For most sports lovers in North America, football is a part of their lives and culture. Thousands of people gather in the stadiums every Sunday to enjoy and cheer on the exciting games in the National Football League. Of course, bettors will not be able to ignore such significant events where they can make a profit if they correctly predict what will happen in these matches.

Betting on NFL matches is becoming more popular than ever, as people are scrambling to study the stats and all the relevant information about the matches to get the edge on the betting lines that sportsbooks around the world are offering in this market. However, it is not an impossible task if you are a beginner. Today's article will show you how to make your NFL betting a fun and profitable endeavor, whether you're betting on NFL games from pre-season or the Super Bowl, through detailed instructions on betting lines and odds below.

NFL Betting Lines and Odds

Generally, the three most common types of football bets that players make in an NFL game are Point Spread, Totals, and Moneyline. They are the basic single bets that form the complex football betting system with more advanced forms of bets. Therefore, the first thing that you need to do is understand them well.

nfl games
Source: Freepik

Point Spread

This type of bet is the most popular form chosen by bettors. The reason is that it completely removes the advantage of the higher-rated team before the game and makes the player wager pool more balanced between the two teams.

More specifically, the sportsbook experts will judge one team to be superior to the other before kick-off. The higher-rated opponent is conventionally called the "favorite," and the opposing team is called the "underdog." In theory, the "favorite" team would be at a disadvantage because it needs to win the game by beating the opponent by a certain number of points, while the "underdog" team will have an advantage where they just need not lose the game by a certain number of points or win it outright.

To make it easier for you to understand what we are talking about, refer to the example of Point Spread applied to an NFL game:

  • Dallas Cowboys -5
  • Carolina Panthers +5

Based on the odds table above, the "favorite" team is the Dallas Cowboys team. Even if the match starts at an even score, the sportsbook and the player will agree with each other that 5 points will deduct the performance of the Dallas Cowboys team at the end of the game, or in other words, the "underdog" team, Carolina Panthers, will have a hidden advantage of 5 points for gamblers who bet on them. At that point, match arbitrage is completely removed, and any bettor has a 50/50 chance of winning when choosing one of the two teams to bet on.

Therefore, the odds for the two teams will be even. As a result, you will have to think twice before placing a bet, as choosing the dominant squad will no longer guarantee a high probability of winning for you. In the example above, if you are confident in picking the Dallas Cowboys, make sure you believe this team will be able to cover the 5 points they have handicapped.


A fun way to bet on any NFL game without having to support either team is to use Totals bets. This type of bet is made up of the expected final combination of both teams, and it stipulates that you will make a profit if you correctly predict whether the final score will be above or below the Total Points specified by the sportsbook. Therefore, if you choose this bet type, you will see the match from the point of view of the score instead of a fan's point of view.

For example, in a match between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins, the sportsbook set the Totals at 49.5. As a bettor, you will have to predict whether the final total of the two teams at the end of the match will be higher or lower than 49.5 points. If you think it should be higher, you will choose to bet on Over, and vice versa.

To improve your chances of winning the Totals bet, it is important that you have enough grounds to make a judgment. If a team's key player is injured and absent, that team may score fewer points and affect Totals bets. In addition, the weather is also a notable factor. If the match takes place in unfavorable weather conditions, players of both teams will have difficulty playing and often will not score as many points as expected.


Very simple, for an NFL Moneyline bet, you just need to predict the team that will win the match correctly. So, you will wonder how the sportsbook balances its profits if most people spend their wager on the "favorite" team. Well, the answer is that the operators will greatly influence the odds of the two teams to limit the difference in skill and talent between the two teams and will affect the fairness of the bet.

To be more specific, consider the example below of a game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings. Let's say the Detroit Lions are judged by experts to be more skilled and have a better chance of winning. The odds on this match would then look like this:

  • Detroit Lions -160
  • Minnesota Vikings +140

The numbers above mean that if you bet $160 on the Detroit Lions, the "favorite" team, you will only get $100 back if you win. However, if you are more adventurous and bet on the Minnesota Vikings, the "underdog" team, you will enjoy $140 from a $100 capital.

Therefore, you can clearly see that while the higher-rated team is not affected by the opponent's handicap, you will still have to overcome their limited odds if you want to win with them. Moneyline bets do not erase the boundaries of the difference in qualifications between the two teams, but it does make you think about the risks you have to take if you want to take advantage of that difference and also the high returns you can receive if you are reckless enough to choose the lower-rated team.

What are Other Popular NFL Betting Types?

Besides the three basic bets that we have introduced above, you can refer to some advanced NFL bets that we will cover below. They will give you new experiences and perspectives on football betting based on predicting various events related to the match.

how to bet on nfl games
Source: Freepik

NFL Futures

A futures bet is a type of bet that allows you to predict possible events at the end of the NFL season. For example, you can predict which team will win the Super Bowl before the season has even started. It is also the option that many people have spent their wager with and is considered the most popular futures bet. However, it is not the only one. NFL futures have a lot of variations, and it can be based on many aspects of the game rather than just focusing on which team will win or win the championship. More specifically, the most popular futures options in the NFL include:

  • Odds to Win the NFC South Division
  • Odds To Win The NFC
  • NFL Regular-Season MVP
  • NFL Defensive Player of the Year
  • NFL Regular-Season Win Totals

For futures betting, the essential factor that you need to keep in mind is that you will have to wait a long time to know the results of your bets. Even so, many bettors may have to wait up to a year or more just to find out if they have won. To make up for that, the odds on futures are extremely generous, and your reward, if you win, is well worth the wait.

