American football originated from North America, and today, most fans of the sport are in the US and Canada. Contrary to what one might expect, the popularity of American football is not limited exclusively to the US as the sport has started gaining traction in other parts of the globe as well. The continued interest in American football outside the US borders continues to grow, and the sport started finding even more success in other parts of the globe.
The National Football League (NFL) is unsurprisingly the league, which is at the center of the attention of fans and punters. It is headquartered in New York, and the 1920 APFA season was the opening season of the American Professional Football Association. Its name was changed to the National Football League two years later. The Super Bowl, which is the annual playoff championship, took place for the first time in 1967 to determine the winner from the two leagues.
The league consists of 32 teams that are split down to the middle between the National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC), each of which is made of four divisions. The AFC and NFC conference champions play in February, and the final game of the NFL season invariably attracts large audiences and lots of betting action.
Football is understandably a popular sport for gambling enthusiasts, and the wealth of time between the games, together with the different strategies they can employ make an ever-growing number of punters have a go at betting on it.
There are plenty of ways to wager on the National Football League, and there are different bet types that will measure up to the requirements of total novices and experienced punters alike. Before they dive into betting on the high-profile league, gambling enthusiasts should first invest some time to learn the ropes about it.
How is the NFL Organized
The NFL was founded more than 100 years ago, and the American Professional Football Conference (APFC) was created during a meeting between representatives of several teams, including Cleveland Indians, Canton Bulldogs, and Akron Pros and Dayton Triangles, which was the original franchise of the league. During another meeting, which was held the same year, the name of the league was changed to American Professional Football Association (APFA), and its first president was chosen. Initially, the league consisted of 14 teams, and in 1967, the sixteenth team was added.
|NFC Teams||AFC Teams|
|Arizona Cardinals||Baltimore Ravens|
|Atlanta Falcons||Buffalo Bills|
|Carolina Panthers||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Chicago Bears||Cleveland Browns|
|Dallas Cowboys||Denver Broncos|
|Detroit Lions||Houston Texans|
|Green Bay Packers||Indianapolis Colts|
|Los Angeles Rams||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Minnesota Vikings||Kansas City Chiefs|
|New Orleans Saints||Las Vegas Raiders|
|New York Giants||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Miami Dolphins|
|San Francisco 49ers||New England Patriots|
|Seattle Seahawks||New York Jets|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Washington Commanders||Tennessee Titans|
American Football Conference Divisions
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Hard Rock Stadium
M&T Bank Stadium|
Paul Brown Stadium
Lucas Oil Stadium
TIAA Bank Field
Kansas City Chiefs
Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers
Empower Field at Mile High|
National Football Conference Divisions
New York Giants
Lincoln Financial Field
Green Bay Packers
U.S. Bank Stadium
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bank of America Stadium
Raymond James Stadium
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers
State Farm Stadium|
How To Get Started with NFL Betting
The NFL is the professional league with the highest average per game attendance, and figures show that in 2019, individual games attracted around 66,000 spectators, while the entire season attracted more than 16 million people. The all-time high popularity of the sport has resulted in increased betting as more and more people than ever now grow interested in placing bets on the professional football league.
Betting on the NFL can be a fun and profitable endeavor, especially if punters know the intricacies of the sport, how to read odds, and how to make the best betting decisions. In the event that this is the first time they step into sports betting, gambling enthusiasts should first ask themselves if they want to be recreational bettors or see this undertaking rather seriously.
Then, they should invest some time into learning the NFL basics, and more specifically, to understand what wagering on sports involves, how odds work, how bookmakers make money, and what probability and value are, among others.
Additionally, punters should get familiar with the NFL teams, the players, their previous performances, the coaches, and the injuries of players. Once they have acquired the needed knowledge, they should learn how to make money while betting on sports, which involves finding value, drawing and sticking to a budget, and knowing the biggest challenges sports bettors normally face during their betting session.
Most Common NFL Bets
Before they get started with their real-money bets and in order to ensure that their betting session will be fun and profitable, punters should invest some time in learning the intricacies of the NFL bets. In order for gambling enthusiasts to cash in, they should not necessarily go for future, proposition, or any other more involved bet types as there are several straightforward wagers that might work best for total novices or punters who prefer to keep things simple. This is not to say that they should steer clear of placing the above-mentioned bets but before they start making them, NFL bettors should be sure that they know them inside out.
What NFL bettors should bear in mind is that there are two main types of NFL bets, more specifically, single-game and multiple-game ones. The names of these bets are pretty much self-explanatory as the first kind of NFL wagers are displayed for each game, while multi-game bets cover several games at the same time.
Placing an NFL moneyline bet involves picking the outright winner of the game. Such bets are also called straight-up bets and are undoubtedly the easiest forms of betting not only on the NFL but on a number of other sports as well. This way of betting on the NFL can bring value, especially if gambling enthusiasts choose to wager the long shots.
