Today, the world of sports betting is overflowing with opportunities but to fully capitalize on them, gambling enthusiasts should first become more familiar with the finer points of their sport of choice. It might be challenging for total novices to decide where to focus their efforts while learning the ins and outs of the sport they intend to bet on, and considering that there is tons of information available across the web, it makes sense that they struggle to find actionable advice.
Finding success in wagering on the NFL or any other major league does not go without having a clear understanding of the sport itself, the key numbers, and above all, the various bet types. American football provides a wealth of betting opportunities, including straightforward and more complex ones, which makes it a sure thing that seasoned punters and total novices will find bets to measure up to their level of knowledge.
These days, most sports betting platforms keep NFL fans covered, as American football has already become an inseparable part of the portfolios of most bookmakers. Depending on the sports betting site punters will join, they might be allowed to go for basic betting options, like moneyline, totals, and point spread, as well as other types of NFL bets like futures, prop bets, teasers, pleasers, and parlays, to name a few.
To ensure that they will be able to place smart wagers, we have provided in-depth information about everything there is to know about the various NFL bets.
NFL Bet Types: How Do They Work
The NFL indeed has the least number of games when compared to any other major professional league, but the betting action such events attract is still far greater. Betting on American football is not at the least a walk in the park, but this is not to say that rookies who are enthusiastic about it cannot see their bankroll grow. Unfortunately, there is no singular best way to place bets on American football, or any other sport available out there, as being successful is instead a combination of skills, knowledge, and luck.
No matter if gambling enthusiasts are looking to sharpen their NFL betting skills or this is the first time they dive into wagering on sports, they should keep in mind that consistently winning is not possible without diversifying their bets. Instead of clinging to the same bet types, again and again, they should attempt to find value in alternative betting markets as propositions and futures are also worth considering on certain occasions.
When gambling enthusiasts want to make sure that they will be up and running to place real-money bets, they should remember that the two main types of NFL bets are single-game and multi-game.
- Single-Game NFL Bets – Single-game bets are the most common way of wagering on American football, and as the name implies, punters place bets on the outcome of just one event or game. Based on the specific variables punters want to consider about the game or the event, they can go for totals, moneyline, or spread betting. These three wager types are available for all NFL matches, and most betting sites tend to group together the odds for them.
- Multi-Game NFL Bets – NFL bettors are given a choice from between 13 to 16 games per week, and there are punters who want to cover as many of these events as possible. The NFL bets that cover more than just one outcome are extremely popular among punters mainly because of the heftier payouts they offer, as, based on the bet type, the odds for the added selections might be multiplied. Parlays, teasers, and pleasers are the multi-game bets NFL bettors are normally allowed to construct while placing their bets over the Internet. Such bets have an added level of risk and are tougher to nail because punters need to have all events correct, which is what makes many NFL bettors avoid them.
- Other Kinds of NFL Bets – The choice of NFL bets is not restricted solely to the above-mentioned options as bookmakers also allow gambling enthusiasts to place futures, proposition bets, if bets, and live bets, among others. The availability of all these betting opportunities depends on the NFL betting site punters have picked.
Of all NFL bets punters can place, the most basic and straightforward way to wager on the league is to bet the moneyline. There is no doubt that this is the easiest of all football bets to understand and place as it is all about selecting the team that will sweep the victory. Based on how likely each team to win the match is, odds will be associated with each side in order to show punters which team is the favorite and which is the underdog. Thus, the bigger the favorite is, the smaller the odds and the payout punters will be in for will be and vice versa. The bigger the underdog is, the higher the odds will be, which might result in a considerably larger payout, if the team ultimately becomes a dark horse.
The number of points by which the team punters have picked will win the game is irrelevant, which is not the case with point spread betting.
Let’s assume that this is a moneyline market for an NFL game you are interested in:
|Las Vegas Raiders||Jacksonville Jaguars|
As we explained earlier, if punters want to have a flutter on this game and want to place a monyeline bet, all they need to do is to select the team that, in their opinion, will win the match. As it becomes apparent from the odds, Las Vegas Raiders are the favorite, while Jacksonville Jaguars are the underdog. Thus, if punters decide to place a bet on the Las Vegas Raiders, they need to stake $190 to potentially get $100. Still, if they decide to back the underdog, gambling enthusiasts will be in for a payout of $160 if they stake $100. No matter which side punters want to bet on, the staked amount will be given back to them, along with their profit.
