A Guide to Online Betting for NFL
For many years now, football has been the most popular sport for Americans to bet on. Much of the focus will, of course, go on the National Football League, which sees huge amounts of wagering once the season kicks off in early September. NFL betting can come in many forms: Casual bettors might like to back their favorite teams for the Super Bowl; football fanatics might have complex strategies for each game week, using stats to adjust their wagering accordingly; others might love the thrill of betting on NFL in-play, placing wagers as they react to the ebb and flow of the live game.
Best Sites for NFL Betting
As NFL wagering is so popular, you would expect most online sportsbooks to make football betting a priority on their sites. Mostly, that is true, but we should add a caveat that online sportsbooks are relatively new to the United States (outside Nevada). In New Jersey, for example, several of the major online sportsbooks did not launch until after the 2018/19 NFL season had started, meaning the 2019/20 will be the first season of full NFL betting coverage.
Still, there is plenty of evidence for us to judge which are the best sportsbooks for NFL wagering. One of our favorite options is BetStars NJ, which provides in-depth NFL betting coverage and lots of promotions tailored towards football betting. Other betting sites already gaining a reputation as top NFL bookmakers online include 888sport NJ, PointsBet, FanDuel and SugarHouse Sports. This quartet joins BetStars NJ in providing an effusive range of betting markets, as well as NFL betting promotions.
What Makes a Good NFL Bookmaker?
Everyone wants the best odds for betting on NFL, but there are other factors that can combine to make the best NFL betting sites. Below we look at some of those factors:
A good sportsbook should have promos specifically related to football. This might come in the form of enhanced odds (see below), special promos for a game, parlay insurance, free bets and so on. BetStars NJ is a particularly good choice for NFL promotions.
NFL Odds Boosts
Almost every major online sportsbook will have odds boosts/enhanced odds for NFL games and futures markets. As you might expect, this involves increasing the price of selected betting markets and offering greater returns than the market standard. Golden Lines odds boosts from Golden Nugget Sports is one of our favorite enhanced odds promotions that covers NFL.
In-Depth Betting Coverage
All betting sites will have odds for the Super Bowl winner and basic popular markets for each game, but sometimes bettors want a little more. PointsBet is a particularly smart option for bettors who want lots of different NFL betting markets.
Best NFL Sites for Live Betting
As online sports betting grows across America, it has become apparent that betting live in-play will be a huge part of the industry. It’s fair to say, however, that many sports books are still trying to find their legs when it comes to in-play betting platforms. Nearly all betting sites will offer in-play betting on NFL, but bettors will also expect the betting markets to be supported with stats, fast-bet options, score updates and commentary. Moreover, one would expect some bookmakers to add live football streaming to their sportsbooks, and there are already tie-ups with companies like Fox Sports and BetStars. To be clear, you won’t get free NFL streaming through an online sportsbook just yet, but it won’t be surprising to see it added in the near future.
As for the sports betting sites that have the total package when it comes to in-play betting for NFL, we have been particularly impressed by 888sport NJ and BetAmerica Sportsbook. The former is a smart choice for those who like a long list of betting markets, whereas the latter is one of the best sportsbooks for real-time stats updates and commentary.
Types of NFL Sports Bets
You would be surprised at the sheer number and types of betting markets that can be applied to the NFL – you can bet on almost anything. For example, during last year’s Super Bowl, bookmakers were taking bets on everything from the color of the Gatorade poured over the winning coach to the first person hugged by the Super Bowl MVP.
The best sportsbooks will have dozens of different betting markets for each NFL game, but the most common types of wagers are:
Spread – a wager on who will win the game, but with one team getting a theoretical points advantage and another getting a disadvantage.
Moneyline – a straight bet on who will the game.
Total Points – a wager on whether the total points scored by both teams in an NFL game will be higher or lower than a specific total.
In addition, there are usually lots of futures markets for NFL bets. Some of the most popular are shown below:
NFL Championship/Super Bowl outright – a wager on whether a team will win the Super Bowl or not.
MVP Betting – a wager on who will be crowned the NFL’s official MVP at the end of the season.
NFL Draft – a wager on the first pick in the NFL Draft.
Popular NFL Offers
NFL betting offers are part of the attraction of betting on football online. The best sportsbooks should have offers specific to NFL and broader promotions that can be applied to the NFL. Below we run through some of the most popular football betting promotions:
Money Back Offers – a promotion that usually consists of a refund if your bet loses under particular circumstances. For example, money back if your team loses in overtime.
Parlay Insurance – some bookmakers will refund your stake if you have made a parlay bet in which all legs but one have been successful.
Parlay Boost – a percentage boost to your winnings if you have a successful parlay bet. Normally the boost is tiered, e.g., 3% boost for a 4-leg winning parlay, 4% boost for 5-leg winning parlay etc.
Early Payout – a promotion where the result will be settled in your favor providing certain criteria have been fulfilled. For example, get paid out early if your team takes a 14-point lead in an NFL game.
NFL Betting Tips and Strategies
Like any sport, successful NFL betting will depend on several factors. Moreover, shocks can always happen. Super Bowl LIII was won by the preseason betting favorite, New England Patriots, whereas the Philadelphia Eagles was more of a shock winner of Super Bowl LII the season before. Statistics should form a major part of your NFL betting strategy. For example, games involving the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2018 regular season averaged over 61 points per game, making the Chiefs a perfect selection when considering betting on over points totals markets.
You should also look at how a team performs at home and on the road. For instance, the Patriots had a perfect record at home in the 2018 season, but a below average record when playing away from Gillette Stadium. These snippets of information can help with your NFL betting success and can be found easily by looking at results and standings, but we would also suggest that you catch some game previews from sports shows and websites for detailed analysis. Some sportsbooks, like PointsBet, will have their own dedicated betting blogs that are definitely worth reading before you place your wager.
The NFL regular season gets under in early September. The league is made up of 32 teams, which is split up into two conferences – AFC and NFC. Both the AFC and NFC have four divisions (based on geography) of four teams each. Each team will be 16 games in the regular season, with qualification for the Playoffs awarded to division winners and two teams from each conference with the best records. The season will climax with the Playoffs in January and the Super Bowl on the first Sunday in February.
The Super Bowl, which sees the NFC Champion pitted against the AFC Champion for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, is one of the most-watched sporting events on the planet. The New England Patriots won the most recent Super Bowl, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers as six-time champions in the process. The first Super Bowl took place in 1967 and was won by the Green Bay Packers.
As America’s most popular sports competition, it’s obviously crucial that an online sportsbook offers NFL betting. The quality of that coverage can vary among different sportsbooks, so take some time to read our reviews before deciding on which sportsbook to join. Moreover, if a sportsbook hits all the right notes with the NFL, there is a good chance it will be the best betting option for other sports too.