NFL Football Betting Tips – Learn the Basics, Get NFL Odds
NFL football is the most popular sport to wager on in the United States. And with a steady stream of states legalizing sports betting in the US, the 2019 NFL season could bring with it a historic amount of online sports betting.
Bettors can wager on NFL games in a variety of ways. Some of the most popular betting options for pro football games include point spread, moneyline, teasers, parlays and futures wagering. These NFL betting tips will walk you through all the wagering options, terminology and guide you through placing your first NFL sports bet.
NFL Football Betting Odds Explained
Before looking into the types of NFL bets, we must first understand what the NFL odds mean. Next to every NFL bet is a number with a plus (+) sign or a minus (-) sign next to them. This number will determine the final payout on winning bets. When there is a plus sign next to the bet this indicates an underdog and a minus symbol will be next to the favorite.
All NFL betting odds are based on a $100 bet. If you were to bet on the Dallas Cowboys (-300) and New York Giants (+240) game, Dallas is the favorite and the Giants are the underdog. A winning bet on Dallas would return $133 that includes your initial $100 bet plus $33 profit. On the flip side, a $100 bet on New York would return $340, $100 bet plus $240 profit.
Types of NFL Football Bets
- Point Spread
- Totals (Over/Under)
NFL Football Point Spread Betting
The most popular way to bet football is taking a team against the spread (ATS). This involves making a wager on either the favorite or underdog to cover the point spread. The point spread is how much the better team (favorite) is projected to beat the weaker team (underdog) by for the bet to win.
For example, the Dallas Cowboys are -3 over the New York Giants. The Cowboys are the favorites and the Giants are the underdogs. If you bet on the Cowboys, they must win the game by more than three points. If you bet on the Giants, they must lose by less than three points or win the game outright. If the game ends on exactly three points, the bet is considered a push and your wager is refunded.
The vig, or juice, is the amount charged by a sportsbook for taking the bet. That means whether the bet is on the Cowboys or Giants, you must wager at least $1.10 for every dollar you win. A $110 bet pays $100. The typical vig on an NFL wager is -110 but it can vary depending on the online sportsbook.
NFL Football Moneyline Betting
Betting the moneyline means you are wagering on the team to win the game outright with no point spread involved. Moneyline prices vary depending on the point spread. The higher the point spread, the more money you have to wager on the favorite and the bigger return on the underdog.
If the Cowboys are a -300 favorite on the moneyline, you have to risk $320 to win $100. If the Giants are +240 on the moneyline, a $100 bet wins $240, for a profit of $340. Sometimes people will bet the moneyline on an underdog they think has a chance to win outright because the payout is higher than taking that team on a straight bet with the point spread.
NFL Football Totals (Over/Under) Betting
Another way to wager on football games is betting the total. You can bet on over/under the total number of points scored by both teams. If the total is set at 49, the final score must be more than 49 points to win the over and fewer than 49 points to win the under.
If the Cowboys beat the Giants 28-24, the over 49 wins because the total number of points scored is 52. If the final score is 21-17, the under wins because the total points scored ended on 38. Should the score land exactly on 49, the bet is considered a push and the money wagered will be refunded.
NFL Football Teaser Betting
Teaser are popular because bettors can move the point spread to their advantage. Bettors either move down the point spread for a favorite or move up the spread for an underdog. Bettors can play teasers that give them anywhere from six points per game all the way up to 20.
With teasers, bettors choose at least two games and both must win for the bet to cash. Let’s say you play a three-team 7-point NFL teaser with the Cowboys -3, Eagles -8 and Browns +5. Since you can alter the point spread by seven points, the teaser would be Cowboys +4, Eagles -1 and Browns +12. If all three teams cover the new point spread, you win the bet.
Teasers give you a better chance to cover each game and offer a better payout than straight bets but are more difficult to win because two or more teams must beat the point spread.
NFL Football Parlay Betting
Parlay bets are wagers that include two or more teams with larger payouts than a straight bet. Parlay bets may include different sports, point spreads, moneylines and totals but all must win or the wager loses.
A parlay payout depends on the number of teams in the bet and the sportsbook. A three-team parlay will often pay out at odds of +600. So, if you bet a three-team parlay with the Cowboys -3, Eagles -8 and Browns +5 for $100, the payout would be $600 if all three entrees win, for a profit of $700. Like teasers, parlays are harder than straight bets because at least two separate wagers must hit for it to win.
NFL Football Futures Betting
A futures bet is exactly what the name suggests: a bet paid out in the future if it wins. The most popular futures bet in football is wagering on which team will win the Super Bowl. Let’s say you bet $100 on the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl at odds of +700 in August. If the Patriots win the Super Bowl, you win $700, plus the $100 you wagered for a profit of $800, but have to wait until February to collect the money. Bettors can often find value with future bets early because odds change throughout the season.
Here are our current NFL betting tips articles with 2019 NFL odds for win totals and the Super Bowl:
NFL 2019 Future Odds: Season Win Totals And Super Bowl Picks
NFL Football Prop Betting
There are many different NFL prop, or proposition bets, including player props, game props and season props. A player prop is exclusive to the outcome of a particular player. For example, Tom Brady to throw over/under 2.5 touchdowns in a game.
A game prop is something specific to that game like will their be a safety scored. Bettors can wager yes or no. The Super Bowl now has over 500 player and game props and those wagers have helped the increasing popularity of the game.
A season prop is how a player or team will perform overall in that year. You can bet whether or not teams make the playoffs or over/under how many wins they have at the end of the year. One of the most popular season props is who will win the NFL MVP. In 2018, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes won the MVP after opening the season at odds of 100/1. A $100 bet on Mahomes would have paid $10,000, netting a profit of $10,100.
Here are our current NFL betting tips articles with 2019 NFL odds for offensive and defensive rookie of the year:
(Top photo: USA Today Sports Images)
(Super Bowl photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)