How to Survive Betting on Sunday Night Football

So there you are, 15 minutes after the late afternoon NFL games have ended and about 30 minutes before Sunday Night Football.

You pore over the results of your bets from earlier in the day. Perhaps you are a little ahead, or maybe, a little behind. Sunday night offers potential salvation in two forms — either you can rally to potentially break even or come out ahead, or you have the chance to add to a winning day.

The question is: How? Here are some tips to even the odds, or stack them further in your favor.

Some Sunday Night Do Not’s…

The most important “Do Not” of them all: Do Not bet beyond your financial means! If you are placing sports bets on a budget, be disciplined and stay on that budget. Everyone loves a late rally to pull out a victory, especially the one bet that could put you in the black for the day, but the flip side is a big day-ending loss leaves a deeper shade of red and makes a bad day worse.

Do not go all-in on just one pick if you are down on the day. There is nothing worse than the sense of desperation, or “needing” one pick on Sunday night to make things right for the whole day. You have control of this situation from the start — make contingencies and have back-up picks for late line movements beyond your preference or late-breaking news that affects your planned picks.

Do not look for a home run bet, especially with an underdog when behind. The old adage of “if it appears to be too good to be true, then it probably is” applies here and should be in the back of your mind. There is a reason why a betting line exists — to get people to play both sides.

Do not make an uninformed bet. In the internet/smartphone era, there is no excuse to just place a bet — with the caveat of betting on a favorite team as a fan. Even taking two or three minutes to look up something has the potential to make a difference. Be curious and have a reason to bet. Remember another adage “that a fool and his money are soon parted…”

And Some Sunday Night Do’s…

Do have confidence in your research. You have done the work to consider placing this bet, whether it be studying trends, examining matchups, riding a hot player for DFS purposes, or a combination of all those things. If there is no additional outside information and you feel good about your bet, make that bet!

Do vary your bets. Since you are making multiple bets, there is no need to load up on one type of bet. A varied approach works best, especially when trying to make up ground.

Do try individual over/under yardage prop bets. One constant about the NFL is that when teams find a mismatch, they will exploit it until opponents can prove they can stop it. That holds true especially for wide receivers, where individual coverage matchups can dictate big performances in either direction. Look for the ones where there are high talent discrepancies and make your play.

Do make smaller, incremental bets. Just like no one wants to be desperately needing a win, no one should be greedy on a hot streak. Being ahead offers the best opportunity to consolidate your gains, and if that means seeking a higher-confidence play despite a lower return, that avenue should be explored.


Do be willing to not place a bet. Sometimes the best bets are the ones you don’t make because they lead to better ones.

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(Sunday Night Football logo courtesy NBC Universal Media Village)

Categories NFL