Betting focused on American football requires a series of basic knowledge. Every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and some Saturdays, fans around the world keep an eye on trends and scour the betting houses for profit across the NFL.
Betting on football can be fun and lucrative, especially if you do it with an effort to gain the necessary knowledge. In case you do not have them, you are in luck, since you can acquire them just by reading this article in which we are going to explain how to bet on NFL games, from preseason to Super Bowl.
Before you learn how NFL-centric betting works, you need to know how the odds are read. Typically, football odds are displayed like this:
New Orleans Saints -7
Atlanta Falcons +7
This means that the Saints are favorites over the Falcons by 7 points. In bookmakers, favorites are always shown with a minus (-), while underdorgs are accompanied by a plus (+)
The bookmakers make a profit from each bet, which is why they take a percentage of each of them. Generally, that percentage ranges from 3% to 20%, but it can be even higher depending on the type of bet or the sportbook in which you are registered.
There are three types of football bets you can make. Each one offers the opportunity to earn money if you are able to make intelligent forecasts, and at Odds Shark we will help you with that.
A bet on the winner invites you to choose the team that you think will win the match. If we take into account that there are usually differences in level between the teams that face each other, betting on the favorite has less risk, but it also comes with a lower volume of profits.
For example, if the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the New England Patriots, the odds would display like this:
A $ 100 bet on New England would result in payouts of $ 162.50 ($ 100 of the original bet and $ 62.50 of winnings), while a similar bet on Pittsburgh would report payouts of $ 240 ($ 100 of the original bet and $ 140 of winnings).
Betting on the underdog is risky, but if you get the prediction right, you will get higher profits. On the contrary, betting on the favorite team is usually the winning option, but the winnings are lower.
A handicap bet is one in which the bookmakers give an advantage or disadvantage to the teams in terms of the margin of victory. The favorite usually appears at a disadvantage, so they need to win the match by a certain score for the bet to be declared a winner, while the underdog must win the match or lose it by a score lower than that marked.
An example of a handicap bet would show the Philadelphia Eagles at -3.5 against the Dallas Cowboys at +3.5. Those who bet on the Eagles need their victory to come by four or more points, while those who opt for the Cowboys need to win the game or lose by a maximum of three points.
Powerful teams like the Green Bay Packers can count on a very high spread if they play against weaker teams like the Detroit Lions. In cases like this, the Packers could have a handicap of -16.5, which would mean that their victory should materialize by 17 points or more.
The totals in any football game invite us to bet on the combined score between the two teams. The figure is set by the bookmakers based on the records obtained by the protagonists in their previous duels, and in the case of bettors, the objective is to determine whether the proposed amount will be exceeded or not.
As a general rule, these details must be taken into account when betting on totals:
In addition to what was shown above, now we are going to show you what a total bet would look like in a bookmaker:
Seattle Seahawks (Road) vs Philadelphia Eagles (Home) - Total at 48.5
As a bettor, you can choose between a final score of over (Over) of 48.5 points or less (Under) of 48.5 points. Thus, if the duel ends with a score of 27-20, Philadelphia will make a total of 47 points, which means that the winning bet will be the one with less than 48.5 points.
Sometimes you can find score lines that don't end with .5. If we take the Seahawks and Eagles as an example again, this time with a total of 49 points, and the match ends with that same figure, the bet will be classified as void (Push) and the bettor will receive the invested amount back.
We cannot travel to the future, but we can predict it. Future bets propose us to guess what will happen at the end of the NFL season. You can bet on which team will be crowned champion in their division, which will be in their conference or which player will win the MVP, to give a few examples.
Special bets are more focused on entertainment and fun. Some forecasts lead us to bet on the number of passing yards of a player, the rushing yards or the receiving yards. We also find markets for the Super Bowl as varied as the length of the national anthem, the result of the coin toss or the color of the Gatorade drink that will be used to bathe the champion's coach.
We speak of a parlay when we include several bets on the same ticket, either on the winner, totals or with a handicap of the same match or of several different ones. Of course, for the bet to be declared the winner, you must hit all the predictions.
You can also choose between two markets referring to the same game, such as betting on the Cleveland Browns covering the spread of +10 against the Cincinnati Bengals and adding a bet to totals.
For example, we could parley with three bets like these, which would dramatically increase our winnings:
As with parlays, in teasers you need to get all the predictions on your ticket right, but the difference is that you can adjust the spreat or totals to reduce the risk. Obviously, the easier it is to hit the mark implies a reduction in profits.
Live betting allows us to earn money through what is happening in a live match. You can bet on the author of the next completed pass, the next TD, or a number of different markets. We must bear in mind that in this type of bets, the odds will vary with the passing of the minutes, and will be very different from the initial ones as the end of the match approaches.
Now that you know everything you need to bet on American football, it's time to go betting.
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