Should You Really Bet NFL Favorites Early and Underdogs Late?

Posted by Henry Watkins on August 2, 2016 in

Most people who wager on a regular basis assume that the NFL spreads put in place by the bookies are based solely on the performances and abilities of the teams going head to head. While that certainly plays a role, it’s worth noting that the betting lines are also shaped by having a knowledge of how the betting public are going to play their money. There are a number of factors that will result in a line moving in one direction or another, and it’s usually injuries or weather that are the cause. The line will also move if one side or the other is getting a little too much of the betting money. Bookies are all about mitigating risk, and they will shift that line if they get the sense that they might take a bath on a single game.

Should You Really Bet NFL Favorites Early and Underdogs Late?



How does all of this affect the way in which you should bet? You may have heard about betting the favorites early and taking the underdogs late, and that all has to do with how the betting public plays their wagers. The betting favorite in any NFL game gets the majority of the betting money, which can lead to the odds being shortened as the week progresses. When that happens, the price on the underdogs goes up, which means that bettors who wait will get better odds if they just wait out the early bettors.

NFL online betting is big business, and the bookies need to be sure that they don’t get burned over the course of the 17-week season and the playoffs. Moving the line a little is one way to ensure that this doesn’t happen. As you might expect when talking about this amount of money, there have been studies done to see if the question about betting the favorites early and the underdogs late has any real validity. You may be a little surprised to learn that it does, as there have been plenty of instances over the past few years that have proven this to be true.

The bookies know that the big bettors tend to wait until the very last minute to place their bets. These are the people who review every single element of a match-up to see how things can be swung in their favor. There are games which, based on the line alone, they might choose to skip, and the bookies are aware of that. By shifting the line by a half or single point in either direction might well be enough to make them change their minds about skipping that game.


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With this information at hand, you should really start thinking about how you wager throughout the coming NFL season. Really pay attention to the lines and see how they change as the week progresses. Track how much more you could have won if you had waited until later in the week as opposed to getting in early. Winning in NFL betting is all about wagering smart, and the data suggests that the favorites early/underdogs late mentality does in fact bear some fruit.