The NFL is the biggest sports league in North America and is followed by millions of fans all over the world. It’s home to some of the most impressive athletes and also draws billions of dollars in wagers every season. Ever since sports betting was made legal in the US, lots of states have become home to established and regulated betting markets. Today, there are lots of online betting sites to choose from, all offering odds on the latest NFL games.
If you’re a complete beginner to NFL betting, it might seem a bit confusing at first. There are a lot of different terms to learn, and before you can start placing bets, you need to know how it all works. In this article, we’ll cover how to start betting on the NFL, including reading odds, different betting markets, and how to place your first bet.
What is NFL Betting
Put simply, sports betting allows you to gamble money on the outcome of games. In the case of NFL betting, you can predict the outcome of games during the regular season, playoffs, or the Super Bowl. In addition, it’s possible to bet on lots of different things over the course of each game and the entire season.
When you place a bet, you’re gambling that money on the outcome. So if you bet $100 on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, you’d lose the $100 if they lost. On the other hand, if they win, you’d make a profit depending on the odds.
How NFL Odds Work
Sportsbooks set the odds of each outcome based on the relative probability. For a team that’s unlikely to win, they’ll have much higher odds. This is the underdog team, and while there’s less chance of them winning, you can earn greater profits if you bet on them and they win.
As an example, the Carolina Panthers are +650 to win their game against the Miami Dolphins. If you bet $100 on them, your potential profit would be $650 if they win.
On the other hand, the team with a higher chance of winning is the favorite. They have lower odds, and although there’s a greater chance of them winning, the potential profits are smaller.
For example, the Miami Dolphins are -1000 to win against the Panthers. This means you’d need to bet $1000 to potentially win $100.
NFL Betting Markets
You don’t just have to bet on which team you think will win the game. All good sportsbooks will offer lots of different markets on NFL games, including the over/under and point spread. Predicting the winner is known as the moneyline, and while it’s the simplest, it’s not always the best in terms of value.
The point spread bet offers better value between two teams when there’s a clear favorite. It introduced a point handicap, evening the odds between the two. For example, the Miami Dolphins have a 13.5-point handicap. If you bet on the Dolphins’ point spread, they need to win by at least 14 points for your bet to win. On the other hand, if you’re betting on the Carolina Panthers, they need to avoid losing by fourteen points or more.
The over/under market is a bet on whether you think the total points scored in the game will be over or under a specific number. It doesn’t matter which team wins or how many points a particular team scores. If you bet on over 48.5, you’re hoping for a high-scoring game where the total is at least 49.
Placing Your First Bet
To place your first bet, you simply need to follow these steps:
- Sign up to a legal and licensed sportsbook
- Make a deposit
- Find the NFL games and choose a market
- Enter your stake and confirm your bet