If you don’t want to deal with the rigors and heartache that comes with betting on NFL spreads, then NFL moneyline betting may be for you. When you bet on NFL moneylines, you are simply betting on a team to win or lose. It doesn’t matter if they win by 3 or 30, a win is a win with this type of wager.
Why Bet NFL Moneylines?
One of the most common gripes you hear when betting on the NFL is the backdoor cover. We’ve all been there. You bet on a team that was a touchdown favorite, and they have been in control of the game the entire way. They led by 20 points at halftime, and it seemed like they were well on their way to a blowout victory.
Then, the team with a big lead takes its foot off the gas pedal. They go conservative on offense to salt away the game, and they move into prevent defense in order to limit big plays. That allows their opponent to matriculate the ball down the field in order to close the gap, and the next thing you know, they are threatening to get a backdoor cover in a game where they never really had a chance to win.
A very recent example of this is with the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City was 14-1 with Patrick Mahomes under center in the regular season, but the Chiefs went 7-8 ATS in those games. They were notorious for shifting into cruise control over the second half of the season, posting a 1-7 ATS mark in their final eight regular season games although they went 7-1. Kansas City would take a big lead and then allow its opponent to come back in the second half, frustrating spread bettors.
Another reason that people love to bet NFL moneylines is because they like to put them in parlays. There is the potential for massive gains with minimum investment if you build six-, seven-, or eight-team parlays. Those potential rewards are even bigger if you include a substantial moneyline underdog.
It’s generally more popular to bet moneyline underdogs than it is to bet moneyline favorites. Bettors who back a favorite tend to take them on the spread, while underdog bettors like to bet them to win straight up. There’s a certain pride that comes with having a 10-point underdog win outright, and it is a sizable boost to your bankroll too.
Tips for NFL Moneylines
One of the biggest traps that bettors fall into is throwing big moneyline favorites into a lot of different parlays. If you like a play, that’s one thing, but it’s very dangerous to put that pick into a lot of various conditional parlays in order to add more of a payout to each wager.
We often hear about a play being “can’t miss”, but these plays end up missing at a surprising rate. While upsets don’t happen in the NFL as often as they do in other major sports, they are far from infrequent. That’s particularly the case with a big road favorite, as novice bettors tend to continually underestimate the value of home field advantage.
If you bet the New England Patriots on the moneyline throughout the 2010s, you were largely very happy with the results. New England went 125-35 for a .781 win percentage during the decade, and that was by far the most dominant run of the decade. Only four other teams won at least 100 games with Green Bay and Pittsburgh winning 102 times, while Seattle and New Orleans won exactly 100 regular season games.
On the other end of the spectrum was the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland was by far the worst team of the 2010s with a record of 42-117-1. The Browns failed to win more than seven games in a season, and they put together the worst two-year stretch in NFL history under Hue Jackson in 2016 and 2017. Cleveland went 1-31 over those two seasons, and the lone victory came in Week 16 of the 2016 season against the San Diego Chargers. Robert Griffin III and Cody Kessler were sacked a combined nine times in a 20-17 win for the Browns.