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Americans watch a lot of sports, but no competition is more popular than the NFL. Millions of people enjoy the games every season, but it doesn’t stop at that. The NFL is also the most popular competition to bet on.
While most football fans prefer placing bets in-person, online betting is quickly gaining ground, and it’s becoming one of the main ways that people interact with the NFL and its media.
For example, the same study found that 75% of NFL fans are more likely to watch a game if they placed a bet on it, and 51% will also watch the pre-game (this can influence their strategy if they want to place live bets).
If you’re an NFL fan and you want to take your passion to the next level by becoming a bettor, this guide will help you understand how to bet on the NFL, the most popular bet types, and where to bet on NFL games.
As a beginner, seeing people make thousands from NFL betting sites and experimenting with different types of wagers can make betting look really complicated. But it’s not. You just have to take it step-by-step, start with the simplest strategies, and work your way up from there.
Here’s what you need to do first:
US NFL fans are spoilt for choice when it comes to good NFL betting sites. Let’s have a look at some of the top-rated ones:
MyBookie was established in 2014, but it quickly became one of the most popular platforms for US NFL bettors. They’re a reliable website, with free credit card deposits and large sign-up bonuses, and tempting year-round promotions.
The customer service team is very prompt, and they’re known for answering user queries on time – this is a great plus if you’re a beginner. They’ve received no notable complaints, and they’re overall a great all-around great option, no matter if you’re new to NFL betting or you’re a seasoned professional.
Even if they’re not the oldest sportsbook on the market, MyBookie has a nearly spotless track record.
Focusing mainly on American sports, BetNow is one of the top choices for NFL betting fans. Like MyBookie, they’re still new in the businesses, but their excellent reputation, combined with their bonuses and cutting-edge platform features, helps them compete with more established platforms.
At BetNow, you can choose from a wide range of deposit options and, if you use crypto, there are no withdrawal fees. So far, bettors only have good things to say about BetNow, and there have been no noteworthy reports about late payments. The fastest withdrawal method on BetNow is crypto, which is processed in less than 48 hours.
Offering a wide variety of sports to bet on, BetUS stands out through one thing: its incredible bonuses. Offering a 55% welcome bonus up to $10,000, it doesn’t come as a surprise that new players are quick to sign up.
Plus, they have many other bonuses running throughout the week. Their mobile betting platform looks especially well, so if you’re looking for ways to pass the time on the go, they’re one of the best options out there.
Unfortunately, with BetUS, there have been complaints about slow payouts and slow customer support, so that’s something to keep in mind before you sign up.
Established in 1991, BetOnline is one of the first platforms to offer online betting, and you can see that in the way their website looks. It’s easy to use, their software is great, and you have a huge variety of betting options to choose from.
In fact, BetOnline is one of the most versatile betting platforms out there: you have lots of futures options, lines, game parlays, prop bets, and many others. It’s an all-around great betting website for everyone, beginners or experts.
Bonuses are also excellent, and we especially appreciate the fact that withdrawal requests are processed within 48 hours.
Are you looking for a platform that has quick payment processing times? Sportsbetting.ag is one of the fastest platforms out there. That doesn’t come as a surprise because they’ve been in businesses since 2011, and they know how to keep bettors interested.
Sportsbetting.ag has a nice selection of bonuses that appeal to beginners and experts alike, plus early odds for most events – something you should definitely take advantage of if you’re serious about NFL betting.
The only downside to Sportsbetting.ag is that their customer service isn’t exactly prompt. They’re quite late in answering messages, which could be because the platform has many users. However, it’s something we hope to see solved in the future.
Launched in 2014, Xbet.ag is one of the newest entries on the market, but they’re quickly catching up. Focusing on American sports, they have competitive odds in most markets, and the management team has extensive experience in offshore betting.
Two things should be mentioned about Xbet.ag, however.
First, withdrawals take some time to process because the website will want to verify your identity in advance. That increases security, of course, but it also slows things down considerably and waiting for more than 48 hours to receive the money in your account can become tedious.
And second, Xbet.ag doesn’t have the best bonuses.
Their first deposit bonus up to $300 is decent if you’re a beginner and didn’t plan on making a big deposit to begin with, but won’t appeal to professional bettors.
Offering a 100% cash bonus up to $500, Wagerweb is somewhat more appealing to experienced bettors, but not intimidating for beginners (the minimum deposit is $100, which is not too much).
Wagerweb accepts most banking options, and, best of all, they’re known for fast payouts, which is always a plus. The withdrawal fees vary depending on your preferred option, so make sure you choose the one you’re most comfortable with.
