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.
Knowing how to bet on football is simply understanding the basics of football betting. The bets to place and the strategy to employ. Understand these aspects and create your very own football betting guide to play week in and week out.
If you can think of a bet to play, there is probably a way to play it. Between the point spread and the moneyline, the over/under, futures, parlays and props, your options are many.
- The Point Spread (Handicapping) – This is the most popular when betting football. It is also the best bet when considering risk/reward. Betting the spread is wagering on a team winning by a given number or within a given number. All head to head sports have this bet as an option.
- The Moneyline – Playing the moneyline is simply picking the winner. However, this bet comes with lower odds so it is a tougher play. The bigger the favorite, the less you receive when betting on them. This is a popular bet for evenly matched teams.
- The Over/Under – This bet is about the total number of points scored in the game by both teams. You bet on the points being more (over) or less (under) than the number set by the oddsmakers. This is a popular bet but a tough one as you are not picking a winner or loser but just the total points scored.
- The Futures – Here, you are betting well in advance on a game in the distant future. Hence the name. Picking a winner of the Super Bowl in August for instance. These are risky bets because they take a while to play out and also because they are tough to hit. Football seasons are long and a lot can happen. However, this is also why they pay out so well.
- The Parlay – The parlay is a bet that takes several bets and combines them together. The rub is all of the bets must win in order to collect. Another tough play but a good idea if used properly.
- The Props – Props are the worst bet in sports. Who wins the coin flip. Who scores the first field goal. What color is the home team wearing. They can be about anything for any amount. The only time to consider these is if you find yourself in Vegas for the Super Bowl and you have too much money…
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 on our top rated NFL sportsbooks. Good luck!