With the recent legalization of sports betting in the United States, many people are looking for resources that will help them become savvy and profitable at NFL betting. Football is one of the most common sports to bet on around the world – and we are here to help you learn how to bet on football.
We’ve compiled this sports betting guide to help you understand football odds, and how to build sound NFL betting strategies.
Online Sportsbooks for NFL Betting
The first step in your NFL betting journey is to figure out which sportsbook option is best for you. If you reside in a location where sports betting is legalized, you are able to visit the sportsbook in person and place your wagers.
Many, however, choose online sportsbooks due to the convenience of being able to place your NFL bets from the comfort of your own home, on the bus, from your local sports bar – anywhere. You can place a bet instantly from your mobile device, tablet or laptop.
There are many online sportsbooks to choose from, but you must choose one that fits your NFL betting needs. First and foremost, ensure that the sportsbook allows bets from your respective region, as some have certain restrictions. The next factor to consider would be the sportsbook’s deposit options, as they may not accept your preferred method of payment.
If you are planning to do the bulk of your NFL betting from your smartphone, ensure that they have an app or mobile site so you will be able to access the sportsbook on the go. You also want to make sure your chosen sportsbook offers bonuses if you’re planning to bet on the NFL all season. Many offer specific NFL betting bonuses that can help you pad your bankroll.
Once you find a sportsbook that meets all of your desired NFL betting requirements, you are ready to place a bet.
NFL Betting Explained
There are a few different ways that you can bet on the NFL.
Understanding NFL Betting Odds
The most common question new NFL bettors ask about is the odds. What does -150 mean? This number essentially tells you how much you have to wager to win $100.
When the number is negative (-150), you’re betting the favorite, and it will take more money to earn big money so in this case, you must risk $150 in order to win $100. When the number is positive (+150), you only need to wager $100 to earn $150 in winnings.
Betting the Moneyline
Betting the Moneyline is one of the easiest and most common NFL betting options, and a great starting point for new bettors. When betting the moneyline, you’re essentially betting on which team you believe will win the matchup. You’ll often see numbers next to the team names to show the odds of winning – a negative number denotes the favorite, and the plus number denotes the underdog.
If the New England Patriots are -250 and the Philadelphia Eagles are +150, the Patriots are the favorite here, and the Eagles are the underdogs. You’ll need to wager $250 on the Patriots to win $100, and a $100 bet will result in $150 in winnings if you chose the Eagles.
Point Spread Betting
When it comes to betting the point spread in the NFL, you will need to look at a few more numbers when making your picks. Not only do the teams have the odds outlined above, it will have a spread. You’ll see another plus/minus number that indicates how many points a team might win or lose by. This makes things a touch more complicated, but is a common NFL betting type by the pros – so they must be on to something!
If you’re looking at the Patriots vs. Eagles matchup, and the Patriots are favored to win (-6.5) over the Eagles (+6), that means either the Patriots need to win by more than six points, or the Eagles need to keep the final score differential at six points or less. If the final score is 21-14, the Patriots wager will cash out. If the score is 23-21, the Eagles will have covered the spread.
Betting the Totals (Over/Under)
When betting NFL totals, your sportsbook will come up with a total number of points that will be scored by both teams during the game. When betting the NFL totals, you have to ask yourself how many points you believe each team will accumulate during the game, and if the sportsbook’s number is higher or lower what you think the end result will be.
If the sportsbook projected a total of 45 points for the Patriots vs. Eagles matchup, and you notice that a couple key difference makers on the Patriots are injured, and the Eagles defense has been on fire, you might be wary to take the over in these circumstances. If the end result is 21-14 for the Eagles, the total is only 35, and you would have won your bet by taking the under.
Basically once the Super Bowl concludes, oddsmakers release the opening NFL betting lines for the following season. These can be complicated bets as you’re predicting the winner of the Super Bowl, or conference championships, months in advance.
The odds on certain NFL teams move as the season progresses, so bets made before the season begins usually pay out more, but are much more difficult to win due to unforeseen circumstances such as injuries.
More NFL Betting Guides:
NFL Betting Resources
We have compiled an NFL Betting Guide for you to fully understand how to bet on football:
NFL Betting Strategies
Most novice or even intermediate bettors don’t turn a profit year after year when betting the NFL. But there are ways to strategize so you aren’t constantly lining bookie’s pockets. Only 40 percent of professionals turn a profit year after year – so don’t get down on yourself for a few losses.
Ensure you set aside your bankroll money – money you can afford to lose if you end up losing. Make sure you are only betting a percentage of this amount (usually 2 percent of your bankroll) on a weekly basis, and not increasing your bets as you begin to win or lose.
Look for the edge every week – make sure you are making educated NFL bets. Some weeks you’ll bet on five games, some weeks you’ll bet on one. You have to be able to recognize when the game isn’t worth betting on.
Line shopping is another great strategy used by the pros. Set up accounts at multiple sportsbooks, and look for the best odds. Not all sportsbooks have the same odds and are very competitive, so you can easily find the best NFL betting line by shopping around.
Following these simple strategies week after week will help you keep your hard-earned bankroll, as long as you’re making smart bets, and hopefully help lead you to a profit.
Week 15 NFL Schedule (Odds, Total)
LA Chargers (+3, 56.5) at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. Fox
Houston (-6.5, 42.5) at NY Jets, 4:30 p.m. NFL Network
Cleveland (+4, 44.5) at Denver, 8:20 p.m. NFL Network
Miami (+9.5, 44) at Minnesota, 1 p.m. CBS
Oakland (+3, 46.5) at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. CBS
Tampa Bay (+8.5, 47) at Baltimore, 1 p.m. Fox
Dallas (+3, 47) at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. Fox
Detroit (PK, 36) at Buffalo, 1 p.m. Fox
Green Bay (+5, 46.5) at Chicago, 1 p.m. Fox
Tennessee (-3, 43.5) at NY Giants, 1 p.m. CBS
Washington (+8.5, 36) at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. CBS
Arizona (+10, 44) at Atlanta, 1 p.m. Fox
Seattle (-5.5, 44.5) at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. Fox
New England (-1.5, 49.5) at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. CBS
Philadelphia (+9.5, 54) at LA Rams, 8:20 p.m. NBC
New Orleans (-7, 54) at Carolina, 8:15 p.m. ESPN