There are few things in life that are quite as satisfying as watching your favorite team in the National Football League win an important game. In fact, the only thing that beats it is watching a team win when you also happen to have a bet on them doing exactly that. But before you can experience that kind of thrill, you first need to decide where to bet on NFL games.
Where to bet on NFL games is an important question, because not every online sportsbook will offer the same opportunities. Most sportsbooks with a US bias will provide plenty of NFL markets, but it’s worth checking all the same. This article discusses six key areas that you should consider when choosing a sportsbook for NFL betting purposes. Examine them all and you’ll soon find one that suits your needs perfectly.
Many people who have only a passing acquaintance with sports betting think that all sportsbooks are the same. But that isn't the case at all. Sportsbooks can be quite different in the sports that they specialize in, the betting markets they offer, and the rewards they give to new bettors. This makes the question of where to bet on NFL games one that deserves serious attention.
We have no 'one-size-fits-all' answer to that question. But we do have six key areas that we think all football bettors should look at when comparing sportsbooks for themselves. These are:
All of the areas just mentioned are equally important, so let's explore them in more detail.
The first thing you need to look at when thinking about where to bet on NFL games is the legal situation. Gambling laws vary from state to state, and while sports betting is legal in many, it is illegal in others. To complicate matters further, some states that allow sports betting in person do not also allow online sportsbooks to operate.
You can check to see whether or not sports betting is legal in your state by visiting our state pages. If it is, you will be able to bet with any online sportsbook that is licensed to operate in your state. Should there be only one, the choice will be easy. However, if you are fortunate enough to have two or more sportsbooks to choose from, the five key areas that remain to be discussed will need looking at.
The betting opportunities that you can take advantage of will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. Most US-facing sportsbooks will be keen for you to bet on NFL games. But you might find things slightly more restrictive at sportsbooks that have a more global audience. Our advice is to check that any sportsbook you are considering will allow you to place NFL bets of the following types:
The moneyline betting market is the most common of all, and should therefore be offered by all sportsbooks. This market will give odds for each of the two teams in a game. Your job is to bet on the one you think will win. If your bet succeeds then it will be settled according to the odds offered for your chosen team. Consider the following example:
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-278|
When odds are preceded by a plus (+) sign, they indicate your profit for a bet of $100. A winning bet of $100 on the Cowboys would therefore give you a $240 profit.
When odds are preceded by a minus (-) sign, they indicate how much you need to bet to make a $100 profit. You would therefore make $100 if you place a winning bet of $278 on the Buccaneers.
Point spread markets are for NFL fans who like to predict how well a team will win. Or how badly another will lose. The sportsbook will form its own opinion by giving the favorite a hypothetical disadvantage. It will give an opposing advantage to the underdog. This allows the sportsbook to level up the odds on offer, as you can see in the example below:
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-6.5||-110|
You will note that the odds on offer for each team in this market are now the same. If you bet on the Cowboys, the +6.5 advantage means that they need to win the game or to lose by no more than 6 points for your bet to succeed. Bet on the Buccaneers and they will need to win by at least 7 points for your bet to win.
The totals market is the next one that you need to make sure you have access to. This allows you to bet on whether the total number of points scored in a game will be over or under the sportsbook prediction. Because you have to bet over or under, this market is just as often referred to as the Over/Under market.
In the example above, the sportsbook has drawn a line in the sand at 51.5 points. If you think that there will be 52 points or more scored by both teams combined, you would bet over 51.5. If you think that there will be 51 points or fewer scored in total, you would bet under 51.5. Should your prediction prove correct, your bet will win at the odds stated.
NFL bettors don't always want to bet purely on individual games. They also like to bet on longer-term outcomes, such as who will win the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl. Or how many wins a particular team will achieve over the course of the season. All of these are examples of future bets, and if you want to make them you need to make sure that the sportsbook you are considering will allow you to do so. Most will, but it's still a very good idea to confirm that beforehand.
Another thing that you should look for in a sportsbook is the ability to make prop bets. These are bets on incidents or outcomes that may or may not take place regardless of the overall game result. For example:
Obviously, predicting such outcomes correctly is a lot more challenging than selecting one of two teams to win the game itself. For that reason, many people view prop bets as fun bets and keep their stakes in these markets to a minimum. On the plus side, the odds for success in prop betting markets reflect the difficulty of winning with them, so a win could pay handsomely.
