How to Bet on Football 2020

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

Betting on Football: SuperBowl LIV – 49ers vs. Chiefs

Learn about how to read odds in general here.

How to Bet on Football Online

If you currently live in a state where online sports betting is legal, placing bets is quite easy. So, start learning how to read football odds quickly. Before anything else, you should start checking out our top-rated online sportsbook depending on your state. 

Now, some states require you to create an online account in person. This is to help identity verification and also to protect minors from gambling online. Luckily, states like NJ allow for online registration.

Either way, follow all signup instructions, and always look for a bonus code to boost your first deposit or bet. The majority of sportsbooks will ask you to provide banking details and create a user name and password. Typically, claiming a welcome bonus comes at registration. Some sites provide a deposit match after making your initial deposit. Excellent sites offer popular payment options like e-wallets, credit/ debit cards, and sometimes prepaid cards. Plus, they all accept bank wire transfers.

Now that you know how to create your online account, let’s find out how to bet on football. First, let’s look at some of the most common bets.

How to Read Football Odds

Fortunately, football odds aren’t much different than betting on 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 the 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 the NFL’s regular season, NFL Draft, and postseason 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 Bowl betting, 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 athletes. 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.

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.

Moneyline Betting

Moneyline wagers are the simplest form of wagers. Also, they’re often the best option for newbies who are still learning how to bet on football. This betting market only requires you to choose the team you feel will triumph, and that’s it. If they win, you will get your cut, and if the team loses, you will lose your money. If the game ends up in a tie, you will get your money back.

Note, sportsbooks often offer different odds based on the team1 expected to win and by how much. The odds are usually set in reference to which of the teams is considered an underdog and a favorite. The Underdog typically has higher odds (bigger potential payout) because its chances of winning are less. The favorite, on the other hand, will have shorter odds (lesser potential payout) because it is more likely to win.

Moneyline bets are shown using American odds, which can be quite confusing if you’re unsure how to bet on football. Here is an example of how typical Moneyline bets are advertised.

Philadelphia Eagles: – 150 vs LA Rams + 130. So, essentially, here’s what the setup means:

  1. The minus sign indicates the favorite team, and it also shows how much you must wager to get $100 in profit. 
  2. The plus sign shows the underdog team. At the same time, it shows how much profit you will get if you bet $100.

Totals and Under/Over betting

It isn’t always necessary to pick a team that will win the game or covers a point spread. But instead, you can place a bet on the total points that are scored in a football game. In totals betting, you will have to predict whether the final score will be more or less than the line provided by the bookie. It’s another super easy type of wager that you can take advantage of if you are a beginner learning how to bet on football.

To help with the illustration of how the totals work, let’s consider a game with an Over/ Under Line of 47.5. In a game like this, it means that you have to choose whether you think that the accumulated total points scored for both teams at the end of the game will be more or less than 47.5. If you feel that it will be 48 or more, you should bet on over and vice versa. However, you must bear in mind that, whether it’s a blowout or a close game, it doesn’t make a difference which team is going to win.

Many bookies offer Point totals for the first half or first quarter of the game. For instance, the same game above could have a first-quarter Under/Over Line of 10.5 and 23.5.

Also, you can individually wager on each team’s full game points. You will come to see numbers like 27.5 for the favorite and 20.5 for the underdog. These lines are simply a hint of what bookies think the final result will be in most cases. And at the same time, these full game points will be aligned with the point spread of the game combined with the full match’s Over/Under Line.

Prop Betting

A prop bet is a short form of the term Propositions bet. These types of wagers are often referred to as side bets because they have nothing to do with the eventual result of the game. As such, different bookies will offer unique side bets depending on the factors; they consider critical.

In the case of learning how to bet on football, the best event to experience the full extent of the prop bets is the Super Bowl. You will have the chance of betting on hundreds of outcomes which in most cases, not related to the sports going on. Super Bowl props allow you to wager on things like how long the national anthem is going to be performed or the color of the team’s Gatorade. How interesting is that?

