Pro football enjoys popularity unlike any other sport in the United States. Things are turned up a few notches when the postseason arrives. The National Football League dominates the time of the year in terms of viewership and sports wagering. As the schedule draws to a close and the calendar flips to a New Year, plenty of attention turns to the postseason and NFL playoffs betting online at all the best U.S. sportsbooks.
If you're looking for the most convenient way to get into the game, online betting on NFL playoffs is extremely easy to do and has become the preferred method for sports fans in any place where it's legal. Who wants to carve out time in their weekly schedule to wait on line at a sportsbook ticket window? Well, neither do we.
There are a growing number of online sportsbooks to bet on NFL playoffs that allow bettors to place wagers from the location of their choice, whether it's home on the couch, at the bar with friends or anywhere else. Not only can you make NFL playoffs betting online picks from any location in states that allow it, but hundreds of additional prop markets once January hits and the schedule is lighter.
Yes, you can indeed bet on football legally online in an ever-growing number of territories, and that includes the postseason the same as it does the NFL regular season. Sports gambling isn't federally regulated, meaning legislative decisions to include the measure are decided individually by the states, so the legality of betting on football changes state to state depending on where you are located.
It's been a little over a year since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on wagering outside the state of Nevada, and the industry response has been massive. Laws have passed in nearly 20 states, with many of them including NFL betting online as well. Expectations are being smashed in places like New Jersey, which actually beat out the mighty Last Vegas for May 2019 sports wagering handle and has produced nearly $90 million in revenue so far this calendar year.
Betting on football legally online has never been more accessible than it is right now, and it's only going to continue growing. Many states including Tennessee, Iowa, Indiana and Montana have passed legislation in 2019 allowing legal sports betting online and are expected to go live in time for the 2019 NFL season, which further proves how important pro football is to the industry.
Just like wagering throughout the season, choosing reliable NFL playoffs betting sites is as crucial as making the correct picks. The sites and apps you use should be safe to use and have plenty of amenities to take advantage of as well. Here are some of the steps that go into finding the right websites if you're in a state that legally allows gambling:
On most of the best online betting sites, you can see which sports, markets and promotions are offered. You can even put together bets and get a great look at how the site works even if you don't yet have an account. Seeing the interface layout, wagering options, promotions and welcome bonuses offered can go a long way toward determining where to sign up.
Platforms that rate sports betting sites are another strong option to get an all-encompassing look. BonusSeeker, for example, digs deep for the information needed to be a one-stop-shop for individual operator reviews and content featuring promotions and lines from each site.
Speak to bettors you know or on social media about which operators they use to wager on football. Whether it's the odds, the markets or the promotions, there's always a reason for loyalty to a given site. Those who gamble tend to speak candidly about the platform in which they use to place their bets, and this is a great way to get inside information on an app.
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There are reasons as to why each sportsbook app has made this list for playoff betting:
Finding value can become more difficult, especially when doing your NFL playoff handicapping against the spread because the dynamic changes between the time Week 17 ends and Wild Card Weekend kicks off. The intensity increases and every team remaining has proven itself to be of some quality. Plenty of trouble also has to do with an abbreviated schedule, and it can affect how you make NFL betting predictions.
Rather than a full slate of games, the schedule is whittled down to four games per weekend and two per day. With fewer games and markets to wager on, the lines are sharper as professional gamblers closely analyze all the games. The postseason attracts even more casual fans than the regular season does and when the inflated volume of public bettors impacts the lines of each contest, sportsbooks are quick to adjust accordingly. These factors can also work to your advantage, which is what we'll cover in our NFL betting tips for the postseason.
If you'd like to learn more about making NFL betting picks during the regular season, please visit our how to bet on the NFL guide!
Before placing any wagers, bettors need to know how to properly read what's in front of them when looking at the odds. After that, you can move on to the various popular NFL online bets during playoffs. Keep the following in mind while scanning football lines ahead of postseason contests:
Moneylines and point spreads are the most popular NFL online bets during playoffs and work the same way in the postseason compared to the regular season.
In this matchup provided by DraftKings Sportsbook, the Colts are the underdog getting three points against the spread and paying out at +135 on the moneyline. A $100 bet would win $135 on a Colts win, and taking three points comes at standard -110 odds. This means Indianapolis can lose be one or two points and still 'cover' the spread if they don't win the game.
