When it comes to popularity among sports in the United States, football is the clear leader. As sports betting continues its exponential growth from state to state, so too does the biggest league in the country. The National Football League is the most commonly wagered-on league in America, which makes the NFL the golden goose of the U.S. sports universe.
Over $8 billion has been legally wagered on sports in the United States since June 2018, with over $550 million in revenue reported. You can bet the biggest slice of that pie belongs to football and more specifically, the NFL. Sports gambling and football are synonymous, and the NFL season (September until February) is the busiest time of year for many sportsbooks.
An exceedingly convenient and enjoyable way to go about wagering on football is to do your NFL betting online.
Finding time to visit a physical sportsbook throughout the week or on Sunday morning to wait on line at the window is not anyone's idea of a good time. What's fun is making NFL picks quickly and very easily from the location of your choice and not interrupting your everyday life, whether you're in the comfort of your own home or taking in the action elsewhere.
Online sportsbooks, which are growing in numbers across the country, also offer an incredible variety of wagering options and give players hundreds of markets each week during the season.
Yes, it is legal to bet NFL games online legally. There have been many legislative developments on the sports betting front over the past few years which has led to laws passing in nearly 20 states allowing sports wagering. So you may be asking yourself, "where can I bet on NFL games legally?"
Luckily, online football betting has never been easier in places like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Indiana among others where mobile sports betting is in full swing. In over a year from the Supreme Court opening up the industry to states other than Nevada, online betting popularity has surpassed all expectations.
Using one of the many reliable NFL online betting sites allows you to place wagers from any location so long as you're in a state where sports wagering is legal. Not everyone is adopting the mobile dynamic of sports betting, but plenty of states including Tennessee, Indiana, and Montana are expected to launch legal sports betting online in the near future as well.
If you're of the many people getting involved in football betting online, you'll surely need to know how to go about picking the best online betting sites. You should feel like the platform you're using is entirely legitimate and safe to use while offering you some great promotional amenities that give you an opportunity to win.
Below we'll detail some of the factors that go into finding sportsbooks for online gambling on the NFL if you're in a state that legally allows it.
It's always a smart idea to speak to others for a first-hand account, preferably people you know and maybe who have used the same platform you are considering. Even if they've never used it, find out why. Which legal site have they chosen? Getting information straight from other bettors is an unfiltered look always worth seeing.
Sites like BonusSeeker spend hours researching and writing about the legal sports betting industry. We are on top of welcome bonuses, promotional offers and the gambling markets offered by each site and use the applications to make NFL picks on all season long. Read our reviews on each sports betting site that detail promotions, odds, and the markets offered.
Terms and conditions can be confusing and finding out exactly how some things work can be difficult if you don't have anyone to ask. Any of the best online sportsbooks will offer email and chat support. Don't be shy to note what questions you may have about the platform and what they offer, and fire away before you sign up.
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Each of these sports betting sites made the list for several different reasons:
Reading odds is the first step to sports betting. It could appear complicated at first but isn't something to be intimidated by since it's quite easy to grasp once things are laid out clearly. Here are some important things to remember:
After reading odds, being aware of the different available bet types is crucial to success. Some bets offer opportunities for a big payday while others are more conservative wagers with a higher chance of winning.
The NFL betting lines from the following game on DraftKings Sportsbook will be the first of several examples for the common football bet types.
You might look at terms for NFL betting odds and wonder something like: What does moneyline mean?
Fortunately, the moneyline is the simplest of the football bet types because all you're doing is selecting which side will win the game. For favorites, the moneyline (ML) is the investment bettors must make in order to win $100. With underdogs, the ML is the amount the player would win if risking $100.
Referring to our example, the Jets are the favorite with a moneyline of -190, meaning you'd have to risk $190 to win $100. Selecting the Bills means getting plus-money with the underdog and risking $100 to win $150. The larger the favorite, the higher the price players must pay on the moneyline, while huge underdogs offer more advantageous payouts.
NFL spread bets require you to pick a side to win the game just as you would on a moneyline bet, but you're wagering against a predetermined spread set by handicappers. Not all NFL teams are created equal, and the point spread is the oddsmakers' way of evening out the game for wagering purposes. Like the moneyline, the favorite has a negative symbol next to its name while the underdog sports a plus sign before its number.
The NFL Week 1 odds from our example have the Jets -3.5 (-110), which means a bet on New York requires them to win by four points or more. The -110 price is laid out just
Think of the spread like hypothetical points you get to add or subtract to a given team's score based on the line. If you took 3.5 points away from the Jets' final score, do they still win the game? If so, they covered the spread. If your spread is a round number and is the exact margin of victory or loss (Bills +4 and they lose 17-13), the wager is a push and your original bet is refunded.
