Make Money Betting the NFL Overs and Unders

Cornelius ButterfieldContributor IJanuary 23, 2010

Sports betting has never been easier. Anyone with a computer and the motor skills to mail off a cashiers check overseas, can bet with his own Bookie, right in the convenience of his own bedroom. No problem betting, just click here, and click there, and wait for the results. My cat Charlie could probably do it. (I'd do the mailing). But it's not the set up or the betting that's the tough part. WINNING, that's the problem.

Legal or not, we'll find a way to bet on sports. NFL and College football betting on sides is the world's most popular form of sports betting. Which 'side' will win. According to ESPN, 118 million Americans illegally wager over $350 billion on sports each year. Betting which team will beat the spread is the most popular, but not the most profitable. Overs and Unders is the smarter bet. And you don't have to agonize over who will win. Doesn't matter.

Why bet the Overs and Unders? Because it's the easiest way to make money. The easiest way, once you know how. Read on, I'll show you.

Betting Totals. Totals, or "overs/unders," you're simply betting on the final scored. Add up the scores to get the total. Bookies post a "total" and you make your pick. Will the total score go Over or Under the posted total. How easy can it be?

But betters torture themselves, bent over sport sections, over analyzing not only team trends, but injury reports, and game day weather forecasts. Then they wonder why the constant migraine? How will the snow effect the wide receivers? A winning record but they almost lost last week? Will his recent heart transplant effect his throwing arm? Plus any other implausibilities that pop into their heads. And while they're gulping Excedrin, the Bookies have the same stats on their computers. Comes down to you and me vs the Bookie.


Many bettors are fixated on the point spread. Sure, it's more fun, who will win, did they beat the spread? Cool talk to Tweet about. Overs and Unders? Boring. What do you mean you don't care who wins? Where's the excitement in that? The excitement my friend is showing off your Platinum bank account to your loser friends. If you're serious about winning money betting football, bet the Over and Unders. And only the Overs and Unders.

Here's how it's done..
First think UNDER. Okay, most will first think Over. Thy have Acton Jackson Syndrome (AJS). It's human nature to want the spectacular, ally-oop, hail Mary's. We want points to be scored. Why else watch? To see a full back grind out 2.5 yards a carry, pounding over left tackle? Hardly. “He fades back...yes...throws long...Yes...it's caught!...YES! TOUCHDOWN!” That's what turns us into fanatics! That's what makes us tun over burning cars, and gets us the ticker tape parades.

My mom went to maybe 5 baseball games her whole life. My dad took her to a Dodger game, and when they got back I asked her how it was. “Oh, it was okay. Kinda boring.” I checked the sports section the next day. Sandy Koufax had pitched a no hitter. Boring? To her it was.

Fans want big scores. So they tend to bet the Overs. And the Bookies prey on it.

Caveat: Exotic parlays and teasers. Stay away. Forced to pick more than one game, drastically decreases your odds. Small bets, with big payoffs. They're so enticing. A few bucks left, and you're scratching to get back to even. One last big win. (AJS). Serious betters look at parleys and teasers, as what they are, sucker bets. Which team will kick the first on-side kick? How long will it take to sing the national anthem? Which half time performer will suffer the next wardrobe malfunction? DO NOT become a sucker, and bet these 'trap bets.' Stay away from parlays and teasers. Far away. Concentrate on Overs and Unders.

Basic Rule 101. Sophisticated sports bettors, aka “Wiseguys,” place their major money, their intelligent money, on totals, not sides. And they bet WITH the Bookie. That means they bet AGAINST the trend.

In a match up between two hot defensive teams, each lacking much offense, Bookies know that "Joe Citizen"-- that's you and me-- will naturally figure no offense, great defense, low score. So the Bookies who fix the total, make the total low, trapping you into a weak bet. Again they snicker. If the total needs adjusting, they tweak it up or down to their advantage. That's how I'd do it. Ever meet a poor Bookie?

Watch the trends. If a high percentage of bettors are betting the Under, bookies will lower the total. This will encourage betters to start taking the Over bet. Bookies want the betting percentages to be about equal. If the Over betting percentage is high, and there is a blowout, the bookies could lose their shirts.

Remember: "If it looks too good to be true it probably is!"

To win with Overs and Unders, fade your first instinct to bet Over. And play WITH the bookie.
Now lets take a look at Sundays games. (Go to Wagerline.com>consensus> NFL).

Colts vs Jets. The Total is 39. 933 are betting Over vs 871 are betting Under, (as of 4pm Friday 1/22).
Vikings vs Saints The total is 52.5 1228 are betting Over vs 598 are betting Under.

Again the mind set: Favre and Brees, Passing, Big score. If so, then the bookies would increase the total to encourage Under betting. More of a balance. Since this total has been set for 2 days, the Bookies see a low scoring game. Lower than 52.5. So, Bet the Under.

Colts vs Jets. (39). Bet the under.
Vikings vs Saints. (52.5). Bet the under.

With this kind of betting strategy, there's still plenty of action. It usually gets exciting in the fourth quarter. Betting the Unders, you'll probably be yelling, DEFENSE! DEFENSE! right to the end.

That's my take. Results Sunday.
CorneliusButterfield.com