If this way of displaying odds is too confusing for gambling enthusiasts, they should consider using decimal odds. This odds display is preferred by gambling aficionados because, while using it, they can instantly tell what their potential payout will be as all they need to do is multiply the staked amount by the value of the odds.
Odds value x staked amount ﹦total payout, including the staked amount
|Las Vegas Raiders||Jacksonville Jaguars|
In this scenario, if punters’ bet of $100 on the Las Vegas Raiders hits, the payout they will get will be $160. Staking the same amount on the Jacksonville Jaguars will result in a payout of $191.
It is important to note that with moneyline betting, the teams are normally not as close propositions as with point spread betting, and punters can easily determine which of the two teams is more likely to win. Yet, the only exception is when the teams are very closely matched.
Moneyline betting is an option sports bettors should not overlook simply because it is up to them to decide if they prefer to take a higher risk and possibly get a pretty penny or assume a smaller risk and potentially get a smaller payout. In simple terms, going for moneyline betting allows punters to manage the risk-return ratio with greater ease, which is not the case with other bet types.
Yet, punters should not have the impression that deciding whether it is best to place a bet on the favorite or the underdog can be done in a walk as there are many things to consider.
NFL Point Spread Betting
As it turns out, spread betting is the most favored way to wager on American football, and its immense popularity can be ascribed to its simplicity and the great probability of making a correct pick. In fact, point spread betting is also known as the traditional way of wagering on sports, and many NFL bettors think that this is the best betting opportunity bookmakers provide.
As we said already, NFL games are rarely perfectly matched, and bookmakers’ way of leveling the playing field is to introduce the spread. In practice, bookmakers want to balance things and make sure that each of the two sides will be equally appealing for gambling enthusiasts to bet on. For this reason, bookmakers essentially give points to the team, which is expected to lose the match, thus making sure that the betting action will not be one-sided.
When punters decide to bet on the spread, this means that the underdog should lose the game by a preset amount of points or become an outright winner. When it comes to the favorite, point spread bets only win if the team romps to victory by a preset amount of points. In this way, the contending teams are mismatched. In order for bookmakers to eliminate pushes or ties as a possible outcome, they use half points. Most of the time, when a bet results in a tie, sports betting sites return the staked amount to punters.
As NFL bettors might have already noticed, the betting spread does not remain unchanged once it is set. Instead, they will see how it changes the entire time, and the alters are caused by the betting action each side takes and the attempts of the bookmaker to even out the money they take in.
This is how the spread betting market might looks like:
|Las Vegas Raiders||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|+4.5 (-110)||-4.5 (-110)|
In this case, the Jacksonville Jaguars are the team, which is expected to win the game as they have a negative sign before their odds, and they are expected to triumph in the game by 4.5 points. The team is said to be lying by 4.5, and when the game ends, these points will be removed from its score.
Betting against the spread is a term NFL bettors might have heard on many occasions, and such bets hit, provided that the favorite covers the spread or, in other words, wins the game by more points than the specified. Thus, the Jacksonville Jaguars will cover the spread only if they win the match by more than 5 points.
Moneyline and spread betting are indeed the most commonly used bet types when wagering on the NFL, but there are also many punters who prefer to look at the points that will be scored until the end of the match. Total betting is also called over/under, and for this reason, NFL bettors will often see that this wager type is displayed O/U across the betting platforms.
Which of the two teams will win the game is irrelevant to the outcome of over/under bets as the overall number of points that will be scored will only be considered.
When placing such a bet, punters’ job will be to guess if the combined number of points the contending teams will score in the game will go over the preset number or will be less than that figure. As was the case with spread betting, while introducing the over/under numbers, bookmakers will use half points or hook, as they are also known, in order to eliminate the push as a possible outcome of such bets.
