NFL Betting - A Beginners Guide
Over the last five years or so American Football (NFL) has gone from the 20th most watch sport in the UK to the 6th most watched, the success of the International Series (NFL games played at Wembley) has gone from strength to strength and with more and more people watching the sport in the UK many people like to have a bet to add to their enjoyment of the game, some of the terminology is a bit different so this is an introduction to the three main types of betting opportunity punters can enjoy when watching NFL.
Money Line - Match Betting
The Money Line is the odds for each of the two teams to win their respective match, now as you may have noticed in American Football unlike Soccer there isn't any betting available on the draw (tie) and the match prices will reflect this, for example in Soccer the home team may be available to back @4/6 (1.67) the draw @3/1 (4.0) and the away team @4/1 (5.0), now if you were to take a look at that on the money line in American Football the one side may be @4/6 (1.67) and the other will be @5/4 (2.25), so when the bookmakers price up an NFL game the match prices (money line) the draw (tie) has been taken out of the equation and factored in to the pricing, that's not to say that there can't be a draw (tie) in American football but they are very rare indeed (if the game is tied at the end of full time they go in to overtime in an attempt to find the winner).
Point Spread - Handicap Betting
The Point Spread is a Handicap bet, when a team are heavy favourites to win a particular game say @2/7 (1.27) the bookmakers will price up the game with one side receiving a points start and the other side having a points deficit, using the earlier example, let's say the Atlanta Falcons are heavy favourites to win their particular game, they will 7.5 point favourites to win their game (-7.5@10/11 (1.91)), meaning they will have to beat their opponents by more than 7.5 points for that bet to be successful (the bookmakers use 0.5 of points to ensure there is a winning and losing bet, if the points were just -7, which they sometimes are and the Falcons won 24-17 then the bet will be pushed (stakes returned)), conversely the underdog would be getting a 7.5 point start, meaning when the game starts they are already winning by 7.5 points, and for that bet to be a winner on the handicap then as long as they don't lose by more than 7.5 points then that bet would be successful, handicaps can vary from +/- 0.5 to as high as +/- 30-40 (generally in college football), in the NFL you would generally see them ranging from +/-0.5 to +/-14.5.
As the title suggests this is a bet on the total amount of points to be scored in an individual match, this bet is generally priced up around the 10/11 (1.91) mark, the bookmakers then give you the chance to bet Under or Over, again the bookmakers will use 0.5 points to ensure a winner, for example if you had two teams that had particularly good defences and generally don't score many points you could expect the total points for that game to be around 40.5, so if you think that there will be than 41 points in that particular game then you would bet over or if you think there will be less than 40 points scored in the game then you would bet under, and if two high-powered offences were playing each other then you could expect the line to be around the 58.5 mark, again if you think that there will be less than 58 points in the game you would bet under and if you think there will be more 59 points in the game then you would bet over.
There are many more markets available to bet on in NFL games but these three are the most popular and if you new to the sport I would suggest these would be the best starting point until you get used to the terminology, hopefully this introduction will help you find your feet and give you a better insight in to the NFL betting world.