The National Football League, or NFL for short, has always been one of the most popular sports to bet on and professional gamblers, as well as hobbyist alike, have spent years upon years trying to perfect the process of NFL betting. Many years ago, betting on the NFL was simply picking one team to beat another team by a certain amount of points (favorite) or with a certain amount of points (underdog).
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That is no longer the case as modern day gambling provides us with many various options to bet on NFL games. Whether you are a fan of the point spread or prefer the total plays, or maybe you only bet on parlays, many of offshore sportsbooks provide the ability to bet on NFL games throughout the preseason, regular season and postseason.
Before you can safely partake in NFL betting, you must know the basic types of bets that are available to wager. Below is a brief list or explanation of each type of wager that can be placed when betting on the NFL.
NFL Betting Guide
Types of Wagers in the NFL
- Point Spread – A point spread wager is simply picking a team to win by a certain amount of points or picking a team to win a game with the help of a certain amount of points. The favorite in the game will always be minus points while the underdog will be plus points.
- Moneyline – A moneyline wager in the NFL is basically a bet where you only pick the side, with no point spread involved, and your team must win the game. These type of NFL bets are based on odds with the favorite usually being minus odds and the favorite being plus odds.
- Totals (Over/Under) – A total play is betting that the combined score of both teams will go over or under a predetermined amount of points.
- Parlays – A parlay in the NFL is no different than a parlay in any other sport. It is basically a combination of two or more wagers on a single ticket with an increased amount of money to possibly win.
- Teasers – A teaser bet in the NFL is basically a combination of two or more wagers, that adds a certain amount of points or takes away a certain amount of points from the point spread or total. All of your wagers that you place on your bet must win by or with the points, for you to cash a winner.
- Prop Wagers – A prop wager is basically a proposition that the offshore sportsbook will put out and you pick a side of the prop. There are props for the game, for individual players and in the larger games, there are even entertainment props.
- Future Wagers – A future wager is basically described as picking a team to win in the future. This means you pick a team to win the Super Bowl at increased odds due to the fact that the season isn’t over or in some cases, hasn’t even begun.
How to Bet on Football – The Basics
The NFL and sports-betting have been a perfect match since Joe Namath and his Jets beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. America loves an underdog afterall. Especially gamblers. The upset propelled the NFL to the next level in fans, viewership and, of course, sports gambling. And while the league finds it’s ratings and popularity wax and wane, the number of wagers placed every year continues to rise. How to bet on football is a popular question and it’s asked all the time.
NFL football is the most popular and best sport to bet on. They only play 16 games which is far fewer than any other sport. There is a week between the games which is much more than every other sport as well. You have plenty of time and information to make good bets so use it to your advantage.
There are a many theories and systems in football betting. It is important to consider as many as you can. Do your homework and develop your own football betting guide. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind. Some basics of football betting.
- Big Underdogs Cover – The NFL is one of the toughest leagues in the sports world. This guys are big and fast and mean and they don’t like each other very much. And these guys are professionals too. The NFL’s worst team is comprised of the best of the best in the world. There is little wonder the games are so exciting and the scores often so close. And that’s why double digit point spreads are so good. It is tough to win in the NFL. And winning big is tougher. Does it happen? Of course. But blowouts are few and far between in most NFL games. Remember this. Don’t give double digit points. The worst team opening the game with a two touchdown lead against the best team is a good bet. Always take the big points or just stay away
- Bet with the House – The point spread will move as the week goes by and this will indicate where the public is betting. Basically, this strategy suggests you bet against everyone else because the house always wins. If more people take the favorite, the points they are giving will go up. You take the underdog. If more people are picking the underdog, the points they are receiving will go down. You take the favorite. Watch the way the line moves to know where the money is going. Then bet with the house.
- Home Teams Win – It’s that simple. An underdog at home getting points covers as often as favorites covering at home. There’s something about home-cooking because that’s where the good bets get placed.
- Home Plus 3 – A great example of how the point spread is used to get wagers and not handicapping is the Home-Team-Gets-Three-Points rule. It’s as simple as that. The home team gets three points at home just for being at home. Home field advantage exists and it is reflected in every point spread. This is helpful on every line but especially close games. If a team is a three point favorite at home, we know they are actually considered more of an even up match. Nine point favorites at home are actually closer to six point favorites. That changes a two score cushion into a one score cushion. Quickly. This rule is key in determining a good bet from a bad one. Are you still confident in your bet after the three points are taken into account? If so, you have a good bet. If not, maybe just move on.
