The NFL (National Football League) is one of the most popular competitions to bet on globally. In order to make a long-term profit, you should carefully approach each game from the preseason up to the playoffs. It’s different to bet on the regular season, which is 18 weeks, compared to the postseason up to the Super Bowl. So, it would help if you upgraded your NFL insight by designating the most powerful franchises and the form of influencing players who can offer you value props. In our guide, you can explore all types of NFL betting markets, from moneylines to future bets, learning how to bet on NFL regular and playoff games. By the end, you will have a grasp on when you should wager on favourites and underdogs, point spreads and totals, and evaluate the meaning of stats and injury reports.
Which are the most popular NFL betting markets
As you realize, you can’t predict the outcomes of sports events correctly all the time. However, it’s possible to improve your win ratio by choosing the appropriate wagering types, odds, and markets that fit your bankroll, knowledge, and betting experience. Which are the most popular NFL betting markets? How often do underdogs win and cover the spread? How can you take advantage of reverse line movements in the NFL? Is live betting a valid option? Reading our in-depth NFL betting guide, you can find all you need to know about the most prominent options, like moneylines, spreads, and totals, and how to wager on them.
How to bet on NFL spreads
In American football, a point spread, also known as a handicap, shows the advantage or disadvantage based on a team’s expected victory or lose margin. Covering the spread is betting on a favourite to win the match by more points than the given line. Beating the spread is exactly the opposite; betting on the underdog to win or lose by fewer points than the handicap, you must understand that a team can lose a game but beat the spread. Let’s take an example for the NFL 2021/22 kickoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida, examining how to bet on spreads among all popular American football betting markets.
|Buccaneers vs. Cowboys||Spreads||European (American) Odds|
👉 The Bucs are favoured to win against the Cowboys by eight points or more. Before the game starts, you should determine if Dallas will win or keep the margin within seven points. If you bet on Tampa Bay (-7,5) and Bruce Arians’ team wins 39-30, that means the 2020 Champions covered the spread, and your NFL bet is successful.
American football betting on Totals explained
The point total is the number of points scored by both teams in American football, so you have to predict if the final score will go Over or Under the line. For instance, most bookies set a 51,5 points line for the Dallas vs. Tampa Bay game. If you choose the Under 51,5 selection and the game ends 39-30, your bet will be a loser. There are some fundamental factors in American football betting that you should always consider before placing an Over/Under wager.
First, the standings and the recent offensive and defensive team stats like rushing and passing yards. Which team allows the fewest first downs (i.e., blocking scoring chances) is also critical. Last but not least, you must check the injury report. For example, a probable absence of a key quarterback, like the Bucs' Tom Brady in the kickoff game, could significantly influence the total number of points scored.
NFL betting markets: What is the moneyline
It’s one of the simplest types of American football betting markets because it’s a 2-way where you pick one of two teams to win the match; the main parameter determining each pick’s value is the offered odds. Indeed, you claim far less money if you prefer games with a hot favourite, as most bookmakers offer lower prices on them. Although, if you can find good-value underdogs, you can chase a lot of money quickly. Let’s break it down by explaining the moneyline in American football betting using the example above.
|Buccaneers vs. Cowboys||Moneyline||Odds|
|Buccaneers||To Win||1.27 (-370)|
|Cowboys||To Win||3.80 (+280)|
👉 If you place a €100 bet on the Bucs and win, you receive a €27 clear profit and a €127 total outlay. On the flip side, if you think Dallas can upset the 2020 NFL champions, your entire return will be €380 with a €100 stake.
Special American football betting markets
Besides moneylines, spreads, and totals, you can find other wagering types before choosing the right one for you. Indeed, these NFL betting markets are more demanding than the basics, acquiring in-depth knowledge of American football. So, before you place your subsequent wagers and build your NFL betting strategy, read what props, futures, and teasers are.
How to place NFL future bets
With that type of bet, you back the winners of the whole competition. Many bookies offer odds on winning the Conference titles, the Super Bowl, the regular season’s MVP, and more. Placing NFL future bets means you would have to wait till the end of the season to win. For example, for the 2022 season, the Buffalo Bills are the favourites to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy at 7.00 (+600) odds. If you bet €100 on them, you will receive €600 as a clear profit plus your starting stake if they conquer the next Super Bowl. The major drawback is that you have to wait until February 2023 to receive your returns. On the other hand, ante-post bets offer increased odds, and the total payout seems to be worth the wait.
How to bet on NFL props
The proposition, or prop, bets are based on a team’s or an athlete’s performance during a game or the whole season. Many bettors focus on props because the outcome of these NFL betting markets doesn’t immediately affect the final result. There are numerous prop bets to choose from every match, but you can find 300+ for the Super Bowl; more specifically, you can bet on the coin toss and the length of the U.S. national anthem.
Although the most popular NFL props refer to Over/Under markets for quarterbacks’, running backs’ or wide receivers’ yards (passing, rushing or receiving, respectively), first or anytime touchdown scorer, the longest field goal scored, etc. For instance, Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady has a 273,5 passing yards line at 1.87 (-115) odds for the 2022/23 season-opening game against Dallas Cowboys. If you place a €100 bet on Over 273,5 and Brady throws 275 passing yards, your total payout will be €187.
How to bet on NFL parlays
An NFL parlay consists of various American football picks, usually three or more. You can combine NFL betting markets like moneylines, spreads, totals, etc., and if you win, you claim more money, as the odds of chosen picks are multiplied. Indeed, you must win all your selections to get a profit. Follow our example below to understand how to bet on NFL parlays.
