The NFL is by far the most popular sport in the United States. The Super Bowl alone ranks as one of the most viewed events in the world. Betting on the NFL is no different. It is the main focus of sportsbooks and bettors alike, usually listing more than 100 different betting lines for each game. When just starting out, this can be intimidating to new bettors. What do the different wagers mean and how to win them?
Truth is, the main basics to betting on the NFL can be learned pretty quickly. For those who have been following the league and understand the game, making the jump into betting can be done even easier. This guide here contains a full overview into the most important features of NFL betting. Everything needed to start betting on the league with confidence.
It’s important to quickly note that most of NFL betting takes place on the spread. This wager type is most similar to the moneyline. It’s a bet on which team will win the game except with “even” chances for both teams. The spread has become the go-to standard for NFL betting, and learning it is a crucial step in gaining some comfort betting on the league.
Taking the spread can also be advantageous for NFL bettors, since the majority of the time, the number given for a game’s spread is pretty insignificant. Favored teams in the NFL have ended up covering the spread more than 60% percent of the time in recent years. With higher odds than the moneyline, betting on the spread should end up taking priority for the majority of NFL games.
Joining spread betting and moneylines as popular NFL wagers are prop bets. Betting on NFL props will give players the most variety in terms of wagers and odds. NFL prop bets include markets such as which player will score the first touchdown, how many yards the quarterback will throw for and any other wager that does not directly affect the game’s final result.
The last main betting type that players should know for NFL betting are the over/under bets. This wager appears on the main line for games and is akin to guessing the number of jelly beans are in a jar. That is, bets will be on whether a certain game statistic will be higher or lower than the sportsbook’s number. For example, the sportsbook may predict that Cincinnati will score 28.5 points in the game. The bet is therefore whether the team will score more points than 28.5 (over) or fewer (under).
Players can also choose to wager on NFL futures. These will be in a separate category, as their outcome is not determined by a single game. Instead, futures bets are long-term wagers over the course of an entire season. Picking the team to win the Super Bowl or finish in a playoff spot are included here. Making these bets at the start of the season tend to come with higher odds, as many things can change before the bet is finally concluded.
Summary Points for the Main NFL Bets:
Going into every NFL game is different. The league is known for being highly competitive, with every team having a fighting chance to win each week no matter their records. How then, is it possible to accurately predict the upcoming game’s various outcomes? The truth is, the more key information is known before kickoff, the better your perception will be when placing bets.
One of the first things that needs to be examined is each team’s current injuries. Players in the NFL can pick up injuries more often than other sports. Injuries to any starting players will have a drastic impact on the team’s expectations, especially to key positions like quarterbacks or running backs. Updated injury reports for each team should thoroughly examined before each week’s game. A team missing its starting quarterback may be forced to run the ball more resulting in a higher number of rushing yards. Each key injury will directly correlate with a team’s game plan, so knowing these is truly vital to making the right bets.
The motivation behind a team’s next game can also be a valuable factor in determining upcoming performances. In a game of inches, that extra bit of motivation to win can be the sole difference in the final score. A good way to understand a team’s determination in its next game is to check out the current league standings. In order to secure a playoff spot, each team will be faced with must win games during the season. Knowing which teams this applies to each week gives bettors an advantage for moneyline and spread betting.
Along with every other sports league, we now know the NFL has its own niches that characterize it. This rings true for games, seasons, the players and fans of the league. For betting, it’s the same way. No single certain approach will result in a winning bet each time, but there are methods that should be practiced as well as those to avoid.
Let’s start off with what you should be doing. This foremost includes going in to each bet prepared. Know everything possible about the game you are betting on. Things like home field advantage, starting lineups, and any other factors that will determine the outcome should be studied beforehand. The more information about a game is known, the bigger advantage you will have when betting.
On the other hand, there are some approaches to NFL betting that are better off avoiding. We can start off by avoiding getting a little too crazy about parlay bets. These can be attractive due to the high odds but come with major risk. Parlay bets require the bettor to successfully predict multiple different outcomes. They therefore have lower chances of hitting, and are not sustainable for long-term success.
Another factor to be cautious of, especially for the NFL, is buying into the hype. Due to its massive popularity, NFL games will garner a lot of attention from experts and media each week. What is important to remember is that the league is very competitive and anything can happen. Keeping calm and doing your own research for each game will go further than trusting a team’s record or consensus prediction.