How to Bet on NFL

Alisa Barladyan
30 Mar 2021

NFL games are so far the most watched and loved games among the citizens of the United States. Basically, for North Americans it’s what soccer is for the rest of the world. So, today we are going to shed some light on what exactly is NFL and how does it really work?

How does the NFL work?

The National Football League or NFL is one of the four major sports and therefore one of the most wagered on sports in the word. The NFL consists of two conferences: the NFC (National Football Conference) and the AFC (American Football Conference). It is represented by 32 teams (16 teams from each conference). After the 17-week regular season that lasts from September to December and within which 16 games are played by each team follows the playoff. Only 12 teams qualify for the playoff and after a single-elimination tournament two teams from each conference meet each other in the final game called the Super Bowl, which is held in February. The Super Bowl is when bettors wager more money than during the whole NFL season.

NFL Betting Strategy

Just like when betting on any other sport players should approach betting on the NFL with a clear understanding of the game itself and the betting options they are being offered by bookies. Chances are that with a beforehand preparation wagering on NFL games will leave your bankroll satisfied. While doing your research consider paying attention to whether the team is playing at home or away and how well it performs in both of these cases. Don’t be judging a team by its strong side. A team that wins at home doesn’t imply it winning away and vice versa, a team that is not so good at home can surprise you while on an away match. Betting can be tricky that’s why bettors with years of experience know not only how to read the odds and where to find the best ones, but they also know what these odds mean and what stands behind them: A last moment injury? An unexpected replacement? You can’t possibly surprise a true bettor with this news. Doing your research will help you face all these unfortunate news with readiness or maybe even predict them.

Types of NFL bets

Betting on NFL will introduce you to a great range of betting options that vary in complexity. You’ll encounter single-game bets that in many ways are easier to make and multiple-game bets designed to maximize your winnings and therefore more difficult and fit for more experienced bettors. So, let’s see what each of them implies.


The first single-game bet is called moneyline. So what the bookie does in this case it sets the line representing the favorite and the underdog. Let’s say team A has a favored line of -600 and team B has the underdog line of +400. This means that if you decide to back team A you need to wager $600 to win $100. And if you back team B with a $100 bet you might win $400. And that’s pretty much how the moneyline bet works.

Point Spread

The second single-game bet is called point spread bet or against the spread bet (ATS). In this case the bookie sets the spread with a favorite (-) and an underdog (+) and a number known as the vig or juice (usually -110), which basically means that a winning bet of $110 will payout $100. To win you need to cover the spread. For example: Team A scored 23 and team B scored 20 at a spread of (-9) and (+9) respectively. Although, team A won (23>20), team B managed to cover the spread by losing by less than 9 points (it lost by only 3 points). When betting on a point spread you might want to shop for the best line because there can be many offered by a bookie, but not all of them are worth it.


The third single-game bet is called totals or under/over bet. In this particular case you don’t worry so much whether team A or team B will win or cover the spread. What you do worry about is the final score. For example: The bookie sets the odds at 50. Your job is to predict whether the score will be over or under 50. So let’s say team A and team B scored together 56 points. This means that an over bet won (50<56) and if the juice was set at a regular number of (-110) you would have just won $100.


The first multiple-game bet is called parlay. This type of bet may increase your winnings if all the legs of a parlay win. And when we say all we mean all and not five out of six. So what’s so cool about it is that parlays include any combination of moneyline, point spread or totals from one or more games. For example: You want to make a bet on team A covering the spread of (-9) and at the same time make an over bet of 50 points. With parlay bet this combination and many others are possible at one single bet.


The second multiple-game bet is called teaser. It’s a rather complicated bet that requires some sort of analytical skills. Just like parlays it includes several combinations the only difference is that you can tease the spread or in other words you can adjust the point spread or the totals in your favor in exchange for a lower payout. Standard teasers are of 6, 6.5, 7 points. For example: you decided to tease the spread of team B (+7) by +6 points (7+6= 13 points) and at the same time tease the spread of a second game’s team A (-9) by +6 points (9-6= 3 points) Now with the new adjusted spreads of +13 and -3 you make your teaser single bet and hope for both of the combinations to win.

Other bets (futures, prop bets)

Well, the hard part is all behind. Let’s get to the fun part more specifically to other types of NFL bets like futures and proposition bets.


Futures bets mean that you are making a bet on an event that will take place in the future. Since NFL culminates in the Super Bowl it’s only logical that most of the futures are related to this final event and more exactly to the bet on who will win the Super Bowl. Curious fact that the next year’s champion can be backed within a week after this year’s championship. So, yes futures are all about future events.

Proposition bets

Prop bets are where bookies get all creative and sophisticated. The main idea here is not just to offer a random bet it’s to come up with something catchy for the bettors like bets on will the team that scores first win the game? or How many total touchdowns will be scored? And that’s just to name a few. Props are usually set at a precise total by the bookie and players have to pick whether the bet will be an over or under bet.

Where to bet on NFL games?

Picking a sportsbook with years of experience in NFL betting must be your priority when choosing a bookie. With a bookie like that you don’t need to worry that your NFL event is not covered. You will have access to all major games at competitive odds. Check the bookie’s betting market. All respected bookies should offer moneyline, point spread, totals, futures, props and so on. Give priority to good live-streaming and in-play betting on all NFL games for an overall better wagering experience.


When betting on the NFL players can enjoy various betting options and if they’re lucky at some pretty good odds too. By the time Super Bowl begins newbies have the chance to practice during the regular season and the playoff or if ready make futures bets right from the start. Betting on NFL requires not only good knowledge of this sport but at some point cold blooded decision making. It is important to remember that under no circumstances players should get vindictive and try to win back losses at overly-promising wagers. It’s not so much the place for emotions as it is for precise mathematical and analytical skills. Don’t underestimate the power of a good strategy. Amid the betting chaos it’s the only solid support you can count on in that moment.

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