Guide to betting on the NFL


Football is one of the most popular sports in North America and is at an all time high in terms of betting, especially the NFL. People around the world analyze data, games and patterns every week as they try to gain an edge in the NFL markets over US sports betting.

If you’re new to NFL betting, however, the terminology can be confusing. To help you understand the NFL odds and league betting basics, we’ve put together this short guide to NFL betting.

The point spread

The point spread is based on the expected margin of victory or loss for an NFL team and is created by a bookmaker’s odds specialists. The favored team would be disadvantaged on the gap, while the neglected team would be advantaged.

A typical NFL spread might look like this:

Green Bay Packers -7

Arizona Cardinals +7

Each option would typically be priced at -110, which ensures that the bookmaker makes a small profit with every bet on that market. The key thing to remember if you bet on the point spread is that it is an assessment of the difference between the teams in the form of points.

To settle bets on this market, the real world score is added to the point spread. So if the Packers win the game by 26-20, they would actually be a losing bet on the point spread once the -7 number is applied. In this case, if you think the Cardinals will win or lose by less than seven points, you would bet on Arizona and you would bet on the Packers if you think they will win by more than seven points.


Betting on totals in an NFL game means you are betting on the combined scores of both teams. The bookmaker will work out a total and you can bet above or below that number. A typical Market Totals for the game above might look like this:

Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals – 48.5

If you think the total will be more than 48, you will bet Over and you will choose Under if you think the total will be 48 or less. The 0.5 element of the combined score quote ensures that there are no links in this market. If the figure were set at 48, it would be possible that the combined score of both teams would be exactly 48 and bets would be void.


Moneyline bets are bets on which team will win the game. These are relatively simple bets to understand, although the odds formats can be odd at first. A typical market might look like this:

The Packers are the favorites and their odds reflect the dollar amount you would need to bet to win $100. In this case, if you bet $10 on the Packers, you will win $6.25. The number for the Jets, on the other hand, indicates your return on a $100 bet.

NFL Futures

Futures betting involves predicting the outright winners of a particular competition. In the case of NFLyou can bet on a wide variety of outcomes, such as conference and division winners, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year award and many more.

If you know your football this can be a profitable option, however the further in the future an event is the greater the risk and the longer you will have to wait for any payout.

Accessories and parades

A prop bet is a bet made on a game that is not related to the outcome. Player props are the most popular form of this betting, and it is possible to bet on a large number of prop markets, including First Touchdown Scorer, Quarterback Rushing Yards and Running Back Rushing Yards.

A parlay bet is a combination bet in which you combine several bets on different markets into a single bet. If all bets are winners, the payout can be large as the profit from each bet carries over to the next bet. If a bet loses, however, the parlay bet loses.

The golden rule

The most important thing to remember when betting on sports is that it’s supposed to be fun. Don’t bet with money you can’t afford to lose and don’t let your sports betting get out of hand. You can find a wide variety of resources online or through your state’s gambling regulator to help you if you think your sports betting is becoming a problem.

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