How to Bet on Football Like a Pro

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How to Bet on Football

With 32 professional teams and over 900 collegiate teams, thousands of players and millions of fans, football is huge. Naturally, there’s a wide range of betting markets, lines and odds. Now, some of these are rather tricky if you don’t know how to bet on football or how to read odds.

Fortunately, we’re here to give you the most useful tips for everything online betting. So today, we will cover all the information you’ll need to understand how NFL betting works. You’ll get a practical insight into how to consider point spreads, totals, parlays, prop betting, and dozens more. Then, we dive into specific rules for every football bet. Also, we show how to set the odds and lines as well as how to read them. 

Plus, we’ll take you through some pro tips and strategies to get more bang for your buck on NFL football. Are you ready?

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Sports betting was illegal in the US since 1992, when the US passed PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). This law prohibited betting on sports in individual states except for Nevada.

In May 2018, things changed for the better. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of removing the ban on sports betting. Soon after, New Jersey won the appeal to reverse the PASPA ruling. This meant every state in the country won the mandate to regulate gambling as they wished. Connecticut, New York, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania followed New Jersey’s lead by preparing a bill to legalize sports betting.  Going forward, we expect many more states will allow betting on sports in the coming future.

How to Bet on Football Online

If you currently live in a state where online sports betting is legal, placing bets is quite easy. So, start learning how to bet on football quickly. Before anything else, you should start checking out our top-rated online sportsbook depending on your states. 

Now, some states require you to create an online account in person. This is to help identity verification and also to protect minors from gambling online. Luckily, states like NJ allow for online registration.

Either way, follow all signup instructions, and always look for a bonus code to boost your first deposit or bet. The majority of sportsbooks will ask you to provide banking details and create a user name and password. Typically, claiming a welcome bonus comes at registration. Some sites provide a deposit match after making your initial deposit. Excellent sites offer popular payment options like e-wallets, credit/ debit cards, and sometimes prepaid cards. Plus, they all accept bank wire transfers.

Now that you know how to create your online account, let’s find out how to bet on football. First, let’s look at some of the most common bets.

How Football Odds Work

After logging in to your account, the first thing you’ll see on most sportsbooks is a list of sports. Click on a sport to get a view of the current games. Plus, see choices for the type of markets complete with individual odds. As a newbie learning how to bet on football, know that odds indicate what you win if your bet is successful. 

On football matches, most sportsbooks will have Moneyline, Point Spread and Under/Over from left to right. Each category will be numbered for every team, and some of them will be posted as either positive (+) or negative (-). The + sign shows which team is the underdog, and the minus sign indicates which is the favorite team. Let’s go through all the betting options and all their odds to make things clearer for you.

Moneyline Betting

Moneyline wagers are the simplest form of wagers. Also, they’re often the best option for newbies who are still learning how to bet on football. This betting market only requires you to choose the team you feel will triumph, and that’s it. If they win, you will get your cut, and if the team loses, you will lose your money. If the game ends up in a tie, you will get your money back.

Note, sportsbooks often offer different odds based on the team1 expected to win and by how much. The odds are usually set in reference to which of the teams is considered an underdog and a favorite. The Underdog typically has higher odds (bigger potential payout) because its chances of winning are less. The favorite, on the other hand, will have shorter odds (lesser potential payout) because it is more likely to win.

Moneyline bets are shown using American odds, which can be quite confusing if you’re unsure how to bet on football. Here is an example of how typical Moneyline bets are advertised.

Philadelphia Eagles: – 150 vs LA Rams + 130. So, essentially, here’s what the setup means:

  1. The minus sign indicates the favorite team, and it also shows how much you must wager to get $100 in profit. 
  2. The plus sign shows the underdog team. At the same time, it shows how much profit you will get if you bet $100.

Point Spread Betting

Betting on point spreads involves betting on a team to either win by a certain margin (Favorite) or to lose by less than a certain margin (the Underdog). For instance, a -4.5 point spread means that the favorite must win by 5 or more for you to win the bet. In this bet, the underdog could lose by 4 or less, and they can still cover the spread for a winning ticket.

On the occasion that all the teams offer equal odds at the beginning of a game, it will be listed as PICK and EVENT. Point spreads are one of the ways bookies make both sides of a bet equally enticing for bettors.

Totals and Under/Over betting

It isn’t always necessary to pick a team that will win the game or covers a point spread. But instead, you can place a bet on the total points that are scored in a football game. In totals betting, you will have to predict whether the final score will be more or less than the line provided by the bookie. It’s another super easy type of wager that you can take advantage of if you are a beginner learning how to bet on football.