As is usually the case with spread betting, while placing an over/under bet, punters will see that odds will generally be the same for both sides. It is also not excluded to see the total listed twice, which happens when bookmakers think that both outcomes have an equal probability.
|Las Vegas Raiders||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|O (33.5) -110||U (33.5) +110|
In this case, gambling enthusiasts will get a payout if they have bet over, and the points scored in the game are 34 or more. Punters who have bet under will get a payout, on the condition that 33 points or less are scored.
There is a broad range of NFL totals punters might be presented with, and the over/under numbers will be set according to the forecasts of bookmakers about the way the game might pan out. Thus, the lowest totals gambling aficionados might come across will be between 35 and 40. Yet, if they are about to have a flutter on a high-scoring game, they are more likely to see totals that go over the 50-point mark.
Parlay bets are the most chosen way to wager on multiple games at the same time, as this bet type allows NFL bettors to combine several selections by adding them to a single ticket. The reason why parlay bets are so preferred not only by NFL bettors but by fans of other sports as well is that they can pick the outright winner of a game, go for spread betting on another game, and place an over/under bet on one or several games at once.
The more selections NFL bettors choose to add to their parlay bet, the juiciest the potential return will be. The significantly increased potential payout is what makes many punters get carried with parlay bets, but what they should bear in mind is that they will lose the entire amount they have staked, as well as all winnings they might have amassed from the legs that hit, even if just one selection loses. This is to say that punters should proceed rather cautiously to parlay bets as the risk grows proportionally with each new selection they add.
Before they place a parlay bet, gambling enthusiasts are advised to inspect the terms and conditions of their sports betting platform of choice as depending on the bookmaker, the rules according to which such bets are made might vary. In simple terms, while some operators allow their users to add as many selections to their parlay bets, others set limits on the events that can be included in a parlay bet.
Teaser bets are a type of parlay wagers, and punters use them when they want to make the betting opportunity more advantageous for themselves. While placing teaser bets, gambling enthusiasts will have the opportunity to move the line in their advantage for NFL totals and spreads alike. The three most common types of teases bets include 6-point, 6.5-point, and 7-point, but although it is a rarity, it is not excluded to see bookmakers that offer up to 15-point teasers.
As was the case with parlay bets, teasers are also made of two or more selections that should all hit in order for NFL bettors to collect the respective payout. As one might expect, getting a more favorable spread comes at a price as punters will trade it off for a reduced payout.
Before they dive into placing teaser bets, gambling aficionados should give their rules a once over, especially when it comes to selections the result of which is a tie. This is an important rule to consider as it can undoubtedly make a difference. While some NFL betting sites might simply remove such legs from the teaser bet, others will consider them losing ones, which will make the whole teaser bet a loser.
Let’s assume that these are the ordinary odds gambling enthusiasts are presented with for a match between Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.
|Las Vegas Raiders||Jacksonville Jaguars|
If we assume that the bookmaker offers a 6-point tease, the odds will then look like this:
|Las Vegas Raiders||Jacksonville Jaguars|
Thanks to the extra points we have added to the wager, our chances of getting a payout will increase significantly.
Teaser and pleaser bets share a lot of common traits with parlay bets, but there are still certain dissimilarities that should be considered. First and foremost, teaser and pleaser bets are normally made of totals and spread bets. Another major difference to consider is that based on the bet type, the spread will be either moved in punters’ favor or against them. Pleaser bets work in the opposite way of teaser bets, which means that points will be deducted from your side, thus turning the wager in favor of the bookmaker. Needless to say, placing a winning pleaser bet is a challenge, but the windfall they offer will undoubtedly appeal to NFL bettors. Naturally, the more selections NFL bettors add to their slip, the higher the edge of the bookmaker will be.
As with teasers, pleasers might also come in a number of different values depending on the NFL betting site punters are placing their bets at. Most of the time, the please point is anywhere between 6 and 10 points.
It is worth mentioning that teaser and pleaser bets can be multi-chance and progressive. Multi-chance teasers and pleasers are particularly appealing for NFL bettors because such bets still win even if some of the selections punters have added don’t hit. Yet, punters’ teaser and pleaser bets still need to reach the winning threshold in order for a payout to be awarded.
