There is no better sport to bet on than the National Football League. And those who enjoy wagering on a full Sunday slate understand the highs and lows that come with heaters and coolers.
But when you’re running hot, what’s the best way to handle it and avoid losing it all?
What’s Your Budget?
Before we discuss the mechanics of managing a hot streak, we have to be prepared for all possibilities throughout the season. The average bettor will cover the spread 50% of the time, which works quite well for online sportsbooks because their raison d’être is to pay 100% when a customer wins but take 110% (including the vigorish) when the customer loses.
But bettors don’t go broke on paying the vig unless they are complete action junkies who must have a vested interest in every game on the board. What normally happens to the average bettor is that they get on a losing streak and begin to chase their losses with increasingly larger bets for the sole purpose of getting even.
When those larger bets also lose then the bettor’s bankroll gets perilously thin, and before they know it, they have burned through all of their cash.
Go In With a Plan
However, professional bettors have a plan going into the season, and so should you. This will help you weather the turbulent waters of a losing streak while maximizing your gains during a winning streak.
Ask yourself: how much money can you afford to lose for the season without losing sleep if you do? That amount will be different for everyone as we all have a different financial pain threshold.
This is the first step of a disciplined NFL bettor and it is precisely that level of discipline that will keep you from going broke when you’re losing. It will also help you from blowing all of your winnings when you can do no wrong.
How Much to Bet
Once you have established your budget, the second step is to bet only 1% of your bankroll on each wager you make. It might seem like small potatoes but it will keep you in the game and allow you to take full advantage when you go on a heater, which we will discuss below.
Therefore, if you decide you have a $1000 bankroll entering the NFL season then each bet should be $10 if you want to survive a full season and, perhaps, make money at the end of the day.
There are other schools of thought that prescribe a sliding scale of 1% to 5% of a bettor’s bankroll per bet depending on the perceived strength or confidence level of that wager.
But that often leads to novices betting exclusively 5% on each wager, unable to distinguish their confidence levels from a 1 (average confidence) to 5 (supreme NFL Lock of the Year confidence). Therefore, if you want to keep yourself on a short leash, make every bet 1% of your bankroll and only bet what you like, never manufacture opinions just to have another bet in your hand.
When You’re Hot, You’re Hot!
On an average NFL Sunday, the average bettor will place between one to five bets, the most popular being sides ATS (teams). But totals –aka over/unders– are also popular, while some sharps focus exclusively on player or team props.
But whatever your pleasure is, we often find a bettor who has placed five bets, will most often end with either a 3-2 or a 2-3 record. Those are the most likely mathematical probabilities and it’s kind of like kissing your sister, no big thrill, and nobody got hurt.
However, on those days when you start hitting everything in sight, then it’s imperative you have a plan before it happens! And trust us, it will happen even though there are times when it seems the only cover you’re capable of getting is the one on a magazine.
Once You’re on a Streak
Once you start putting together a winning streak, then you can gradually increase the size of your bets but never the number of wagers. Don’t double down because when you eventually lose you will have nothing to show for your sparkling run of good luck.
The correct way to manage your string of good fortune is to gradually increase the size of your bets while putting back the remaining winnings into your bankroll for safekeeping. Always make sure that if your streak ended suddenly, you would still have something to show for it.
When the Winning Streak Ends
The end of a winning streak is always disappointing because a gambler loves the adrenaline rush of feeling omnipotent. Every script for every game we have written in our minds miraculously manifests into a glorious winning prediction, proving conclusively we’ve figured out the game and can do no wrong.
Well, don’t delude yourself. Only rookies on their first heater truly believe they have a lock on seeing the future. Those who have been around the sports betting block understand that good times can end as quickly as they began.
So make sure to always put some of your winnings aside which will build your bankroll and add more money to your betting arsenal to use for another day.