On the other side, a wager on the favorite Chargers to win is a pricier venture because to win $100 you'd have to risk $165. Selecting Los Angeles at -3 (-110) means paying an improved price of $110 to win $100, but needing the team to win by four or more points to cover the number. If this game ended by three points, wagers on both sides are marked a ‘push' and initial investments are refunded.
These lines are under close watch from oddsmakers and lines are tighter than usual for handicapping NFL playoff games. Every half-point against the spread counts and tracking line movement becomes even more important late in the season. Because many matchups appear so close on paper in the week leading up, moneyline bets tend to see more action in the postseason, allowing you to take the sharp line out of play if you are committed to one side.
Nothing about selecting totals changes in the playoffs, you're still wagering on whether the combined total points in the game falls over or under a predetermined total. Using our example and its total of 47.5, an under bet wins at 47 points or below and an over bet hits at 48 points or above.
Wagering results from Vegas Insider tell us the over/under/tie record of NFL playoff games since 2010 is a perfectly even 49-49-1. With that said, unders have become a more trendy pick this time of year. More about this in our tips for NFL playoffs betting online.
Parlays are the most profitable and difficult of the football bet types, and it remains that way once the regular season ends. Parlays allow bettors to combine multiple sides (MLs, spreads, and totals) in order to create higher odds, which accounts for its popularity.
This parlay created at DraftKings selects three sides at the standard -110 odds, earning a generous +597 payout.
Additional sides and underdogs create more beneficial payouts, but it's important to remember that all selections must win to hit a parlay and any one loss is a loss for the entire wager. Favorites may cost you a few bucks on the backend but are still good to mix into a parlay if the price is too high to pay in a straight bet.
Another of the exotic NFL bets to place at online betting sites are teasers, which allow players to group multiple sides in a similar fashion to a parlay. Each line is shifted in the player's favor by a predetermined amount of equal points (6, 6.5 or 7) and all sides must win for the wager to payout. A 6.5-point teaser using the three teams from our parlay example above would come with +140 odds and look like this:
The major differences between teasers and parlays are that only spreads and totals are eligible for teasers, and odds are much less profitable. Due to the addition of points to each side, however, these bets do have a better likelihood of winning. More about teasers is covered in our section for NFL playoffs betting tips.
Props are wagers on whether or not an event will occur, and they tend to cover very specific categories not usually tied to the outcome of the contest. In recent years, props have exploded in popularity and that postseason normally features additional markets to complement the lighter game schedule. Below are just several of the many props categories featuring football playoff odds:
Many people will tell you that going with props is the best way to handicap NFL playoff games due to the lack of action on them in comparison to traditional lines. As we'll cover below, they certainly provide extra opportunities in the NFL playoffs betting online market and can be utilized in an ultimately profitable way.
Futures wagering is gambling on before event that is will not be completed until some point in the future. The end of the regular season allows the market to reset and offer new futures before the run to the Super Bowl. Despite there being just 11 games in the postseason and some futures wagers already decided, several huge categories remain, including:
These markets among many others are available before the season and offer much larger payouts, although the potential for a profitable wager still exists all over the postseason futures market.
The rules for reading odds and the common football bet types remain constant whether it's the regular season or postseason. Nothing changes in this regard, but how you go about handicapping NFL playoff games can definitely alter a little bit.
For more information and examples of bet types, visit our How To Bet On Football guide!
The regular season can be volatile and hard to predict, and the postseason can be that way as well. That being said, not all characteristics of the two are equal. Gamblers looking to get in on the action will need to take a closer look at their NFL betting strategy and see if its conducive to being a successful handicapper as the best football teams race toward the Super Bowl. Below are some NFL betting tips to keep in mind during the postseason:
People love to gamble on overs and root for points and it happens all season long. With the influx of recreational bettors, we continue to see it in the playoffs, which turns playing under the total into a popular NFL betting strategy. On some occasions, the recreational betting public can create value by selecting overs and inflating totals where they don't belong.
Another prevailing (and non-statistical-based) thought is that defenses tend to show up in the playoffs and game plans are sometimes close to the vest, along with weather potentially being a factor in some cases. Recently, profits have been found in the Wild Card round. Over the past five football postseasons, the under has gone 13-6-1 in Wild Card games, including 6-2 in the past two seasons.
Since the traditional betting markets have sharp and public fingerprints all over them, maybe you don't feel comfortable with moneyline, spread or totals bet. One of the bonuses during the offseason is an increase in prop betting markets, which offers bettors a variety of additional markets to choose from. With a little bit of in-depth research, edges and beneficial lines can be found for both regular season and postseason football games.