Progressive teaser and pleaser bets work like the multi-chance ones, but the most outstanding difference is that the heftier payouts will be awarded as they go above the winning threshold.
NFL futures are bets that are placed on future events, and the result of these bets is determined down the line. Yet, this is not to say that gambling enthusiasts will place a future bet if they wager on a game, which will take place after a few weeks. In fact, future bets have more to do with the entire NFL season than with individual games and even series.
Thus, gambling enthusiasts will place a future bet if they try to predict the league champion, who will become the MVP, who will triumph at the next years’ Super Bowl, who will become the defensive player of the year, and so on. Many NFL betting sites offer lines for the team win totals.
Future markets can undoubtedly be beneficial, but considering how early such bets are placed, punters might struggle to determine whether the potential payout is worthwhile. The best thing punters can do in order to figure out whether they should place the future bet they have chosen is to calculate the implied probability. Thus, punters should decide if they believe that these figures are right, or they should find a more advantageous betting opportunity.
Depending on the sportsbook, the betting action of NFL futures might close at different time, and normally, this happens when the season kicks off.
|Odds to win the AFC West|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+150|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+1000|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+400|
NFL Proposition Bets
NFL bettors who are looking to add some thrill to their betting session normally turn to proposition bets. These bets have more to do with events that might or might not occur during the match rather than focusing on the outcome of the game or the final score. This is the reason why many seasoned bettors consider that prop bets are better suited for recreational sports bettors.
Proposition bets are undoubtedly a fun and interesting alternative to the NFL bets we already focused on, which is the reason why they appeal to a constantly-growing number of gambling enthusiasts. The range of prop bets punters will be presented with for the regular NFL games are far from being as plentiful as the prop bets that are introduced when the Super Bowl is around. NFL Drafts bets are also introduced by many bookmakers.
There are two main kinds of NFL prop bets, team props and player props. As their name suggests, player props have to do with the performance of one of the players during the specific game. Total passing yards, rushing yards achieved, and PATs scored are only some of the player prop bets punters might be given a choice from. An example of a team prop bet will be which of the teams will score first.
|Which team will score first?|
|New England Patriots||Pittsburgh Steelers|
NFL If Bets
If bets are combination bets that contain two or more selections, and depending on the outcome of the selections, it will be determined whether the rest of the included wagers will be made or not. The amount punters have decided to put at a stake will be used for the first selection, and if this bet hits, punters get a payout from which their bet amount is deducted. This amount is then used in order to put the second selection in action. If it hits, punters get a payout, from which the original stake is deducted. Then, this amount is used to activate the third selection, and so on.
If the first selection does not hit, however, gambling enthusiasts will lose the amount they have staked and the remaining selections will simply be canceled. If the first selection hits, but some of the subsequent ones do not, the remaining wagers will still be canceled.
Most bookmakers allow punters to add up to six selections to their if bets, but this might not always be the case. No matter how many legs punters are allowed to add, if the first one hits, the rest of the wagers are only activated if the previous wins. This is to say that NFL bettors should carefully pick the order in which they put their selections as their choice will have an impact on the outcome of their if bet.
NFL Live Betting
As punters already know, odds shift all the time, which is to say that some lucrative betting opportunities might appear after the game has kicked off. Live betting or in-game betting allows NFL fans to seize such betting opportunities, and thanks to the slaying technology bookmakers use these days, punters can now place bets while the match pans out.
In this way, gambling enthusiasts will be presented with updated totals, moneyline bets, and point spreads, thus making it possible to get the most out of their betting session. Along with the traditional NFL bets, punters who enjoy in-game betting might also be allowed to place prop bets, as well as quarter and half-time bets, among others.
Not to mention that when NFL bettors go for live betting, they might be presented with some unique markets. Thus, depending on the sports betting platform punters are placing their bets at, they might be allowed to go for first half moneyline, bet whether a player will score a touchdown in the game, what the result of the drive will be, how many yards will be in the next play gain, and so on.