Game and Player Props

The props market is a draw for many bettors because of their entertainment. Instead of focusing on match results, you can try your luck with predicting the performance of specific players. For example, a player props bet might look like this: 

Patrick Mahomes Over / Under 289.5 passing yards

Following the example above, you would have to predict how far Patrick Mahomes can throw the ball. If you bet Over 289.5 yards and he can hit 330 yards, you lose the bet. It is simply that.

To give you a clearer picture, we will introduce some popular Game And Player Props bets that are used in NFL matches.

  • Quarterback O/U Passing Yards
  • Running Back O/U Rushing Yards
  • Wide Receiver O/U Receiving Yards
  • First Touchdown Scorer
  • Anytime Touchdown Scorer

However, these props are only a small part of the list of NFL props available. If you watch a Super Bowl game, you might be overwhelmed with the way people bet on events that are considered outlandish. For example, which team will win a coin toss, how many minutes the US national anthem will be broadcast, or the color Gatorade will be used to bathe the winning team coach at the end of the game. All will create unique imprints of the props betting market and add entertainment to the game. 


Parlays for the NFL work similarly to other sports. You will combine your single bets into a single bet and win if you correctly predict all events in a sequence. Consider the following example to better understand how pars work: 

  • Dallas Cowboys Point Spread -5 vs. Carolina Panthers (-110)
  • Detroit Lions Moneyline vs. Minnesota Vikings (-160)
  • Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins BELOW 48.5 (-110)

According to the formula from the sportsbook, let's say the odds if you correctly predict all three of these bets is (+480). Therefore, if you spend $100 of capital on parlays of these three single bets and win, you will get a net profit of $480. Plus the initial $100, your final payment is $580. 


NFL Teaser bets are a type of bet similar to Point Spread bets. However, it is more complicated to operate, and the way to adjust the point spread is more beneficial for bettors. Basically, Teaser bets work like parlay bets, where you will have to correctly predict every outcome to win the bet. However, you can influence the number of handicaps in matches in a correlation to reduce your risk. These relationships are, of course, called Teasers.  

Usually, the teaser can range between 6 points and up to 15 points, depending on the online sports betting site. However, in most cases, the most common form of this betting option is picking two or three teams and teasing NFL lines by 6, 6.5, or 7 points.

It may sound confusing, but the example below might help you imagine how Teaser bets work:

Two-Team Parlay - Opening Spreads
Game Pick Odds
Philadelphia Eagles vs Los Angeles Rams Philadelphia Eagles -5
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Seattle Seahawks Pittsburgh Steelers +7

Now, let's say you pick Philadelphia Eagles -5 and Pittsburgh Steelers +7, but you're worried about the Philadelphia Eagles not being able to cover five handicapped points, or the Pittsburgh Steelers can beat their opponents by just 6 points. In this case, the Teaser bet can be useful to you. If you pair these games together in a 6-point teaser, you now have Philadelphia Eagles +1.0 and Pittsburgh Steelers +13.0. Here's how it changed now:

Two-Team Parlay - Opening Spreads
Game Pick Odds
Philadelphia Eagles vs Los Angeles Rams Philadelphia Eagles +1
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Seattle Seahawks Pittsburgh Steelers +13

With this new situation, both of your choices, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers, benefit as the handicap has changed. It will make your chances of winning higher than ever. However, the price you have to pay is that the size of the payout will be significantly reduced. For example, most sportsbooks pay out two-team parlays with odds of +260, but this would plummet to just -130 for two-team teasers. Therefore, carefully consider the profit opportunities and risks you must accept before using this type of bet. 

States That Allow NFL Betting

The National Football League is one of the most popular in the United States. However, not all states in the country allow players to bet on this sport. 

Currently, in the US, states that legalize some forms of sports betting include Nevada, Washington, Florida, New York, California, Arizona, Illinois, Miscihan, Hawaii, Virginia, Nebraska, Alaska, and several other states.

In fact, not many of the states that do not legalize sports betting provide the necessary documents and licenses as a legal basis for the business of sports betting on mobile platforms. Therefore, if you are concerned about the safety of NFL betting online in the United States, you can refer to the list below. It brings together states that are leading the way in implementing viable online platforms where you can bet on the NFL transparently and honestly.

Aside from the states where betting is legal, not all of them have properly set up the terms or licenses to allow online sports betting and mobile sportsbooks. Here are the states that are leading the way in implementing viable online platforms where you can bet on the NFL:

Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Oregon.


This article has compiled important knowledge for a beginner in his NFL betting process. We hope that the information from this article will add to your overall gambling knowledge and help you enter the race for profit in the NFL in the most favorable way. Also, if you have any questions about anything in the world of online sports betting, our website will make sure to provide detailed tutorials to meet your needs.

Published: 21 June 2022 15:34