When the football season comes around, Bovada has some of the best bonuses out there, which makes this bookmaker one of the top picks for NFL betting. They also have an excellent sign-up bonus and some of the fastest payout processing times in the business (including a free check withdrawal per year!).
The customer support team has a spotless reputation, and there’s no doubt that Bovada is a reliable platform. So what’s the trade-off, you may ask? The 5.9% tax on credit card withdrawals.
Bovada makes up for that a bit by offering a good deposit bonus, but still, 5.9% can be a bit discouraging for new bettors looking for a bargain.
The NFL may be a national phenomenon here in the US, but it’s not the only country where it’s popular. For you Canadians out there who also want to bet on the NFL, Bodog is one of the top picks.
Available exclusively in Canada, Bodog is a trusted brand with an excellent reputation, both in terms of payout speed and betting bonuses. The only thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that Bodog caters mainly to beginner players: they have low betting limits ($2,000 max), and they have dual lines.
All the NFL betting sites above can be great options. It all depends on what your betting style is and what you value most in an online sportsbook: bonuses, customer support, a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options, or payout speed?
So, you’ve found your ideal NFL betting site, and you’re ready to place your first bet.
But which type of bet is right for you?
Here are your options and what you should know about each one:
Let’s start with the easiest to understand type of bet: the moneyline.
When you choose this bet, you’re essentially choosing which team will win the game. In a moneyline bet, you have two symbols: (-), which represents the favorite, the team most likely to win, and (+), which represents the underdog.
So, for example, if a bet has +150 odds, then you have to bet $100 to make a $150 profit.
But if a bet has -150 odds, you have to bet $150 to win $100. The idea is simple: the less likely a team is to win, the more profit you make if it does.
Best for: beginner bettors, since it’s the most straightforward type of bet.
When you’re betting against the spread, it’s not enough to guess the winner of the game. You also have to guess by how much they will win. This is called a spread, and it’s used by sportsbooks to even the playing field between the two teams.
Keep in mind that the spread can change in the week leading up to the game, depending on factors such as weather, news, or player injuries.
Betting against the spread is the most popular type of NFL bet because it gives points to the underdog.
Best for: beginners and experts alike.
If you don’t want to concern yourself with which team will win, you can choose over/under bets. Also called totals, these bets imply that you’ll estimate how many points will be scored in total. It doesn’t matter who wins; as long as you got the totals right, you make a profit.
Best for: informed bettors, who analyze the history of the two teams and can estimate how many points are scored in a given game type.
Do you have more than one preferred type of bet for a single event? Then you should choose parlay betting.
Parlays are complex bets that include more than one event.
For example, if you’re convinced that your favorite will win the game, and by how much, you can combine the totals and the moneyline. However, keep in mind that you have to be right for all the events in order to win. You get one wrong, you lose everything.
Best for: experienced bettors, or avid NFL fans who have researched the game in advance.
Although they’re mostly popular during the Super Bowl, prop bets can be used all season long.
With prop bets, you’re betting on things that may happen during the game. For example: which team will score first, how many touchdowns will be scored, or who will be the highest-scoring quarterback.
Most of the time, prop bets require a thorough knowledge of the game and perhaps even some statistical analysis, but during the Super Bowl, some sportsbooks will offer prop bets that lean more towards luck and entertainment (i.e., the length of the National Anthem).
While these bets may be fun, they fit more into gambling territory and can waste you a lot of money.
Best for: knowledgeable NFL fans.
Are you playing the long game? Then futures might soon become your favorite bet type.
As the name suggests, futures betting means betting on sports events that will happen somewhere in the future. So, even if the Super Bowl has just ended, you can already place a futures bet on who will win next year and how many wins they’ll have throughout the season.
At the beginning of the season, you can also bet on who will be crown ed MVP, and on other such awards. Payoffs for futures bets can be big, but the outcomes can be unpredictable.
A lot can happen in a matter of months (i.e., player injuries, coach changes, etc.), so we recommend using this strategy sparingly or in combination with other bets.
Best for: bettors who are willing to sacrifice short term winnings for the long game, NFL fans who know their favorite team well.
With live betting, you can place just about any type of bet, but, instead of placing it before the game, you place it during the game. The biggest benefit here is that you’ll be able to react quickly to in-game events that you may not have foreseen in advance.
Live betting usually requires less research but it’s very intense. If you can’t hold your nerve, it’s not for you. Also, it’s the most addictive type of betting due to the adrenaline, so be careful how you use it.
Best for: NFL fans who are looking for an exciting betting experience or haven’t had time to place a bet before the game.
Depending on your playing style, risk preference, and knowledge of the teams, you can use one single bet type, or you can place different bets on the same event.