The methods and ways in which you can bet on the NFL are endless. Want to bet on the league’s biggest underdog winning the Super Bowl? No problem. Or how many yards your favorite wide receiver is going to get in next weekend’s game, sure, you can do that too. In this guide we cover the types of NFL bets you can make with a sportsbook or mobile betting app.
How to bet on NFL Online Sections
Where To Bet On The NFL Online
|Caesars Sportsbook||$1,500 Risk-Free Bet|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||$1,500 No Sweat Bet|
|BetMGM||$1,500 Risk-Free Bet|
|PointsBet||$2,000 Risk-Free Bet|
|BetRivers||$250 Deposit Match|
You can find an online sportsbook based on the best sign-up offers above. From Caesars no-brainer $1,500 risk-free bet to FanDuel Sportsbook’s $1,500 no sweat bet, that can’t be missed for all your NFL betting this season.
All of these betting sites that offer NFL betting lines, as well as individual player prop betting, where you’re betting on individual stats of a single player over the outcome of the game itself.
Betting On The NFL Explained
The main markets for NFL betting are the moneyline, over/under totals betting, and spread betting. Let’s break those down.
Bet the NFL Moneyline
Let’s use the opening game of the season between the LA Rams and the Buffalo Bills as examples. The moneyline for the two teams right now is as follows:
- LA Rams Moneyline: +110
- Buffalo Bills Moneyline: -135
The minus always indicates the favorite in the game, and therefore gives you shorter odds on your bet. For example, in this scenario, if you were to bet $100 on the Buffalo Bills to win the game, your return would be $174. Your odds are less than evens.
On the flipside, if you placed the same wager on the Rams with odds of +110, you’re betting on the underdog. As a result, the same $100 bet would return $210. The bigger skill gap between the two teams, the further apart the odds will be on moneyline betting. For example a major underdog might have odds of +350, in which case a $100 bet would return $450.
The bigger the return, the bigger the risk of the bet, and betting on the favourite results in a smaller return in exchange for what is deemed to be a safer bet.
NFL Over/Under Totals Betting
Betting on the totals follows the same concept as moneyline betting, except instead of betting on one of the two teams to win, you’re betting on the total points scored in the game.
Let’s use the Bills vs Rams game as an example here again. The over/under total line for the game is currently set at 51.5.
That means that you are betting on whether the two teams combined will score more or less than the 51.5 total. Why does it have a .5? Because that way there’s no way you tie.
The Bills and the Rams are both very strong offensive teams with great quarterbacks and a lot of talent. 51.5 points is a lot, but for these two teams it’s a possibility. Over/Under totals typically range from the high 30s to the high 50s, depending on the two teams playing in the game.
The odds for betting the over and betting the under are typically almost identical because the bookmaker has calculated where to set the line. That means you then get an equal opportunity by betting over that line or betting under it. In this scenario, with the line set at 51.5, a $100 bet on the over would return $189, where as the same $100 bet on the under would return $192, based on live odds.
So if you believe it’s going to be a high scoring affair, and you’re sitting down to watch the game hoping to see plenty of touchdowns, you might like to bet on the over. Betting the under means you’re typically looking for the defense to step up and slow things down, making for a lower scoring game.
Many bets are won and lost on the over/unders in the final seconds of a game. Game winning kicks often also decide an overs bet, while a last minute turnover or defensive stop can often result in an unders bet being successful.
This is where it gets a little more interesting. The odds makers decide the spreads for each NFL game based on the skill gap between the two teams. The ‘favorite’ will then begin the game at a disadvantage, fighting not only to win the game, but to also beat the spread. The underdog gets a helping hand in spread betting, and ultimately you end up with more of a level playing field on which to place your bet.
In the Bills vs Rams game, these are the current spread betting lines.
- Buffalo Bills spread: -2.5
- LA Rams spread: +2.5
As we discussed earlier, the Buffalo Bills are the designated favorite, so when it comes to the spread, they start with a minus. What that means is, when the game kicks off and you’ve placed a bet on the Bills to win against the spread, they start the game at -2.5 on the score board.
If they win the game 31-30, you would lose your bet, because in that scenario, when you add the -2.5 to the Bills total, they would lose. On the flipside, if you bet on the Rams with a +2.5, and the score was 31-30 to the Bills, you would still win your bet even though the Rams lost the game.
Add the 2.5 to their score, and you have a result as follows: LA Rams 32.5 – Buffalo Bills 30.
Spread betting is a great way to level things up with your bets, but usually means the odds are close to evens because the odds makers have leveled the playing field.
