Top Football Betting Tips for Beginners

It’s easy to make mistakes when betting on football. Even the really smart guys with plenty of experience get it wrong from time to time. So you don’t need to beat yourself up over every little mistake when you’re just starting out. It’s actually important to accept that you’re going to make them, and try to learn from them.

With that being said, you still want to avoid mistakes as best you can. That should go without saying really. Since mistakes in betting inevitably cost you money, it’s important to limit them as much as you can. Even though it’s relatively easy to avoid, there is one common mistake that most beginners make over and over again.

Beginners tend to overcomplicate things.

The best thing to do as a beginner is to keep things as simple as possible. There’s absolutely no point in trying to get clever and implement complex strategies when you don’t really have the necessary knowledge and experience. All you’ll do is make things more difficult than they need to be. Why would anyone want that?

There will come a time when you’re ready to experiment with more advanced techniques and strategies that can give you a serious edge over the bookmakers. But that time isn’t now. Not as a beginner. At this stage it’s all about trying to get the basics right.

The purpose of this page is to help you do exactly that. We’ve put together a collection of football betting tips that we think are especially useful for beginners. They’re all very simple, and some might even seem blatantly obvious. But you might be surprised at just how much difference these tips can make to your betting results. As simple as they are, they’re still very valuable.

Have a Budget

You’re not going to win every single football wager that you place. You know that, right? In fact, as a beginner, you’re probably going to lose a lot more than you win. Unless you have an amazing natural talent for betting, or manage to pick things up very quickly, that’s just the reality you have to face.

It’s not something to worry about though. You can’t expect to make a ton of money as soon as you start learning strategy. Football betting just isn’t that easy. You need A LOT of knowledge, and even that’s not enough by itself. That knowledge needs to be combined with experience. Unfortunately, gaining that experience usually means losing some money along the way.

You could consider these losses to be an investment. That’s not an unreasonable point of view if you’re serious about becoming a successful football bettor and are committed to putting in the necessary time and effort. The important thing is to think carefully about how much money you’re prepared to put aside for this. And always remember the following point.Never, EVER, bet more money than you can afford to lose.

We really hope that this is obvious to you. We’ve established that there’s a significant risk of losing money, so there’s absolutely no way you should be risking funds that you can’t afford to lose. Any money that you put aside for the purposes of betting on football should be money that you’re fully prepared to say goodbye to.

Try to have a clear budget for how much you’re going to spend on football betting over a specific period of time. For example, this budget could be $1,000 for an entire NFL season. Ideally, you should take that sum of money and keep it separate from the rest of your finances. You’ve then got a proper bankroll which can be used solely for betting purposes. If you lose it all before the season ends, then it’s time to stop. You can always go again the following season if you can afford to allocate another bankroll.

In theory, you should never lose an entire bankroll. Not if you look after it properly. The whole point of having a dedicated bankroll is to then manage it in a way that you’ll never go bust. For starters, you should try to follow these three rules.

  • Set weekly or monthly limits for your overall betting spend.
  • Limit the amount you bet per individual wager.
  • Resist the temptation to chase your losses.

That’s essentially all that’s involved in managing a bankroll. It’s important to set the right limits and stick to them. If you’re disciplined, and reduce stakes if and when necessary, then you should be able to avoid losing the whole lot. And if you DO go bust after doing all that, it might be time to question whether you have what it takes to be a successful football bettor.

You can read about managing a betting bankroll in more detail in the following article.

Be Patient

We already mentioned how it takes knowledge and experience to be successful, both of which take time to master. Patience is a virtue, and that same principal can be applied to your football betting. Remember: you’re not going to become a winning bettor overnight.

It’s natural to want to start winning money as soon as possible. We understand this. It’s also why we suggest thinking long term. It will be hard at times, especially if you feel like you’re not really progressing, but you’ve just got to deal with that. You’ll just end up making lots of mistakes if you try to rush things.

Remember to stay focused on your ultimate goals. That’s the only way you’ll ever actually achieve them.

Bet Online

This tip is perhaps a little unnecessary since most people do their betting online these days, but we included it anyway. It’s still a solid piece of advice. Online betting offers several advantages over the other alternatives, so it’s quite simply the best option.

Here are just a few of those advantages.

  • Fast, safe and convenient.
  • Competitive odds and lines.
  • Bonuses and rewards.

The fact that online betting is fast, safe and convenient won’t have any direct impact on your betting results of course. But it’s worth mentioning because it means that everything is already taken care of for you. There’s enough to worry about when betting on football without having to worry about how you’re going to place your wagers. Using betting sites is hassle free, and that alone is a good enough reason to bet online.

There’s one stipulation to that last comment though. You need to use the RIGHT betting sites. Specifically, you need to use the ones that process deposits and withdrawals with ease and can be 100% trusted. There’s a few other factors to consider too, but they’re among the most important. You can check out our list of recommendations to find out which sites we consider to be the best.