While placing such bets, gambling enthusiasts should consider that there are talent and skill discrepancies between the two teams, which is to say that these bets are not 50/50 propositions. The big thing punters should consider is that their bet wins, provided that the team they have placed a bet on wins. Additionally, gambling enthusiasts should remember that the payout they will be eligible for will be scaled to the probability of their bet being settled as winning one.
Gambling enthusiasts who are not keen on betting on the outright winner and prefer to focus on the game as a whole can go for over/under bets. With this kind of action, punters should not think about the chances of each team winning the game as instead, they should think about the overall number of points that will be scored during the game.
Over/under NFL bets are also known as totals, and this time, there are no favorites and underdogs simply because the odds of each team are balanced at -110. While betting over, gambling enthusiasts hope to see a high-scoring game, while betting under means expect to see a defensive battle.
While placing such bets, gambling aficionados should know that there are numerous factors that can have an impact on the way the game will unfold from a scoring perspective, including the weather.
Football games are rarely perfect match-ups, which is to say that there is always a favored team and an underdog. In order for bookmakers to level the playing field, they introduce the so-called spread. Point spread bets are settled as winning ones, provided that the favorite triumphs in the game by a predetermined number of points. The underdog, on the other hand, should become an outright winner or not lose the game by a preset number of points.
Please note that spreads normally have half-points attached as in this way, bookmakers avoid pushes. These half points are also known as hooks.
By adjusting the variances and introducing the spread, bookmakers attempt to guarantee that the teams will get an equal betting action. If too many punters place bets on one of the teams, they will see that the bookmaker will move the spread or the line in order to make the betting action as equal as possible again.
NFL parlay bets are multi-game bets that cover several picks and incorporate them into a single ticket. In simple terms, parlay bets make it possible to combine over/under, point spread bets, and moneyline wagers from a single or several NFL games. The conditions according to which parlay bets can be placed vary significantly between the different bookmakers, and while some operators allow punters to add as many selections to their parlay bets as they prefer, others place an upper limit on the picks they can add. Gambling aficionados might also come across sports betting platforms where combining spread bets and moneyline into a parlay bet is not possible.
While creating their parlay bets, punters will see that the potential payout will escalate as they add more picks, but such bets are only settled as winning ones, provided that all selections that are added to them hit. In other words, adding more selections makes for a higher potential return but also results in an increased risk.
Teaser bets are yet another kind of multi-game NFL wagers, and just like parlays, placing a teaser bet also involves combining several selections into a single ticket. Teaser bets win only on the condition that all punters’ picks are correct.
The most outstanding difference between parlay and teaser bets is that with the latter type of NFL bets, gambling enthusiasts are given extra points in their favor. Thus, while betting on football, punters will be given the opportunity to lower the risk level by adjusting the preset totals or spread.
Normally, while placing a teaser bet, football fans are allowed to select from several standard increments, including 6, 6.5, 7, and 7.5, but there are also bookmakers that offer up to 15 points. Depending on the sports betting sites punters are placing their bets at, they will be allowed to tease totals and/or spread bets. When spreads are concerned, most bookies tend to allow gambling enthusiasts to select from a list of spreads for each game and work it in the direction they prefer.
As punters might expect, the much favorable spread they will benefit from comes at a cost, as they will be offered a significantly reduced payout. Before they place a teaser bet, sports bettors are advised to examine the rules of their bookmaker of choice, as while some operators consider pushes in teaser bets a loss, others simply remove such selections from the multiple bet.
Pleaser bets are another kind of multi-game bets and work in a reverse manner of teaser bets. In other words, when making such a bet, punters will surrender points instead of getting a more favorable line. Most of the time, gambling enthusiasts will not be allowed to include more than six selections into their pleaser bets but the number might vary from one bookmaker to another. Another thing to take into account is that normally, the number of points can range between 6 and 10.
In simple terms, teaser bets move the odds in the punter’s favor, while pleaser bets move the line in favor of the bookmaker. The juicy payouts such bets offer are what makes them such an appealing option for NFL bettors.
When compared to any other sport in the US, the NFL undoubtedly stands out with its proposition market. Team and player proposition bets are the two main types of such bets, but when major games are concerned, gambling enthusiasts might come across other types of such bets as well. While placing such bets, punters might be offered a number of options as there might be odds for which of the two teams will score first, which team will lose the coin toss, first touchdown scorer, or the number of field goals kicked in a game, for example.
Punters might also be offered proposition bets that are related to individual statistics, and in such cases, the over/under method is employed. Thus, NFL bettors might be allowed to bet on the quarterback over/under passing yards, for example.
Many gambling enthusiasts prefer to place such bets because they have a rather entertaining value and whether they win or lose is not necessarily determined by the match result. As it turns out, such bets attract the most attention during the Super Bowl, but they are available throughout the entire season.
