Your Guide to NFL Betting
With many NFL betting sites boasting easy to understand odds and bonuses that help new players to stretch their bankroll further, it’s easier than ever for players to jump into the action. And, as we’ll see below, there are many more ways to bet than just trying to predict the winner of each game.
In the world of online gambling, the NFL's Super Bowl is the biggest game in town. No single event in the world attracts more real money betting, and even Americans who don't ordinarily gamble place at least a couple of bets during the NFL season.
But you don’t have to start with this year's big game in Minnesota! We’d recommend that you place a few wagers on postseason (or regular season and preseason games later this year), games first to get a taste for how it all works.
Get To Know Your Bets
NFL football betting isn't just about picking outright winners. You will, of course, find moneyline NFL bets that do let you bet on the game winner, with a handicap built in to the odds presented to you.
Cincinnati Bengals -120
New York Jets +110
- In the moneyline format, a negative sign tells you that a team is the favorite with a positive sign indicating the underdog
- Bet $120 on the Bengals and you could make $100 cash, a total payout of $220 including your initial wager
- $100 wagered on the Jets would win $110 profit, with your total payout standing at $210, including your original bet
Over/under wagers let you predict game totals.
Minnesota Vikings -8.5
Green Bay Packers +8.5
- This number - the spread - refers to the margin of victory/loss necessary for bets to pay out
- Here, the Vikings need to defeat the Packers by at least 8.5 (or, in practice, 9) points for a real money bet to count as a win
- If the Packers win, or lose the game by fewer than 8 points, then a bet backing them will pay out
It’s far more common to wager on the spread, which factors in a margin of victory.
New England Patriots vs Cleveland Browns
Over/Under = 40.5 points
- In an over/under bet, you don't bet on either team but the total number of points scored instead
- Let's say that you bet Over and the score is 28-14. You win because 28 + 14 = 42, which is more than 40.5
- If you bet Under and the score turns out to be 16-24 then you'll win (only just!) because 16 + 24 = 40, which is less than 40.5
This can all be a little confusing if you’re not used to it, so you’ll be pleased to know that most NFL gambling sites feature a bet slip calculator that automatically works out how much you stand to win based on the amount you intend to bet.
The NFL Season Explained
NFL regular season action kicks off after Labor Day and continues until late December, with each team playing roughly once a week until they’ve played 16 games and had a bye week (a week off from playing). It’s worth noting that teams don’t play every other team in the league and face off against their division rivals multiple times.
The league is divided into two conferences – the AFC and NFC – each with East, West, North, and South subdivisions. Most games take place on Sunday, but there are also Monday and Thursday night games to watch (and wager on!).
“NFL football bets are just a click away when you play on the web, and we’ve found the best odds and bonuses available.”
The action doesn’t end in December though, with 12 teams competing in the postseason. All division winners enter the playoffs, along with four wild card teams, with the top two teams in each conference getting to skip the first round and progress automatically.
From here, it’s a sudden death slog through the divisional round and conference championships, with the aim of grabbing a spot in the Super Bowl in early February.
Place Your Bets!
NFL football betting is available at all bookmakers and various other online gambling sites, but there’s no point just picking one at random! Spend a little time considering the advantages of each site we review – one might offer a bigger bonus than another, while another might pay out winnings a little bit quicker – to find the best site for YOU.
Once you’ve done that, you’re only a couple of clicks away from getting started with all of the betting action the NFL regular season and postseason have to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bet on the NFL online?
Absolutely! There’s a huge number of sites on the web where you can wager real cash on spread, moneyline, or over/under bets. Make sure you pick one with a positive reputation though.
How do I start placing NFL bets online?
Just head to one of the sites that we recommend, enter a few personal details and make a deposit. Once that’s done – don’t forget to claim your bonus – then you’re ready to pick a team you want to back and start betting.
How does online sports betting work?
The process works in much the same way as it does in an offline sportsbook – bookies set their odds in such a way that they are able to cover the cost of paying out winning bets from money lost by other players.
What kinds of bets can I place on the NFL?
The three biggest types of betting are moneyline (picking the winner of a game), spread betting (wagering that a team will win by more than or lose by less than a certain number of points), and over/under (trying to predict the total number of points scored), but there are various other bets to try as well!
Can sports betting be profitable?
Definitely. You’ll need to have luck on your side, and make sure you keep up with your NFL research, but it’s possible to make a great deal of money betting on sports if you back the right team(s).
Will my real cash bets be safe in an online gambling site?
If you’re playing with an honest and reputable site, yes. If you head off the beaten track and end up playing with a site that’s fraudulent or doesn’t use the proper security measures, then your personal info and/or cash may be at risk.
You should be aware that the legality of online (and offline) gambling varies not only from country to country, but also from state to state. Read up on your local laws before you start playing.