Football Bets: Sides, Totals, Parlays and Teasers

Football Bets
by Staff

So you want to bet on football? There are many different types of football bets that you can make, so how does one sort through all the different games and plethora of wager types in order to win and profit at football betting? We’ll explain that right here in this article!

(If you came to this page looking for our opinion on this weeks picks, please check out our NFL picks section and/or our college footballl picks page.)

The NFL typically has around 15 games a weekend and NCAA football usually has 50 or more games that you can bet on. Many novice football bettors get “the fever” and bet on as many games as they can, especially the tv games. Being novice bettors and all and not having a clear undersanding of how a point spread works and how it gives an underdog an almost even chance of cashing, many of these “squares” have never seen a favorite that couldn’t lose, almost showing an allergic type of reaction to the underdog team.

Heck, we ourselves recall how exciting it was to be introduced to football betting. I want to say that I recall having a full piece of notebook paper absolutely filled from top to bottom with bets on almost every team on the card that weekend! I couldn’t possibly get enough action and this of course assured me that no matter what channel I turned on, I had a bet on whoever was playing! As Archie Bunker would sing “Those woy the days!”

Needless to say, I got absolutely crushed. Even if I did hit 50% of my picks, the juice had eaten me alive, which is saying alot. because most of my wagers were small-time risking either 11 to win 10 or 22 to win 20.

I made this horrible mistake for YEARS. And as you can imagine, I lost for YEARS. I lost my tail and it took me probably 5 years or so before I figured out that this method of operation wasn’t going to work.

Losing got REAL old (and expensive!) so I set out to try to figure out how to do things the right way. Others on the internet were claiming to be hitting 65%, so if I studied enough I could do it right? Easier said than done!

I quickly figured out that these clowns on the internet claiming a 65% win rate or higher were B.S. artists and that nobody hits at that clip, on a regular basis at least.

To make a long story short, I decided that I needed to start studying and cutting down the number of bets I was placing each weekend.

The second thing that needed to be changed was my love for sucker bets. I was lured in by the fat payouts that parlay bets offered and the “easy” to win 2 team 7 point teaser that moved the spread a whole 7 points on both teams.

Parlays are a disaster and should only be played for recreational purposes and for very small money. The truth is that it’s hard enough to pick one game against the spread, much less 2 or 10 games.

The teaser bet was actually the really tough one for me to let go though. I had become addicted to moving the line 7 points on both sides and totals. These seemed like “can’t miss” bets. I had some good success with them, but when you factor in that you have to lay -130 to win 100, the juice (vigorish) really makes it difficult come out ahead. It doesn’t look like much, but when you pencil it out, it is! You have to hit 56.5% just to break even. You would think that moving the line 7 points and only having to win 2 games to cash would be super easy, but it’s not and the juice eats you up.

If a guy wants to be successful at football gambling, he needs to stick to one of three bets:

1. Sides. A “side” is another word for “point spread” or “picking a team to cover”. Generally speaking, picking a side means that you’re laying -110 (11 to profit 10). You’ll need to hit 52.38% of your bets to break even. Surely doable if you do your homework.

2. Totals. These bets are commonly known as over/under’s. Here you’re picking whether you think both teams combined final scores will go over or under the posted total. These too generally offer -110 odds.

Lastly, underdog moneylines are a great way to go. Often times the team that covers the spread wins the game straight up. Instead of laying -110 odds, you’re “getting” the juice and your bet pays more in winnings than you’re risking. The neat thing about this bet is that it offeres a unique opportunity that is rare in sports betting: You can hit less than 50% and still turn a profit!

Getting back to “sides” and the standard -110, we’ve got good news. With all the competition amongst online sportsbooks for your business, a few crafty internet bookies (5Dimes) have started offering “reduced juice” (aka: reduced odds) wagering where you can risk -105 (10.50 to win 10). This might not sound like much, BUT IT IS HUGE!

Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of betting on football at reduced vig:

Let’s say that you bet 5 games on college football Saturday, 5 games on NFL Sunday and then both the side and total on Monday night football. That’s 12 bets over the course of the weekend.

For arguments sake, let’s say that you bet $110 to win $100.

That gives us 12 x $110 which is a total risked amount of $1320 in which you’re trying to win $1200.

If you were betting those 12 games at -105 odds, it would result in you risking $1260 to win the very same $1200. This is a savings of 60 bucks!

That might not sound earth shattering and maybe not even enough for you to change who you book your bets with, but let’s take a look at that over the course of a 17 week season. Sixty dollars a week x 17 weeks would result in a savings of $1020 over the course of the season! A thousand bucks is enough to buy you a REAL nice 42 inch plasma tv to be watching your games on! Look at it this way… If you saw $1020 laying on the sidewalk, would you stop to pick it up? OF COURSE YOU WOULD! So why not start taking advantage of betting at reduced juice -105 TODAY? Again, the best sportsbook offering this tremendous promotion is 5Dimes. They also offer the same great offer for both college and pro basketball!

They also offer a ton of prop bets. Prop bets are wagers such as which running back will have the most yards in the game, will the coin flip be head or tails and such.