Ah, Monday Night Football. There is nothing better than settling in after a long day’s work and watching three hours of the greatest sport in the world. The tradition, the spotlight, and even the theme music make it a must-watch for even the most casual of football fans.
Do you know what makes watching Monday Night Football even more fun? Betting on the game. However, betting on Monday Night Football games can be tricky for a variety of reasons. Today, we are going to give you a few things to consider when gambling on the Monday night game.
MNF Betting Tips
At the end of the day, NFL betting need to remember that it’s just another football game. Despite the national spotlight and the extra coverage that is placed on this game, a win or a loss on Monday night is the same as it is on typical Sunday afternoon. While that seems like common sense, public bettors don’t treat it as such.
One of the biggest “mistakes” people make when betting on Monday Night Football games (or primetime) games for that matter is buying into narratives and hype. More than anything, Monday Night Football is always one of the most-watched television shows in the United States year in and year out.
The way ESPN (and the other major TV networks) get you to watch this game weekly is by building up some narrative. By game time, the networks will make you believe that this will be the greatest Monday night matchup of all-time or that a double-digit underdog should be able to pull off the upset. Again, their job is to boost ratings, not necessarily provide accurate analysis.
Because these games are nationally televised, and it’s only football game that is played on the day, it is typically a heavily bet game. Generally, that means that you will see a lot of public action, usually on the favorite to cover in point spread betting. That is why you will often see some “weird” lines for the Monday night game.
When you bet on the Monday night contest, consider how the public will bet this game and how and why the oddsmakers have set the line. Vegas will often set high lines on the favorite, knowing full well that the public will continue to pound the favorite. Try to avoid that “trap” on Monday night.
Another thing that “public” bettors typically do on Monday Night Football is “over-bet” the home team. Whether it’s due to the crowd (noise), or a narrative that the network might have set leading up the game, you will see many bettors pick the home team at an absurd rate on Monday Night Football.
Try to avoid this trap as the home-field advantage is no more critical on Monday than it is during a typical Sunday afternoon game.
MNF Betting Analysis
Since 2010, the home team has a record of 79-68 on Monday Night Football through Week 9 of the 2018 season. That “home-field advantage” is pretty consistent, if not slightly worse than what we saw on a regular Sunday matchup. Home-field advantage matters, but no more than on any other day.
However, betting the home to cover on Monday Night Football hasn’t been overly successful in the last several seasons. Vegas is pretty good at setting the line in big public matchups. Since 2016, teams have covered at home in just 22 of 44 games, according to Pro Football Reference. While the public loves to bet the favorite at home, it’s been a 50-50 proposition for the past several seasons.
If you are going to bet on Monday Night Football, considering taking the road team in moneyline betting, as it will likely offer the most value.
There are a few teams that are difficult to beat on Monday Night Football, such as the Steelers (9-2 since 2010) and the Seahawks (7-2 since 2010). Those teams already have significant home-field advantages.
Do consider this as there are “veteran” teams that know how to handle the spotlight of Monday Night Football better than others. If given a choice, go with the veteran team versus the younger team.