Picking several props correctly is extremely difficult, with each added wager making it tougher to profit. Limit yourself to just one or two prop wagers, and don't be afraid to increase your investment in a well-researched market. Props aren't as closely looked at by sharps and some markets provide chances to take advantage of an advantageous line that hasn't been influenced much.
Teasers are sometimes disregarded by bettors because they don't offer the same type of payouts as parlays and underdogs do. We say find two or even three sides you like and get your tease on! There's money to be made here, even if they pay close to even money because as we said, lines are sharp in the postseason. More times than not, the spread and total professional bettors come up with is not going to be too far off. Rather than multiple wagers on each game where a point or two could make a huge difference, play one large bet and add the six or 6.5 points to multiple games.
Keep the following in mind for NFL teaser strategy: In recent years most common margin of victory in NFL games is three and next is seven, followed by 10, six and four (all of which make up over 40 percent of outcomes). When wagering on a small favorite, get it to +3.5 and if playing a small underdog, push it to +7.5 and if possible, to +10.5. Larger favorites are best pulled down to -2.5.
Waiting until late in the week to make your NFL playoffs betting picks has some major advantages, like being able to monitor how the odds change. This gives you a chance to look out for reverse line movement and employ other strategies to gain an edge. If you subscribe to the 'fade the public' NFL betting strategy, this is the move for you in the postseason, as you will likely find value going against the masses as close to kickoff as possible. Lines can move in an unfavorable direction, but having the necessary information at your disposal is important in the playoffs.
This rule also goes for teams with key players that might be nursing injuries. It's common late in the season and throughout the playoffs for teams to be misleading with the status of certain players to avoid giving the opponent an edge in preparation. Injury reports are a very real concern from a handicapping standpoint, and it can be prudent to wait out the action and let the dust settle before doing your NFL playoffs betting online.
Bankroll management still matters even though it's the postseason. People sometimes increase their wagers to an illogical point because the games are more important, which doesn't really make much sense. A bad wager has the same effect whether it comes in Week 4 or the Super Bowl, and gambling with the proper amount remains important in January.
The over-increasing of wagers indicates players are going to use the remaining weeks of the football season making all their lost money back or cashing in big before the season ends. That's likely not going to happen, so while you always pick your spots for a chance to wager several units instead of just one, don't do it because just because it's the playoffs.
These two things don't necessarily go together, but they're extra factors that can impact which direction you go with NFL handicapping during the playoffs. Every team is decent at this stage, but the schedule and form to close out the season play a role. We wouldn't advise gambling on a team that backed into the playoffs as opposed to playing its best football at the right time. A squad that has been forced to play in playoff-type games just to reach the postseason may already be in peak form, just as a team coming off a bye could have needed the rest to recharge. This is where your research comes into play.
As for experience, whether its that of an entire team or a particular coach (the New England Patriots come to mind for both), experience matters when NFL betting online. Something about having been in those high-intensity situations previously yields results the more times you experience it. When all other things are equal, lead toward the team and coach that has been there before.
Another way to gamble on the postseason is to take part in an NFL playoffs bracket pool, which is similar to what occurs around March Madness in college basketball. Many of the best NJ sportsbooks offer various bracket challenges during the NCAA Tournament, each with their unique scoring twist and totally free of charge!. Take the following steps when choosing an NFL playoffs bracket:
With so many recreational and casual fans popping up at this time of year, not everyone you know is going to be into traditional sports gambling online. An alternate option could be a printable bracket challenge, which remains a fun way to keep family, friends, and co-workers involved in the postseason action at this time of year.
If you are looking to participate in NFL Playoffs bracket betting we have prepared for you 2019 NFL Playoff bracket. You can find the PDF printable version here.
The football wagering landscape heats up at no other time as it does around the Super Bowl, which is the biggest spectacle in all of the American sports. In addition to regular gamblers and recreational bettors interested in the postseason, even the most novice fans show interest in the biggest and final game of the year, which takes place in early February.
Part of the attraction is that betting the Super Bowl online has never been more exciting thanks to the market's ability to adapt to the limited schedule. Since there's only one game left, online sportsbooks add hundreds of props available for NFL Super Bowl bets spanning every imaginable segment of the game. Players are offered the opportunity to bet on a variety of unusual markets and have some well-done research rewarded on Super Bowl Sunday!