- Parlays are your Friend – Parlaying a few heavy favorites on the moneyline is a good play. You can always find two or three games to bundle together and give yourself a nice payout without much risk.
- Know Your Betting Options – There is more than one bet in the house. The point spread, the moneyline, parlays, futures, props, teasers and the list goes on and on. If you can think of it, there’s probably a way to bet on it. There are good bets and there are bad bets. And they will vary from game to game, sport to sport. Know how the work and know which are best for you. Stay away from prop bets or teasers. Don’t buy points. Keep your bet simple. Even if you want to play a parlay, keep it to two or three teams. The best bets give you a good return with little risk. Determining if a bet’s risk is worth the reward is the most important part of laying any bet.
- Know the Sport – To be successful betting on the NFL, you must know the NFL. And this goes further than the casual fandom. Read, watch, and listen. The NFL is such big business these days not a day goes by, during the season or off, that an in-depth discussion about the NFL isn’t taking place. Talk radio, print, podcast, ESPN. There is a ton of information to be had from Draft Day until the Super Bowl. Use it to your advantage and learn the NFL.
- Point Spreads are not Handicapping – Many people think when they see the point spread in the paper it is handicapping. That a 3 point favorite will probably win by 3 points. Or a 10 point favorite will win by 10 and that point spread is the sportsbooks’ guess at what would result in a tie. Nothing could be further from the truth. The point spread is made to get you to bet and for no other reason. The reason sportsbooks’ point spreads are usually the same is because they all work together. They want to set a point spread that makes you bet. This is a important distinction. Sportsbooks are not doing you any favors. It’s your money vs theirs. And the ones setting the line have an advantage. That’s why it’s important to watch the line.
- Watch the Lines – One of the best aspects of NFL betting is that there is a week between games. This gives gamblers plenty of time to lay their bets. And this will change the point spread and odds as the week goes by. If more people are taking the favorite, you’ll see the points they are giving go up. If more people are taking the underdog, you’ll see the points they are receiving go down. And over a week’s time, this can change the line dramatically. Don’t like the point spread on a game? Wait a few days. It may change to one you like. Also, the line change will also indicate where the house money is and betting with the house is always recommended. The points the favorite is giving going up? Take the underdog. The points the underdog are receiving going down? Take the favorite. The buildings in Vegas don’t get smaller after all so betting with the house is usually a solid bet.
Everyone has NFL betting advice. Everyone has NFL betting tips. What you need is a NFL betting strategy. One that works for you. Take these rules, do your research and develop your own NFL betting strategy.
When learning how to bet on football it is important to keep it simple. Don’t bet on too many games at once and stay away from the prop bets. Bet on teams you know best and keep track of their trends. Stick to the basics. People have been betting this game a long time and there are many ways to win. Find the way that works for you. Good luck!
What to Look For with an NFL Betting Site
When you are looking for a NFL betting site, you are going to want to make certain that the site offers your favorite style of betting. This means partially what we were recently talking about such as over/under, point spread and moneyline but it also refers to when you like to bet on your games.
Many NFL bettors like to bet on their games early in the week, to hopefully get ahead of the public bias line movement and to get the line at what they feel is best for their play. This means that if you like one team and they are currently favored to win a game by a field goal but you think a lot of money will come in on that team, you may want to bet it early in the week before the line moves. We all know that when public money is laid on one team, the line will move in that direction.
This means to get your best line, you want to place your NFL bet early to sort of get ahead of the line movement. Another reason why you may want to bet early is because there may be a uncertain injury that could affect the line and once again, you want to place your NFL wager early so that the injury doesn’t affect your point spread and you will be able to get your bet in at the original smaller line. Therefore, you want to find a offshore sportsbook that offers lines early enough for you to benefit from.
Another thing you want to look into is does the offshore sportsbook have competitive lines. After many years in the industry, we have found that some offshore sportsbooks have much more competitive lines for favorites and other sportsbooks have much more competitive lines for the underdogs. It will be your job to figure out which offshore sportsbook offers you the best available line.
While we are talking about competitiveness, make sure you are utilizing a offshore sportsbook that offers you competitive bonus structure. Some of the newer offshore sportsbooks offer larger bonus features but the likelihood of being able to achieve the requirements to receive the bonus becomes very difficult. Therefore, you want to find out what exactly is the bonus, what are the requirements on the bonus and is it possible to utilize the bonus.
Finally, does the offshore sportsbook have decent online NFL betting limits. Some of the best NFL betting sites will give you great limits but there are still a few offshore accounts that put small wagers on their clients to prevent those large winning wagers.