How to Bet on the NFL

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5 Ways to Bet on the National Football League

How to bet on the NFLWhen it comes to betting, there is nothing bigger than the NFL. Such is the impact that NFL sports betting has, that many sportsbooks will gear many of their promotions for the opening weekend in September. Best of all, a little knowledge goes a long way to beat the books.

Today, with both pre-game and live betting available, there has never been a bigger choice of markets. If you know the game, it’s the perfect time to get involved. Below are five of the most popular markets that you can get involved in.

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Classic NFL Single Match Bets

Over the years, there have always been three constant bets available on every NFL game. They are still the most popular bets today.

Point Spread:

The favoured team is given a points deduction to make the game an even contest. This is balanced, with the sportsbook offering identical (or close) lines for both sides. For example, the Packers might be considered the 6.5 points favourites in a game. If you back them on the point spread, they would need to win by 7 or more for you to win. A smaller win or a loss sees the bet lose.

Totals (under / over bets):

This time you are betting over or under a given point score. This number represents the total number of points scored by both teams combined. Once again, each side of the bet offers similar or the same odds.

Money Line:

When you bet the money line, it is simply a wager on which team will win the game. You can get low odds on the favourites and long odds on the underdog in a one-sided contest. In a close game, the market will be closer to the point spread.


How to bet on the NFL

NFL Betting by Period: Quarter / Half Time Betting

As well as placing bets on the outcome of the game, you can also place bets on the play within a given quarter. Examples include:

  • Which team will be leading at the end of the first/second/third quarter?
  • Which team will score the most points in a named quarter?
  • Which team will win the second half?
  • Which team will win the first half point spread?

This type of bet works well with live / in-play betting. If you see a top performer on one team is not performing well, then your opinion of the result may change compared to the pre-match odds. Here you can place additional bets on the second half (for example), taking this new and potentially profitable information into account.

NFL Match Betting Options

Parlay Betting on the NFL

To spread your betting across more than one game, parlays are a popular option. This bet gives you a shot at turning a small wager into a big payday – though you will need all your selections to win.

Parlays can be on just two games, or on many more. Any of the main ways to bet can be used for a parlay. You can bet on a series of point spread, money line or totals bets.

For example, you could place a parlay on the Cowboys, the Eagles, and the Chiefs all to beat the point spread on a given Sunday night. Instead of a single bet, where would only just double your money if you win, you will be looking at a return of around seven times your initial outlay.

The more selections you make, the higher the return will be. This is a great example of a risk/reward wager – as the risks increase for each match you add.

National Football League Futures Betting

Futures are longer term bets based on the entire season.

The most popular futures market is the next winner of the Super Bowl. This market will open at most sportsbooks pretty much as soon as the previous Super Bowl ends. You can take an early position on this market in February, long before the NFL draft. Or you can wait until September and see all of the trades that have taken place, as well as assessing how the draft has played out.

As well as futures for the Super Bowl winner, you can also place wagers on the individual division winners, as well as the winners of the two conferences. There are also season long props on individual player performances.

Types of Bet on the NFL

NFL Prop Bets

Prop bets are wagers within a game, which are not on the overall outcome. Many of these are based on the performance of individual players, usually on the biggest games of the season. Examples include:

  • A totals wager on the number of completion yards by a named quarterback.
  • The number of touchdowns thrown by the quarterback.
  • The number of rushing yards by a star running back.
  • The number of receiving yards by a wide receiver or a tight end.

Prop bets can be a good way to get involved if you have a real interest into digging deep into the stats of a game. As well as player props, you can also enjoy other in game props, such as ‘which team will score next’ and ‘what will the next scoring play be’.

Around the Super Bowl, there will be lots of novelty prop bets on random events such as ‘what will be the length in time of the National Anthem’ and ‘what colour will the Gatorade thrown over the winning coach be?’

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Live / In-Play Betting on the NFL

Live betting is hugely popular. This involves placing your bets while the games are underway. NFL works brilliantly for these, with the pauses between downs giving you time to check the odds and place your bets. Those odds update in real time, based on the action on-field.

While it is entertaining to place bets to back your opinion while you watch the games in a bar or at the stadium, in-play bets have a more serious side. They can be used to hedge pre-match bets, locking up some profit. They can be used to save some cash when the action on the field shows that your pre-match bets are at risk too.

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