Anyone who tells you that sports betting is all about luck is almost certainly someone who enjoys casino action and mistakenly conflates the two.
While actions you take within a casino, online or in a brick and mortar establishment, are very much down to predictable factors entirely driven by statistical analysis, sports betting relies upon a lot more variables.
When it comes to how to bet against the spread in the NFL, you need to do some research before you place your bet. Novices often just place their bets without giving enough attention to what they are putting their money on, whereas a successful bettor has a strategy behind their picks.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is the Spread?
The point spread is a system of handicapping that helps a bettor to make a bet on an outcome with the addition of some level of preference to one side over the other. In other words, it evens the playing field to make it more attractive to bet on an underdog and more worthwhile to back a big favorite.
Here’s an example related to a potential NFL clash
Jacksonville Jaguars +6.5 (-110)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.5 (-110)
In this example, the Jaguars are the underdogs, and in order to make a bet on them more palatable, they are given a 6.5 pt headstart, which basically means that as long as they stay within seven points of Tampa Bay, your bet wins. Conversely, a bet on Tampa requires them to win against the Jaguars by a decent margin.
How to Successful Beat the Spread
Beating the spread, in this instance, means successfully predicting the right outcome and therefore earning yourself a decent payout. Here are some key ways to help you in this endeavor.
Stay On Top of the Latest Form and Injury News
There’s no point placing a bet on your chosen team if you haven’t taken into account their current form and, more importantly, who’s fit and who’s not. Be sure to check out reputable services that can keep you well informed.
Track the Lines
Another great way to analyze the points spread is to see how it shifts over time. Noticing fluctuations in the spread will give you a good idea of how the wind is blowing. The changes in the spread are down to a number of factors, the key among them being the sportsbooks themselves doing their research.
You could choose to place your bet on the spread as the game is in motion. Betting ‘in-play’ has its pros and cons; one big negative is that you can find yourself losing money very quickly, but a big positive is that you are betting in real-time and can make more informed decisions due to this fact.
In closing, we’d suggest that any moves in the spread market should be well thought out and according to a sensible approach that is assisted by the use of reliable resources.