The NFL is one of the richest sports on the planet, with supporters spanning the globe. But thanks to its expansion to London games and the recent changes in the US betting market, online NFL betting has seen exponential growth. It is now one of the fastest growing betting markets with Land based and online bookmakers and sportsbooks.
Until this recent growth in the NFL betting market, online American Football odds were generally limited to the moneyline. The only time there was extra exposure for this popular sport, especially in the UK, was for Super Bowl betting.
But for some people, following and betting on American Football are two completely different things. For instance online betting in the UK is common place so peoples understanding tends to be quite good, but the NFL is still an emerging market there; so making NFL bets can be daunting. Whereas the opposite can be about the United States, as game knowledge is extensive, but its American Football betting that is the emerging market.
Fortunately for you we have compiled this comprehensive guide to online American Football betting and NFL odds. So regardless of which side of the pond you reside, any gaps in knowledge of either NFL betting odds or online betting should be filled; as well as helping you find the best NFL betting sites.
Best Online NFL Betting Sites
Before you can even begin to start placing NFL bets, you need to have an account at an online sportsbook. You also need to make sure they are trustworthy, especially for US betting sites as there are many rogue operators in this emerging market.
The online bookmakers we’ve listed below have been tried and tested by us, as well as receiving excellent reviews from customers. They are also well established and for that reason they have an extra element of trust for processing payments and honouring bets.
These online American Football bookmakers offer some great NFL odds, bonuses and even some quirky proposition bets. So you can be assured of excellent options and value for money if you opt for one of these.
In case you are wondering how we came to choose these betting sites, we cover this a bit later on, after we’ve covered everything we think you’ll need to know about NFL betting.
American Football Betting Guide
If you are new to online or NFL betting, then the biggest hurdle that needs to be overcome is understanding the markets and betting lines. Even if you are a little more than experienced when it comes to gambling online, NFL bets have a slightly different look than you may be used to
NFL betting lines differ slightly from the likes of Soccer betting, with NFL betting spreads playing an important role.
What are NFL Betting Lines?
Just like with an NFL playbook, there are many aspects to betting lines. These include money lines, sides, and propositions; as well as individual player bets and super bowl bets. Each also has their own nuances which we explain below.
What Do NFL Betting Odds Look Like?
As we have just mentioned, NFL betting odds may not quite look the same as what you would normally expect. For example the side is a number associated to each game and takes in to account the spread.
The side odds can fluctuate but more often than not they appear as -110, which means if you were to bet £100 you would win £110. You would see the NFL betting line as follows;
Dolphins -7 -110
Jets +7 -100
The first thing you notice are the two sets of numbers next to each NFL franchise, the spread and of course the side. So in the example below, if the Dolphins win by 7 points or more then you win the bet as they are 7 point favourites. But should the Jets win by 7 points then the bet is a push and you get your money back.
As for the moneyline, it completely removes the point spread, so it doesn’t matter how many points the game is won by; as you are taking a team to win outright
In this example, a bettor must lay £200 to win £100 on the Chiefs. A £100 bet on the Browns would win £180, but Chicago has to win a difficult game straight up.
NFL Point Spread Betting
Spread betting is the element of NFL betting that gamblers love and is the reason it’s the most popular betting lines. We’ve touched on it earlier but what exactly is an NFL point spread?
One would assume that NFL betting spreads are set by an online sportsbook, as a predictor for the margin of victory. But it is simply used in the same vein as fractional bets are used in soccer, to determine an underdog and a favourite; whilst at the same time providing a buffer for the punter; in the UK the spread can also be seen as an NFL handicap.
NFL Spread Odds
To help you better understand NFL spread betting, here’s an example. If you see a negative value next the team you want to select for your NFL bet, such as -8.5, then this team has been placed as favourite. The value of the negative number is the spread placed on that team and how many points need to be deducted from their game total. If your team still has more points on the board then you win the bet, if they have less points then you lose.
The opposition will then be classed as the underdog and they will always have a positive value attributed to them. If their spread points are +6.5, then they essentially start the game with a 6.5 point advantage. So if they lose the game within 6.5 points then you win your NFL bet.
So to summarise for American Football betting newbies, the NFL spread means the favourite must win by at least 9 points, whereas the underdog is able to lose by no more than 6 points in order for the bet to payout.
Just like horse racing and other sports, the spread and other elements of NFL betting lines can fluctuate as the game draws closer. So it’s not unusual to see American football betting spread move from -7 out to -9. This can happen for several reasons such as the confidence in gamblers laying bets or even a significant change in a team’s line up.
There is however an upside to NFL Teams getting backed in. As one team loses value on the spread, the opposition can become a more attractive option; especially if you feel an upset is on the cards.
NFL Moneyline Betting
In some cases you may see another number alongside the spread, this is known as an NFL moneyline bet. The Moneyline is common place in the US betting markets and is now gaining popularity in the UK and Europe. Mainly due to the growth of the game as well as NFL betting
A moneyline are simply another version of the outright bet, which means you betting on a winning outcome of the game; so all you have to do is back a team to win. Due to its popularity they will be the main NFL odds you see when you visit the American football tab at your online sportsbook.
