Football Betting: How to Bet on Football the Right Way

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How to Bet on Football – An Expert Guide to Football Betting

Football is one of the biggest spectator sports in the US, and so it is no surprise that football betting is also one of the most popular in the country in terms of betting. For this reason, it’s of such importance to know in detail the best practices of how to bet on football.

American football (not to be confused with soccer, which is also referred to as football in many other English-speaking countries) provides plenty of action. The NFL alone gives fans 256 games and NFL betting opportunities in the space of just 17 weeks. Add in the action provided by college football and other leagues and football betting fans have plenty of opportunities to make money.

Having a wide range of football betting opportunities to choose from is obviously no bad thing, but opportunities alone won’t make you a successful bettor. If you want to make money from football betting you need to know which opportunities are worth focusing on, and how to make the most of them.

In this Expert Guide to American Football Betting, we will teach you how to bet on football games like a pro. After highlighting the leagues and events that are of most interest for betting purposes, we will explore the best types of bets to focus on and the most strategic way to approach them.

If all of that sounds good, let’s discuss how to bet on football!

Football Betting: National Football League (NFL)

Football betting is nothing without knowing how to bet on football games from NFL.

The National Football League is the most popular sports league in the United States. It is also the one that most inspires people to learn how to bet on football online and how to bet on sports in general. The regular season begins in September and runs through to December. During this time each of the 32 teams will play 16 games each. When those 256 games have been played, 14 teams compete in the NFL Playoffs, which run through to the end of January.

Football Betting: Super Bowl

Super Bowl is the pinnacle in football betting.

Many people want to know how to bet on football so that they can bet on the Super Bowl. This is the championship game of the NFL and takes place on the first Sunday in February. It is widely regarded as being one of the biggest sporting events (and one of the biggest online football betting events) of the year. More football betting is done on the Super Bowl each year than on any other sporting event. You can therefore look forward to seeing sportsbooks competing hard for your business when you know how to bet on football.

Football Betting: NFL Pro Bowl

Learn how to bet on football for the NFL Pro Bowl game.

The NFL Pro Bowl is the ‘All-Star Game’ of the NFL that is held once each year in Orlando, Florida. And it's another event that makes people want to know how to bet on football. The NFL Pro Bowl is played at the end of January, roughly one week before the annual Super Bowl. When you know how to bet on football online this game is even more exciting.

Football Betting: NCAA College Football

Football betting on college football games takes a lot of knowledge.

Online football betting on college football games is a close second to betting on the NFL in America. College football games are usually played on Saturdays, and conference rivalries can intensify the action considerably. When you know how to bet on football in general terms, college football betting will also be open to you.

Football Betting: NCAA Bowl Games

The college bowl season kicks off in mid-December and wraps up with the National Championship Game in mid-January. More than 40 bowl games are played, making them very popular events for online football betting purposes.

How to Bet on Football Spreads

Learn how to bet on football spreads.
Football Betting Spreads

When you're learning how to bet on football you'll often hear people mention the point spread of a football game. They are almost certainly referring to spread betting.

Here the sportsbook sets a spread that reflects its assessment of how likely each team is to win.

The team that the sportsbook thinks is most likely to win will be quoted with a negative figure. The team that the sportsbook thinks is most likely to lose will be quoted with a positive figure.

Consider this example:

Chicago Bears-6.5
Denver Broncos+6.5
American Football Spreads

Here the sportsbook thinks that the Chicago Bears are the most likely to win the game. We know that because they are quoted at -6.5 points.

Similarly, the Denver Broncos are viewed as the underdogs, and we know that because they are quoted at +6.5 points.

If you bet on the Bears, the sportsbook will deduct 6.5 points from their score before assessing your bet. That means they will have to win by a margin of 7 points or more for your bet to win.

If you bet on the Broncos, the sportsbook will add 6.5 points to their score before assessing your bet. That means that Broncos don’t actually have to win the game for your bet to win. They simply have to avoid losing by more than 6 points. Of course, if they win, even better!

Make sure to check our >> NFL Odds << here.

Over/Under Football Betting

Find out how to be a master of over/under football betting.
Football Over/Under Betting

An over/under bet (also known as a ‘total bet’) requires you to predict whether the total number of points scored in a particular game will be over or under the number stated by the sportsbook. If you predict correctly, your bet will win.

This is a common way to bet on football games. It is popular because it gives you the chance to focus on something other than the winner and loser.

Sportsbooks will usually offer odds at -110 for both sides of an over/under bet. This means that you would need to bet $110 on your prediction to get $210 back if you win.

Take a look at the following example:

Chicago Bears vs. Denver Broncos

Over 42.5 PointsUnder 42.5 Points
American Football Over/Under Betting

In this scenario, if you think that the total number of points scored in the game will be 43 or more, you would bet Over 42.5. Conversely, if you think that the total number of points scored will be 42 or less, you would bet Under 42.5.

Make sure to check our >> NFL Odds << here.

How to Bet on Football Moneylines

Get deep understanding on how to bet on football money lines.
Football Moneyline Betting

A moneyline bet is not as common as a spread or an over/under bet, but it is still a solid option for anyone who wants to bet on football games. All that is required with online football betting lines is for you to correctly predict which team will win the game outright.

The odds offered by the sportsbook for each team will depend on who they believe has the greatest chance of winning.