Betting $100 on the Bills at -2.5 in this scenario would pay out $187, while betting on the Rams at +2.5 would pay $195. There is a slight variance in the odds, but it’s never too far away.
A ‘parlay’ is when a bettor selects multiple bets and combines them, therefore combining the odds. Having two or more outcome predictions of course makes it twice as hard to have bet correctly, and therefore the odds begin to drastically improve.
Parlays can quickly start to produce very lucrative payouts if you do happen to hit on them, but the more bets you add to a parlay bet, the harder it gets to win.
For example, if you selected the Bills to win outright in the opening game of the season, but also liked the Miami Dolphins to beat the New England Patriots in Week 1, you could select both bets and create a parlay.
The individual odds of those outcomes are as follows:
- Buffalo Bills vs LA Rams Moneyline: -135
- Miami Dolphins Moneyline vs New England Patriots: -145
A $100 bet on the Bills would pay $175, while a $100 bet on the Dolphins would pay $167.
However, if you’re confident in both outcomes and combined them into one bet, a $100 parlay bet on the Bills AND the Dolphins would pay out a cool $343. It is however riskier, because if the Bills win and the Dolphins lose, or visa versa, you get nothing.
You can quickly begin to create some very long odds and big payouts by putting multiple games into a parlay. There have been many lucky bettors who have placed $5 parlays that pay out thousands of dollars, but those are few and far between.
Parlay betting can be frustrating! If you choose five outcomes and get four of them right, but the fifth one loses on a last minute field goal, your potential large payout can turn to zero very quickly. Some sportsbooks will do specials for parlays that cover you in various ways should you only lose on one leg of the bet, but it still hurts.
The flipside of course is betting $5 on seven different NFL games and lucking out, getting them all right. The payout would be stupendous, and some fans don’t mind a $5 bet with enormous potential from time to time.
NFL Live In Game Betting
You can take any of the above methods and apply them in the middle of a game now. With endless NFL betting at our finger tips, a hunch that a certain team is going to mount a comeback and win the game can make for an exciting bet.
The odds will be forever changing, so if your team concedes a touchdown that puts them down fourteen points, they will suddenly have longer odds to eventually win the game. You can place a bet at that moment in time, securing those odds, and then settle in to watch your prediction unfold.
In play betting is available with moneylines, over/under totals and spread betting. You just have to observe the odds, and can catch some nice odds if you time it right! Sometimes the look in the quarterbacks eye is enough to make you believe in the comeback. For example, when Tom Brady and the Patriots went down 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51, you could get odds of +1600 that the Patriots would come back to win.
A $100 bet on that outcome would have paid out $1,700, and there were a few fans who did just that. Never count out Tom Brady I guess!
Betting on outrights covers more long term betting. You can bet on which team you believe will win the Super Bowl, or their respective division. Then there are player outrights such as the leading touchdown scorer for the season or the league MVP. These long term bets can be fun to have in your back pocket as a season unfolds.
For example: The Buffalo Bills are currently this years favorites to win the Super Bowl. Their odds are +650. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sit in second place with odds of +900, and Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs sit third, with odds at +1100. The odds run all the way through to the biggest underdog to lift the Lombardi trophy in Arizona this season, with the Houston Texans coming in with a whopping +30,000 odds value.
NFL Player Props
Betting on player props can make every moment of every game really interesting. For example, you can bet on your favorite wide receiver and his receiving yards. It works in the same fashion as over/under totals betting, but instead of the total points scored in the game, it’s the total yards receiving that player is going to have.
Say for example you bet on Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals. His over/under for the game might be 88.5 receiving yards. Say you bet on the over, you’ll then sit and watch the game getting excited everytime the ball sails through the air hoping Ja’Marr Chase is on the end of it. Player prop betting is one of the most exciting forms of betting for NFL fans, and creates all sorts of unique bets.
How Can I Bet On The NFL Online?
If you’re based in the US, it will depend on the state you live in. NFL betting is now legal in twelve states across the US. Some states have thriving sportsbooks with plenty of NFL betting opportunities, while others have not yet legalized NFL betting activity. If you are in a legal sports betting state, you’re good to go.
The key takeaway here there are so many ways to bet on NFL. In 2023, that’s expected to explode with the arrival of microbetting. You can bet how many yards a running back is going to get on the very first play of the game or the number of interceptions your rival team’s quarterback might throw, a whole world of betting awaits. Oh, and of course, there’s the Super Bowl coin toss, an age-old tradition in the betting world.
So, what are you betting on this season? Check out more of BettingInsiderJournal’s expert sports betting guides to level up your NFL betting game.