Gambling on NFL totals requires the bettor to select over or under the number of combined points in the game set by oddsmakers. Factors like injuries, weather and schedule play a major role in over/under wagers, which are among the most popular on Sundays. Our example above has the Jets/Bills total set quite low at 38.5 (-110). An over bet requires 39 total points or more by game's end, while the under hits if the total score is 38 points or lower. At -110 odds, either side will require a $110 risk to win $100.
NFL teasers are multi-leg wagers in which players can adjust the number on each side (moneylines, spreads and totals only) by an equal amount of points. Teasers include at least two sides and have the ability to alter odds between six and seven points. The more points added to a given teaser, the lower the payout, while potential winnings increase with each leg added to the bet. Teasers can be thought of as parlays with modified lines.
In this example from FanDuel, a three-leg teaser with six points added to each selected side comes with +160 odds. Odds for teasers change based on the following kinds of action:
NFL parlay bets allow you to combine two or more sides (moneylines, spreads and totals included) into one wager, which creates more beneficial odds and a higher payout and makes it a low-risk, high-reward type of bet.
In order to hit a parlay, each one of the individual sides must win for the bet to cash. The wager is a loss if one side of the bet loses, which is what makes parlays one of the more difficult bets to consistently win. The potential payout increases with each added side in a parlay, but the wager also becomes increasingly harder to win.
Odds and payouts are determined by both the number of teams involved in the wager and their respective lines. Because parlays are a bit complicated mathematically, all the best sportsbooks will calculate the wager for you.
The first example from the NFL Week 1 schedule on SugarHouse features a three-leg parlay with all sides having -110 odds, which is where football spread gambling lines will generally start. As we can see, the payout is +597, earning players nearly six times their original investment.
The next example uses the same three teams, displaying a payout that accounts for the Colts' spread being replaced with their moneyline, which creates a boosted odds of +757 due to the team being an underdog. If a favorite gets thrown into the mix instead, odds would drop to a lower payout than our first example. You may want to try round robin bets if standard parlays don't match your betting needs.
NFL prop wagers are made on whether or not a given event will occur in a game. They tend to cover very specific categories not usually tied to the outcome of the contest. NFL handicapping props can be tricky but have grown in popularity thanks to the explosion of markets presented at the best online betting sites.
So many of the best online sportsbooks are offering a wide array of props and proving bettors with an incredible amount of options during the NFL season. Below is a list of some NFL props oftentimes seen in addition to just the conventional moneylines, spreads and totals.
Futures bets are exactly what they sound like: wagers placed on an event that will finish at some point down the road. Many are placed prior to the season starting, although some markets do remain open with line adjustments as the season progresses.
There are pros and cons to futures, like everything else. There's potential for large payouts and plenty of options along with giving you something to have a rooting interest in for a while. On the downside, these wagers tie up your gambling funds for a prolonged period of time and are generally tougher to win due to those high odds.
NFL futures bets span many categories and oftentimes include the following markets:
NFL win totals are a type of futures bet that requires picking the over/under on a given team's wins before the start of the season. These wagers must be placed prior to the season, so oftentimes the lines are based at least partially off results from the season before.
This provides an opportunity to buy low (or sell high) on a team whose gambling line is off the mark due to factors like roster upgrades, public perception, and strength of schedule. Once you do the research to see which team(s) you like for the upcoming season, shopping around for the most advantageous lines is key when wagering on season-long win totals.
If you're wanting to learn a bit about how to bet on NFL games online, you've come to the right place. Pro football is as volatile a league as they come from a wagering standpoint and results of the schedule are not easy to predict. There are, however, habits players can adopt and tips to remember for a better shot and closing out the weekend as a winner.
Looking at NFL betting lines and wagering blindly is not a strategy conducive to winning, so while becoming profitable is a difficult thing to do, we can at least point you in the right direction by noting some of the basic things to keep in mind.
One of the first things to keep in mind when handicapping NFL games is that this is a week-to-week league. Of course, a team's current form does matter, but last week's result doesn't dictate next week's result from a gambling perspective.
Statistical trends can always be viewed in such a light where they go both ways, but many get thrown out the window very quickly in the NFL and overreacting to them can be a huge mistake. Analyze teams and odds on a week-to-week basis, taking previous results into account but not using those scores alone to make bets the following week.
There's always an explanation as to why that spread/total dropped or ballooned (depending which side you're on) in the days leading up to the game. It's important to be aware of how the line moves and doing some homework throughout the week can help determine the cause of the odds change. This can also involve having multiple accounts for NFL handicapping online and shopping around those sportsbooks for the most advantageous line possible.
How early or late in the week to bet is a matter of preference, but waiting until at least Thursday or Friday to see how lines move is oftentimes a prudent strategy.
