Beginners guide to American football betting


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Photo Credit: Maridav

Football is back! If you’ve been itching to witness your favorite team get back in action, get your cable TV ready. If you also want to profit off football betting this season, search for a bookmaker site. Yes, you can do that now in nearly a dozen states.

But before you place your first bet, learn the ins and outs of American football betting below.

The NFL vs. College Football

Although many football bettors wager on the NFL, college football also provide prime betting opportunities. It’s the same game, after all, sharing similar rules and often broadcast on the same cable networks.

Of course, there are some differences between the NFL and college football. From a betting perspective, NCAA teams are vastly unequal in performance. Because of this, football powerhouses like Florida sometimes win by huge margins when they play against less equipped teams.

Again, there are a lot of amateurs in college football, which prompts significant errors on the pitch. That makes most games easier to predict than NFL matches.

By comparison, more action happens in the professional leagues. Even the least performing franchises in the NFL attract more viewers than top tier college teams. When it comes to data and stats, you’ll find more information for NFL betting than for NCAA football.

Betting Markets

There are at least five betting markets in the NFL and NCAA football teams. Most bettors, however, concentrate on the top wagers.

  • Money Line

In money line bets, you predict which team wins. You could also predict whether a game ends as a draw. But since NFL ties are rare, most of your predictions will be about which team wins or losses.

  • Parlays

A football parlay is a bet comprising of multiple games. Let’s say you back the City Chiefs to beat the Bengals on Thursday night football. But since the match attracts low odds on bookie sites, you make a second bet backing the Rams to edge out the Raiders on the road. You could also predict that the Saints will defeat the Vikings.

With the three teams, you can place one bet which you only win if all your predictions end up being correct. If the Saints losses or draw, you lose your wager.

  • Point Spreads/Handicaps

Point Spreads involve giving one team an advantage over its opponent. In an example, let’s imagine the Arizona Cardinals are favored to blow out the LA Chargers when they face off. In a point spread, bookies could award the Chargers five points. This way, a wager backing Arizona will only be counted if the team wins by five or more points.

  • Totals

Totals are wagers predicting how many points will be scored by both teams. If you believe the Saints and the Minnesota Vikings will have a high-scoring game of 40+ points, you can wage a totals bet of +40 points.

At times, totals can also be called over and under bets. That’s because you predict whether a game’s outcome will be over or under a specific number of points or yards.

  • Proposition (Props) Bets

Bookies allow you to bet on the most random things at NFL games. For instance, you could wager which quarterback scores the first point or the number of penalty flags in a game. You could also predict the average number of passing yards players pass, rush, or receive.  And like totals, these bets are formatted in terms of over or under a specific number.

Football Betting Odds

In most football matches, one team is stronger than the other. At times, the difference in strength can be so clear that you don’t need any research to know which team wins. But this also means the better side gets more reduced odds on bookie sites.

As a bettor, your goal is to find teams favored with good odds on bookie sites. But at the same time, they have a high chance of winning their matches. Look out for opponents underrated by bookies even when they’re the stronger sides to you.

You can choose to compare odds at different betting sites. But to save on time, use an odds resource site like oddspedia – the website accumulates football odds on the NFL, the Canadian football League and internationally where American football is played.

Ensure you learn the differences between American odds and decimal odds. You may also come across fractional odds, especially if you bet on British bookmaker sites.

American or Las Vegas odds are computed based on the return you receive from a $100 investment. They tend to feature a (+) or (-) depending on the competitiveness of opponents. A superior side like the Patriots could carry odds -150 to beat the Browns who feature odds +200 on betting sites.

Put simply; you’ll need to invest $150 to win $100 if you back the Patriots to win. By comparison, a $100 bet on the Browns will earn you $200.

With the same match, the favorites New England could feature odds 1.50 against 2.00 for the Browns. Betting $100 on the Patriots earns you $150 while the same bet on Cleveland returns $200.

Betting Strategies

Successful football bettors wager strategically. They don’t just follow what pundits say on TV. They also don’t follow the hype or what their friends think. If you want to win football bets consistently, develop betting strategies.

Formulate a guide for picking teams and find resources to help you predict matches. You could decide that you’ll only bet on teams whose odds bring back 50% on your stake. You can concentrate on money lines or totals and stick to your plan.

After that, decide how many bets you’ll place every week and how much money you’ll spend on your stakes. In effect, develop a strategy you’ll use throughout the football season. Obviously, you can tweak it over time if certain things don’t seem to help you win.

To Conclude

As the new football season begins, come up with a betting strategy. Decide which markets you’ll concentrate on, how much you’ll bet and which resources you’ll use to help you predict correctly. Test different strategies throughout the season and stick to what works for you.



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