Brady’s case, 2 decades.

These types of players work their way into fans’ hearts due to their performance on the field as well as their longevity.

At some point though, every single player starts to decline. Football is a violent game that eventually beats players down.

Still, it’s hard to ignore certain players who have been around the league for ages. Some players who are on their way out of the league might get one final contract before retirement.

These signings tend to intrigue casual fans turned terrible sports bettors. They recognize names on jerseys and think fondly to years past when these players used to be dynamic playmakers.

It’s important to realize that every NFL players, even superstars, have a shelf life.

4 ‒ Exclusively Betting Overs

Most younger sports bettors prefer taking the over to betting the under for a few reasons.

  • Betting the over means you get to root for points scored
  • Generally speaking, more points=more fun
  • Taking the under usually leads to sports bettors sweating out the entire game
  • Many notable figureheads and “pundits” around the industry frown on betting the under

Look, betting the over makes for a better, more exciting viewing experience. Defense might win championships, but who doesn’t love seeing teams rack up points.

However, sometimes it just makes more sense to bet the under. If you can’t bring yourself to bet the under from time to time, consider avoiding wagering on the point total at all.

5 ‒ Not Understanding/Ignoring Line Movement

Following line movement is an important part of betting on football. The lines sportsbooks release on Sunday evenings are subject to move throughout the week.

It’s the job of a competent sports gambler to both follow and understand what exactly is causing these shifts.

Sometimes the explanation is as simple as an injury, or as complicated as major players trying to shift the odds of a particular matchup. Whatever the case might be, there’s always a reason these lines move.

NFL Cardinals and Browns Linemen

Bad sports bettors rarely pay this any mind, as many don’t follow lines throughout the week. Instead, they log into their sports betting site minutes before kickoff, place their bets and move on with their Sunday.

6 ‒ Refusing to Acknowledge Parity Around NFL

The divide in talent around the league isn’t as significant as you might think.

If you tune in and watch football every week, you probably have a good idea of which teams will be playing come playoff time. However, on a week-to-week basis, even subpar teams can hold their own against legitimate contenders.

Losing teams will often lose by less than a touchdown, meaning most games are well within their reach. Sure, the best teams in the league will roll through weaker ones from time to time.

But, the standard NFL game is usually quite competitive. Bad gamblers often refuse to acknowledge this reality and cost themselves money.

Instead of realizing that even the worst roster is still talent-laden, they want to believe that bad teams will simply rollover.

7 ‒ Buying Picks from Losers

The subject of buying picks is a polarizing topic in the sports betting industry. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer on the matter, as every sports bettor is different.

While I personally don’t buy picks, I’m not going to sit here and judge someone who does. However, if you’re going to purchase picks from someone, make sure that the person you’re buying them from is a winner.


The internet is full of lies and deception. Many handicappers will juice up their winning percentage to drum up extra business. While they might claim they win over 55% of their matchups, rarely do they publish their picks.

Before you drop serious money on picks, make sure you’re not wasting your money on losers.


The only thing subpar NFL bettors excel at is losing money.

While the football season is 17-games long, there’s no time to make mistakes that lead to bad picks.

Struggling football bettors will sometimes put too much stock into a star QB or a rookie who dazzled in college. Remember, football is a team sport and one player can’t win on their own.

Casual sports bettors often turn into terrible sports bettors. Instead of turning their attention to impactful players, many will focus on has-beens who are well past their primes.

Finally, if you’re going to spend money on picks, make sure they stand a good chance of winning. There are plenty of people around the industry who make a living by selling terrible picks to naive gamblers.