Strategies to Avoid if You Lost Money the First Half of the NFL Season

NFL Player Drew Brees and a Draft Kings Lounge

You’re ready to scream. It’s that time of year; the infamous halfway mark of the NFL season and your losses have piled faster than the New York Jets this season. You began the season with higher hopes than the Dallas Cowboys, but now you’re operating with heavy losses.

If the above sounds like you, the urge to do something drastic to curtail such losses arises in the NFL betting world.

You feel the urge to enter every little DraftKings daily fantasy football game. You want to double your bets in hopes you’ll land the massive upset. Or perhaps you’re getting into the division championship and Super Bowl odds betting.

It’s great to have that ‘never say die’ mentality. But exercise caution before you wager your hard-earned cash. Here are five strategies to avoid if you lost money over the first half of the NFL season.

Impulse Betting

Okay, the first thing you need to do is to resist the urge to bet impulsively or to bet on games that look like surefire winners without conducting an ounce of research beforehand.

If Week Nine in the 2020 NFL Season taught us anything, it’s that you can never assume a team will safely cover the spread. I’m talking to the Pittsburgh Steelers in this one, who nearly lost outright to the Dallas Cowboys. The latter easily covered the spread in a 24-19 defeat.

Or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New Orleans Saints game. The sports media has spent the greater part of the past month hyping up the Bucs as the perennial Super Bowl favorites. Only to get their clock cleaned in a 38-3 meltdown on Sunday Night Football to their rival, the New Orleans Saints.

NFL 2020 Tampa Bay Versus Cardinals

When we get behind in our yearly profits/losses from sports betting, it’s easy to just assume. We will assume the Steelers cover their two-touchdown spread against one of the NFL’s worst teams. We will assume the Bucs will play the Saints as if it’s a preview for the NFC Championship.

There are so many examples throughout the years that this strategy to avoid should be common sense. But sadly, many of us like to bet because our “gut” tells us so. Your gut lacks a brain, so it’s wise to avoid listening to it.

Research every game you plan on wagering and don’t bet because the impulse is projecting a win here.

Increasing Your Sports Betting Bankroll

Every year, it’s wise to set an annual sports betting bankroll and stick to it. That bankroll can be anything, from $200 to $2,000, or whatever you can afford. The problem is, most of us like to play the “just a little more” game when we’re down and out.

Bad idea.

We often play this strategy and rarely do we play it well. We may start off with good intentions. Say we have a $2,000 bankroll and we think, “I’ll just add another $200 to it.” No big deal, right? Except if you lose that bet, then you think the same next week. “What’s another $200?”

It is a slippery slope because now we’re betting on more games than what our weekly allowance previously allowed. We can win some serious matchups here, but with each subsequent bet, we’re also risking heavier losses.

If you’re serious about your sports wagering, the goal is to make money; not lose money. Therefore, continue to bet within your means and don’t fly off the deep end because things haven’t gone your way.

Desperate times do not call for desperate measures. Desperate times call for sensible measures.

Going Crazy in Daily Fantasy Football

DraftKings has just about every game in the book these days, from your classic showdown to single-game showdowns to tiered showdowns.

There are a lot of ways to make money on DraftKings and yes, a simple $3 wager can go a long way with top prizes sometimes eclipsing $35,000.

And DraftKings isn’t shy about touting their “millionaires have already been made” mantra to the public on their little commercials. The only thing DraftKings neglects to tell you is that you’ll often find one $35,000 winner in a pool of about 15,000 people. One $10,000 winner in a pool of 150,000.

Draft Kings Fantasy Sports Zone

Sure, you can win some serious dough, but chances are you’ll likely win what you put in if you finished in the top one-third of the field; perhaps you’ll double that $5 bet and win $10. It ain’t going to make you rich, and you’ll have to beat out hundreds of thousands to earn a decent profit.

Not a good way to try to recoup losses. This isn’t deterring you from playing daily fantasy football. It’s a fun way to follow the big games slated for the week. But don’t think for a single second that playing fantasy football will make you a millionaire, just because the guy on TV made a six-figure profit.

You’re looking at 1 in about 100,000. You can be that one, but it’s not a good bet to make.

Increasing Your Sports Gambling Wagers

Alright, say you’ve been squeaky clean thus far. You haven’t increased your bankroll. You haven’t impulsively bet on any games. And you aren’t going hog wild in the DraftKings or FanDuel daily fantasy football realms.

But you’re increasing your wagers. Even if you’ve done your homework, you need to remember that you can’t predict the outcome of an NFL game. Pittsburgh should have thrashed Dallas in Week 9. They barely got out of AT&T Stadium with the W.

There was a reason the Bucs and Saints were on Prime Time. It was supposed to be a quarterback duel between the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Instead, the ghosts of the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers possessed Tom Brady and the current squad.

If you want to claw your way back toward breaking even if not a profit, then stay the course, stick to the game plan, and do nothing drastic. You may want to bet the house on a game that looks like a surefire win, but betting on the NFL has a funny way of making even the game’s top experts look foolish.

And the last thing you want is a deeper hole that you could have avoided if you stuck to your initial, and often your smartest, strategy.

Betting Big While Ahead

Alright, so let’s suppose you’ve avoided the top four strategies.

What is there left to avoid?

Knowing when to stop for the week. Often, we may find ourselves ahead in our quest to operate in the black (or the green) during the season. Say we have had a fantastic week where we earned back one-third of our losses. Every game we bet on was a hit.

Now, we think one or two more bets will push us over the edge. Luck has been on our side, and all that pre-game homework we conducted throughout the week paid off. So let’s put $200 on that game instead of the usual $100, and we’ll do the same with the Monday Night game.

Hey, the chance to win back everything is there. But the chance to lose almost everything you won back is there too. Now what? You’re right back where you were when the week began because you made the impulsive decision to up the ante while you were ahead.

NFL 2020 Chiefs Versus Texans

Have you ever heard the old, but true axiom, “Quit while you’re ahead?”

It has never been truer in this sense. Sure, you may still technically find yourself behind in terms of overall profits and losses. But once again, it’s far easier to make up a $100 deficit than a $200 deficit. So don’t try to win everything back in one week, even if the dominos fell in your favor this week.

Instead, carry that momentum over into the following week, do your homework, and place sensible bets. And who knows? You may just find yourself in a rhythm. But never, ever, ever assume that just because you’re hot that you’ll win every bet you make in a given week.

Especially if you’ve operated in the red over the past eight weeks until the midpoint of the NFL season.


The overall name of the game here is to avoid doing something drastic to try to recoup your sports gambling losses. It’s a bad idea, even if we’re sure our next bet is a shoo-in.

You can do all the homework you’d like, but as mentioned above, betting on the NFL has a funny way of making even the top experts look foolish. Because you can’t predict an NFL game. No one saw the Cowboys fourth-string quarterback giving the league’s best defense a game.

And no one saw Tom Brady flop the way he did on Prime Time in front of a national audience. You can pick out many examples so far over the past two decades.

So even if you’ve done everything, betting in the NFL is still a game of chance.

What strategies do you avoid when looking to recoup losses? Let us know in the comments.