  • Odds for the favourite will be quoted as a negative (-) figure. You would need to bet that sum in order to win $100 profit.
  • Odds for the underdog will be quoted as a positive (+) figure. You would need to bet $100 to win the stated figure in profit.

For example:

Chicago Bears-135
Denver Broncos+125
American Football Moneyline Betting

The Bears are the favorites in this game, whilst Denver are the underdogs.

If you think the Bears will win, you would need to bet $135 to get $235 back, giving you a $100 profit.

If you think that the Broncos will win, you would need to bet $100 to get $225 back, giving you a $125 profit.

Make sure to check our >> NFL Odds here << here.

Live Football Betting

Live or ‘in-play football betting markets have become extremely popular in the US, especially when it comes to online football betting. When you know how to bet on football you'll be able to participate in these markets without difficulty.

As the term suggests, these markets allow you to enjoy American football betting live, as they are being played, and they are offered by most of the major sportsbooks.

You won’t have much time to do any research when you bet on football games with in-play betting, and you will have to make quick decisions. However, if you can keep a cool head and learn to handle the pressure, live online football betting markets will give you the chance to cash in on every twist and turn of the game, as it happens.

For in-play football betting you should be able to handle the pressure.

You can enjoy American football betting in a variety of places, but online sportsbooks are the most convenient for many bettors. The basic principles of how to bet on football apply no matter where you bet.

As you can see, online football betting opportunities are everywhere when you look for them. In addition to the selected sportsbooks above, you can also find information about plenty more operators on our online sportsbooks page.

Football Betting: How to Bet on Football and Win

Your quest to learn how to bet on football is progressing nicely. You now know which leagues, events, and betting markets to focus on, so all you need to know now is how to pick football winners.

Many football betting fans don’t make any serious effort here, preferring to simply bet on their favorite team no matter what the odds, or to deliberately side with the underdogs in the hope of getting lucky at a big price.

Unfortunately, neither of those approaches will help you to win on anything close to a consistent basis.

What can help you to win at football betting is study and research.

If you’re a true fan of the game then this won’t be at all tedious, because all you need to do is take a look at how each team has performed in previous games in order to make a fully informed prediction about the one you want to bet on.

Football Betting Form Study Example

For example, you could look at how the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos have fared in the past, both generally and when playing each other.

Look at which team seems to be in the best form in recent weeks, look at how many points each team has scored in their last half-dozen matches, and look at the size of their winning and/or losing margins.

Also, read or watch interviews with team managers, coaches, and players to get an insight into their attitude and confidence levels as they approach the coming game.

This is the kind of information that the sportsbooks use to come up with their own predictions, so spend a little time studying, form your own opinion about what you expect to happen and then look at what the online football betting markets have to offer.

If your football betting opinion turns out to be accurate then you could be just a bet or two from turning it into cash! And that, after all, is probably why you want to know how to bet on football in the first place.

Advice for New Bettors on How to Bet on Football

Learning how to bet on football by making sound predictions based on past results isn’t something that happens overnight, so tread carefully, to begin with, and keep your stakes small. Also, start keeping records of your bets so that you can maintain an accurate picture of how you are doing. This will allow you to see your online football betting skills develop before your eyes, and the better you get, the more confidence you can bet with.

And that, in a rather large nutshell, is how to bet on football games.

How to Bet on Football FAQ

What are American Football Futures bets?

American football futures bets are ones that are placed on the outcome of an entire season, rather than on the outcome of a single game.

For example, if you think that a particular team will win the NFC, and that team is quoted at +500, you could bet $100 and collect $600 should they succeed.

Similarly, futures bets would allow you to bet on who you think will win the Super Bowl or receive the Associated Press award for the Most Valuable Player in the National Football League (NFL MVP).

How do you bet on football squares?

Football squares are commonly used for informal pool betting purposes in offices and other workplaces, especially in regards to the Super Bowl, in which case they are also known as Super Bowl Squares.

Bettors pay money to purchase a square on the board, and squares are normally selected for participants at random to keep things fair.

The player who has purchased the square containing the correct result at the end of the game wins an agreed prize.

Whilst betting on football squares can be fun, it isn’t an activity that has any merit for serious football bettors.

Is online betting offered with American Football?

Yes! Sportsbooks all over the country will offer online or mobile betting on American football. You do have to live in a state where online sports betting is legal, but that list continues to grow.

How does football betting work?

The good news for anyone wondering, ‘how does football betting work?’ is that it’s quite simple. You make a prediction about the outcome of a game, bet on that outcome and if your prediction is correct, the bet will win.

Of course, different markets have different requirements, as outlined in this guide. But that’s the short answer to the question, ‘How does football betting work?’

Where Can I Bet on American Football?

Football betting can be conducted at any traditional casino or sportsbook that is properly licensed for the state in which the betting takes place.

Sportsbooks all over the country also offer online betting on American football, although you do of course need to live in a state where online sports betting is legal to take advantage of those.

What are NFL props?

NFL props are bets on events that are not dependent on which team wins or the final score.

Most often they concern the performance of players during the game, such as whether or not a particular player will score a touchdown.

These are interesting bets to look at now and again, but they shouldn’t take your focus away from the main bet types that were defined earlier.

What is virtual football betting?

Virtual football betting is betting on a simulation of an American football game instead of a real one.


Image Credits: Mitchell Leff / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP