Placing bets throughout the NFL season has become so outstandingly popular that the amount of people betting is close to the number of people watching – it’s highly exciting, purely entertaining and also potentially profitable. It’s been around for decades and it shows no signs of stopping, consistently gaining more and more fans each year. Now, due to its popularity, there is also a huge number of different bets you can place on the NFL – from the simple moneyline to the popular point spread wager and even the more complex ones such as pass completions, NFL futures and more.
This variety keeps things fresh but it can also be daunting – afterall, which types of bets are the best? While that will always come down to personal preference, we’ve made a selection of the top 3 most popular types of NFL bets – all of which are easy to use, deeply entertaining and, if you play your cards right, profitable too. Let’s take a look and find the right one for you!
1 – Spread Betting
I’ll bet you’ve heard the phrase “betting against the spread” – did I win? Even if you’re not familiar with this world, spread betting is so darn popular and widely used that its influence can be seen everywhere, from our dialect to entertainment and more.
First of all, it’s the most popular method to wager on the NFL, bar none, due to how easy it is to understand, how lenient it is to newcomers and how straightforward it is to use. It balances the odds between unequal teams – by giving each of them appropriate odds based on their performance, history and overall quality – but it can also create serious excitement in games, even during the later stages, that would otherwise not be much of a show. In the NFL in particular, scoring comes in 2, 3, 6 or 7 point increments so the spreads for football matches usually settle around those margins as well.
Now how does it work? It’s simple – a sportsbook sets a line that a team – let’s call it X – will win a game by Y amount of points. For example, New England could be a favorite at home against Philly. By betting on the Patriots at -3, you’re betting that they will win by either four or more points. On the other hand, if you bet on the Eagles you’ll bet that they will either win, tie or lose by either two or one points. Now there’s two ways to go about making a bet – you either go with your gut and pray for the best (fun but not terribly accurate) or do your due diligence and really go into the stats and historical data to make an informed bet. The latter is safer but can be exhausting and complex, thankfully some professionals already do all the hard work for you and simply share their personal picks for the best NFL bets with you. Overall, spread betting is incredibly easy right? It’s clear why it’s such a popular betting instrument.
2 – Moneyline Betting
Moneyline betting is even easier than spread – you simply pick which team you believe will win the game – no points margin, no nothing, it’s all about who’s going to win in the end. Due to this, it’s also often called a straight-up bet at sportsbooks. You can check several sportsbooks or websites such as ESPN’s NFL lines to check the current selection of lines. Now, due to skill/quality differences between the teams, betting on the favorite to win comes at a premium (less risk, less reward), but it’s also much safer and easier to win in terms of sheer probabilities. It’s also a beautiful opportunity for those that like to bet on the underdogs because even though longshots are always riskier, with moneyline bets it’s not as unlikely to win as you won’t have to guess the point difference. All you’ve got to pay attention to with this type of bet is the juice – where a negative number shows a favorite (-150), and a positive one indicates an underdog (+130).
It’s quickly gaining popularity and maybe, in the future, it will overtake spread betting to become the overall favorite.
3 – Over/Under Betting
Over/Under betting, also known as Game Totals, is yet another one of the most popular types of bets and for good reason – it keeps things exciting and it’s super straightforward. With this type of bet you’re simply guessing, as the name implies, on the total points accrued during the game – either over or under the prediction made by the sportsbook. For example – in a match of the New York Jets versus the Buffalo Bills, the sportsbook shows a “Total Points” of 42.5 (-110) (this calculation is made with basis on the teams’ historical records, current performance, players, trainers and every other detail you can think of). Historically, totals have ranged from 30 to 60 points so you’ve only got one decision to make – do you think this specific matchup’s total points will be over or under the number provided by the sportsbook of 42.5? Place your bets!
As you can see, it’s tremendously easy and super fun too, especially if you go for the over bet as you’re always cheering for more points until the end – although sometimes you’ve gotta keep your feelings aside and go for the under bet!
And there you have it – the top 3 most popular types of bets you can place on the NFL. Even though football season might not be running while you’re reading this, it’s never too late to start preparing for it! Although there are a mountain of others available, these are the ones that are most widely used due to their straightforward concepts, ease of use and due to how much fun and excitement they bring to the table. We hope that this handy introductory guide has been helpful and that your next NFL bet is a profitable one. Thanks for reading and good luck!