NFL Betting Guide

NFL betting guide

How To Bet On The NFL

The NFL is a juggernaut in the sports world. The National Football league is immensely popular, drawing droves of fans to games each year, not to mention millions of live viewers every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday during the season. The NFL continues to grow in popularity by the year, thanks to its star players, easily viewable games, merchandise, and media presence.

Plus, the NFL has recently buddied up with a handful for sports betting operators to better place its brand within the sportsbook world.

In other words, the NFL is in a prime position to succeed in the sports betting world. If you look at a sports betting app during the NFL season, chances are you’ll find football bets headlining the homepage.

If you enjoy betting on the NFL or are looking to get into it, you’re in the right place. Sports betting is currently legal in a number of US states and jurisdictions, meaning you can place wagers on your favorite football team. On this page, we’ll explore how betting works, how you can place bets on the NFL, and much more.

Rules Of American Football Explained

For new fans, football can be a bit difficult to understand. There are a number of intricate rules and regulations that make the game a complex and intriguing sport. However, you only need to understand the baseline rules to grasp what’s happening.

NFL games are played on a field 100 yards long with two 10-yard endzones on either side. Teams flip a coin to determine who receives the ball first (via a kickoff from the other team), then play begins. The offensive team must try to move the ball down the field by running or passing it. The defensive team tries to stop the other team’s progress by tackling anyone in possession of the ball. If the offense progresses the ball 10 yards within 4 attempts (these are called “downs”), they earn a first down and can continue their drive down the field. If the offense can’t progress 10 yards within three downs, they will often punt the ball, giving the field to the other team’s offensive roster.

When on offense, the goal is to get the ball into the other team’s endzone. This is a touchdown, and it’s worth six points. If a team scores a touchdown, they have the opportunity to either 1) kick an extra point between the goal posts or 2) attempt a 2-point conversion but getting the ball in the endzone in a single play. If a team makes it near the endzone but can’t score within three downs, they’ll often attempt a field goal. From their position on the field, the team will attempt to kick the ball between the goal posts. A successful kick earns three points.

There are many nuances to football, but that’s the basic outline. The offense tries to move the ball down the field to score a touchdown (or a field goal as plan B) while the defense tries to stop them. Once you get a firm grasp on the basic rules, you’ll find there is a lot more complexity to football. Dive into it if you enjoy stats, understanding intricate play calling, and coaching.

Betting On The NFL Explained

Thanks to its pace of play and overall popularity, the NFL is an excellent sport to bet on. If you have a favorite team or just enjoy watching football here and there, you already have a good reason to place bets on a game. There are tons of options available in terms of diverse bet types, and when you place a wager you can be more invested in the outcome than if you planned to watch without betting. The regular NFL season includes 272 games, then there’s playoffs, conference championships, and the ever-popular Super Bowl. You’ll find odds, lines, and bets on all of these games, plus player props and more.

Sports betting apps are popping up around the US in legal and regulated jurisdictions. In nearly two dozen US states or jurisdictions, you can sign up for a sports betting app and place an NFL bet. Furthermore, new betting apps are coming to legal states on a regular basis. And even states that don’t allow betting are now starting to change their tune. New York is launching online sports betting soon, for example.

In general, there are plenty of reasons to get in on the NFL sports betting action. With games every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday during the season, you’ll always have a game to look forward to—and bet on.

How NFL Betting Works

If you’re into NFL sports betting, you have plenty of options. There are seemingly countless types of bets you can make. The main types are fairly easy to understand, but others can get more complex depending on what, exactly, you’d like to bet on. Here are a few of the primary bet types you can make on NFL matches:

Types Of NFL Bets You Can Place

We’ve briefly covered some bet types, but there are many more NFL wagers you can palace at sports betting sites. Let's take a look at every single wager type you might want to place on an NFL bet:

How To Find Value On Football Bets

As you’re preparing to make an NFL bet at a sportsbook, you can keep a few key tips and tricks in mind to find the best value.

Check Various Factors

A lot can impact an NFL game. Weather, injuries, coaching, and even Covid-19 all can affect the odds for a given team. Stay up to date with current rosters, any benched or injured players, and other external factors as you’re considering your bets. Once you’re comfortable with your research, you can look around for the best odds.

Shop For Odds

Sportsbooks will all typically have similar odds, but there will be small differences you can use to your advantage. FanDuel might have better odds on the underdog, or you may find better odds on a totals bet over at BetMGM.

When you have an NFL bet in mind, check all your sportsbook options to find the line that’ll give you the best possible payout.

Where Is NFL Betting Legal?

Sports betting is legal in more than two dozen US markets. Some allow in-person betting only, while others have full online sports betting sites available. Here’s a list of the current legal markets where you can enjoy NFL betting.

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas (in-person only)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut (in-person only, but online expected soon)
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi (in-person only)
  • Montana (in-person only)
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersesy
  • New Mexico (in-person only)
  • New York
  • North Carolina (in-person only)
  • North Dakota (in-person only)
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota (in-person only, online permitted at retail sportsbooks)
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington (in-person only, online permitted at retail sportsbooks)
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

None of the markets above have restrictions on NFL bets beyond the in-person or retail-only stipulations noted.

