American Football Betting Advice

Betting on American Football has become very popular over the past decade or so with more and more exposure to the sport on these shores. With more American Football to watch it is important that we know how to bet on it, especially with competitive NFL games now being played at Wembley Stadium.

Point Spread

Betting School ImageThe 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, the idea being that once the handicap has been applied the teams have an equal chance of winning (and are therefore the same odds of 10/11).

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.

Other Types Of Bet

Match Outcome

Although many punters prefer the more competitive odds on offer in the 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.

Points Betting

Effectively ‘correct score’ betting for American Football, points betting allows punters to predict the amount of points scored by one, or both of the teams involved in a given match. 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 match up.

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.


Accumulators are an attractive bet in pretty much every sport as it allows the punter to win bigger with smaller stakes by combining multiple bets into one. Most commonly point spreads will be combined for the accumulator and the advantage of placing an accumulator on point spreads is that the competitive odds on each outcome means a treble will normally pay just shy of 7/1 so a large number of selections don’t need to be combined.


Bet Small To Begin With

As with most sports it is best to bet very small when you are unfamiliar with a sport until you get a good feel for it. For a few weeks it may be best just to paper trade to see how you would have got on if you’d staked real money. Once you think you can make a profit bet very small and build your stakes up gradually until you are at a level you feel comfortable at.

Don’t Bet On Too Many Games

Even the best punters can’t pick the winner of every match so only bet on the matches on which you think you have the biggest edge or are getting the most value. In the point spreads these are likely to be the games in which you think the team you are betting on have been given the most generous spread.

This can be especially important if sticking only to accumulators. If you normally look to place a treble on each round of fixtures but can only find two strong bets in one particular week you should place a double rather then including a less confident selection.

Click here to find American Football discussion and tips on the OLBG American Football Forum.