A Guide to American Football Betting. What you Need to Know

Of all the sports played in the US, American football is by far the most popular attracting millions of fans every week. Most support their state or city team and amongst the 32 teams in the NFL there are some very fierce rivalries. Teams involved in these include the  Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Often it dates back to a particular match or event when some fans may not even have been born, but the rivalries live on.

It’s just one of the elements that makes the sport so exciting, along with the fast-paced action as one team strives to dominate the other.

Following the legalization of sports betting after the US Supreme Court’s historic 2018 decision, many fans have also been able to add a even more spice to the proceedings by placing a wager or two.

And it’s not just the professional game that sees this kind of action. Almost as popular is college football and that’s why you’ll find that college football odds are studied almost as closely as the ones for NFL teams.

But before you start getting into studying the odds at all you need to know some of the basics.

The bets you can make

In all there are up to five different bets available which some in this order of popularity. 


The moneyline bet is the simplest of all and makes a great starting point for anyone new to betting. It is simply a prediction about which team will win and the odds are shown as a number with a minus sign for the favorites to win and a plus sign for the underdogs. So if the LA Rams are taking on the Las Vegas Raiders and are expected to win their odds might be 

-120 with the Raiders at +110. 

This means a winning $120 bet on the Rams would pay $100 while a $100 bet on the Raiders would return $110 if they cause an upset and win.

Points Spread

Another favourite bet is on the number of points that a team is predicted to lose by. For the favorites this is given as a negative value and for potential losers it’s positive.

Using the same example as in the moneyline bet, the Rams might be valued at -6.5 so they must win by at least 7 points. The Raptors are at +6 so they need to win outright or lose by less than 6 points. 


Most sportsbooks also usually work out what the expected aggregate total for a game will be – so the points from both teams added together.

Given this figure, bettors can then place a wager on whether the total will be over or under the estimate. In some cases it’s also possible to bet on an individual team’s score in exactly the same way.


Moving on to more sophisticated forms of betting, the NFL parlay is one in which a number of subsequent bets are connected. In some countries this is called an accumulator which is a good way to describe it. This kind of bet rolls over the winnings of a first wager onto a second one. If that wins then the accumulated winnings form the stake for a third bet and so on. It’s a very good way to potentially create some pretty big winnings from a relatively small stake.


All the bets described so far are on individual games so you’ll know whether or not you’ve won as soon as the action’s over. But futures involve betting on what will happen – in the future. So it may be a bet on who will be season’s leading points scorer or which team will win the Super Bowl. Futures bets may not offer the immediate gratification of a bet on a game, but they can more than make up for this in anticipation – plus they can give you very good odds too.

Three betting tips to start you off

While they may never in you enough to match Lamar Jackson’s salary, here are three pointers that could certainly make your betting more successful.

Get in there early

It’s usually a good idea to place bets in as soon as possible after the markets open for a game. The odds are more likely to shorten as the game approaches, meaning you could win less for your stake.

Check out who’s injured

All teams have star players – and if that player’s out of action their chances of winning can reduce dramatically. So scour the sports pages and websites to make sure you’re in the know.

Look at recent form

How a team is performing at the moment is more important than whether they’ve beaten their opponents in the past. So look out for teams on a winning streak and you could soon be joining them too! 

So there you have it. Your primer for NFL betting. Now it’s time to get out there and try to win for yourself.

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
Business And Features Writer

Email https://markmeets.com/contact-form/

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