How to bet on football

Football betting is quite simple and since there are so many fans of the NFL, there are superb options and great payouts that can be achieved. Online betting sites that offer football bets will cover the entire NFL and one can bet on individual games, seasons, playoff games, and even individual players as the season plays out. Use this guide for a crash course in how to bet on football.

Learn about how to read odds in general here.

Football sports betting

Photo credit: twosheffs on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Reading football odds

Fortunately, football odds aren’t much different than the odds of other sports. Of the three types of odds, American odds are the ones that are most commonly used in the United States. Here’s an example that you might come across:

Philadelphia Eagles+150
New York Giants-130

Positive odds reflect the amount you would win if you bet $100. Negative odds are the amount you need to bet to win $100.

So, in the above example, if you bet $100 on the Eagles, you would win $150 if the Eagles beat the Giants. But if you bet $130 on the Giants, you would get $100 if they win the game. The bookies are predicting the Giants to win against the Eagles, so you have to put in more money and you get less in return. But remember, betting isn’t about going for the best odds all the time, it’s about consistently chipping away and getting a lot of small wins by making smart, well-researched bets.

In our example, the bookies don’t think the Eagles will win. But you should only bet on the Eagles if you have good reason to think that the bookies have gotten it wrong.

Football point spread betting

One type of football betting is called the point spread and it is a little more complex. In point spread bets, you’re also factoring in the difference between both teams scores. Continuing with our last example. Let’s say that the Giants have a point spread of -6 since they’re already predicted to win, according to the bookies.

Philadelphia Eagles+150
New York Giants-130-6

This means that if you bet on the Giants, they would need to win against the Eagles by more than 6 points. However, if you bet on the Eagles, you’ll win the bet as long as the Eagles are within 6 points of the Giants. If the difference of the scores is exactly 6 with the Giants still winnings, your bets are usually considered null and refunded.

Football over/under bets

Another kind of sports bet that is popular to make on football games is called the over/under. This is far simpler to explain. In an over/under bet, you’re betting on the total points in a game and not the winner or loser. If you make a bet that both teams won’t score more than 24 combined points, you’ll win if that does indeed turn out to be the case. However, if the teams do end up scoring more than 24 points when you add up the final scores, you’ll lose your bet.

It’s important to mention that different bookies might favor different types of odds. Before you sign up at an online sportsbook, do some research about which games they cover and the kinds of odds that are available. Don’t be hasty making a decision, you’re going to be putting your money there after all.

Bet on football at online sportsbooks

For those who love the action and the intense thrills of football, there are many betting options that are becoming available across the United States. The Supreme Court repeal of Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) has opened the floodgates for online sportsbooks and they’re popping up as soon as states establish the necessary regulations. Check our state overviews to see what the rules are where you live.

NFL online betting

Football is naturally going to have a top spot and it would be stupid not to put all the NFL‘s regular season and post season games up there. You might also be able to bet on preseason outcomes. If you’re feeling very risky, you can get great odds if you bet on your Super Bowl LIII before the regular season even starts.

Speaking of Super Bowls, they are the most watched football game every year and one of the most bet on events in the sporting world. Last year alone, more than $158 million was wagered on the Super Bowl in Nevada sportsbooks. When it comes to the Super Bowl, sportsbooks usually make out quite well. Punters are more apt to place high-risk bets on this game, which include props and parlays that are usually quite unlikely to win. There were just two years where sportsbooks have lost to the Super Bowl, 1995 and 2008.

Bet on college football

College football is going to be featured at online sportsbooks too. There are a few extra hurdles to take care of though since we’re dealing with amateur atheletes. Colleges and Universities need to develop some extra rules to protect the integrity of the game. Remember, some of the athletes on college teams are only 18 years old. But rest assured, that once the rules are clearly defined by the states and College Football Teams have had their wishes heard, those teams will want to get in on the sportsbooks too.

Fantasy Football online betting

Every year, football fans get together with their friends at a bar to organize a fantasy league. Options are limited between a few big names like FanDuel or DraftKings and side bets are placed. Now that PASPA is gone, online sportsbooks will be able to support fantasy sports options as well. Rather than designating the person in the group that got the best math grades to manage the pool of money, you’ll be able to do this automatically with an online fantasy sports betting platform.

Electronically and effortlessly, you’ll be able to draft your teams, deposit your allotted buy-in, manage your team, and pay the winners in the post season. The administrative micromanaging of fantasy sports will be gone once real money online sportsbooks get into the fantasy game. Furthermore, you’ll have a wide range of platforms to choose from. The existing brands had a monopoly before but now that there is increased competition, fantasy sports online services should dramatically increase in the favor of football fans.

Arena football betting

If you’re an especially dedicated football fan, you might have to dig a little deeper for betting on Arena Football. However, it would be a surprise to us if bookies didn’t include odds for the Arena Football League (AFL) as well. If you’d like to place bets on Arena Football, make sure you do your research. Reading our bookie reviews will help, but also check yourself to ensure that a bookie you like covers the odds that you’re looking for.

Here’s a list of bookies* that have Arena football betting odds:

  • *Full list coming soon.

Legends Football League betting

You can’t forget about women’s football leagues as well. A growing league that’s amassing an impressive amount of popularity for cities with teams, the Legends Football League (LFL, formerly the Lingerie Football League) has become a home for many former collegiate athletes that want to become a professional. Football fans will be impressed with what these women can do (and how hard they can hit!). Though not as popular as the NFL, for football fans that can’t get enough of the sport, check out the LFL and make their games more interesting by betting on them.

The LFL will not be near the top of bookies’ odds but for cities with a well-established team and dedicated fan based, we fully expect LFL odds to have a section. If you want to bet on this league, you’ll definitely have to do some more research. But check back with US-Bookies once your state finally gets online sportsbooks and we can direct you to the right bookies that support online sports betting. For now, check to see if a city in your state has an LFL team:

  • Duluth, Georgia: Atlanta Steam
  • Hoffman Estates, Illinois: Chicago Bliss
  • Nashville, Tennessee: Nashville Knights
  • Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha Heart
  • Austin, Texas: Austin Acoustic
  • Loveland, Colorado: Denver Dream
  • Ontario, California: Los Angeles Temptation
  • Kent, Washington: Seattle Mist
How to bet on football
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