With training camps now almost upon us, we can start to seriously think about how we are going to bet in the opening week of the NFL season. Of course, most bettors are going to wait until much closer to the start of the season to place bets, as there are the inevitable injuries and line changes to come before we get to the start of Week 1. If you wager on football regularly, you already know how tough it can be to win in the opening few weeks of the season, mostly because you never know how good or bad a team is going to be until they actually start playing. With all the changes made by each team in the offseason, chances are they are not going to look a lot like what you saw last year. With that in mind, how do you go about betting in the 1st half of the new season? Let’s try to find that out so you can plan your bets against MyBookie’s NFL odds.
How to handicap the 1st half of the NFL betting season
Any regular bettor will tell you that winning over the long haul has as much to do with money management as it does with picking winners. This, though, is especially important in the early part of the season when you don’t have as much to go on as you have later in the year. If you routinely bet a certain percentage of your bankroll or bet the same amount in every game, then consider lowering that among or percentage through the opening weeks of the season. The average bettor usually wagers about 2-10% of their bankroll on each bet, so maybe cut that in half until you start to know more about teams and see trends develop.
Don’t Overlook Poor Teams from Last Season
In the early going of the season, particularly in Week 1, a lot of bettors will simply take a team that was good last season to easily win over a team that struggled. That is not always the smartest way to go, as most teams spend the offseason trying to find ways to improve, while others who did well might take a backward step. There is a system that calls on you to wager ATS on teams that had 6 wins or less in the previous season and who go into Week 1 as an underdog. Since 2005, those teams have covered about 58% of the time. When playing ATS, you usually have to hit about 53% to be in profit, so you can see that there is a decent chance of a profit there.
Steer Clear of Parlays
Even if you are a great handicapper, you are probably still not going to have a ton of wins through the opening few weeks of the season, so stick to making a couple of wagers where you see a definite edge every weekend. It is probably not a good idea to start jumping into 3- and 4-team parlays right from the off, as that is likely to do nothing but slowly eat away at your bankroll. Once you see your single bet victories begin to increase, you can then start to think about putting parlays together.