Finding The Best NFL Betting Sportsbook

If you’re looking for the best NFL sportsbooks, look no further. We’ve curated a list of the best and brightest NFL sports betting sites on a dedicated page. Head there and take a look at our full list, which includes a sportsbook that fits everyone’s needs. Many sportsbooks are very similar, but they aren’t all exactly the same. We’ve done the legwork so you can find the one that fits your preferences best.

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Where To Find NFL Picks & Predictions

Every week, we offer unparalleled insight into the NFL. We give our picks and predictions for each week’s matchups, and you can check back daily for updates and news about the NFL.

Plus, we’ll give you our chosen bets—put together by our team of NFL-loving experts—with reasoning. Peruse our bets and use the info contained on that page for help, tips, tricks, and best NFL wagers.

NFL Betting Mistakes To Avoid

Remember that NFL betting, at its core, is gambling. So you should keep some key tips in mind to ensure your experience remains fun. Here are a few of our top tips to avoid NFL betting mistakes.

Manage Your Bankroll

Keep a close eye on your sportsbook account when you’re NFL betting. Set limits for yourself each week or each day, maybe even for the full season. Stick to your limits and avoid making too many risky bets all at once.

Avoid Emotional Bets

Being from Chicago, I know the pain of favoring my home team all too well. You may be inclined to bet on your favorite team no matter what. But this shouldn’t be your overarching strategy. Find bets that make sense. If you want to bet on your home team but don’t think they’ll win, consider a totals bet or a player prop. Those keep you in the game, but they don’t rely on emotional betting.

Don’t Chase Losses

If you lose a bet or two, stay measured. Don’t immediately dump the rest of your funds on a bet you believe to be a sure thing. Things change fast in sports betting, and you could turn two losses into many more wins in the future as long as you aren’t impulsive after a loss.

Don’t Rely On Favorites

Sure, the favorites are the favorites for a reason. But upsets can and do occur more often than you’d think. If a team is favorited to win by a thin margin, don’t hop on the bet without doing your research. Place bets based on your own research, our expert picks, and past team performance. If your instincts tell you to be the favorite, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just keep a level head and make smart bets.

NFL Betting Online Vs. Retail Sportsbooks

Nowadays, US bettors have a wide variety of sports betting options. Some states have full-fledged retail sportsbooks and online sports betting sites. There are pros and cons attached to each format.

Retail Sportsbooks

When you bet at a retail sportsbook, the physical location has a certain atmosphere to it. You’re watching with fellow sports fans. You can usually order food and drinks. There’s an ambiance that’s hard to beat, and camaraderie with other sports fans permeates the whole experience.

In addition, you’ll have self-service betting kiosks and windows attended by sportsbook reps. You can ask them questions and get familiar with sports betting using their expertise.

The downside to retail, however, is you’re locked into that specific sportsbook’s odds. You can’t compare lines at other books unless you also have online sportsbooks available.

Online Sportsbooks

Online sportsbooks have the advantage of convenience, as you may have guessed. It’s difficult to beat the speed and reliability of betting on the NFL from your phone or computer. Plus, you can check out lines from competing sportsbooks with just a few clicks or taps of your mobile device.

You can also quickly make live bets in-game using a mobile device. You can’t always make that happen at a physical location, especially if there’s a line for the betting windows.

The setbacks of mobile? You rely on an internet or cellular connection, which can be tough if you’re traveling in an area with limited service or no internet.

How To Place An NFL Bet: Step By Step

To place an NFL bet at an online sportsbook, make sure you register for an account. It’s a simple process, and you’ll need your SSN, a government ID< and other personal details to confirm your identity. Once you have an account, here are the steps to palace a bet.

1. Make a deposit (if you haven’t already)

2. Head to the NFL section of the sportsbook

3. Look through the available bets and find one you like. In this case, we’ll say the Cowboys moneyline.

4. Select Cowboys moneyline. This will add the bet to your betslip.

5. Head to your betslip and type in the amount of your bet. This will show you your payout if the bet wins.

6. Select “place bet”

7. Wait for the sportsbook to confirm your NFL bet has been placed.

8. Watch the game and hope your bet wins!

It’s that simple. Once you go through the process once, you’ll be able to do it more as you think of new bets. You can also add multiple bets to your betslip at once, then type in each individual bet amount and place them all at the same time.

How To Watch NFL Games You Bet On

You’ve got options here. If you have a streaming account or cable, you can enjoy the game on TV. IF you have tickets to a game, make a day of it. If you’re at a retail sportsbook, the game will almost certainly be on one of the jumbo screens.

If you don’t have a way to watch the match-up live, you’re still in luck. Most sportsbooks have a live feed that updates you on the game in real-time. No matter the method you choose, you’ll always have the latest score and stats.

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