Are you ready to elevate your NFL football game day experience? Betting on NFL games can add an extra layer of excitement to the action on the field. Whether you're new to NFL betting or looking to refine your betting strategy, this guide will break down the fundamentals of NFL betting, making it easy for novices to dive right in.
How to Bet on NFL Games in 2023
The world of NFL betting is bigger than ever in 2023, offering a plethora of betting options for both new and seasoned bettors. From preseason clashes to crucial playoff showdowns, the NFL has it all. Let's explore the simplest types of bets you can place.
Single-Game NFL Bets - Your Starting Point
When you visit a top NFL sportsbook app, you'll encounter three primary types of bets for each game: point spread bets, moneyline bets, and totals bets. These bets are typically presented together, forming a betting "line."
Betting the Point Spread - Leveling the Playing Field
Betting "against the spread" is a popular way to engage with NFL games. This approach is also known as betting the spread, point spread betting, or ATS (against the spread). Since NFL games often feature uneven matchups, the spread helps balance the odds.
To win a point spread bet or "cover the spread," the favored team not only needs to win but must do so by a specific margin (the spread). This system encourages equal betting on both teams, ensuring a competitive market. Half-point spreads, often called "hooks," are used to prevent ties.
Betting the Point Spread - Example:
Let's say you're watching an NFL game, and the point spread for your favorite team, the Patriots, is -3.5. This means they are the favorites, and they need to win by at least 4 points for your bet to be a winner. If the final score is Patriots 28, Jets 24, your bet would be successful because the Patriots won by more than 3.5 points.
Betting the Moneyline - Picking the Winner
The NFL moneyline bet is the simplest to grasp. When you place a moneyline bet, you're choosing the team you believe will win the game, regardless of the score.
Betting the Moneyline - Example:
If you prefer a straightforward approach, you might bet on the moneyline. Let's say the Packers are playing the Bears, and the Packers have moneyline odds of -150, while the Bears have odds of +130. Betting $100 on the Packers would yield a $150 profit if they win, whereas betting $100 on the Bears would yield a $130 profit if they pull off the upset.
Betting Totals (Over/Under) - A Different Focus
Total bets, also known as "over-under" bets, shift your attention away from the game's outcome. Instead, you're wagering on the total number of points scored in the game.
Betting Totals (Over/Under) - Example:
Imagine you want to bet on three NFL games: Cowboys to win, Packers to cover the spread (-6.5), and the total points in the Chiefs game to be under 50. You can create a parlay by combining these bets into one. If all three bets are correct, your potential payout would be significantly higher than betting on each game individually.
Multiple-Game NFL Bets - Expanding Your Horizons
With 13-16 matchups available each week, you might want to spread your bets across multiple games. Parlays and teasers make this possible and can be lucrative when used wisely.
Parlays - Combining Bets for Bigger Rewards
A parlay involves multiple events within a single bet. For instance, you can bet on the Cowboys to cover the spread and the game's total points exceeding a specific threshold. Parlays can include moneyline, point spread, or totals bets from various games. However, most sportsbooks have limits on the number of events you can include in a parlay.
NFL same-game parlays are gaining popularity, allowing you to correlate wagers and improve your odds. The catch? You must get all events correct for your parlay to win.
In an NFL game with a total of 45 points, you can bet on the "over" if you expect the total combined points scored by both teams to exceed 45, or you can bet on the "under" if you think the total will be less than 45. If the final score is 28-20, the total points scored (28 + 20 = 48) would be over 45, making the "over" bet a winner.
Teasers - Adjusting the Odds in Your Favor
Teasers are a type of parlay, where all bets are either against the spread or the total. Bettors can adjust spreads by +6.0, +6.5, or +7.0 points to increase their chances of winning. Teasers also work for total bets, with various alternate spreads available for each game.
Let's say you like three teams: the Rams, Saints, and Broncos. You can create a teaser by adjusting the point spread in your favor by 6 points for each team. So, if the Rams were initially -3, they would now be +3 in your teaser. Teasers make it easier for teams to cover the spread, but the potential payout is reduced.
Other NFL Bets - Exploring the Options
NFL wagering extends beyond moneyline, point spread, and total bets. You can also bet on individual player performance, team and individual awards, or even single plays.
NFL Prop Bets - Versatile Wagers
Prop bets, short for propositions, shine during the Super Bowl but are available throughout the NFL season. These bets cover a range of possibilities, from which team scores first to a quarterback's passing yards. When it comes to individual statistics, sportsbooks set a projected total, and you choose whether to bet over or under.
During an NFL game, you can place prop bets like "Will the first score be a touchdown?" If you bet "Yes" and the first score of the game is indeed a touchdown, your bet wins. Prop bets add excitement to specific aspects of the game.
Futures - Betting on the Future
Within 24 hours of the Super Bowl's final whistle, you can start betting on next year's champion. Futures bets allow you to pick which NFL team will hoist the Lombardi Trophy. You can also wager on major player awards like MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, or Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Team win totals, often called "season props," are another popular futures bet. Sportsbooks set win targets for each team, and you bet whether they'll exceed or fall short of that mark.
In-Game Live Betting - Betting on the Fly
Many sportsbooks offer live betting during games, allowing you to place bets on the moneyline, spread, and total as the action unfolds. You can even bet on the outcome of the next play, with options ranging from predicting run or pass plays to specific outcomes like a first down or a touchdown. Keep in mind that you need to act quickly during live betting, as odds can change rapidly.
Conclusion: Master the Game - Start Betting on NFL Like a Pro
In conclusion, you've taken the first step towards becoming a savvy NFL bettor. By delving into the simplest types of football bets, you've unlocked the door to a world of excitement and potential profit. Whether you choose to bet against the spread, pick winners with moneyline bets, or predict total points, your understanding of these fundamentals is your key to success.
But don't stop here. The world of NFL betting offers endless possibilities. You can explore the thrill of parlaying your picks, dive into the exciting realm of prop bets, or even predict future champions with NFL futures betting. And for those who crave real-time action, live betting tips are your ticket to making split-second decisions.
Remember, every seasoned bettor started as a beginner, just like you. With practice, research, and a bit of luck, your NFL betting journey can lead to thrilling victories and unforgettable moments. So, gear up, stay informed, and start betting on NFL games like a true pro. The gridiron awaits your winning predictions.