During the regular football season, on the other hand, you will come across prop bets which focus on star players’ performance. Sometimes, bookies will also set up wagers that have to do with how and when the scoring will take place in a particular game.

However, before you can start betting on props, it is always a great idea not to be in a rush. Go through all the options presented and compare the odds that have been presented. Longer shot bets can sometimes have things that seem enticing, but it is often smarter to avoid them.

Parlay Betting

A parlay bet is just a bet that combines two or more outcomes into one ticket. With parlay betting in football, it is important that you get all the parts of the bets correct to win. The best thing about parlay bets is that the payouts are typically larger than normal. The more bets in a parlay, the greater the payout. On the other hand, since you must get all the bets correctly, it becomes a long shot to earn the massive payouts on multiple selections.

Futures Betting

This is a version of prop betting where the wager you place predicts an outcome that is supposed to occur at a much later date. These wagers can either be on players or the team’s performance.

Although future bets require patience, they are likely to offer huge payouts in the end if your outcome is correct. On the flip side, the only disadvantage of this type of wager is that the chances of making the correct predictions are quite low.

Football Live Betting

Did you know that you don’t have to place all your wagers before the game begins? Using NFL live betting tabs in online sportsbooks, you can make in-play bets while the games are underway. This type of betting is an excellent great way of getting to the game and making more dynamic bets as the events unfold. 

You should also note that it is vital that you pay close attention to the game if you want to make successful bets. Because of the pace of the match and advantage of the teams keep shifting, the betting lines always change in real-time. Thus, you must adjust your wagers according to what is taking place on the field, irrespective of what you initially thought would happen.

Plenty of sites provide alternating forms of live betting and as a result, which means that you may find that some sites are quicker than others. Consequently, you should always check out different sites during gameplay and compare how much is being offered and how quickly their lines get updated.

How to Bet on Football: Betting Strategies

Knowing how to bet on football not only involves knowing the types of wagers you can place, but it also entails setting up suitable strategies. Proper execution of your betting strategy often leads to collecting huge profits for the lucky players. Let’s take a look at how you can improve your chances. 

Wager only when there is value

It may seem rather simplistic, but successful football betting boils down to only one thing; analyzing genuine betting value. If you are betting on football without considering a betting value, you will most likely lose your bets.

Begin with betting only on teams that you know

You should start by betting on the teams you know best. This will give you a deep understanding of the common opponents across the entire NFL. As a result, it will be easy for you to make the right predictions.

Follow American tipsters with a good track record

The other way to make a successful bet is by following football tipsters. Most of them provide valuable information that can help you find several amazing bets very easily. This is because they will have already done the analysis for you

Never spend money that you can’t afford to lose when betting

The smartest way to bet on football or any other game for that matter is setting a budget and sticking to it. That way, if things don’t go your way, it will be a loss you can handle. 

Sports betting was illegal in the US since 1992, when the US passed PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). This law prohibited betting on sports in individual states except for Nevada.

In May 2018, things changed for the better. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of removing the ban on sports betting. Soon after, New Jersey won the appeal to reverse the PASPA ruling. This meant every state in the country won the mandate to regulate gambling as they wished. Connecticut, New York, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania followed New Jersey’s lead by preparing a bill to legalize sports betting.  Going forward, we expect many more states will allow betting on sports in the coming future.

Final Words

Being a successful football bettor is not impossible. As long as you put in the work that is required, you will consistently make the right bets. For beginners, start by going through all the main bet types we have covered and learn what each of them entails. And if sports betting is legal in your state, take a look at the recommendations we’ve covered for you. 

In case betting on football isn’t legal yet in your state, well, it’s never too early to start learning how to bet on football. Many more states are legalizing sports betting, and it is only a matter of time until your state is authorized.

Now that you have an understanding of how to read football odds, why not bet with America’s #1 online sportsbook, FanDuel?

For the seasoned experts reading this, what do you think about today’s post? Is there a tip you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you right here in our comments section!

Bet with your head, not over it! Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.