You will notice that at most bookmakers the spread bet is removed, as the margin of victory is insignificant.
What Do Moneyline NFL Odds Look Like?
It’s also worth noting that the country you are in when placing your bet, the NFL odds will be different.
People who want to gamble online in America and their licenced states will see the Moneyline odds displayed as large numbers in either positive or negative; this represents what they know to be the Vig or juice.
In an AFC North divisional game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens would be placed as favourites with a moneyline of -200; while the Bengals would then be the underdog at +200
So if you bet $200 on the ravens you would win $100 due to their negative value. If you bet $100 on the Bengals you would win $200 because of their positive value
Online NFL betting fans in the UK will see things a little differently. Legalised gambling has been in place for decades and the UK tend to use the fractional system. So the Ravens would be 2/9 favourites and the Bengals 3/1 underdogs.
Based on these NFL Odds, a £100 stake would return £122 on the ravens or £400 on the Bengals; including your original stake.
For some games the moneyline can be a lot tighter, if the teams are evenly matched. In this scenario we wouldn’t completely dismiss placing that bet as this is when cash out betting can be your friend. Especially if victory is hanging in the balance.
American Football Totals
Another popular bet in NFL gambling is the totals market, otherwise known as the over/under; which relates to the total number of points scored in a game.
The options for NFL totals go up in 2 point increments and usually start at 22.5; half points are implemented in order to avoid an exact match result and tied bet. Each over/under will have different odds applied.
So all you have to do is decide if a game is likely to have more or less points than your chosen point’s total. A game with two solid defensive lines is likely to be low scoring, whereas two mismatched teams are surely to result in a high scoring games.
NFL Futures Betting
A futures bet is pretty much any bet that isn’t taking place that week or a standard league game. The most popular futures bet tends to be early Super Bowl predictions, but can also include the following;
- Division Winners
- Conference Winner
- Offensive Rookie of the Year
- Defensive Rookie of the Year
- Regular Season MVP
An NFL futures Bet can be placed at any time during the season or the playoffs. But it’s worth noting that as the end of the American Football season and the Super Bowl gets closer, your odd will reduce.
They are also great bets to keep your interest running throughout an entire season, especially if the team you support are falling short.
NFL Super Bowl Betting Odds
It goes without saying that the biggest game in the NFL is the Super Bowl, Super Bowl betting actually makes up a large percentage of NFL bets for the entire season.
As there are only two teams taking part, you would think outright and Super Bowl betting odds can be limited. Fortunately there are some rather interesting Super Bowl proposition bets or specials. There are also plenty of Super Bowl promotions available at NFL betting sites, these include cash back bonuses and accumulator odds boosts. Most bookmakers also off specific Super Bowl sign up bonuses, such as enhanced odds for new players.
NFL Proposition Betting
Proposition bets for NFL games are wagers for events or options that take place within a game that differ from the main NFL betting lines.
With prop bets you can get American Football odds for extended betting markets such as passing or running yards and touchdowns; whether that be passing, receiving or rushing touchdowns. There is also the option of NFL odds on scoring or missed field goal attempts.
With prop bets things are kicked up a notch when it comes to playoff and Super Bowl betting. There are usually a whole host of special bets including Gatorade colour, halftime show slip ups and Super Bowl ad specials.
Selecting Your Online NFL Bookmaker
We mentioned earlier we would let you know what criteria we use for selecting our best NFL bookmakers. This will come in handy when making your own selection, as you may have different priorities than us for your new online sportsbook.
The following aspects are what we consider to be essential criteria for American Football betting sites;
- NFL Betting Lines, Odds, and Options
- Deposit and withdrawal options
- Customer service
- Currencies and languages
NFL odds, betting lines and markets are essential for being able to place your NFL bets. There’s no point opening a new online betting account only to find there are no decent NFL options.
Just as important if the ability to fund your account. We live in a 24/7 society, so being able to make deposits and withdrawals quickly are essential. You don’t want to be waiting an eternity for your winnings or miss placing a bet because your deposit didn’t hit your wallet in time.
Despite heavy regulation in most territories, especially the UK and licenced gambling states in America, there are still some rogue online betting sites. So you want to make sure you use a sportsbook that is regulated by your country or state. Otherwise you could see your bookie walk away with your winnings without repercussion.
It’s genuinely rare you will run in to issues with online NFL betting sites, but should it happen, you will want a swift resolution. This also ties in with trustworthiness, as customer services are generally mush better with regulated sites; due to their gambling licence being dependant on it.
NFL Betting Sites Summary
Hopefully our quick NFL betting guide has been able to fill some gaps in your knowledge, providing you with the means to place your NFL bets. As we mentioned, our pick of the best betting sites is great place to start if you’re new to online betting.
The explanation of betting lines and NFL odds may only be brief, but we feel it gives you a good footing to get started until you find your flow. But should you require more in depth information, then check out our dedicated betting market pages; which will be added as our site grows.