As the name suggests, future bets are a kind of NFL bets that are made long before the game or the event actually takes place. Such bets have become one of the biggest markets during the past couple of years, and the most common future bets are the ones placed on the Super Bowl winner and the teams that will triumph at the NFC and AFC Championships. While looking for bookmakers that offer such bet types, NFL bettors might also find lines for the teams that will win the division championships.
Some NFL betting sites offer the so-called season prop bets that have to do with the team win totals during the entire season. This time, gambling enthusiasts will be required to decide whether the wins will be over or under the preset number.
As you can see, it might take weeks or even months until the outcome of these bets is determined. What makes these bets a worthwhile option is that the odds are significantly inflated, which can translate into some hefty payouts. For this reason, seeing bookies closing such bets once the season starts is a frequent occurrence.
Live odds and lines have become exceptionally widespread and sought-after these days. This is arguably the most intense and interactive way of placing bets on the NFL or any other sport, as gambling enthusiasts can wager after the game has begun. Normally, football fans who prefer to go for live betting will be allowed to decide between placing totals, spread, and moneyline, among others. Yet, the range of options depends on punters’ NFL betting site of choice.
Naturally, as the matchup pans out, the odds will change in order to reflect the occurring events, and this is exactly the reason why punters prefer to stick with this way of betting on the NFL. Usually, the range of live betting options is indeed wide and can measure up to the requirements of seasoned bettors and total novices, but prior to placing such a bet, they should make sure that this is a worthwhile opportunity.
NFL Numbers and Stats That Matter
There are lots of different strategies and guides that promise to aid NFL bettors in gaining an edge. Seasoned bettors are well aware that each sport bookmakers offer lines for has a set of key numbers they should fully understand before they dive into placing real-money bets.
Reading the NFL odds properly is a must for gambling enthusiasts if they want to ensure that the money they wager will not go down the drain. One of the first things football bettors should pay attention to is the rotating number of each team, which is listed on the odds board of the bookie they are placing their bets at. Normally, this is a three-digit code, which is assigned to teams in North America and indicates each team in the particular sport and league it takes part in. The availability of this number only depends on the sports betting platform punters have picked.
The different bet types punters will be allowed to select from are listed right next to the team’s name, and most of the time spread bets come first, and are then followed by moneyline and over/under. Yet, depending on the sports betting site, the bet types might be listed on another slip.
In order for punters to tell which team is the favorite and which is the underdog, they should take a look at the signs before their names. If there is a positive sign before the team’s name, this should hint to gambling enthusiasts that this is the underdog. The negative sign indicates the team, which is more likely to be placed first.
Odds will be expressed in this way only if the American odds format is utilized. Most NFL betting sites these days allow their users to switch between decimal and fractional odds as well. While using the decimal format, moneyline is displayed like this 1.77, 2.10, 1.80, and 1.19, for example. When it comes to spread betting, the match spread is normally put in brackets before the odds. A match spread looks like this: team A: (-2) 1.91, team B: (+2) 1.91. When it comes to total points, they are displayed like this: team A: O (52) 1.91, team B: U (52) 1.91.
When punters switch to fractional display, moneyline looks like this: 10/13, 11/10, ⅘, 10/11, and so on. The match spread is displayed like this: team A: (-2) 10/11, team B: (+2) 10/11. Total points are presented like this: team A: O (52) 10/11, team B: U (52) 10/11.
It is also not excluded to see both teams listed as Even or Picks, which means that none of them is a favorite.
The Importance of Statistics
Statistics should also be under the microscope of NFL bettors if they want to get the most out of their betting session. These days, statistics are available for just about any aspect of the different sports available out there. Such information is usually available for individual players and collective games. There are several types of football statistics gambling enthusiasts should examine closely before they go ahead with their NFL betting session.
- Yardage Statistics – Yardage statistics can turn out to be exceptionally useful for punters when they want to predict future points scored and allowed by the team they intend to bet on. There are several types of such statistics, with the most widely available being defensive yards per carry allowed, defensive starting field position, offensive yards per carry, and defensive yards per pass attempt allowed, among others.
- Time of Possession – Tracking the status of the time of possession is a must for punters as it gives them an idea about the offense’s ability to control a game. Additionally, figures can show punters how rested a team’s defense will be as the game pans out. Even though the time of possession can help sports bettors compare two teams, making decisions based exclusively on this information is unlikely to bring the desired results.
- Turnover Margin – Considering that turnovers can propel a team to triumph in a game or lose it, punters should take their time to check how the margin of the team they will bet on stacks up against the margin of their opponent. In this way, NFL bettors can find and attempt to rationalize inflated markets that differ markedly from their projections.