Knowing what not to do while NFL handicapping is crucial, and not placing too many bets is one of those things. Don't place wagers just for the sake of doing so and risk a miserable losing day just because it's Sunday. Players should be taking one (maybe two) sides they're confident in and making straight wagers according to their budget/bankroll. If exotic bets are your thing, combine teams into a parlay or a teaser.
Putting together too many of these bets dilutes your chances of walking away with a profit at the end of the day, so don't fall in love with the idea of wagering on any more than a couple (or a few) games every week if you want to establish any consistent profits.
This isn't a lecture on bankroll management, but practicing discipline is a wise call. It works out sometimes, but chasing the money isn't one of the best ways to handicapping NFL games. There's a reason you wagered the amount you did on your original bet, which you probably liked more than the second one. Bettors need to love the game they're chasing with to try and recoup all potential losses at one time. Remember, the 2020 NFL season is a long one, and a consistent bettor will wind up wagering on dozens of games.
Not all the things that affect a team have to do with what happens between the lines. There are some instrumental factors like schedule, weather, injuries and playing style. The following examples provide some context as to what kind of extracurricular things to look out for when checking out NFL betting lines:
If it were easy to win betting on pro football, every average Joe would be able to do it and oddsmakers would be out of business. The search for the best NFL betting strategies is a never-ending one, but randomly selecting sides and making various bets isn't all that's required to become better at handicapping NFL games. The proper strategy needs to be applied to develop some kind of logical reasoning for making those picks, and there are a few tried and true methods, including the following:
Two things the public loves gambling on are favorites and overs. One of the most popular NFL strategies for betting online is fading the public and finding value in underdogs and unders. Going against the grain isn't always comfortable, but picking your spots to take advantage of a line pull the wrong way is where bettors potentially gain an edge.
This isn't a PSA against favorites, merely a reminder to not get caught up in the false security of taking the 'better' team. Many times, that team is giving away too many points or shouldn't be favored at all. When looking to make an NFL underdog bet, every half-point matters. Having +3.5 instead of +3 or +6 over +5.5 can steal you a win if the score winds up right around the number. Home underdogs have performed well over recent years against the spread, especially in the NFL playoffs.
Yes, rooting for points (and thus, overs) is more fun, and that's the entire point. While the public wants to have fun and cheer for touchdowns, one of the most effective NFL betting strategies is going under the inflated total. Especially for matchups featuring team(s) with a strong running game or a respectable defense. It can be agonizing, but profitable.
Reverse line movement in the NFL is what happens when the public is heavily on one side of a matchup, but the line doesn't reflect the betting action. An example of this would be if the public was all over the Jets at -3.5, but rather than the spread moving to -4 as more people bet on it, the line actually moved the other direction toward -3 instead. Reverse lines are a strong indicator of action from professional bettors (known as sharps) opposing the public.
Many bettors go straight for the more common markets like moneylines, spreads, and totals. There's plenty of room for profit, however, in underutilized markets like props and live betting. With less competition and more options in both areas, an edge can be found in some NFL betting lines.
Unlike more traditional lines, most props aren't poured over throughout the week by oddsmakers. This means that on plenty of occasions more advantageous lines are found on these lesser-used markets than on bigger ones. Well-researched knowledge of a specific matchup and the circumstances surrounding the game (weather, injuries, style of play) present regular opportunities to get into the prop betting market.
Live betting NFL (also referred to as in-game) means placing wagers on a game while it's in the middle of play. Many times, you're live betting on games you're currently watching. This gives you the advantage of possibly noticing how the game is trending and catching an out-of-plane line before it has a chance to adjust. It can also be used to double up on your original bet as the game progresses, or hedge a bet to cut into potential losses.
At one point during the beginning of the calendar year, the most widely watched sport somehow gets even bigger. The regular season in football enjoys as much popularity as any other sport in the country, but NFL playoff betting takes things to a new level. Because the games are increasingly more important in the playoffs, more casual fans flood are tuning in and flooding the betting market, which can affect how lines move as much as sharp bettors do.
Betting on the NFL playoffs online also becomes tougher as the teams are more evenly matched and there are lesser options at that point in the season. A fun way to get on the action during the playoffs is via an NFL betting bracket contests.
There is no bigger spectacle on the sports calendar in the United States than the Super Bowl, both for the casual fan and the hardcore bettor. The buildup and discussion last the entire two entire weeks leading up, and the sports betting world is naturally part of the hype. NFL Super Bowl betting at online sportsbooks is one of the more thrilling things you can do because of the myriad of options.
Hundred of prop betting markets are added, many only existing for this one game each year, testing your ability to win an unconventional bet while taking in the championship game. There are also alternative ways to bet like buying squares in a pool, which allows even the most novice fan to take part in the action. Now that a season is coming to end betting on Super Bowl via either Super Bowl squares or prop bets is your last chance.