Compare Odds & Lines

We just told you that getting the best odds and lines is important. There are two reasons for this. For starters, better odds lead to higher payouts, so you make more money on the wagers you win. Also, better lines can mean a greater chance of winning your wagers. Just a half- point difference on the spread can be the difference between winning and losing a wager.

You’ll get better odds and lines just from betting online, as betting sites are typically more competitive than other types of bookmakers. Not always, but often enough. You can further enhance that advantage by having accounts at a few betting sites, and shopping around to get the best deal for each wager you place.

Let’s use a couple of examples to illustrate this. We’ll start with a game where we’re planning to make a point spread wager. The Tennessee Titans are three point underdogs against the Minnesota Vikings and we figure they’re going to cover. Before placing the appropriate wager, we have a quick look around to see what odds and lines our betting sites are offering.

This is what we find.

You’ll see that there are a few differences here. The first two sites both have the spread at three, but there are some variations in the odds. If we were backing the favorites here, we’d want to use “Betting Site B.” We’d be getting +100 instead of -110. That’s not a huge difference, but not an insignificant one either.

But since we’re backing the underdog, the best odds are at “Betting Site A.” We’re getting -110 instead of the -120 at “Betting Site B.”

“Betting Site C” is even better though. The odds on Tennessee are slightly worse at -115, but there’s a four-point spread. That means we’ll win even if Tennessee loses by three. At the other two sites, that would be a push. It’s worth taking the marginally worse odds for a better chance of winning.

For the next example, we’re planning to make a totals wager. Chicago is playing Houston and the total is 44.5. We like the over. Again, we have a look around at our sites to see what’s available.

Looking purely at the odds, we can instantly see we want to avoid “Betting Site B.” We’re only being offered -115, instead of the -110 at the other two sites. When we look at the total too, we can see that “Betting Site C” is clearly the best option. The odds are the same as “Betting Site A,” but we only need 44 points to be scored instead of 45. That gives us a little more margin for error on our prediction, so we’re more likely to win.

Scenarios such as the two outlined here are common on football games. Betting sites will often have different odds and lines, so there’ll always be a best option for any given wager. Even when the differences are very small, it still pays to get the best deal available. By fractionally improving your chances of winning, and fractionally improving your payouts, you’ll definitely make more money (or lose less) in the long run.

Follow the Sport Closely

We did warn that some of these betting tips are very obvious. This is perhaps the most obvious one of all. Paying close attention to what’s going on in the world of football is clearly going to help when betting on the sport. The better you know the teams and players, the more likely you’ll be to make good betting decisions.

There are several ways to keep up to date with football and make sure that you have the information needed to make informed judgements and predictions. The following are the most effective.

  • Watch plenty of games.
  • Read match previews and reports.
  • Keep track of injuries and roster changes.
  • Get the views and opinions of others.

The first one is especially important. The others are all very useful in their own right, but watching games is the best way to form your own opinion about teams and players. It provides real insight into their quality, their form, and their style of play. That’s all useful information to have.

And there’s really no excuse for not watching enough games. Not if you live in the United States anyway. Football is the nation’s most popular sport, and that’s clearly reflected in the amount of airtime it gets.

Work on Your Predictive Skills

This is another fairly obvious tip. Regardless, it’s still something you should do. You’ll never be able to make accurate predictions all of the time, but you can certainly try to improve your predictive skills as much as possible.

How do you do this? Well, the first thing is to make sure that you’re fully aware of all the information that can be used to help make accurate football predictions. This can be broken down as follows.

  • Factors that directly affect the outcome of football games.
  • Player and team statistics.
  • Trends and patterns.

Next you need to learn all about those factors that affect the outcome of football games, and how they can be assessed and analyzed. Then you need to learn about the various player and team statistics that are relevant to football betting, and understand how to use them effectively. Finally, you need to learn which trends and patterns can be useful indicators of what’s going to happen in the future.

Track Your Results

You’ll never truly “master” football betting. Sorry if that’s disappointing to hear, but it’s a fact. The sport itself is evolving all the time. The effect of various factors fluctuates as a result, and so does the relevancy of certain statistics. It’s an ever changing landscape, which means you’ll never have ALL the answers.

Any systems and strategies you use will have to be constantly tweaked so that they too are evolving and changing as necessary. This applies even after becoming successful, and it most definitely applies before reaching that stage. It’s important to always be looking for ways to fine tune things and improve overall betting results.

This can only really be done effectively by tracking results. Keeping detailed records of your betting allows you to do the following.

  • See how much you’re winning or losing.
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing the amounts won or lost is obviously important. It’s the only way to measure just how well things are going. Properly analyzing past records can reveal MUCH more than that though. It’s a vital process for understanding what’s working out well, and what’s not working at all. With this information on hand, it’s then possible to highlight the best ways to improve.

We won’t get too in depth here, because we’ve covered this subject in detail in the following article. Please take the time read through this, and be sure to take the advice into consideration. It will prove very helpful in the long run.

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