NFL Betting Guide
Football is the most popular sport in America and millions of fans love to enhance the thrill of watching a game by betting on it. The NFL reigns supreme in the world of sports wagering, and sportsbooks across the country have made it central to their offerings. You have a huge range of different betting options to choose from and you can also benefit from rival sportsbooks trying to tempt you with attractive odds and compelling sign-up bonuses. This NFL betting guide will explain all the key wagers you need to get to grips with before you get betting on NFL.
What types of bets can I place on the NFL?
Futures bets, pre-match wagers, in-play bets and parlays are the four key NFL betting categories that you should acquaint yourself with.
A futures bet is a season-long wager on the outcome of a particular tournament or battle for individual glory. The most common NFL futures bets include predicting who will win the Super Bowl, who will win each conference and who will win the various divisions.
Before each season, the sportsbooks will assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team, and assign a different set of odds to each one. There will be a favorite and the odds will then get progressively longer until you reach the no-hopers. Before a particular season, you might see New England as the +900 favorite to win the Super Bowl and the +400 favorite to win the AFC.
A plus symbol in a set of odds tells you how much you stand to win from a $100 wager, so a $100 bet at +400 would earn you a $400 profit, while a $100 bet at +900 would earn you a $900 profit. Sometimes you will see +900 rendered as 9/1 (fractional odds) or 10.00 (decimal odds).
You can also bet on how many wins each team will secure in the regular season, and wager on individual markets like who will be named MVP or offensive rookie of the year.
When it comes to pre-match betting on NFL games, you have a few key options: moneyline, point spread and total points.
A moneyline bet is a straightforward wager on who will win a particular game. Let’s say the Kansas City Chiefs are in superb form and they are facing a struggling San Francisco 49ers at home. You would then see Kansas City as the heavy favorite to win the game, with odds of -1000.
When you see a minus sign in a set of odds, it tells you how much you need to stake in order to make a profit of $100. A wager of $1,000 at -1000 would earn you a profit of $100. You might also see -1000 rendered as 1/10 (fractional odds) or 1.10 (decimal odds).
In that hypothetical example, San Francisco would be the +650 underdog. A $10 bet on the Chiefs would earn you just a $1 profit, whereas a $10 bet on the 49ers would earn you $65, showing that Kansas City is the massive favorite.
In that instance, you would look at spread betting in order to earn value. Spread betting is the most common form of NFL wagering. It essentially gives the supposedly stronger team (the favorite) a handicap in order to balance things out.
If Kansas City was the heavy moneyline favorite, you might see the spread line set at 14.5 points. That means you can bet on Kansas City -14.5 or San Francisco +14.5, with odds of -110 on either outcome. If you bet on the Chiefs to cover the spread, they would need to win by 15 or more points. That is a lot harder to achieve, but odds of -110 are a lot more attractive than -1000.
If you bet on the 49ers to cover the spread, they could either win the game or lose by up to 14 points and your bet would be a winner. The caveat is that you must accept odds of -110 as opposed to +650.
If you do not know who will win the game, but you think it will be a high-scoring contest or a low-scoring affair, you can bet on total points. The sportsbooks will set a line of, say, 53.5 points, and you simply bet on whether the cumulative score of both teams will go over that figure or stay under it. Again, you will find odds of around -110 on either outcome.
You will also see alternative point spread lines and total point lines. They skew the odds in different directions, either offering you more value or greater insurance.
Finally, you can choose prop bets. This is short for proposition bet, and it covers all the various markets that do not necessarily relate to the result of the game.
Prop bets include betting on whether the first turnover will be a fumble or an interception, which team will score first, how many passing yards a quarterback will manage, who will score the last touchdown and many, many more. At the Super Bowl, you will find all sorts of exotic props, like what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach and how long the singer will warble on for.
Once the game begins, all of these betting options go live and you can continue to wager in-play as the action unfolds. The odds compilers will keep changing the odds depending on who is in the ascendancy.
Finally, you can combine multiple selections into one bet and this is called a parlay. If you think the Giants, the Eagles, the Rams and the Saints will all win on a particular Sunday, instead of placing four individual bets, you can roll them into a single wager. Each time one selection proves correct, the odds roll onto the next selection, and you rack up much higher profits than if you had simply placed a number of single bets. This is risky, as it only takes one team letting you down for your parlay to bust, but you can generate huge profits by successfully compiling NFL parlay bets.
Where can I bet on the NFL?
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to betting on football, as leading sportsbooks compete to win your custom. In order to tempt you to visit their sites, they will offer especially attractive odds (sometimes referred to as reduced juice lines) or attractive sign-up bonuses and free bet initiatives. Then there are other concerns to factor in, like security, safety, user friendliness, customer service, depth of market coverage, in-play offering and so on. Click here
to see which sportsbook is best for you as you prepare to get betting on NFL.