The sports betting industry is a hugely competitive one. That means sportsbooks are keen to attract bettors to their own sites wherever possible. One of the ways in which they try to do that is by offering rewards to new bettors in the form of bonuses and promotions.
This being the case, you should take a look at what bonuses or promotions are being offered by the sportsbooks in your state. If one is offering a risk-free bet worth up to $300, and another is offering a risk-free bet worth up to $500, the one offering the best deal might sway your choice. Of course, when looking at bonuses and promotions, you need to be honest about how much you intend to bet. If you know that your first bet will be worth no more than $100, either one of the promotions just mentioned would be suitable.
Betting with an online sportsbook should be as easy as logging in, making your picks, and entering your required stake. The faster you can do all of that, the better. Especially if you intend to participate in live betting as the game itself is being played. Because of all that, you should think about how user-friendly a sportsbook is, and whether it will let you do what you want to do with a minimum of fuss.
Pay attention to how a sportsbook is presented, how easy it is to find betting markets, and so on. Also, look into how well the sportsbook performs on a mobile device if you know that you will want to bet on a tablet or smartphone from time to time.
Making a deposit isn't something that you will need to do every day (especially if you win more often than you lose) but you will still want it to be a simple and straightforward process. If you have a preferred way of making deposits, such as PayPal, be sure that the sportsbook will accommodate it. Or at least check to ensure that the facilities available include at least one option that you will be happy to use for that particular operation.
Your chosen deposit method will ideally also be one by which withdrawals can be made. That will keep things nice and easy, and allow you to deposit or withdraw funds at the click of a mouse button.
All online sportsbooks work hard to make things as simple and intuitive for bettors as possible. However, it is still possible that you might have a question that you need an answer to or a problem that you need help in resolving. In those cases, you want to be sure that there is a support system to assist you, so it makes sense to check the situation before you sign up.
Ideally, customer support should be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If that isn't the case, just make sure that the support hours are ones that cover the times you are likely to need help or assistance. Neglect to do this and you might be frustrated by having to wait for the support staff to get back to you.
When you have done all of the research just outlined and decided which of the available options best suits your needs, you will probably want to open an account with that operator. It only takes a couple of minutes to do so, and the process is as straightforward as you could want it to be. In fact, the whole exercise can be reduced to just three steps.
Betting with a sportsbook obviously requires you to have cash in your account. Making your first deposit is just as easy as opening an account, and once you have done so it will be even easier to make future deposits. Here's the process:
Withdrawing funds from your sportsbook account is normally even easier than making a deposit. That's because many methods used for deposits can also be used for withdrawals, so you won't have to provide any new banking information. Instead, simply proceed as follows:
Bettors who simply want to place one or two bets every now and again will be perfectly well served by a single sportsbook. However, if you have access to several sportsbooks in your state and you expect to bet on a regular basis, you could benefit from signing up with two or more of them.
Joining multiple sportsbooks means that you will have the opportunity to take advantage of whatever bonus each one offers. It also means that you will have more choice in relation to the betting markets you get involved in and the odds that you can get in those markets.
Should you choose to sign up with more than one sportsbook, here are a few ways in which you can use your multiple accounts to your advantage:
Any online sportsbook that is properly licensed and regulated in your state can be used for NFL betting purposes.
Betting on the NFL draft is possible at most sportsbooks. Those operators which are more specifically aimed at bettors in the United States will tend to be more useful than those with a primarily European or International customer base.
NFL betting is quite simple. You make a prediction about the outcome of a game, locate the corresponding betting market at your chosen sportsbook and then select the outcome you want to bet on. Enter your stake and submit the bet, and if the game results as you predicted, your winnings will be credited to your account automatically.
All sportsbooks in the United States will allow you to bet on NFL games, but they will differ in terms of the bonuses and markets they offer. This is why we discussed the six key areas that should be considered before you sign up with a sportsbook operating in your state. Of course, if you want to join a sportsbook without doing your own research, we would recommend BetMGM, DraftKings of FanDuel as being particularly impressive.