More and more states around the U.S. are legalizing sports betting and the industry is growing. One of the most popular sports to bet on is professional football.
Betting on NFL games is a lot of fun and can be financially rewarding as well. In order to win though, you have to understand what you are doing. This betting guide should help.
Different Types of Bets
There are numerous ways in which you can bet on the NFL. Before a season even starts, you can check out futures bets. There are all kinds of futures bets such as betting on which team will win the Super Bowl, how many wins a team will earn during the regular season, or even which player will win the league’s MVP.
The most popular bets on NFL games are point spread bets. Oddsmakers set a point spread for a given game. Let’s look at an example.
New England -7.5
In this case, oddsmakers believe the Patriots will win by at least 7.5 points. New England is the favorite in this example and Miami is the underdog.
There are also moneyline bets on NFL games at all online sportsbooks. In these types of bets, you are betting on a team winning or losing outright regardless of the point spread. In the same example, a moneyline bet would look like this:
New England -500
Again, the Patriots are favored to win. The margin of victory plays no part in this type of bet.
Bettors can also bet on the total number of points scored by both teams in a game. Oddsmakers set a total and bettors can place a wager on whether the combined score will be over or under that total.
Using the example above, to win a bet on New England a bettor would need the Patriots to win by eight or more points. If the Patriots win 44-7, they have covered the spread and you have won the bet.
Likewise, if you bet on Miami you would need the Dolphins to lose by seven points or less or win the game. If the final score is 31-28 in favor of New England, Miami has covered the spread and a bet on the Dolphins is a winner.
Oddsmakers like to use halves – 3.5, 7.5, etc. – when setting odds since games always end in whole number scores. If a point spread was 7 points and a game ended with a score of 21-14, the result is called a push. There is no winner and no loser. All bets are refunded.
When betting on a moneyline at top gaming websites, you are wagering that a team will win or lose. In the same moneyline example above, a $500 wager on the Patriots would produce $100 in winnings if New England won.
If the Dolphins won, a bettor could win big. A $100 bet, in this case, wins $425.
Let’s say the Total for the Miami-New England game has been set at 44. You bet the final combined score will be higher, or Over, 44. If the final is 44-7 or 31-28, your bet would win as the total scores are 51 and 61 total points.
If the game ended with a score of 27-17, the result would be a push.
These are the most common bets made on NFL football. Having a basic understanding of each can help you enjoy NFL betting and help you win some money.