The 7 Biggest Misconceptions About Betting on the NFL

Hand Holding Cash on Left and a Man Thinking on Right

The National Football League is one of the most popular sports leagues to bet on. It’s no secret that more American sports fans are drawn to football than other sports.

Additionally, most of the gambling public puts its money on the NFL compared to other popular sports. With all of the attention on the NFL, there are bound to be some misconceptions floating around.

There are plenty of myths about sports betting that casual gamblers fall victim to. These can trip bettors up and lead them down unfortunate paths that rarely result in profit.

For those of you who find yourself falling for these fallacies, don’t fret. Many sports gamblers, even some of the sharpest bettors have made the same mistakes.

To help you figure out some of the things you should ignore going forward: here are the 7 biggest misconceptions about betting on the NFL through your favorite sports betting mobile app or website.

1 ‒ It’s Simple

I often hear sports gamblers claim that betting on the NFL is easy. Trust me when I say that it most certainly is not easy to win football wagers.

The genesis of this misconception is easy to explain. Betting on football is slightly easier than gambling on other sports. There’s less unpredictability than other sports, gamblers have a week to prepare their bets, and there’s a slightly larger margin for error.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy to bet on the NFL; not even close.

When gamblers jump into sports betting, some gravitate towards the NFL because they think it’s easy to win money on. This is unfortunate and can stunt many gamblers’ growth and halt their learning process.

These gamblers assume that they can start gambling and immediately win money. While they might have a better chance of winning money on the NFL than the MLB, there are no guarantees.

So, when they wrap up a Sunday of gambling with significantly less money than they started with, they might feel discouraged and quit.

It’s important that novice gamblers recognize the difficulties associated with betting on the NFL. It might seem easy to outsiders, but you’ll be lucky to break even on your first Sunday of betting.

2 ‒ You Can Easily Transition from NCAAF

It makes sense that some people believe that a successful NCAAF bettor can easily transition to the NFL, and vice versa. While there’s certainly a path to do so, it might be more difficult than you think.

While the NFL and NCAAF are quite similar, there are minor differences that can impact sports bettors.

First off, there’s usually more action on an NFL game than a college game. Because of this, it’s more difficult to find value in the NFL.

Not only that, but the worst NFL team receives more media coverage than a mediocre Power 5 school. That means more members of the betting public are slightly more informed than those betting on college games.

NCAAF Gators Celebrating on Field

Both professional and college teams are technically playing the same sport, but there are significant differences between the style of football they play.

There’s typically less parity in college football, and the quality is often less crisp and consistent. This lack of consistency can result in some downright strange outcomes on the field.

So, if you excel at betting on the NCAA, don’t think those skills will directly translate to betting on the NFL.

3 ‒ When in Doubt, Fade the Public

The gambling public often gets a bum rap. Some of this criticism is deserved, but the average gambler isn’t as terrible as you might think.

As the sports gambling industry grows, it’s safe the assume that the betting public will improve. More media conglomerates and businesses are taking advantage of the sports betting boom.

There’s more information about each game made readily available for the public. While there’s still plenty of deficiencies, you can’t depend on fading the public to make money.

Instead of using this slightly antiquated method, consider following reverse line movement. This involves seeing where a majority of the money is coming in and taking advantage of moving lines.

While this often involves “fading the public” it’s a more sophisticated and thought-out form of the practice. Following reverse line movement is a great way to maximize value when betting on the NFL. And sometimes it can even be profitable to bet against the public on some games.

4 ‒ Never Bet on Your Favorite Team

When I first got into sports betting, I was always told to always avoid betting on my favorite teams. The more and more I think about it, and the longer I bet on the NFL, the more ridiculous that piece of advice is.

Let me be clear, there are certain reasons to avoid betting on your favorite teams. When you’re first getting into sports betting, you might feel compelled to gamble with your heart on your sleeve.

NCAA Football Players During Running Play

This is a common problem and can result in you losing money. Instead, you need to make bets that are sharp and well-thought-out. Simply betting on a team because you’re rooting for them to win is pointless.

But, there are sometimes when betting on the team you grew up rooting for is a smart play.

As you develop into a sharp sports bettor, you should learn to separate your emotions from the equation. When that finally comes to pass, you can turn your attention to the teams you know best.

5 ‒ It All Comes Down to QBs and Coaches

There are several matchups gamblers should analyze when scouting a football game they intend to bet on.

Among the most significant battles are the quarterbacks and coaches. The quarterback position is arguably the most important in all sports. Additionally, head coaches are responsible for the team’s schemes and strategy.

While the importance of both parties cannot be overstated, they are not the be-all-end-all.

Other matchups that gamblers need to focus on are the lines, secondaries and receivers, special teams, and more. Inexperienced gamblers sometimes tend to ignore these position groups and units.

Basing an entire wager on the more talented QB or successful coach is a rookie mistake that will cost you money at some point.

6 ‒ Always Avoid Big Favorites

The subject of betting big favorites is complicated and somewhat controversial. In most cases, gamblers are advised to avoid wagering on these teams for several reasons.

Most of the time, there are good reasons to stay away from heavy favorites. These bets often constitute a “low risk, low reward” type wager.

There’s a good chance that betting on a favorite moneyline will pay off, but that payoff isn’t all that sizeable.

Football Field End Zone View, Sportsbook Moneylines

However, due to the unpredictable nature of sports, there’s a chance that a favorite will fall to an underdog.

But, discrediting this type of wager on face value can take money out of your pocket. Sharp bettors should trust their sports betting acumen and preparation.

If you feel confident in a favorite and want to wager on it, then pull the trigger and place your bets on your favorite sports betting site.

7 ‒ Understanding “Any Given Sunday”

People rationalize bad bets in a lot of ways. When it comes to wagers on NFL games, the common explanation is that anything can happen on any given Sunday.

While it’s true that a severe underdog can beat a favorite any week, you shouldn’t count on it to happen. Regardless, every week sports bettors will place ridiculous bets with insane odds hoping to get lucky and strike it rich.

This isn’t incredibly damaging If you do this on a rare occasion and don’t waste a good portion of your bankroll.

Instead, it’s crucial that you focus on value picks that stand a good chance of winning.

In Summary

Several misconceptions surround betting on the NFL. If you fall for some of these fallacies, you might lower your win percentage and make gambling harder than it needs to be.

Many gamblers operate under the impression that betting on the NFL is easy. An average sports bettor might find it easier to win a bet on a football game than a baseball game, but it’s not easy.

Sports gambling is difficult and unpredictable regardless of what sport you’re betting on.

Some new NFL bettors think that successful betting on college football will translate to successfully betting on the pros. While there is some overlap, the NFL and NCAAF are vastly different organizations.

The gambling public might not be the best indicator of which side to bet on, it’s irresponsible to always fade them. This betting strategy is just as erratic as betting on major underdogs because anything can happen on any given Sunday.