If you’re new to football betting, there are some basics you should know before making your first wager. If you already have some betting experience, a periodic reminder of certain essential principles will still be worth your while.

In baseball and hockey wagering, money lines are used. For you to win your bet, your team has to win regardless of the number of points. In football, on the other hand, point spreads are employed.
The “point spread,” or “spread,” is a handicap given to the underdog, which is the team considered inferior.

The person who sets point spreads is the “oddsmaker,” or “linemaker.” He or she has to be knowledgeable not only about the comparative weaknesses and strengths of the competing teams but also about how the public will probably bet.

The oddsmaker determines the point spreads for the week ahead following Sunday’s pro football games. The first public point spreads for that week’s games are known as the “opening line.”

Becoming familiar with football betting lingo is necessary but it’s not enough for betting success. It’s vital that you spend a great deal of time making yourself knowledgeable about the business. Impulsive betting is one sure way to deplete your finances.

Make intelligent use of the Internet. But be selective and use only the information that relates to the game. Be sure that it’s up to date and reliable. Carefully study pre-game shows. Watch and study the games themselves.

Before wagering, scrutinize the teams’ records. How have they been playing both at home and on the road? Have there been injuries that could affect performance? What are weather conditions like. Could they influence the outcome of the game?

Don’t automatically bet on the home team, and don’t assume that betting with the crowd will ensure a win. Wager with your wits after carefully examining your research findings.

Be guarded against trusting “inside” information, which is usually readily available to the public anyway. Be wary of betting on a “sure thing.” There’s no such thing!

If you aspire to becoming a serious football bettor, do think of your betting activities as an investment for long-term profit. As such, you need to develop discipline, patience and perseverance.
The funds you set aside for the specific purpose of wagering (your bankroll) should be actual cash. Make it as generous as you can realistically afford. Plan to make your initial bets about 2 per cent of that amount. You can vary this according to your winning percentage.

Avoid betting too many games per season, and aim for winnings between 50 and 60 per cent of your bets over the long haul. Although it’s unwise to totally dismiss everything you read, hear or see with regard to football betting, it’s equally unwise to disregard the results of your own diligent study and research. And even after all your hard work you still experience some losses, don’t be discouraged and don’t give up. Instead, learn from your mistakes. Even very experienced bettors suffer losses.

When, in time, you master the basics of football betting and you begin to see the fruits of your labors, you’ll be glad you took the time and exercised the patience to become a savvy football bettor.