NFL Betting Explained
A Guide to Gambling on Football
The NFL is the most popular sports league in the USA and has the highest average attendance of any sports league on the planet. The season ending Super Bowl is one of the highlights of the year for millions of sports fans. With this massive interest, gambling is a huge part of the weekend for many NFL fans; some say football and gambling go hand in hand.
In the following article you’ll see how the NFL season works, followed by a guide to outright betting on the Super Bowl. Then you’ll see all of the available bets on each and every game throughout the season.
NFL Football Betting – The Season
There are 32 teams in the NFL, split into two conferences, the AFC and the NFC. These conferences each contain four divisions of four teams. All 32 teams play a sixteen game regular season, and the eight division winners and the best four other teams make the playoffs. The playoffs start with the Wild Card Weekend, which features all but the best four teams, and whittles the remaining teams down to eight. The Divisional Playoffs follow, which reduces the teams to four and then the two Conference Championship games take place, the winners of which play in the Super Bowl.
NFL Football Betting – Season Markets
Sportsbooks will generally publish odds for the next Super Bowl as soon as the Vince Lombardi trophy is handed over to the current winning team, so you’ll be able to wager on the next champions almost all year round. This betting will be available throughout the season itself, constantly changing week to week and throughout the playoffs.
As well as betting on the Super Bowl outright, you’ll be able to wager on the champions of each conference, in additional to each individual division winner. A popular bet is a parlay on two or more division winners.
NFL Football Betting – The Point Spread
The most popular bet on any game is the point spread. The sportsbook will assign both a favorite for the game and how much they are favored by. Here is an example:
Denver Broncos -5.5 -110
Buffalo Bills +5.5 -110
In this game, the sportsbook lists the Broncos as the 5.5-point favorite. If you were to back the Broncos for $110, you would win $100 if the Broncos win by 6 or more points. Backing the Bills for $110 wins you $100 if either the Bills win, or if the Bills lose by 5 or less.
NFL Football Betting – Totals
With a totals bet, you are predicting whether the total points scored in the game (by both teams) is either over or under the line given by the sportsbook. Here is an example:
Over 44.5 -110
Under 44.5 -110
Here, in both cases you’ll be wagering $110 to win $100 if your bet is correct.
NFL Football Betting – Moneyline
The moneyline is a straightforward bet on which team will win the game. Unlike the previous two markets, the odds here will vary wildly based upon the strength of the teams. Here is an example:
Denver Broncos -250
Buffalo Bills +210
Using the same game as earlier, without a point handicap, the Broncos are offered at much lower odds. Here, by betting $250 on Denver, you’ll win just $100. A $100 wager on the Bills will see you win $210.
With all of the above bets, you’ll be able to bet as little or as much as you want, and not necessarily the $100 stakes used as examples. The sportsbook will pay out accordingly.
Many games will also feature other bets including individual player or team props. As well as this, Live Betting will be available in many cases throughout the game (especially the televised games), where the odds on the lines will change after each play.
NFL Football Betting – Betting Strategy
There are many factors you should consider when betting on a game in the NFL. Here are some of the more important ones.
Has either team got any major injury concerns? Or will a team rest a certain player this week?
Is a team entering the weekend on a high, maybe on a run of wins, or on the back of a big win against a rival team?
Factor in home field advantage – experts consider this advantage to be around three points in general cases.
How do both offenses match up against the corresponding defense? Does the defense have the capability of neutralizing that powerful offense?
Is there a long history between these two teams, and if so, will current form have as much impact, or will the long standing rivalry trump this?