Football is the most popular sport in the USA. NFL, or the National Football League, is the highest level of professionalism of American Football. It was established in 1920 as APFA (American Professional Football Association), but three years later, it was named NFL. It merged with AFL and NFC later on and nowadays it is among the biggest sports leagues in the USA.
Nowadays, American Football enjoys greater popularity outside North America,too. NFL has more seasons planned in other countries like the UK. Over the past years NFL betting has become even more prominent and more people outside the USA, place bets regularly and follow closely the league all year round. Therefore, this is the right time to learn and understand how to place bets on the NFL.
Find the best bookmakers here
Betting on the NFL
Placing bets is not about luck only. Of course, it would be better, if luck is on your side, but it is not the main factor required to place a successful bet. For that reason, you should know how to bet on the NFL in order to make a profit, not to lose money. After reading this article, you will know how to wager on every betting type like spreads, totals, moneylines, parlays, futures and halftimes.
American football is a high-scoring sport and because of this, wagering depends on the point spread. The spread, also known as the line, is a betting type that makes the chances of winning equal. A + or A – is used to show if a team is a favourite or an underdog. For example, the Tennessee Titans have a spread at kickoff +9 (-110) with a winning score of 20 points and Indianapolis Cotls have -9 (-110) with a winning score of 23.
The number „-110“ is known as the vig or the juice, meaning that this is a commission that every punter pays when their bet wins. For instance, if you wager $110 and you win, you will collect profits of only $100. This example shows that Indianapolis won the match, but Tennessee won the spread by losing with less than 9 points.
Moneyline, also known as ML, can be profitable, if you place a bet on the underdog. Placing a moneyline wager means that you bet on the underdog or the favourite to win. Let’s say that the New York Giants have odds of -600 and the Dallas Cowboys have odds of +450. If you back up the New York Giants to win, you need to place a bet of $600 in order to gain a profit of $100. But a bet of $100 on the Dallas Cowboys will earn you winnings of $450. So, there is a higher risk if you decide to bet on the NY Giants and a smaller profit.
¼ and 1st Half Lines
Most bets are often placed on the very final turnout of a contest. But for events from the NBA or the NFL, a 1/4 and 1st half lines are on offer. This quarter shows you may be winning at the 1st quarter. The same goes for the 1st ½ line, with the slight difference that the wager will end when the first and the second quarters are finished.
½ Time Lines
You can place In-Play bets during the ½ time and determine who will be winning the 2nd half. What happened during the 1st half will help you determine how the second one will go. For example, Arizona Cardinals scored 13 points, the half time spread is at +3 (-110) odds and the final score is 27 points, while St. Louis Rams achieved 17 points during the 1st half, the halftime spread is at -3 (-110) and the final score is 24 points.
For the halftime bets’ purpose the game restarts at 0-0. According to the odds of the halftime spread, St. Louis Rams are expected to outscore the Arizona Cardnals with 3 points during the second half. So, if you place a $110 bet on Arizona Cardinals, you will gain a profit of $100, because they beat the spread and won the game.
Over/Under bets, also known as totals, are pretty simple to grasp. Punters place bets on whether the total score in a match will fall under or over the one determined by the sportsbook in advance. For example, Green Bay Packers’ totals odds are 44.50 (-105) and the team collected 31 points, while the Pittsburgh Steelers are at 44.5u (-115) odds and scored 25 points. So, we have a total of 56 points and since the line is offered at odds of 44.50, a $105 bet would gain you a $100 profit.
Parlays are bets which are combined with the spread, totals and moneylines in order to increase the profit. You can win only if every play hits. Teasers are like parlays, with the slight difference that you should put scores in your own favour in order for the bet to be successful. For instance, if a line is -13 and you happen to have a teaser of 6 points, your current line will be -7. Teasers may be less risky than parlays, but you still must hit all plays in order to generate a profit.
Futures are bets that are placed on upcoming events. The most popular futures in the NFL are pretty obvious – who will be number one in the Superbowl. The odds are released only a week after the end of the previous championship. Of course, future bets are not limited to who will be the winner of a big game. You are able to place future bets on who will win the MVP league or who will win whatever division. Futures’ odds may be found at many trusted and reliable online bookmakers, but some offer a limited selection of bets.
Once you have understood how to place bets on NFL, you may need to apply strategies. It is really hard to say which method is the best, but you definitely will figure out which one suits you most. For example, if you want to place a bet on handicaps, you should consider more than one factor, not just the probability of team A winning over team B. You need to guess the exact number of points by which the first team will beat the second one.
Expert NFL punters spend a lot of time building systems to evaluate teams’ strength and calculate the advantage of a team. In simple words, an NFL game is a battle between defensive and offensive units. So one way to evaluate the strength of a team is to look at the offensive yards which are gained per play and the defensive ones allowed again per play. Therefore, teams, which have gained more yards than they happen to allow, are more likely to win. But you need to remember that this is not always accurate, it measures the advantage of a team.
Another advantage a team may have is the home field. So you should subtract the total points that are scored by a visiting team from those of the home one and then divide the result by the number of played games. This calculation will show you the Home Field Advantage.
Another thing to take into account are the key NFL numbers. If you understand them, you can easily avoid losing bets and even understand whether an online bookmaker is being manipulative. For example, 3 is the most commonly used margin of victory as a great number of the matches are decided by a late goal. 7 is the second most commonly used margin for winning and it shows the number of points a team is awarded with for a touchdown.
However, the most important thing is to do your homework and then place a bet. You cannot become a professional punter just like that. Be patient, acquire all the knowledge you can and you will see how good it feels to win.