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Beginner’s Guide to NFL Betting

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American football is no doubt one of the most popular sports in the world. With millions of followers, a major league like the NFL is usually a significant feature of online sports betting. Besides betting online, many NFL fans also entertain themselves by competing in fantasy football.

If you are considering getting into NFL betting, it is essential to understand some fundamental concepts. Getting into NFL betting without knowing what you’re doing would only lead to you losing money needlessly. Thus, in this article, we’ll take you through some key things to know before getting on an online sportsbook and betting on NFL games.

Point Spread

This is one of the primary things you should know when betting on NFL games. The point spread is determined by odd specialists with sportsbooks. These specialists essentially come up with a number that reflects the advantages and disadvantages of a team based on its expected performance in a game.

If a team is considered the favorite to win a game, they would be assigned a points figure that leaves them at a disadvantage. This means they would have to win the game by more points. Of course, the reverse is the case for the underdog–the team that is unlikely to win. Thus, the underdog is assigned a points figure that puts it at an advantage.

Take, for instance, a game between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks where the Rams are assigned a points figure of -9, and the Seahawks have a points figure of +9. Being the favorite, the Rams would have to beat the Seahawks by more than 9 points to win the bet. The Seahawks, on the other hand, can take the bet without winning the match. Simply keeping the points difference in the game within the margin of 9 would be sufficient for the Seahawks to win the bet.


Totals are another common bet you will find on an online sportsbook. The total in an NFL game refers to the final combined score of the two teams. This is usually determined by oddsmakers who have analyzed the form and stats of both teams. When betting online on totals, you are essentially guessing whether the actual total score of the game would be above or under the total set by oddsmakers.

Thus, where the set total in the Rams vs. Seahawks game is 45, you will bet on whether the total score would be OVER or UNDER 45 points. A bet on totals should ideally be based on the consideration of variables such as both teams’ offensive and defensive stats, state of injuries, league standings, and general trends. Notably, these variables are also helpful when taking part in NFL fantasy football.


With moneyline betting, you simply have to determine what team would win an NFL game outright. Notably, unlike points spread, the team does not have to win by any stipulated number of points. An ordinary win is sufficient to secure your bet. Thus, moneyline is one of the simplest ways you bet on NFL games as a beginner.

It is worth noting that, as with every other sport, moneyline betting in the NFL comes at a premium for favorites and a discount for underdogs. In essence, depending on the odds, placing a successful bet on two different teams would earn you different teams. Generally, you can win more by betting on unlikely winners since that’s a riskier wager.

Future and Props

NFL futures are bets on specific events that could happen by the end of a particular season. A popular example is betting on which team would win the Super Bowl. There are a couple of other NFL futures bets, such as determining the teams that will win the eight divisions in the league. Similarly, you can bet on what players would emerge as MVP of the regular season, best defensive player of the year, and so on.

Props refer to bets on a team’s or player’s performance. For instance, you could bet on a Quarterback’s passing yards, a Wide Receiver’s receiving yards, or a Running Back’s rushing yards. Countless other props are available to bettors every NFL game.


If you want to get into NFL betting online, besides knowing how all the significant forms of betting work, it is vital that you pay attention to relevant information that can help you make informed decisions. Such information includes team and player stats, form, and betting trends.