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Tom Brady celebrates another Super Bowl win. (Getty Images)

How To Bet On NFL

If you are a big fan of American football, looking to start betting online, then our guide will provide you all the information that you need. In fact, with the recent legalization of sports betting in a number of states in the US, it’s understandable why more and more people are curious to start betting online.

To bring yourself up to speed with the history of the NFL and how to bet, continue reading. We’ve also included the best bookmakers in the US, which support NFL betting.

The History of NFL

The history of NFL betting is as old as the history of sports betting in general. It started off with the advent of the National Football League in the United States. Since then, avid fans and punters from across the world can now not only watch their favourite sport, but also place bets on it.

In the United States, American football remains to be the most popular sport. And as we’ve mentioned, with the legalization of online betting coupled with live streaming technology, it has become more accessible to people of all preferences.

Over the years, the international series of the NFL has constantly been building up. This has seen its popularity, especially in the UK, go through the roof. In fact, NFL has been played in London since 2007 and starting from the 2019/2020 season; the United Kingdom will be hosting a number of NFL games at the newly constructed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It’s even expected that there will be an NFL team from London that will represent the United Kingdom in the NFL in the near future!

NFL betting: Available markets

In this section, we are going to look at the best markets that one can bet on.

Popular NFL Bets

There are three popular types of bets that you can wager in the NFL:

  • Money line bets
  • Handicap bets
  • Totals bets

If you’ve bet on basketball before, you’ll realize some similarities already!

Money Line Bets

Money line bets are the most straightforward and easy bets in NFL betting. Basically, what one is betting on is the winner at the end of the match. There’s no provision for a draw. However, unlike in football, money line bets in NFL include the winner in extra time.

Handicap Bets

Opposing teams in the NFL have different strengths. Therefore, in order to balance out the perceived bias in abilities, the bookmakers offer a point’s handicap. This is in a bid to level the playing field. Other bookmakers will refer to this as ‘the spread.’

Handicap betting is quite common with the more experienced bettors. They prefer going for this because it gives each team equal winning chances and adds value to their bet. Usually, points are normally given or taken from one of the two opposing teams. And in most instances, the points are usually taken from the favourite and given to the underdogs.

But what does this mean in real life? Let’s take a quick look at the example below.

Both teams have been given associated odds on either minus or plus score. For instance, New York Giants have -6 while Indianapolis Colts have +6.

A bet on New York Giants wins if they win by at least six points. Likewise, a bet on the Colts will pay if they win the game or lose it by less than six points.

If the result were 30-18 to the Giants, anyone who would have backed the Giants to win -6 would have a winning bet. The point difference at the end of the match is 12, which equals six more than the handicap offered.

NFL Totals

This market focuses on how many points (combined) will be scored by both team at the end of the match. Bookmakers such as Bovada.lv have the option where you can bet on the total number of points (over 20 or under 20) in the match. This the reason why other bookmakers such as BetOnline refer to them as Under/Over markets.

In both handicap and totals betting, whenever a team surpasses the required points for a successful bet, it’s referred to as ‘covering the bet.’ A good example of an NFL Total might look like this:

  • Indianapolis Colts (Under 40)
  • New York Giants (Over 40)

To cash in on your NFL Total bet on the under market, you would need to total sum of points scored by the Colts and Giants to be less than 40. Conversely, a successful bet on the over market would need the total sum of points scored by the Colts and Giants be at least 41. If you have a combined score that’s exactly 40, you receive a full refund of your stake.

Other NFL betting markets

Besides the listed betting markets, NFL punters can also choose from adjusted handicap markets (also known as alternative handicap), time-specific markets within the game, as well as individual team totals. All these alternative betting markets are simple variations of basic bet types listed above and work in the same fashion.

There’s also the outright NFL betting, which is an option for punters. Outright bets usually run over a long period of time, usually from the start to the end of the season. Some of the outright markets that you can choose include Division winners, Super Bowl MVP, winner of the Super Bowl and win totals for individual teams.

Since the NFL Super Bowl is such an iconic event, especially when it comes to NFL betting, bookmakers usually include special markets for the event. Some include winner of the Super Bowl coin toss, scorer of the first touchdown just to mention a few.

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