Betting on NFL: A Guide to the Best Markets and Events

Updated: 7571 Learning

Touch-Down into the world of NFL betting with ease! Our article breaks down the basics, offering you key strategies and tips to make your bets count.

Betting on NFL: A Guide to the Best Markets and Events
Luke Bradshaw Lee Commercial Content Manager

Experienced journalist and editor covering multiple aspects within the online sports and casino industry, NFL and Rugby Specialist

Ready to tackle NFL betting but don't know where to start? Dive into our comprehensive guide tailored for beginners, where we explain the odds, share strategy, and give you a play-by-play on how to place winning bets. Unlock the excitement of American football betting!

Kickoff Your NFL Betting Journey: Score Tips with Our Beginner's Guide!🏆📈

🚀 Ready to snap into NFL betting? Our beginner's guide will coach you through the game plan! 🏈 Get smart strategy and score on your bets with our ultimate starter's guide.

NFL Betting Introduction

The NFL is the most popular sport in America and one of the most profitable for gamblers. 

The season runs from September to February and culminates with the Super Bowl. 

Every season we cover all the stats, stories and tactics that are available on the season's biggest game via the Super Bowl Betting Guide.

Prior to this there are many opportunities to bet on your favorite teams, with a huge variety of odds and markets available.

If you're new to American Football betting, it can be intimidating, there are so many teams and games happening on any given day that it can be hard to know where to start.

We'll get you started with some of the best bets for beginners and a breakdown of what events happen during each game.

With games now taking place at Wembley Stadium, even though NFL has been shown on the TV in the UK since the 80's its popularity continues to grow and with it, the interest in betting on the sport.

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So join us we take an in-depth look at betting on American Football, the do's, the don'ts and how to become great at NFL Betting by going through these three introductory ideas.

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Types of bet You can Make on the NFL

Point Spread

The main bet on American Football matches is always going to be the point spread or handicap as it tends to be better known as over here. 

Due to American sports (American Football included) going to overtime when the score is tied there are only two possible winning outcomes making many games uncompetitive from a betting point of view. 

This is where handicapping comes in. 

One side is given a lead and the other is given a handicap and the amount of handicap will always depend on how evenly matched the two sides are.

Superbowl 58 Spread/ResultTeamTeam
Point Spread
San Francisco 49ers (-2) 
Kansas City Chiefs (+2)
ResultSan Francisco 49ers (22)
 Kansas City Chiefs (25)

As you can see above Kansas City Chiefs covered the spread. 

The idea being that once the handicap has been applied the teams have an equal chance of winning and are priced very closely with the same odds very often: that is the aim of the handicap market.

Picking the right bets in the point spread market has the same principles as picking value bets in other sports. 

The odds are the same so it is simply a case of picking the most over or underestimated sides in each round of games. 

In a game where you were betting on the winner, you’d look for odds that you think are too big compared to a team’s chance of winning, here you look for handicaps that are too big or small on each team in your opinion. 

The bigger you disagree with the handicap, the better the bet should be, as long as you have called the game correctly.

Kevin Sabitus // Getty Images

Money Line

Although many punters prefer the more competitive odds on offer in handicap betting there are still some that simply prefer to call the game as it is and bet on which side will win. 

There is much more range in the odds available on various matches and there is still some very good value to be had so it is worth comparing the match outcome odds with the handicap odds to find the best bets.

Superbowl 58 TeamAmerican OddsUK Odds
San Francisco 49ers (-130 favorites)
You need to bet $130 to win $100
5/6
The Chiefs (+110 underdogs)
You need to  bet $100 on them to win $110.
1/1

Points Betting

Effectively correct score’betting for American Football, 

Points betting allows punters to predict the number of points scored by one, or both of the teams involved in a given match. 

Superbowl 58
Points Scored
BetOver/Under 47.5

Because this market is more open than the handicap betting the odds on offer can be much more rewarding, as can the returns for those who are willing to delve into stats for each matchup.

This really wraps up the straight bets on the NFL, after these, we move into the world of Proposition betting!

Don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds and you've probably made prop bets before anyway.

Ronald Martinez // Getty Images

You can check all the OLBG members NFL tips throughout the season, or why not add your own NFL tips and become the NFL Betting Expert to follow. 


You Already Know What A Proposition Bet Is : Believe it Or not!

A proposition bet is when you are betting on the possible outcome of a different 'proposition' to that of the 'standard' betting markets.

In fact, the bet will have little to do with the final outcome of the game, and rather something that happens in a specific time frame, period of play or with an individual player.

If you have ever bet on soccer, then you have almost certainly bet on a first goalscorer, correct score or one of those bet builder type request a bets.

Well, that is a proposition bet. 

Here are some of the more popular 'Prop Bets' you can expect to find betting on the NFL.

They can also be broken down in Game Props, and player props.

Game Props

Game props are markets that are considered for the game in general, such as yards and passing combined from all players or each team. 