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys||1 (-7,5)||1.90 (-111)|
|Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings||1||2.55 (+155)|
|Carolina Panthers vs. New York Jets||Under 44,5 points||1.90 (-111)|
|New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos||Team To Make First Score - Denver Broncos||1.80 (+125)|
👉 Using our Accumulator Calculator, you can check that the odds for this parlay are 16.57 (+1557). So, you will receive a €1,657 payout with a €100 starting stake.
What is an NFL teaser bet?
A teaser bet is, practically, an exchange of point spreads for a higher difficulty bet volume. If you want to adjust a handicap or a total line and low your risk level, you can make a parlay with at least two picks, decreasing your winning chances. Most bettors make a 2-team parlay, but some reliable bookmakers allow up to ten selections in an NFL teaser bet.
|Carolina Panthers vs. New York Jets||Carolina Panthers -4||1.90 (-111)|
|Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns +6||1.90 (-111)|
👉 If you make a 2-team parlay in a 7-point NFL teaser bet, now your new spreads are Carolina Panthers +3 (i.e., -4 +7 = +3) and Cleveland Browns +13 (i.e., +6 +7 = +13). Any Panthers win or loss up to points is a cover, while Cleveland must suffer a 14-point defeat from Kansas to lose your bet. The main drawback here is that the starting payout of 3.61 (+260) odds, now as a 2-team teaser, pays 1.77 (-130) on most bookmakers. So, wagering on these NFL betting markets, you get the privilege of minimizing your risks and decreasing your potential payout simultaneously.
Tips for American football betting
American football betting can be prosperous if you follow main principles such as controlling your bankroll and monitoring the lines and odds to receive a high payout. Although there’s specific advice you must follow to become a successful bettor. Now, you can get our tips and suggestions that can help you to make winning picks.
✔️ Home-field advantage: NFL stats show, on average, that 60% of home teams win. The home-field advantage is an essential factor; teams like New England (85%) and Baltimore (73%) have had a high ratio of wins in the past decade.
✔️ Time Zone: East Coast teams (e.g., Washington, Miami, New York franchises) seem to have a disadvantage when they are scheduled to play on the West Coast (e.g., vs. LA Rams or SF 49ers), three hours later than usual.
✔️ Underdogs: Betting on underdogs, on all NFL betting markets, may secure a higher payout, but you undoubtedly should search for why the odds are against the team you choose. Sometimes, underdogs have a better performance ATS than favourites, but you must check other parameters like injury issues.
✔️ Reverse line movements: Experienced bettors always check the lines and the odds movement. When an American football betting line moves away from what the crowd believes, you should research and evaluate the situation.
✔️ Injury reports: It’s vital to check the injury report for all NFL games because some absences, like a probable muscular problem of a starting quarterback or wide receiver, can determine the outcome.
✔️ Live Betting: That’s a prosperous alternative way for wagering in American football, as you can choose special NFL betting markets like the result of a drive, the next team to score, and if a QB will complete his next pass or throw an interception.
If you are a beginner, even if you are familiar with all the terms and the competition format, you might not fully recognize the particular terms used to describe various NFL betting markets and wagering types. The following NFL glossary contains selected terms explicitly used in American football betting. By learning these, you will be able to understand what all experts and bookmakers mean.
Against the spread (ATS): It’s simply betting against the offered line by online bookmakers. For example, if the spread for the Cowboys vs. Bucs game is -7,5 points for the favourite Tampa Bay, you bet ATS when you place money on the Cowboys to win the match or lose no more than seven points.
Cover the spread: The opposite of betting against the spread. When betting to cover the spread, you actually place your money on the favourite to win by more points than the handicap.
Straight Up Bet (SUB): When you bet on a team to win a game, regardless of the point spread.
American odds: The American way of presenting the odds, also known as moneyline odds. These prices represent how much the bettor will have to bet to win €100.
Las Vegas lines: The Las Vegas lines are the offered spread or total lines for American football betting by online bookmakers based in Nevada. Usually, there are differences between the Las Vegas lines and the lines offered by other online bookies.
Dime line: It’s the difference among the odds payout, the money you would lay on a favourite and the money you would get from the underdog side.
Drifted odds: It’s a betting situation when the odds offered by a bookmaker on a team are getting bigger.
Steam movement: A sudden and rather unpredicted line movement, usually a few minutes before the match kickoff.
Check the underneath list and choose among the best NFL bookmakers providing the most popular markets with the highest odds for the 2022/23 season in American football.
It’s the situation when you bet on the team to win the 1st quarter only; you need to know that the odds differ from the full match.
Betting on half-time lines is when you back a team to win a match’s half-time or place a total or spread bet referring to it. In the case of handicap or spread American football betting, the offered odds are halved compared to the moneyline prices.
Most reliable online bookmakers offer a wide range of NFL betting markets on futures. Typically you can choose among the Division, Conference, and Super Bowl Winners, NFL Regular Season MVP, Team Season Win Totals, and the NFL Defensive / Offensive Player of the Year.
The NFL expanded the regular season from 17 weeks to 18 from the 2021/22 season; each of 32 teams will give 17 games with one bye week. So, the 2022/23 NFL playoffs are scheduled to start with the Wild Card Round.
The defending Super Bowl LVI Champions Los Angeles Rams host the 2022/23 NFL kickoff game against top favourites Buffalo Bills. The match is scheduled for September 8, 2022, in SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California.
American football betting is legal in all reliable online bookmakers, but you should always check the betting laws that have been established in your local area; it’s, generally, optimal to choose among a wide range of reputable bookies.