Complete Beginner’s Guide To Betting On The NFL

As far as sports betting goes in the US, NFL betting is one of the biggest areas of interest you will find around. One doesn’t have to think much to understand why. Football is arguably the biggest sport in the US, and the NFL is its flagship league. Thus, NFL games generate a lot of attention from fans and, as you would expect, bettors.

Despite how popular NFL betting is, however, many people still aren’t very familiar with the process of betting on NFL games. Given how daunting betting can be for newbies, a guide is necessary. Thus, in this article, we will consider some of the essential things to note when getting into NFL betting. Let’s dive right in:

How does NFL betting work?

If you are just getting into the world of NFL betting, the first things you need to learn are the multiple forms of betting that you can explore. Each form of betting has rules that determine when bettors win or lose. The three primary forms of NFL betting are point spread, moneyline, and total.

In subsequent paragraphs, we will examine each of these forms of NFL betting:

Point Spread

Points spread betting in the NFL involves the use of a points figure system that has been devised by the odds specialist of various bookmakers. Points are basically assigned by these odds specialists to teams based on how they are expected to perform in a given game. Thus, teams that are known to be strong and expected to perform well (the favorites) are disadvantaged in the points assigned to them. On the other hand, underdogs or teams with a long shot of winning a particular game are given an advantage.

The effect of this is that favorites have to win the game by more points to win the bets placed on them. In contrast, the underdogs simply have to not lose the game by the assigned number of points to win the bets placed on them.

To illustrate how this works, take for instance a game between the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills, where the Packers are the underdogs with assigned points of +8, and the Bills are the favorites with assigned points of -8. The effect of this points spread is the Bills have to win the game by more than 8 points to win their bets, while the Packers simply have to not lose by more than 8 points to win their bets. In essence, even if the Bills win the game by points, bets placed on the Packers would win while bets placed on the Bills would lose.


Moneyline is perhaps the simplest form of betting, and this holds true even with respect to NFL betting. With a moneyline bet, all you have to do is select which of the two teams in an NFL game will win the match. If your selection turns out to be wrong, you lose the bet, but you win if you are right. As with points spread betting, the concepts of favorites and underdogs affect moneyline bets, but in a different way.

Whether a team is the favorite to win a game or the underdog determines their betting odds. The favorites generally have negative odds, while underdogs have positive odds. The higher the odds of a team, the higher the payout ratio you receive if you win. Thus, betting on the underdogs in a moneyline bet would yield higher profits if the team goes on to win. Of course, such bets are much riskier.

Total Points

Totals require you to loosely determine the final combined total score from both teams in a game. A benchmark total is generally set by oddsmakers based on how they expect the game to end in terms of scoring. Thus, when betting on totals, you are deciding whether the game will end with a total score that is higher or lower than the benchmark set by the oddsmaker.

In essence, only two bets are available: OVER or UNDER. You bet ‘over’ when you expect the total to be higher than the oddsmaker’s projection, and you bet ‘under’ when you expect the total from the game to be lower.

Tips for NFL betting:

Stay informed: if you are getting into NFL betting, it is crucial that you keep track of stats and trends concerning the league and the teams you generally bet on. A stat ATS helps you measure a team’s record against the spread. Similarly, information on things like injuries and form can help you make informed bets. In essence, you should constantly stay on top of NFL news.

Price shop: you should check out multiple betting sites before selecting one. Depending on the odds and points spread offered by each site, you might get more value for your money from one bookmaker than the other.

Ensure financial discipline: Regardless of how positive you are about your bets, remember that each is still a risk. Hence, it is important to create a betting balance that can help limit the amount of money you spend gambling. This way, you can avoid digging a financial hole for yourself.

Final Thoughts

NFL betting is an exciting, enjoyable, and occasionally profitable activity. With this guide, you have the basic things you need to begin your NFL betting journey. Good luck!

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