Total Rushing Yards

Total rushing yards are the total off all rushing yards from every player and both teams in the game. 

The bookmaker will offer a line, this will be their prediction of how many rushing yards will be that total at the end of the game and you have to predict whether it will be greater or fewer in total. 

The odds will be in the handicap style close to 2.00 as possible with an edge locked in for the bookie, so you may have 1.95 on either side or thereabouts

Total Passes

Total passes will be calculated in the same way as the under/over markets. 

With a line given for you to predict of there will be more or less than the predicted total from the bookmaker offering the odds. 

Look for teams' recent lineups and tactics, and try to work out, given recent form or previous games between the sides how they might play this on the offense.

Also, take into consideration the defence of each team and how effective they are on closing down the quarterback.

Number of TD's

This is an obvious one, and games can really differ here with lots or very few touchdowns, this market is the one most closely associated to the total goals in soccer betting

You can even bet on the Coin Toss!

That' right!, You can even bet on which side will win the coin toss to start the game. 

This is one of the worst bets you can make, so I would recommend avoiding this at all costs. 

The chances of the two outcomes are always 2.00, but you will never be able to bet at those odds, it will always be 1.98 at the very best meaning it is a bad value bet.

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Team Prop Bets

Team prop bets work almost exactly the same as game props, in that the same type of markets will be available but only those incidents directly relating to one team of the other will be considered. 

This is a good area to try to specialise in, especially if you know a great deal about one team or follow the closely as a fan. 

You will know what the lines-ups might be, you'll understand how they have been playing in recent time and if their current form is good or bad, playing at home or on the road. 

The more you know about a single team or maybe a team per division, the better placed you will be to identify when the bookies might have made a mistake with the odds and be ale to grab a good value NFL bet

Player Props Bets

Player props bets are similar to game bets with the exception they will be based around players individually. 

To Score the First Touchdown

Very much like first goalscorer bets in football, here you will be nominating a player that will score the first touchdown in the game. 

You might be able to get an each-way bet. 

An each-way bet on the first touch down would offer a fraction of the odds if your nominated player fails to score the first touchdown but dos score one at any time in the game

By the same token, a bet for scoring a touchdown at any time is a very probable market that will be available with many bookmakers on American football games.

Player Rushing Yards Over/Under

Take a look at the wide receivers here and make a prediction as to whether they will rush more or fewer yards than the bookmaker has set the line.

Player Passing yards Over/Under

How well do you know the quarterbacks playing for each team and how adept are they at teaming up with the receivers and making pin point passes. 

Or has the team a hole in the defense where the quarterback is not so adept at finding the pace to even make a pass attempt. 

You can predict over or under the given passing line provided by the bookmaker.

Half Time/Full Time

A fairly self explanatory market, this bet requires the bettor to predict the outcome at both half time and full time. 

There are no handicaps involved in this bet and it helps offer more competitive odds than simply backing the match outcome. 

Some teams can be better earlier in games and others will improve as the quarters pass and these factors are important considerations in this market.

First Scoring Play

A bit of a fun bet really, this is a bet on which play results in the first points for either side. 

Depending on which bookie you are betting with, you may only be able to bet on the type of play or you may be able to specify which side will score with that play, therefore increasing the odds. 

You should find touchdowns are most likely whilst the biggest odds in this market will be found on safety or ‘other scoring method’ depending on how many outcomes the bookies have priced up.

The best betting sites often have specials,promotions or free bets on these type of proposition markets especially as the football season progresses. 

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In-Play American Football Betting

Betting in-play on American football is a great idea if you plan to watch the game live on the TV. 

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With so much American football now available to watch on satellite and cable channels in the UK you can pick and choose which games to watch and bet on.

All the normal markets are likely to go in play in term of the lines and spreads, and the money line markets.

Other options for in play betting on the NFL will include

  • Next Touchdown
  • Next Sack
  • Next Field Goal

These markets offer the opportunity to watch the run of play and make predictions on which team will score the next touchdown.

Obviously the closer they are to the end zone, and as long as they are on first down, the lower the odds may be.

If they are on a 4th down and the quarterback has not been firing on all cylinders, you may want to bet again them reaching the end zone by touch down or kicking a field goal.

You will be amazed at the sheer number of in play betting markets available for betting on American football

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Tips for Winning Betting on American Football

The best approach to betting on American football is to only bet on what you know.

Don't go picking some random markets because the odds look good. by the same token, don't be taken in by very short-looking odds that look like dead certs to win. 

There is nothing certain about a possible outcome even if you see odds of 1.10. There are many a finger been burned by someone betting £100 to win £10 on a 1.10 shot only for it to fail.

Try specialising in certain teams, follow them closely and learn everything you can about them. 

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You'll be up to speed with their current form home and away, and how they perform against other teams in the division. 

The more you know the more likely you will be able to find a good value bet where the bookies might have got something wrong, or you have some intelligence about a team that they may have missed.