To help with the illustration of how the totals work, let’s consider a game with an Over/ Under Line of 47.5. In a game like this, it means that you have to choose whether you think that the accumulated total points scored for both teams at the end of the game will be more or less than 47.5. If you feel that it will be 48 or more, you should bet on over and vice versa. However, you must bear in mind that, whether it’s a blowout or a close game, it doesn’t make a difference which team is going to win.

Many bookies offer Point totals for the first half or first quarter of the game. For instance, the same game above could have a first-quarter Under/Over Line of 10.5 and 23.5.

Also, you can individually wager on each team’s full game points. You will come to see numbers like 27.5 for the favorite and 20.5 for the underdog. These lines are simply a hint of what bookies think the final result will be in most cases. And at the same time, these full game points will be aligned with the point spread of the game combined with the full match’s Over/Under Line.

Prop Betting

A prop bet is a short form of the term Propositions bet. These types of wagers are often referred to as side bets because they have nothing to do with the eventual result of the game. As such, different bookies will offer unique side bets depending on the factors; they consider critical.

In the case of learning how to bet on football, the best event to experience the full extent of the prop bets is the Super Bowl. You will have the chance of betting on hundreds of outcomes which in most cases, not related to the sports going on. Super Bowl props allow you to wager on things like how long the national anthem is going to be performed or the color of the team’s Gatorade. How interesting is that?

During the regular football season, on the other hand, you will come across prop bets which focus on star players’ performance. Sometimes, bookies will also set up wagers that have to do with how and when the scoring will take place in a particular game.

However, before you can start betting on props, it is always a great idea not to be in a rush. Go through all the options presented and compare the odds that have been presented. Longer shot bets can sometimes have things that seem enticing, but it is often smarter to avoid them.

Parlay Betting

A parlay bet is just a bet that combines two or more outcomes into one ticket. With parlay betting in football, it is important that you get all the parts of the bets correct to win. The best thing about parlay bets is that the payouts are typically larger than normal. The more bets in a parlay, the greater the payout. On the other hand, since you must get all the bets correctly, it becomes a long shot to earn the massive payouts on multiple selections.

Futures Betting

This is a version of prop betting where the wager you place predicts an outcome that is supposed to occur a much later date. These wagers can either be on players or the team’s performance.

Although future bets require patience, they are likely to offer huge payouts in the end if your outcome is correct. On the flip side, the only disadvantage of this type of wager is that the chances of making the correct predictions are quite low.

Football Live Betting

Did you know that you don’t have to place all your wagers before the game begins? Using NFL live betting tabs in online sportsbooks, you can make in-play bets while the games are underway. This type of betting is an excellent great way of getting to the game and making more dynamic bets as the events unfold. 

You should also note that it is vital that you pay close attention to the game if you want to make successful bets. Because of the pace of the match and advantage of the teams keep shifting, the betting lines always change in real-time. Thus, you must adjust your wagers according to what is taking place on the field, irrespective of what you initially thought would happen.

Plenty of sites provide alternating forms of live betting and as a result, which means that you may find that some sites are quicker than others. Consequently, you should always check out different sites during gameplay and compare how much is being offered and how quickly their lines get updated.

How to Bet on Football: Betting Strategies

Knowing how to bet on football not only involves knowing the types of wagers you can place, but it also entails setting up suitable strategies. Proper execution of your betting strategy often leads to collecting huge profits for the lucky players. Let’s take a look at how you can improve your chances. 

Wager only when there is value

It may seem rather simplistic, but successful football betting boils down to only one thing; analyzing genuine betting value. If you are betting on football without considering a betting value, you will most likely lose your bets.

Begin with betting only on teams that you know

You should start by betting on the teams you know best. This will give you a deep understanding of the common opponents across the entire NFL. As a result, it will be easy for you to make the right predictions.

Follow American tipsters with a good track record

The other way to make a successful bet is by following football tipsters. Most of them provide valuable information that can help you find several amazing bets very easily. This is because they will have already done the analysis for you

Never spend money that you can’t afford to lose when betting

The smartest way to bet on football or any other game for that matter is setting a budget and sticking to it. That way, if things don’t go your way, it will be a loss you can handle. 

Final Words

Being a successful football bettor is not impossible. As long as you put in the work that is required, you will consistently make the right bets. For beginners, start by going through all the main bet types we have covered and learn what each of them entails. And if sports betting is legal in your state, take a look at the recommendations we’ve covered for you. 

In case betting on football isn’t legal yet in your state, well, it’s never too early to start learning how to bet on football. Many more states are legalizing sports betting, and it is only a matter of time until your state is authorized.

Now that you have an understanding of how to read football odds, why not bet with America’s #1 online sportsbook, FanDuel?

For the seasoned experts reading this, what do you think about today’s post? Is there a tip you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you right here in our comments section!

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