How to Bet on the NFL

January 4, 2011 - by mosesbet · Filed Under betting strategy Leave a Comment 

How to Bet on the NFL – Understanding the American Odds System

The National Football League (NFL) is the highest level of professional American Football in the US and receives the highest average attendance (67,000) out of any other sports league in the world.  Although the NFL is mainly only popular to US and Canadians, it still manages to create more revenue streams from advertisers and sponsors than any other International League or Competition – including the English Premier League.

The NFL has a total of 32 teams and is comprised of two divisions, the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.  Running for a total length of 17 weeks until the Playoffs and SuperBowl start in March, the NFL is the most popular sport to bet on for US players.  That’s why we’ve provided this quick guide on how to bet on the NFL.

The first thing that you will need to be aware of is that Americans use a completely different betting odds structure to European/UK players.  They also have different names and terms for online betting.

The most popular bet at US sportsbooks is the Moneyline.  This is where you can bet on a team winning or losing and it replaces the standard decimal/fraction odds system.  If the team has a +70 next to it than that means that team is the underdog and if you wager $100 you will win $70 if your bet wins.  A -70 number means that a team is the favourite.  You’ll have to bet $70 in order to win $100.  In order to discover the best NFL Betting Lines you should visit an NFL odds comparison site like, which has pages such for finding the best NFL Playoff Lines.

The Points Spread is another thing that US players bet on when picking teams in the NFL. It’s also very common in other major US sports such as MLB, NBA and MLS.  Betting on the Points Spread means that you are betting on the score of the game and whether your team wins or loses by a set number of points (most American sports including NFL used a points system rather than “goals”).  The Points Spreads is effectively is another type of Asian Handicap Betting.  If a team has a +5 next to it, it means that you are betting on the team to win or lose by 4 points or less.  Sometimes sportsbook use half-points such as +5.5 which means that you’re betting on the team to win or lose by 5 points or less.  Contrary to this, a negative figure of -7 means that you’re betting on a team to win by 6 points or more.  A lot of sportsbooks also utilise the push, which means that if the points spread is -4 and your team loses by exactly 4 goals than your money will be return and the bet is called off.

Paylay betting is the American terms for multi-bets. Betting on a parlay basically means that you are betting on a range of independent results and they all need to be correct in order for you to win your money.

Sometimes a sportsbook will offer “teasers”, which is when you get slightly reduced odds in return for more flexibility and the ability to adjust the points spreads and totals for a better chance of winning.

Progressive parlays are a more advanced type of parlay betting that most casual NFL bettors stay away from, mainly because they are more complex.  Progressive parlays are when you bet on multiple teams (just like a parlay) except your payout depends on how many results that you get right.  Unlike a parlay which is effectively an “all or nothing” bet, progressive parlays have different payouts depending on how many results you get right.

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