Finding incorrect NFL odds can be a lucrative way to make money. This is especially true for those with larger bankrolls who may have difficulty keeping their money in action on smaller contests. But NFL odds will generally carry lower edges even for the best pros. This is due to so much attention being focused on any given NFL game. Betting volume on NFL games tends to be the highest of any sport, and this results in many sharp bettors putting a lot of money on any individual game.
In practice, this means that NFL lines are usually going to be much closer to accurate than with other sports. Since sports bettors make their money by identifying incorrect lines, betting on NFL games will naturally have smaller edges. This means two things. The first is that any professional handicapper wagering on NFL games needs to be very sure of his edge. The second is since those edges will be much smaller. He needs to always be alert to bankroll management requirements.
This is true not just for low edge sports betting but for all forms of professional gambling.
The Kelly Criterion
In 1956, a mathematician named John Kelly came up with a formula for optimally investing in assets with a known return. This formula is still used today by everyone from professional gamblers to money managers. Without delving into the gritty math, the Kelly Criterion essentially says that in order to guard against going broke, a mathematical catastrophe, you should only bet a fixed fraction of your bankroll at any given time. That means if you’re betting 10% of your total capital or $100 on a $1000 bankroll and you hit a losing streak and your bankroll declines to $500, you should now only be placing $50 bets. But the fraction that you bet is a function of your edge on the bet. So with a 10% edge you might be betting 10% of your bankroll but with a 1% edge you might only be betting 1%. This doesn’t cover all the complexities of optimal betting but in essence if you never exceed that fraction of your bankroll it’s impossible to ever go broke.
Covers.com is the brainchild of world-famous sports bettor Teddy Covers. Founded in 1995, the site was one of the first catering to sports bettors on the net. Covers.com has all the latest NFL odds and information on every sport played today. For more information, please visit covers.com.