The NFL is for teams based in the USA but the popularity of American Football means that it has a loyal following from around the world. That following extends to the gambling community where interest in the sport continues to build.
If you’ve just started out with American Football or NFL betting, take a few moments to check up on our guide.
How to Bet on American Football?
The focus is on the National Football League. This is the game as played in the US by teams from across the country in a season that begins in September. The action continues through the season and the playoffs until we get to the Super Bowl which generally comes along at the beginning of February.
Super Bowl odds coincide with a peak period for the sport and this is when the markets are the busiest.
The NFL dominates but the sport is played in other parts of the world. You may not see many options produced elsewhere but there is interest in the Canadian Football League (CFL). For the purposes of this guide, you will be focusing on the odds for the NFL, but no matter which division you might be eyeing up, you will need to know about the options.
American Football carries interest when it comes to handicapping and spread betting. We suggest that when you’re starting out, keep things simple by deciding on which team is going to win. Known as the moneyline bet in some parts of the world, the straight result bet is the logical place to start.
With the result, you weigh up the strengths of the two teams and decide which is going to win. Surprise results are rare in the NFL so this is a popular option for new and experienced punters.
Most NFL odds are based around points scoring. This is where the spread betting can take over but you can continue to keep things simple at the standard sportsbooks. One of the most common prop bets is on Total Points and this option is available across the entire game and for each half and quarter.
Sportsbooks will set a series of lines and, when you enter those Total Points markets, your task is to bet either Over or Under a specific line.
A smaller set of bookmakers will set up American Football odds on which is the highest scoring half or quarter. Bets on the first scoring play can be made available along with a whole host of options that are related to stats. American Football is a game where hundreds of options can be open for the biggest matches.
You are not going to make the NFL odds work for you unless you carry out research. Surprise results tend to be rare but if you simply back the favourites in the result betting, you will eventually lose out. Study form and head to head results between the two sides and you can help to get an edge.
The same applies to the prop bets that are made available by the NFL odds setters. If you’re looking to bet on total points, either on the spread or in a conventional sportsbook setting, look at recent results along with those head to heads to see if you can spot any indicators.
There are common rules that apply to every sport. Be sure to adhere to bankroll management and stick to staking on a set percentage of your overall account balance. Don’t be tempted to bet just for the sake of it: In some weeks you may spot some excellent value picks while in others, there just isn’t that much that interests you. Don’t be afraid to skip a week of the NFL season if there’s no value to be had. It will doubtless return quickly and you can return to your set pattern and strategy.
American Football is focused on points and this is where many of the side markets are derived from. Total points in the match is the most popular and while the lines will vary between outlets, these tend to start at 40.5 and work up to 61.5.
An NFL game is separated into four quarters so you will also find points line betting on each quarter of the match in question. The same applies to each half of the fixture while another market allows you to speculate on which half will be the highest scoring. Other options are more ‘niche’ and one allows you to bet on which team will score the longest Field Goal.
Overall, you may see up to 60 markets available for a game during the regular season and this is to increase when the Super Bowl is played. It may be possible to bet on individual players in a first touchdown market amongst others. The bigger the game, the bigger the choice so things will get much busier.
The same applies to offers and promotions. For the regular season, these will be sparse but at Super Bowl time, it will start to intensify. Enhanced odds deals may be prolific with sites looking to offer boosted prices on one, or either team to lift the trophy.
Check with your online bookmakers or follow our updates as we look to bring you the best of the American Football promotions.
As we’ve mentioned at the start of this round up, this is the most popular division in the world and this is where most of the attention is aimed. There are options for other leagues – American College Football and the Canadian Football League.
Before getting involved in the markets, check the exact dates of the season that lies ahead. Generally speaking, the regular season will start in mid-September and it will come to a conclusion before Christmas. In the New Year, the most successful sides will progress to the playoffs before the top two battle it out in the Super Bowl.
Within the set up there are two Conferences – the NFC and the AFC. Each of those Conferences has four divisions of four teams and 16 regular season games are played by every side. There is a packed schedule with a busy American Football markets for those games.
When the season comes to an end, fans wait for the new campaign but while the match betting goes quiet, you can still take a punt on the ultimate prize.
For those who like to get involved with the NFL, the Super Bowl is the peak of the sport. It’s the equivalent of the Champions League in soccer and the odds will intensify when the two finalists are known.
The other benefit of odds for Super Bowl is that you should see a much wider choice of markets. Unlike other team sports such as rugby and soccer, there are few options aimed at individual players but you might just see some odds on the man to score the first touchdown. It’s a great occasion and, because the bookies don’t want to miss out, their usual range of American Football markets can be significantly increased.
This is the time when the markets really start to pick up but it isn’t all about wagering on the actual game. These odds give us our busiest long term market and it’s one that you can expect to be open right across the calendar year. Almost as soon as the Vince Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the winning side, the markets will respond and the quickest bookmakers will list their odds for next year’s game.
You can get other ante post markets including the winners of each Conference but for enthusiasts, it’s all about the Super Bowl.
American Football Bookies
All sportsbooks take American Football seriously with plenty of markets and promotions. Outlets will list offers that are specific to NFL games and these may include Acca Insurance deals or promos offering free bets if your selection loses after a certain point.
Newer bookies are getting involved with a sport which keeps gaining in popularity. bet365, Betway and Genting Bet back many of the games with promos and enhanced odds packages so keep looking out for updates.
In previous years, a range of US Friendly bookmakers have published a competition with trips to the Super Bowl. These are subject to frequent change and the operators involved rotate regularly so once again, it’s a case of keeping up with the news.
The sportsbooks recognise that the gambling community is growing, so every site should provide options for you to take advantage of. However, not all bookies are the same so which operators should you be looking to target?
It can be a good idea to take a look at sportsbooks based in North America because they tend to have very good offers, bets and promotions relating to American Football. Sports Interaction is a good example – if you are comfortable in signing up with an overseas bookie, we suggest you give them a try.
If you’re a traditionalist, you may want to try the established brands such as Betway, 888Sport, Unibet, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral. Among those names, you should still be able to find promotions but best of all, you can be certain that the everyday odds will be among the most competitive.
Those are great places to start but there are new names to consider. As their title indicates, RedZone are with a big focus on American sports and on the NFL in particular. Added to that list are SportNation, Royal Panda, EnergyBet, LVBet and VBet.
What we want is an extensive set of markets with odds that stand out from the rest of the industry. We would like to see price boosts, along with other offers and promotions that can lift the regular, day to day value that is being offered.
Each of the names on that list should meet those requirements and they are all recommended as strong places to play if you are looking for great NFL betting.