American Football Betting Explained

Thrilling US sports fans since the 1860s, American football has gone on to become one of the most popular sports in America, as well as across the rest of the world. Given its global reach, it is hardly surprising to find out that American football betting is a phenomenon, with an incredible number of betting markets now available on every NFL and NCAA game.

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What Makes a Good American Football Sportsbook

With so many popular sportsbooks offering American football odds, it can often be quite hard to determine which is the best website to place your bets with. When finding the best sportsbook to use, we would advise looking for those who offer the best odds, promotions and betting markets.

American Football Odds

The odds outline the likelihood of an outcome in an American football game and the amount you would receive in return for placing a winning bet. The shorter the odds, the more likely the sportsbook believes it will happen.

States Where American Football Betting is Legal

Online sports betting is now legal in 25 US states, with several more states expected to legalize it in the near future. Kentucky is due to legalize sports betting in September 2023, with their officials deliberately pushing through the legislation in time for the new NFL season.

NFL Betting

Founded in 1920, the National Football League is the primary American football betting league, which has become a global phenomenon that is now played all over the world. As you would expect with such a hugely popular sport, there are literally hundreds of betting markets available for every NFL game - from pre-season to the Super Bowl, and everything in-between!

  • Handicap Bets - betting on the points differential between the two teams
  • Money Line Bets - betting on which team will win the game
  • Points Bets - betting on the total number of points scored in the game
  • Prop Bets - betting on the total amount of rushing yards, passing yards or touchdowns - these can be done per team or on specific players
  • Half Time/Full Time - betting on who will be winning at half time, as well as at the end of game
  • First Scoring Play - betting on the first scoring play of the game, whether that be a touchdown, a field goal, or even a safety

NCAA Betting

When it comes to football betting, there’s more to it than just the NFL, with college football drawing huge crowds, as well as plenty of wagers! Fans of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games will find a huge selection of betting markets, similar to what you would find for an NFL match-up.

NFL Handicap Betting

Perhaps the most popular football betting market is handicap betting, which is where you can bet on the point spreads in a specific NFL game. These bets are particularly popular in match-ups where there is an overwhelming favorite - instead of placing a classic bet on a team to win, you are really betting on what the points differential will be between the two teams.

Each NFL game will offer a range of handicap betting markets - making each team either a favorite or underdog, by a set number of points. If the current Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs were priced at -3.5 for a match and you back them in the handicap market, you are betting on them to win the game by four points or more.

Super Bowl LVIII in 2024 Betting

Scheduled to be played in Las Vegas on 11th February 2024, the next Super Bowl will be the 58th in the history of the sport. Arguably the biggest event in the sporting calendar, you will find a wealth of betting markets available - including a huge selection of eye-catching novelty bets. These fun bets range from how long the national anthem will last to the color of the Gatorade that might be poured on the winning coach. While these sorts of bets tend to be reserved for the big game, they make for engaging viewing, especially for viewers who wouldn’t normally place a wager!

Of course, all of the more traditional betting markets are also available to bet on during the NFL showpiece. Over/under prop bets on yard totals are very popular, as is the MVP betting market - which sees bettors trying to predict who will be named the game’s most valuable player. Spoiler alert - when it comes to the Super Bowl, it tends to be the quarterback! Of the last 20 Super Bowl MVPs, 13 of them have been a quarterback.

NFL Betting Tips

When it comes to betting on NFL games, you will find a huge amount of NFL betting tips online - probably with contrasting opinions and predictions!

The main advice we would give to anyone starting out on their football betting journey would be to stick to what they know and not be over ambitious.

When it comes to an NFL match-up, there are a myriad of factors that might affect the result - you need to consider everything from a team’s form and any impactful injuries to the playing conditions and even if they have had to travel halfway across the country to play the game!

American Football Betting FAQs

Can you bet after an American football match has started?

Yes - this is called ‘In-Play Betting’

What does ‘Money line’ mean in American football betting?

If you place a money line bet, you are essentially betting on a team to win an American football match-up.

Is American football easy to bet on?

American football is simple enough to bet on, with hundreds of markets available for every game. Money line betting is probably the most simple, while handicap betting is a little more complex.

Is American football betting legal in the US?

Sports betting is now legal in 35 different US states.

How do you bet on American football?

NFL and college leagues utilize money line, total points, and handicap betting markets.

Where is the best place to bet on American football?

There are a large number of top US sportsbooks where you can bet on American football. These include popular names like FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook.