Football has been the most popular sport to bet on for quite some time. In fact, over 98 million people watched Super Bowl LIII. In this article, we will teach you how to bet on NFL games and provide a comprehensive guide on how NFL betting works.
Just like many of the other sports, you’ll find moneyline odds, point spreads, and over/under (totals) as the most common betting markets.
How To Bet On NFL Games
Reading Football Betting Odds
There are three common odds formats available to read football betting odds. These odds formats are known as Decimal, Fractional, or American. Naturally, the most popular odds format used in the US is American odds and is quite straight forward to understand.
Firstly, to find the favorite between two teams, the favorite’s odds will be accompanied by a minus (-) sign. Whereas, the underdog’s odds will be accompanied with a plus (+) sign. Secondly, the number indicates the amount won for every $100 staked.
For example, in week 3 of the 2019/20 season, the Green Bay Packers played the San Francisco 49ers. DraftKings Sportsbook was offering -313 for the 49ers to win, which means they are favorites to win (minus sign) and if you stake $100 you stand to win $31.95. Whereas, DraftKings Sportsbook was offering +275 for the Green Bay Packers to win, which means they were underdogs (plus sign) and if you stake $100 you stand to win $275.
Decimal odds, also known as European odds, are popular in Europe (except for Great Britain). This odds format is a little easier to work out than American or Fractional odds. The favorite of a football matchup can be easily found because the favorite will have a lower decimal number than the underdog. Furthermore, decimal odds represent the total return a football bettor can win for every $1 wagered. Be aware, Decimal odds show the total return from a $1 stake, as opposed to profit.
Stake x Decimal Odds = Total Return
For example, let’s use our Packers at Chiefs example above. The Chiefs were favorites with Decimal odds of 1.32. Therefore, if you wagered $100 on the Chiefs to win, you could stand to win $132. However, as the underdogs, the Packers had Decimal odds of 3.75, so if you wagered $100 on the Packers to win, you could stand to win $375.
Fractional odds, also known as British odds because they are most popular among the British and Irish sportsbooks. Initially, Fractional odds can seem confusing, but once you understand how to read them they’re not so bad. Fractional odds can be written with a slash (/) or a dash (-). The favorites can be a little harder to spot than Decimal or American odds and take a bit more mental arithmetic.
Basically, when you read Fraction odds, the number before the slash (/) or dash(-) is the profit you will make when you stake the number after the slash (/) or dash (-).
For example, if the Packers were 3/1 (aka three-to-one) to beat the Chiefs, then you would stand to win $3 for every $1 staked. However, let’s say the Chiefs are 1/1 (aka one-to-one or even money) to beat the Packers. This means that you stand to. win $1 for every $2 you wager. Therefore, we can determine the favorite as the Chiefs because their odds are lower than the Packers.
Moneyline Betting On Football
Betting on the moneyline in football is a very easy concept to grasp. All you have to do is wager on the outcome of which team wins the game.
Similar to baseball betting, negative odds are the amount of money you’ll need to bet in order to win $100 – example: -150 means that you have to risk $150 in order to win $100. Positive odds are the amount of money you’ll win if you bet $100 – example: +150 means that you can win $150 on a $100 bet.
Spread Betting On Football
Spread betting or handicap betting is often used when betting on football. The premise is that some football teams are going to be better than others. Therefore, if a top NFL team (the favorite) is playing a poor NFL team (underdog) the odds will be extremely low for the favorite. A bettor now has two options that aren’t appealing to them i.e. they have to wager a huge amount to earn any profit or wager on the underdog who is likely to lose.
However, to even things up between the two teams. Sportsbooks will offer a handicap or point spread to each team. For example, a sportsbook will see that the favorite is head and shoulders better than the underdog and so offer a points spread of 16.5 points. Essentially, this means that if you back the favorite they will start on -16.5 points, but if you back the underdog they will start on +16.5 points. Therefore, the favored team must win by 17 points or more. On the flip side, if you bet on the underdog of +16.5, that team must lose by 17 points or fewer or win the game outright.
Over/Under (Totals) Betting
Betting on the total points scored in football can either be an incredibly fun day at the sportsbook or a nervous three hours – depending on whether you bet over or under the number of points offered by the sportsbook.
We’ll use 45.5 points as the baseline for this example. In order to win your bet on the over, the two teams must combine to score 46 or more points. In order to win your bet on the under, the total points scored by two teams must combine to score 45 points or fewer.
Points Betting on Football
Points betting is a fun way to maximize your profits, but what is points betting? Let’s say you’re betting $10 on a team that is favored to win by three points. You can earn $10 for each extra point that team covers the spread by. Example: Dallas (-3) wins 27-17 over New York, you’ll earn $70 for the extra seven points they covered the spread by.
If Points Betting on football sounds like your thing, then you’ll want to check out PointsBet. They’re currently the only NJ Sportsbook that offers points betting to New Jersey bettors.
A futures bet in football is extremely popular with the public.
One of the most notable bets in futures is win totals. In this type of bet, a team has an estimated win total that you must guess whether they’ll go over or under that number.
There are numerous options but some of the more popular ones are betting on the Super Bowl champion, AFC/NFC champion and divisional champions.
Parlay Betting in football is identical to all of the other sports. In order to win a parlay bet, you must combine two or more selections into one bet. If all your selections win then you win!
Prop betting in football gives fans another way to place wagers on the game they love so much.
NFL props are for the bettors that like to maximize their profits by wagering on specific outcomes during each game. This can range from anything like the number of passing yards a quarterback will have to the number of touchdowns he throws. There are also prop bets for running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends with all of the stats they typically accumulate.
Best Sportsbooks for Betting on Football
Now that you’ve read through the basics of how to bet on football. You should feel confident betting on football.
But now the question is where is the best sportsbook to put that knowledge to the test?
Well, we’ve your back on that one! Our expert team has researched the market and found you the best sites for football betting.