How to bet on the NFL more responsibly

Feb 2, 2024

Super Bowl 58 is rapidly approaching, and that means it is a good time to discuss how to gamble responsibly. The NFL is one of the most bet-on sports in the country and the Super Bowl tends to be one of the most bet-on events in the calendar year, so let’s go over some tips and pieces of advice to gamble more responsibly.

Responsible Gaming tips for NFL betting

Realistic Expectations

When betting on the NFL, or any sport for that matter, it’s crucial to have realistic expectations. You’re not going to turn into a professional bettor and beat the books after a short time of gambling. Plus, you know the expression “the house always wins”? Well, it’s sort of true. You’re not going to win every bet you place, and sportsbooks offer traps like parlays to make you think you can get rich quickly. Plus, the “vig” or “juice” on a bet is how the sportsbook makes money.

Sports gambling should be seen as a form of entertainment. A good way to understand this is to only gamble what you are willing to spend on a concert or sporting event. You shouldn’t expect to win every time, whether it’s betting on the NFL or a different sport.

Bankroll Management

A key to being a successful and responsible gambler is to have smart bankroll management. A bankroll varies by person because determining a bankroll starts with one question: “How much can I afford to lose?” Once you’ve figured out that question, you have a good idea of what your bankroll could be. Maybe it’s $100, or maybe it’s $5,000 - it completely depends on each person.

A unit is how much you are wagering on each bet. Typically, it is responsible to use 1-3% of your bankroll, but it can range up to 5% as your unit (Forbes). That means if your bankroll is $1,000 and your unit is 3% of that, your unit would be $30. It is smart to start low and minimize the risk.

Managing your bankroll is how you ensure a strong return on investment. That means you should never chase your losses and use credit or borrow money to bet. Chasing losses is gambling more money than your unit after losing several bets already in the day to try and break even. This strategy rarely works and is very dangerous to your bankroll. Plus, borrowing money could put you in debt if the bet loses.

Time Limits 

A new feature that many online sportsbooks are starting to offer is time limits. This is something that all sports gamblers should follow. Spending more time on sports betting apps correlates to more bets being placed and more money being lost. Be responsible and set a time limit for yourself, like 15 minutes a day, for example.

Never bet under the influence of drugs or alcohol

One of the easiest ways to lose money is gambling under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impact your decision-making and make it difficult to focus, which are the same reasons why you can’t drive a car under the influence. For sports betting, it can make you wager more money than you intend and ignore the dangers of losing money. This can lead to a rapid loss of funds in your bankroll. 

You should also never bet when you’re highly emotional. Never bet with your emotions - that’s another quick way to lose money. Heightened emotions can alter your judgment, so it’s important to take the time to consider your wager and only gamble your unit.

Problem Gambling Behaviors - Know the Warning Signs 

Irresponsible gambling habits can lead to a lot of issues, including financial, mental, and family problems. That’s why it’s important to know the warning signs of someone who could have a gambling problem. For instance, mismanaging money and ignoring financial obligations. Examples include taking money that has been set aside for family or personal reasons and using it to gamble. This could cause problems within a family as well as lead to debt with a bank. This demonstrates a gambling addiction and will only get worse without help.

Another warning sign is if someone is keeping their gambling activities a secret. If a family member or friend is lying or not sharing about their gambling habits, it could be because they have already lost a lot of money or they have become addicted to gambling and don’t want anyone to find out. Also, if someone’s mood is dependent on a winning or losing bet, this could be an early sign of addiction. 

Other warning signs include skipping events with family or friends to gamble and stealing items to get money to fund their gambling addiction. These are just some of the signs that someone has become addicted to sports gambling. 

Gambling Addiction Help & Resources

The good news is there is help for those dealing with or know someone going through a gambling addiction. At Birches Health, they offer gambling addiction treatment that actually works. This is through confidential meetings with specialists and care that is convenient to your schedule. Birches Health offers 24/7 help from their care team and tailors the help to each person. It’s never too late to help someone recover from a gambling addiction, and Birches Health is there to help every step along the way. 

If you believe you or someone you know may be struggling with gambling addiction, call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com.

References:

What Is A Unit In Sports Betting? How To Build A Bankroll – Forbes Betting

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