How to Bet on the NFL - An Expert Guide to NFL Betting -



How to Bet on the NFL

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The National Football League is the most popular sport in the United States. It’s therefore unsurprising that many people want to know how to bet on the NFL in simple and effective ways.

In this Expert Guide to NFL Betting, we will discuss what kind of betting opportunities are available and how they work. We’ll also share the best ways of making the most out of them.

Make no mistake, the NFL provides plenty of events that you can bet on outside of regular-season games. Even though the NFL season is played from September through February, betting on the NFL is a year-round phenomenon.


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NFL Events to Bet On

Discover how to bet on the NFL and you'll have multiple ways to make money from American football. Even though the NFL regular season is the most common event to bet on, there are many other betting opportunities as well. Each event offers some unique betting types available, and almost all sportsbooks will offer bets on all of these events.

Here is a description of each event, along with some betting options available.

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NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is held each year in April, and this is where NFL betting begins. The NFL Draft is a huge event that spans three days, and there are several betting opportunities available. 


Even though the games don't actually count for anything, betting on preseason NFL games is extremely popular. Most NFL betting fans view the four games as a warmup to the real season. 

Sportsbooks will offer a number of betting opportunities during the NFL Preseason. 

NFL Regular Season

The regular season of the NFL is the biggest moneymaker for sportsbooks in the United States. The NFL regular season runs from September through December, and there are at least three days of action each week. We will discuss the common NFL betting types during the regular season later in this article. 

Pro Bowl

The Pro Bowl is the annual NFL All-Star Game that is held in Orlando, Fla. The Pro Bowl takes place the week before the Super Bowl. 

Sportsbooks will offer many betting lines around the Pro Bowl. It is important to note that this game is traditionally more high-scoring than regular-season NFL games

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the year, and there is more action taken during the Super Bowl than during any other sporting event. The Super Bowl will provide the common NFL betting types along with a few others. 

Prop betting is huge during the Super Bowl each year. 

NFL Betting Types

Even though betting on the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft is extremely popular, the most common bets are still placed on regular-season NFL games. There are three main NFL betting types that are offered by the sportsbooks. 

We will explain how to bet each betting type below, using a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. 

How to Bet on NFL Moneyline

A moneyline bet is a common type of bet that is placed on NFL games, although spread betting is more common. A moneyline bet is simply choosing the outright winner of an NFL game.

Each team will have odds given to them by the sportsbook, and it will be based on the probability of each team winning the game. Here is an example:

Washington Redskins-135
Dallas Cowboys+145

The Redskins are the favorites in this matchup, as noted by the (-) sign in front of their odds. This means that it would take a $135 bet to win $100. 

Dallas is the underdog, as noted by the (+) sign. A $100 bet on the Cowboys would win you $145. 

How to Bet on NFL Spread

NFL spread betting is extremely common, and this is sometimes referred to as betting against the spread. Spread betting not only requires you to choose the winner of each game, but you also have to decide how much they will win by.

Here is an example:

Dallas Cowboys-6.5
Washington Redskins+6.5

This time, the Cowboys are the favorites, and they are favored by 6.5 points. This means that the Cowboys would have to win the game by at least a touchdown (seven points) to win the bet. Washington can lose the game by six points or less or win it to still be a winner. 

How to Bet on NFL Over/Under

NFL over/under betting is sometimes referred to as point total betting. An NFL over/under bet focuses on the total number of points scored by the two teams in a game. 

There's no need to focus on the winner or loser in a game as long as you are able to pick the point total correctly.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

  • Over 42.5 Points
  • Under 42.5 Points

Most sportsbooks will offer lines at -110 for each side of this bet. If the two teams combine to score at least 43 total points, then the over is the right pick. 

If the two teams score 42 points or less, then the under is the right play. 

How to Bet on NFL Props

Prop betting will be offered throughout the NFL regular season as well, but it's more commonly offered during the Super Bowl. Prop betting gives the bettor a chance to focus on something other than the final score or winning team. 

Here is an example of some NFL prop bets that might be offered during the Super Bowl

  • How many passing yards will Tom Brady throw for?
  • How long will the National Anthem take?
  • Will there be a wardrobe malfunction during the Halftime show?

How to Make NFL Future Bets

An NFL Future bet is a bet that is made on something that takes place, you guessed it, in the future. Sportsbooks will offer future bets on the final outcome of the season or individual player awards. 

Here are a few common NFL Future betting options:

  • Odds to Win Super Bowl
  • The Team to Win AFC, or NFC Championship
  • Player to win regular-season MVP
  • Odds to land No. 1 overall draft pick. 
  • Projected win totals for each NFL team

It's important to note that nfl odds for future bets change constantly, and you will need to search for the odds that offer great value. There is a chance for a big payday by placing a future bet, but it's also hard to make the right pick. 

Where to Bet on NFL?

Even though there are many places to bet on the NFL, the two most common places are online and in Vegas. 

Online NFL betting has taken off in the last two years, but there is still nothing like the betting atmosphere that being in Vegas provides. 

How to Bet on NFL Online

Online sports betting has become extremely popular in the United States as a large number of states have recently legalized online sports betting. There are several US-regulated sportsbooks available, and they will all have football betting lines available. 

The information that an online sportsbook will ask you to provide is:

  • First and last name
  • Residential address
  • Mailing address
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number 
  • Social Security number
  • Username 
  • Password 

How to Bet on NFL in Vegas

Betting on the NFL in Vegas used to be the only place in the United States to bet on football, but that has changed of late. If you understand how to bet on the NFL, then you already know how to bet on the NFL in Vegas. 

The reason for heading to Vegas is for the experience, and there are plenty of casinos and sportsbooks that will offer NFL betting. 

How to Bet NFL FAQ

Is Live Betting available on the NFL?

The answer to this question is yes! Live betting is available on all of the events that we covered above as long as you find a sportsbook that offers live betting.

Live betting can add some extra excitement to the NFL season and your betting experience.

How many NFL games are there?

The NFL regular season spans 17 weeks. Each team plays a total of 16 regular-season games, with one week being a bye week. The NFL preseason is four weeks long, and each team plays four games.

Where can I watch the NFL?

You can watch the NFL on a variety of networks. FOX and CBS show the games that are played on Sunday each week. NBC will show games on Sunday night and some Saturdays.

NFL Network will have games on Thursday night, and ESPN is the host of Monday Night Football each week. Most NFL games are also available to be streamed on any mobile device or tablet.

Can I buy NFL betting picks?

If you want to pay for NFL betting picks, there are people who are selling them. The main reason to buy NFL betting picks is to get some extra information when making your NFL bets.

It takes plenty of time and research to be a successful NFL bettor, but buying NFL picks can take some of that off of your plate.

What type of bet should I choose when betting on the NFL?

It’s important to find the betting type that works for you and stick with it. Each event offers different betting opportunities, and they are all great.

Choose the betting type that you understand the best, and place some bets on the event that you are most passionate about.

Photo credits: Chris DELMAS / AFP

About this author

Ayden Fahlstrom author profile

Ayden loves sports. There is no doubt about that. He is a walking calendar when it comes to the latest events in sports. He has grown into the passion of writing about them, and settled into his role as a writer after many freelancing jobs. He can write about any sport out there! This is the guy!

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