As sports bettors gain experience they start seeing things that become truths they can use to help them place winning bets in the future.

Some of these might seem pretty simple, but just knowing something like the first one below, better quarterbacks win, doesn’t mean you can instantly profit from the knowledge. You have to be able to determine how much they’ll win by, not just that they’re likely to win.

See if you can use any of the 5 things listed below that every bettor knows to be true about football betting.

1 – Better Quarterbacks Win

The NFL game is dominated by quarterback play. The top of the league tends to be led by teams with the best quarterbacks.

Of course the sports books factor this in when they set the lines, but many bettors use quarterback play to help them make smart bets using the money line.

The NCAA game doesn’t have as many great quarterbacks as the NFL, but many of the large conference match ups are determined by quarterback play.

When you start handicapping football games make sure you have a strong handle on the quality of quarterback play for every team you plan to bet for or against.

2 – The Running Game Is Less Valuable Than It Used To Be

It seems the running game is becoming less and less a factor in handicapping NFL games. The days when a running back seemed to single-handedly control a game are over.

Of course you’ll still find teams with a strong running game, but when you’re handicapping games the running backs aren’t as important as the quarterbacks and receivers.

You still need to consider the offensive time of possession statistics for all of the teams and factor in their running games. Teams that run the ball more shorten the game. Running plays take more time off the clock on average than passing plays so the game seems like it’s shorter when it has more running plays.

This directly changes the expected point totals so if you bet over / under wagers the running game is still important, just not as important in the NFL as it was in the past.

In college football you can still find plenty of run dominant teams. Running backs have a better chance to stand out and most quarterback play isn’t very good. In games with the top quarterbacks, the running play takes a back seat, but if a strong quarterback gets a big lead the running game can still take over to burn time off the clock.

3 – Coaches Matter

Some coaches have better chances to win than others.

You really can’t find any other way to look at it if you hope to be a winning sports bettor. Coaches like Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells win more than lesser coaches.

The players seem to buy into the system more, have more confidence in the team and coach, and perform better for some coaches.

This extends beyond the head coaches to offensive and defensive coordinators too.

If you don’t track the past performance of the head coaches and coordinators in both the NFL and NCAA you need to start immediately.

It will make you a better sports bettor.

4 – Anything Can Happen Today, But In The Long Run the Best Team Wins

Sports bettors know that anything can happen on any given day. The winless team can beat the undefeated team today, even if the better team would win 9 out of every 10 times they play.

The secret is being able to stay in the handicapping business long enough for the long term averages to work themselves out and concentrate on making value wagers.

Most people call short term variance luck, but even strong favorites lose sometimes. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking there’s a sure thing in the sports betting world. Sports books make a fortune off punters placing “sure thing” bets.

Here’s an example:

In college football you see early season games with a top 10 team playing a small conference opponent. The top ten team is a huge favorite so you place a bet on them because it’s a sure thing. While you’ll be right most of the time, what about the 5% of the time the underdog wins?

Focus on the long term and learn to take whatever happens today in stride. The best team will win more in the long run, so you just need to make sure you’re getting the odds you need to profit enough when they do to cover the losses when they don’t.

5 – It’s A Long Season

Whether you bet on the NCAA or the NFL, the football season is long. Just because things aren’t going well early doesn’t mean you can’t make some adjustments and turn the season around.

On the flip side, don’t get too confident early in the season because the gambling gods can turn against you. Don’t forget the last section about anything can happen on any given day.

You also need to remember it’s a long season if you start thinking about placing too many wagers. You don’t have to place bets on any game you’re not sure about. You’ll be able to find more betting opportunities in a day or two. Rarely does a day go by when you can’t find a football game once the NFL and NCAA get started. Sometimes Tuesday and Wednesday don’t have many options, but every week Thursday through Monday offers plenty of gambling options.


You should start keeping a list of things you know about betting on football. The longer you make the list the better your chances to win in the long run.

Start with the five I listed above and add the ones you’ve learned from your experience. I bet you thought of a few while reading mine. Every time you think of a new truth add it to your list. You could even compare notes with other football bettors.

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