The history of NFL betting is very closely related to the history of sports betting overall. It was with the founding of the National Football League (NFL) in the US that the popularity of sports betting truly exploded. Players from all around the world can nowadays bet on and watch NFL, regardless of where they are. The popularity of the sport has gone through the roof in the UK as well, with NFL games being played in London since 2007. Rumors of a possible London team persist as well and who knows – maybe we’ll see a UK team competing in the NFL in the near future! To familiarize yourself more with the sport, read our guide on how to bet on NFL below.
American Football Betting Explained
American football is by far the most popular sport in the US and for a long time it remained popular only there. With the emergence of online betting and live streaming the sport has become more accessible and watching football on a Sunday is no longer just an American tradition. The kickoff times for the Sunday games are usually around 6pm and 9pm UK time, which make them the perfect prime time sport to round off the weekend. The games are also prime targets for sports betting, as there are always dozens of bets to be played both before the game and during it. In the next chapter, we go through the most popular bets in American football.
How NFL Betting Works
One of the most popular forms of NFL betting are money line bets. In money line betting, the idea is to guess which team wins the game – in other words, you don’t bet on a draw as you could normally do in, for example, football betting. Money line bets in NFL also include overtime. As in basketball, the chance of going to overtime in American football is quite slim. This is why most people prefer to bet on the actual winner of the match, with the overtime included in the bet.
Handicap betting, or spread betting, is another popular form of NFL betting. In handicap betting, points are given to or taken from one of the teams – usually this means taking points from the favorite or giving points to the underdog. But what does this actually mean? Let’s look at an example:
In a game between Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, the latter are seen as slight favorites. In the tightly contested match you feel that Saints will win the game with at least 3 points. To get the best possible odds you bet on New Orleans to win with a handicap of -2.5. Saints win the game with a late field goal, and you get the 3-point bumper you wanted. You therefore win your bet!
In over/under betting you bet on the total number of points in a game – this includes the points scored by both of the teams, including in the possible extra time. Over/under bets ranges quite a bit, with the cut-off point usually being between 35 and 50 points. As in all sports betting, good preparation is key in over/under betting so remember to do your homework to get the best possible results.
American football is very much a game of strategy and there are pauses often between gameplay. This also makes it the perfect sport for live betting, since you have many opportunities to analyze the situation and get your bets in. Don’t forget to check out the Outrights, where you can bet on the winner of Super Bowl and the MVP.