NFL Betting Guide Summary

So after reading all the information on this betting on the NFL guide, you are in a great position to start betting on your favourite teams. 

You will know the basics of each type bet and when to place a high stake, you can then go ahead with confidence knowing all about NFL bets. 

FAQ

  • How do you bet on NFL football?

    Select one of the online sportsbooks on this page which have been nominated and researched for the title best sportsbook for NFL betting. Register a new online account and make your first deposit, taking advantage of the current welcome offer.

    Find and select the NFL section and the game you want to wager on. Select the market and your wager choice, which will appear in a bet slip. Add the stake you wish to bet, and select confirm. It's that easy!


  • Where can I bet on NFL games?

    All sportsbook have options for betting on football. This guide has researched each and selected for you, the best ones to choose. 


  • What is Moneyline in betting NFL

    Moneyline betting on football is predicting and betting on the team to score the most points and win the game. It is as simple as that.


  • Should I bet Spread or Moneyline?

    The choice is yours. Moneyline only requires you to predict which team will score the most points, while the spread will apply a handicap either for against each team. Those teams will have to overcome that handicap on tops of their points total for you to win you wager. Choose whichever option in which you have the most confidence.


  • Is it legal to bet on NFL games?

    It certainly is with any sportsbook listed on this page, and those listed on the sportsbook pages here on OLBG. We list only legally licensed sportsbooks in US states, and as long as you are of the right age and located within the state in which it is legal to wager online, you can bet legally on football.


  • How do NFL spreads work?

    The sportsbook will select a spread, and the team you choose will have to win by at least the amount of the selected spread. You will have a positive and negative spread for each side with the underdog gaining the positive spread and therefore that many points start. The spread is either added or deducted from the final scores. 


  • How do plus and minus odds work?

    Plus and Minus odds can be quite confusing in the beginning. 

    Minus odds mean that is the amount you would have to wager to win $100. Example, if the odds are -190, you would have to bet $190 to get $100 profit if your pick was correct. Minus odds cover the favored outcomes in sports betting.

    Plus odds, or the opposite in that the plus figure is the amount of profit you would make on your wager if you were to bet $100. 

    +190 would then return $290, or $190 profit on the wager. Hope that helps.

    If it is still confusing, try fractional or decimal odds!


  • What does over under mean in NFL?

    Over and under in football betting is usually aligned with totals betting. 

    Totals betting is the total number of points scored by both teams combined. The sportsbook will select a figure closest to their prediction for the game, and you can wager either the real score will be over or under that amount. 

    The odds are usually very similar. Find a game, check the totals score, and see if you can predict if there will be more or fewer points than predicted by the sportsbook on your next wager.


  • What is the best site to bet on football?

    We have researched every available inline sportsbook in your state, and the best for various types of bets or reasons are listed at the top of this page. 


  • Where can I bet on the Superbowl online?

    Any legally operating sportsbook in your state will accept bets for the Superbowl online. We have a full list of these online sportsbooks per state on this page.


  • Who is going to win the Superbowl?

    That's the fun bit where you can predict and have a bet on the outcome with one of our listed licensed sportsbooks here on OLBG.

    For more help, once the playoffs are complete and we know which teams are playing you can get SuperBowl betting predictions.

    At OLBG we have hundreds of experienced football betting experts who will be sharing their knowledge and picks for the big game.


Responsible Gambling

When betting on American football or in truth when placing any bet we always advise you Gamble Responsibly. 

On OLBG, we have always advocated this approach since the site was created in 2002. 

With this in mind, we have added a range of responsible gambling articles on the site; two examples are below. 

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We also have links to charitable gaming organisations at the foot of every page to assist you if you feel your gambling is getting out of hand.

Author

OLBG Betting Expert Luke Bradshaw Lee is the author of the NFL guide. A very keen American Football fan the sport is his betting focus. Another member of our team, Nigel Skinner, formatted, fact-checked, and updated individual sections. 

Luke Bradshaw Lee

Luke Bradshaw Lee

Commercial content manager

Luke has been in the sports industry as a journalist since 2008, writing and editing for publications such as The Guardian, The Independent, Eurosport and Yahoo Sport, among others. Today he specialises within the betting industry, working across multiple sports.

👨‍🏫 Specialist Subjects🔬📚

💰Having visited and reviewed hundreds of online sports betting sites and online casinos, Luke manages all of our review content, drawing on all of our in-house experts for their views on the various sports covered by bookmakers and slots and games in casinos. As well as managing all the data collected to provide bookmaker recommendations based on individual sporting interests.

🏈 Luke is a more than keen follower of the NFL taking in as many games as he can over the weekend and always trying to attend the London NFL games each year. American football remains his main personal betting focus and he creates and contributes to our NFL Articles

🏉 The obsession with funny-shaped balls continues as a big fan of both codes of Rugby, once again finding his betting angles in Rugby League with a deep knowledge of Rugby Union and its history. 

 

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