NFL Betting Strategy: An Introduction to Betting on American Football


The NFL is by far the biggest of the American sports around the world and with a global audience, the growth in betting on the sport has also risen considerably recently. The emergence of the sport in the UK has seen an abundance of new betting markets created, each looking at the NFL from a slightly different angle in an attempt to satisfy the huge demand from punters. With so many markets it is a great time to get involved in betting on American Football, and even casual fans can use their knowledge to pick out many different betting opportunities.

The NFL is a great example of how betting and sport go hand in hand. Thanks to the growth of the game in the UK, we have seen a growth in the number of betting markets for us to bet on. This is increasing the popularity of the game even further, with more and more people watching so they can have a bet on the games. The new markets give the opportunity to the punters to make some money, and if you look close enough you will see an angle that you can attack every week.

The Main Markets

When you place a bet on the NFL you will find three main markets to choose from and these markets are offered by all bookmakers. Two out of the three markets involved a fictional line that the bookmakers individually create, so make sure you shop around and find the line that works best for you if you have numerous betting accounts.

The three main markets are the outright win market, which is called the money line, the handicap market and the total points market. These are traditional markets that have been around in NFL betting for a number of years and they are a great place to start for anyone who is new to betting on the sport.

The Money Line

The money line is a two way betting market and it is all about who will win the game. This is the simplest market and the easiest market to get going with if you are looking for a way into NFL betting. All you have to do on the market is pick a team to win, overtime is included in the betting so all you need to do is place a bet and then sit back and cheer on your team.

If you are a football punter, and you place an accumulator on football games then this is certainly the line for you and you can place an NFL accumulator on this line if you wish to enhance your returns. For those looking to start off somewhere easy and simple, take a look at the money line next time there are NFL games taking place.

The Handicap Line

Either handicap betting will be something you are very familiar with or something you have never done before depending on what sport you bet on. If you are a football fan you will rarely have seen handicap betting before, but if you back on a sport like rugby then you will certainly know how handicap betting works.

A fictional handicap line is used by the bookmakers on this market, which is there to bring the teams closer together and make the game an interesting betting proposition. This is why it is popular in sports like rugby because often teams have a big difference in class and the handicap line makes the

game closer and something people can bet on. On the handicap line in any sport, the team which is the weakest is given a head start on their opponents, which is there to bridge the gap between them. The lines nearly always end in .5 so there can be no draw on the market. It is a straight two way win or lose market.

For example, in the NFL to make thins fair from a betting point of view, a weak team may have a handicap advantage of 9.5 over their superior opponents. On this line, you are either having a bet on the favourite to win by 10 points or more, if you are backing the underdog to either win the game outright or lose by 9 points or less. This gives you a much better chance of winning if you back the underdog, which makes the market more even and that is why bookmakers do it.

It may take a while for newcomers to handicap betting to get their head around, but you will see value in teams who are very poor, but they have a double figurehead start on the line. This is something that punters can use to their advantage and it means you can confidently back any team if the line is right, even the worst team in the league.

This is my market of choice and I often find plenty of value here each week. Make sure that if you intend to place bets on the handicap line that you shop around and find the best line possible, some vary by up to two points, which is a big difference and could turn your bet from a winner into a loser.

The Total Points Line

The total points line is an over/under market that has been created by the bookmakers. It allows people who want to the opportunity to bet on the total number of points scored in a game. This is a common market amongst many sports, especially those where many points are scored; again rugby is a place where this market is very popular. It has been used in the NFL for a number of years now and is great for those who want in interest but don’t want to back a team to win the game.

Just like the handicap betting line, you will usually see this line have a .5 at the end to ensure it is a straight win or lose market and there cannot be a draw or void bets on the market. With a little bit of studying, you are sure to find an angle here and there are many stats out there that can help you decide whether or not a game is going to be high or low scoring.

When you are looking at backing over in this market, make sure you look out for teams playing each other who both have elite quarterbacks and a game that may turn out into a shootout. Also look at defensive numbers, teams with good defensive numbers obviously concede a lot fewer touchdowns, and the attacking team picking up 3 points from a field goal is very different to 7 from a converted touchdown.

When you are looking at games to back under, I always check out the weather conditions first and see if they will have an effect on the game. Tough conditions make throwing the ball much harder and if both teams are pretty solid in defence, running the ball can also be tough. If you add to that the higher chance of an error, because of the weather then all of a sudden the game could be very low scoring.

There are many other things to check out in this market, but those are the first few pointers everyone should be using.

New Players Markets

One new area for betting on the NFL that has emerged in the past couple of seasons has been the ability to bet on how your favourite player will perform. These bets are known as prop bets and cover a variety of different things depending on what position the player is playing in.

If you want to back a quarterback to have a good game then you will be able to back on an over/under market for the total amount of yards he throws in a game to his receivers. If you think a quarterback will have a good game and want a fun bet then this is a great place to have a look at.

Elsewhere, you can back on the total number of receiving yards a receiver has during a game or the total number of rushing yards a running back has. Both of these markets are over/under markets with a line set by the bookmakers. This means if you like the player and think he will do well you can back over the line, but you can also back the defence to stop him by backing under the line, giving you two ways of approaching this type of bet.

Alongside these markets, the traditional first/last touchdown markets are to bet on just like in any other sport and you can now also bet to anytime touchdown scorers, or multiple touchdown scorers. These bets are great fun if you are just looking for an interest in a game that you are watching on TV, but are also an ideal way for those new to betting on the NFL to get involved.