Football (American Football) is the most widely watched sport in the United States. Canadians also watch a lot of football and the sport has been growing in popularity in other countries around the world. The American Professional Football Association was 1st founded in 1920 and in 1920 the league was changed to the National Football League (NFL).
The NFL is the most popular American football league, but college football is also very popular. NCAA Football attracts millions of football fans and college football fans are very loyal to their team, which is often their alma mater. In our American football betting guide we’re going to show new bettors how to bet on a football game and where to bet on American football games.
How to Bet on NFL
The odds and types of bets for American football leagues are the same. Once you know how to bet on American football you’ll be able to wager on the NFL, NCAAF, CFL and various other football leagues. Online sportsbooks have even offered betting lines on high school football games in Texas and other US states where football is taken very seriously.
One of the first things a new bettor needs to learn when they want to bet on American football is the different types of bets. You also need to be able to understand American odds in order to determine your potential winnings and losses.
- Moneyline Bets
The term moneyline bet describes a bet where you only need to pick what team you think will win the full game. An example of a moneyline bet would be the Giants +125 vs. Patriots -130. The odds after each team help bettors figure out what team is favoured to win the game and how much a bettor can win on each team.
The favoured team is the team with negative odds and the underdog is the team that has positive odds. Reading moneyline odds is important as well if you want to bet on American football regularly. Negative odds equal how much you need to bet to win $100 and positive odds equal how much you could win on a $100 bet. (Bet $130 to win $100 on Patriots or Bet $100 to win $125 on Giants)
- Straight Bets
American football bettors also need to know how to understand straight bets (point spread bets). Straight bets use point spreads to make the football game as close to a 50:50 proposition as possible based on information and the betting action. An example of a straight bet is the Giants +3.5 vs. Patriots -3.5.
The odds are typically -110 on both sides of a straight bet, but in order to win you need to determine if the favoured team (Team with the negative point spread) will cover the point spread. In the case of our example above we’d need to decide if the Patriots will win the game by 4 or more points. If the Giants win the game or only lose by 3 or less points the Giants would win at +3.5.
- Totals Bets
Sportsbook allow bettors to wager on lots of different totals bets (over/under bets). In American football you can bet on the total of both teams combined or just a single team’s score. Bettors can bet on whether they think the score will go over or under the total that has been set by your sportsbook. In American football bettors can place a totals bet on the 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter, 4th quarter, 1st half, 2nd half or full game at the leading American football sportsbooks.
- Parlay/Teaser Bets
Parlays and teasers are both very popular types of American football bets. Parlays are a type of bet where bettors can pick 2+ picks on the same bet. Each game you add to a parlay increases the payout, but also decreases your chances of hitting all of the picks on your football parlay. The best strategy for parlays is to only bet on 2-3 game parlays in order to ensure maximum value.
Teasers are a type of American football bet where bettors can lower the point spread or game total in their favour in order to decrease the potential winnings. Teasers typically start at 6.5 points at most major sportsbooks, which means that you can move a point spread or game total in your favour by 6.5 points although the payout isn’t spectacular.
- Futures/Prop Bets