Along with this information, sports bettors are also advised to examine the ATS trends, the NFL standings, over/under stats, the overall offense statistics, and points per game, among others.
What is NFL Line Shopping and How Does It Work
NFL bettors who limit themselves to placing bets on their favorite sport at just one sports betting site in practice cheat themselves out of getting the profit they eye or guaranteeing good long-term results. Gambling aficionados use line shopping when they keep track of the odds different sports betting platforms offer in order to find the best value.
In spite of the fact that today, bookmakers go out of their way to ensure that the lines they offer are largely consistent with what their rivals offer, small dissimilarities might appear from time to time. If it happens that an NFL betting site is too far behind its rivals on a line, this will undoubtedly result in significantly greater betting action. Even though operators are normally quick to notice and correct such discrepancies, this does not mean that punters should refrain from line shopping.
Some punters avoid line shopping because sometimes, the edge is rather small or slight. Still, every seasoned sports bettor knows that any edge will become advantageous over the long. Besides, line shopping is the most effective way for punters to beat the juice bookies add to the odds they introduce.
No matter what sports punters want to wager on, the easiest way to figure out whether value is offered is to go for moneyline betting. As we said earlier, bookmakers adjust the moneylines they offer in order to ensure that each side will attract roughly the same amount of betting action. In addition to this, the vigor operators add is worth considering as it is based on how big the favorite is, and therefore, it is not that likely to come across identical moneylines at all betting sites that offer lines for the particular event.
Thus, since multiple options are normally available for the same game, punters should simply check which betting site has increased the value of their side of choice.
NFL Betting Strategies Do They Make the Trick
There are numerous NFL betting strategies that promise punters will attain great success. In practice, betting strategies are simply a way of wagering on the NFL or any other sport or league, which should give punters a greater edge by finding value and improving their chances to place a winning bet.
The Martingale betting system is among the most well-known betting systems punters can resort to not only when placing bets on the NFL but on other sports and leagues as well. While using this system, gambling aficionados are required to double the staked amount after placing a losing bet and repeating the same bet after a win. Yet, the limited number of football games is what makes this system unsuitable for NFL bettors. The fact that gambling aficionados are required to double after each loss might also be a drawback, especially if they have a limited bankroll.
The Labouchere betting system can also be used while placing NFL bets but can bring better results when it is applied to casino games like craps and roulette. While making use of this system, punters are required to increase their stakes each time they lose a bet.
Kelly Criterion is the most widely used NFL betting system because of the greater level of accuracy. In fact, it is more a bankroll management strategy than a betting system as it determines the ultimate size of the bets punters placed using a formula.
There are numerous other strategies NFL bettors might want to use, including the halftime betting system, playoff betting system, and underdog betting system, to name a few.
What punters should bear in mind is that there is no such thing as a surefire betting strategy or system, no matter what sport they wish to wager on.
How to Find A Quality NFL Betting Site
With hundreds of betting sites that offer NFL odds, it requires a great effort to find a quality betting site. There are certain details gambling enthusiasts should invariably inspect in order to determine whether the football betting site is worth its salt or it will be better if they steer clear of it.
- Sports Variety – Before punters add a sports betting site to their shortlist, they should make sure that the offered variety of sports is up to scratch. Although the availability of NFL odds will be the first thing punters will check for, they should not overlook the coverage of other sports the operator offers. The competitiveness of the odds is what sets the good NFL betting platforms apart from the rest of the sports betting sites.
- Security and Reliability – The best way to tell whether an NFL sports betting site is reliable is to check its seals of approval and whether it has a certificate for fair and safe gambling services by an independent testing laboratory. The customer-oriented football betting sites also provide their users with up-to-scratch protection of their funds and sensitive information.
- Rewarding Special Incentives – The sports betting sites that facilitate NFL betting normally provide first-timers and returning users with different kinds of special offers, including sign-up deals, free bets, risk-free bets, juice-free spreads, and others. Another thing to look into is whether the sportsbook offers any loyalty rewards, which is often the case with the NFL betting sites that have risen to the top. Punters should not only take a look at the perks they will be offered as the fine print is what actually tells them whether the special offer is worthwhile.
- Quick and Worry-free Payments – The cashier system of punters’ sports betting site of choice is among the details they should consider in the first place. NFL bettors should take a look at the different accepted payment methods, if fees are added, and whether the processing times are reasonable.
- Mobile Betting – The quality NFL betting sites ensure that their users will enjoy quality betting time on the go either through a browser-based app or using a tailor-made downloadable app. No matter how football bettors will access their sports betting site of choice, they should check if it runs without glitches and whether the complete roster of sports and events is accessible on the move.
- High-quality Customer Support – The quality NFL betting sites are instantly recognizable also when it comes to the customer care they offer. Normally, they offer better than good customer support, which is available around the clock, in multiple languages, and through different communication channels to guarantee the convenience of their users.