The National Football League, out of the four major professional leagues in North America, is the king when it comes to online sports betting. Each Sunday, bettors wake up frantically to try and get their bets in and even though fantasy sports are getting bigger every year, good old-fashioned NFL football betting still rules. Here are the top four ways you can bet on the NFL.
Moneyline betting is the easiest way to get into the wagering world as you're only betting on who will win the game. You can have a matchup between Atlanta and New Orleans, with the Falcons coming in at -150 to win the game, and the negative means that they're the favorite. So you would have to bet $150 to win $100 on Atlanta. That would make the Saints the underdog, so you could see something like +170; note, the positive sign. That means you would bet $100 to win $170 on the Saints. The majority of the time, the home team will be the favorite for the game unless there is a large disparity between the two.
When it comes to spread betting, you are wagering on whether a team can beat another by a certain amount of points. The signs remain the same: positive for the underdog, negative for the favorite. For the above example of Atlanta and New Orleans, the Falcons might be favored by -6, and what this means is that the Falcons have to win by more than six points to win the bet. On the other hand, the Saints would be +6 and to win the bet, they would have to lose by less than six points or win outright. You will see many lines with a half-point attached so the sportsbooks can avoid a push, which is what would happen if the deficit in this game landed right on six points. Then your bet would be returned to you as if nothing ever happening.
In the NFL, you can also bet on the Over Under, which you might also hear referred to as the over/under. This is when you bet on the total amount of points in a game, and where you think the actual total will fall, over or under. For example, the total for the Falcons/Saints game might be set for 54.5, and you would bet on the total coming in over or under that number. Pay attention to that number because it could be higher if two high-scoring teams are playing in a dome, or lower if the weather is bad and the teams are playing outside.
Teaser bets are a popular way of betting the NFL as they let you shift the line. You can play teasers that give you anywhere from six points per game all the way up to 20. At the same time, since you’re getting points to help you win, you have to parlay at least two games together. For example, let’s say you liked two NFL picks that were Dallas -9.5 and Cleveland +10. For a seven-point teaser, you would get Dallas at -2.5 instead of -9.5 and Cleveland at +17 instead of +10. This gives you a better chance of winning each game, but remember that this is a parlay now and you need to win both.
While teasers allow you to move the lines in big amounts, you’re also able to buy points in small amounts. In return, you get a worse line every time you move the game by a half-point. This is still sometimes a prudent strategy when you consider crossing a key number, such as 3 or 7.
Finally, there are the futures bets, where you are betting on something long-term such as the Super Bowl winner. These odds will change throughout the season as the teams play it out, so you can get some good prices on teams before it begins. You can also bet on division winners, conference winners, and a few player props like the NFL MVP award, and these are the wagers where your research can really come in handy. Getting a good price on a team/player that the sportsbooks underrated can be a real boost to your sports betting account.