Football is right around the corner, and the gambling world is ready to dive right in and make some bets. Some people will go a little crazy and bet preseason football, but in my opinion there are way too many variables to think you can gain an edge betting in the preseason.
What you can do before the season is make futures bets, whether that’s on a team to win the Super Bowl, a player to win MVP or Rookie of the Year, or a team’s season-long win total. Or you can also just bet an individual player’s total stats — Lamar Jackson’s rushing yards for the season, for example. You could go over or under his number.
Once the regular season starts, there are three primary types of bets you can place. The easy one is a straight bet. As of this writing, the Ravens are mostly 4.5-point favorites against the Raiders in Week 1. The total number of points is 51.5. No matter which way you go, the “vig” or “juice” — the commission on a losing bet — will likely be -110. Thus, you lay $110 to win $100.
Next you have teasers. I believe teasers are sucker bets, mainly because they seem too good to be true when you place the bets. For two-team teasers, you pick two games and you can move the line 6, 6.5 or 7 points either way, side or total.
Here’s an easy way to look at it. In Week 1, the Bills are 6.5-point favorites over the Steelers, and the Buccaneers are 6.5-point favorites over the Cowboys. You can make those games Bills and Bucs -0.5. Both bets have to win and you will pay a vig of -120. In three-team teasers, all bets have to win and you get to direct 10 points wherever you want, side or total.
Lastly, parlays are where you can win big cash. A two-team parlay pays out 12-5, meaning if you play a $50 two-team parlay and win, you net $120. A three-team parlay pays out 6-1. Parlay payouts will vary at each sportsbook. You will hear stories of people hitting 10-team parlays for more than $60,000. They do happen, but it’s incredibly difficult and very unlikely. People will still bet them regardless.
As far as strategy goes, I’m always watching the money and line movement. I’m not a gambler who jumps on a line when it first comes out. I like to wait and see where public money is coming in and where the sharp money is going as well. Sharp money will often cause reverse line movement.
For example, the Ravens opened up as a six-point favorite in most places. Though it’s still early, more recently I’ve seen that number as low as four. The public is betting the Ravens heavily, but the line is going in the other direction. That means sharp money is coming in on the Raiders, so I will most likely bet the Raiders in Week 1.
No matter who you bet on, good luck. I hope you win some money. Stay tuned, as I will be posting my picks every single day.
Photo Credits: Kenya Allen/PressBox
Originally published Aug. 18, 2021