Conventional wisdom states that, out of the millions of people who gamble on NFL games every Sunday, only somewhere between 3-5% will ever turn a profit.
If you’re planning on betting on NFL games yourself, you have to know the odds aren’t in your favor. Fortunately, there are proven expert strategies that can help you go from just another frustrated handicapper to one of the few sharps capable of giving Vegas a run for their money.
We’ll share a few of those strategies here, as well as go over the most common terms associated with football betting, just to catch you up on any lingo you might not be familiar with. And if you are looking for the best site to use, check out MyStake.
Will you be a winner when we’re done? We can’t promise that — but you should be a whole lot closer than you were before you started reading.
The Best Sites for Betting on the NFL
- MyStake: Best overall
- BUSR: Dedicated referral bonus
- Bovada: $750 welcome bonus
- BetOnline: Variety of markets
- Mybookie: Excellent VIP program
- Everygame: #1 pick for parlay bets
- Xbet: Amazing live betting section
- Thunderpick: Features player props
- BetUS: Dedicated mobile app
- Sportsbetting: Earliest lines
You can bet on the NFL at a number of online sportsbooks or even at your local brick-and-mortar establishment, depending on where you live.
We’d recommend sticking to an established online bookie like MyStake or Bovada, though, where you’ll also be able to place MLB, NBA, and NHL wagers, as well as bet on many other sports across the globe.
These sites have been around for years, building up a reputation for treating players fairly. That’s far from the only reason to bet with them, though:
- They’re Convenient: You can get the most up-to-date lines anytime you want, simply by refreshing the page.
- They Reward Players: They’re always looking for ways to get you into the action — other sportsbooks simply can’t compete with that.
- They Offer Round-The-Clock Action: You can bet on most sports matchups right up to the start time, and then you can get live bets during the game.
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How to Bet on NFL Games: Things to Know
If you’ve never before bet on an NFL game, then you might find all the terms and definitions a bit overwhelming. Below, we’ve put together a quick primer on all the things you’ll need to know before placing your first bet.
Bet Tracking when Betting on NFL Games
Simply put, keeping track of your wagers. Before online betting was allowed, you might track your bets in a little black book.
Now your bets can all be found on whichever site or sites you choose to use for wagering. There are also apps that will keep track of all of your bets, regardless of which site you use.
Futures Betting on NFL
As you might guess, Futures bets are placed with an eye on a future result for a team or individual based on achieving a number of wins or some statistical benchmark.
You can even bet on who will win season-end awards. Because it often takes months to resolve these wagers, they are often overlooked, but when they hit, they can pay off huge with incredible NFL odds.
For example, you could place a Futures bet in August that Patrick Mahomes will win the NFL Most Valuable Player award at the end of the season for (+250); if you put down $100 and he wins the MVP, you will collect your $250 winnings in February when the winner is announced. (the odds are theoretical, please; no complaints)
What is Hook in NFL Betting?
“The Hook” is slang for the half point (.5) in a point spread: As in, “The Cowboys are favored by 3 ½ points over the Falcons; we like Atlanta thanks to that extra hook”. The Hook is significant because it assures that the game will not end in a push.
In-Game Betting on NFL
Another betting innovation made easier by the internet, in-game betting is….well…it’s betting on the game DURING a game.
For example, you can bet on who will win Only the second quarter of an NFL game, just as long as you place the bet before the start of the quarter. You can also bet on live point spreads for the outcome of each game based on the current score.
Placing Moneyline Wagers on NFL Games
When you bet the moneyline, you are simply picking who will win any game. Because this doesn’t factor in a point spread, the teams will have different odds offered based on who is favored.
For example: If the Bills are favored to win by 7 points, but you want to pick them on the moneyline your odds might be (-135). When you bet the Moneyline, the underdog will pay better odds.
NFL Betting Odds & How to Read Them
The Odds is an easy way to show how much you will win on any wager. The odds are set based on the predicted outcome of whatever event is being wagered on.
If you are placing a bet with +Odds, you are the “underdog”: For example, if I bet on the Jets to win and the odds are (+230), that means a $100 bet will pay off $230.
Conversely, if you are betting on the favorite in a game, you would have -Odds. In that case, if you bet on the Steelers to win and the odds are (-175), you would have to wager $175 to win an additional $100.
Over/Under (Total) Bets on NFL
The Over/Under is the prediction for the total number of combined points scored in a game. It is often listed after the Point Spread for the game. If the Over/Under is 46, you are betting on where the total final score will fall (Will it be over? Will it be under?) in relation to that number.
Over/Under is also used in prop bets. Example: The Over/Under on rushing yards for Saquon Barkley this Sunday against the Dolphins is 78.5.
Parlay Bets on NFL Games
When you bet a Parlay, you are combining two or more bets together into one wager. To win a parlay, you have to win every bet within it.
While this is more difficult than winning any individual bet, the attraction is that the odds of all the individual bets are combined in a Parlay to give incredible potential payouts.
How to Place Prop Bets on NFL
Prop bets are individual bets within a larger event. They are most popular during the Super Bowl but can be made on most NFL games. They often focus on a single statistical outcome or a specific event happening in a particular game.
Some examples of Prop bets are “Will Jameis Winston throw an interception?” or “Will there be a blocked punt in this game?” Super Bowl prop bets often come with odds or involve an Over/Under component.
What is Push in NFL Betting?
A “Push” is essentially when you tie your bet. If you bet on the Lions (-3) to win by three points, and they win by EXACTLY 3 points, this is a push, and all wagers are refunded.
If there is a Push as part of a Parlay, that game is excluded, and the odds are recalculated, removing the game that” pushed” from the odds.
NFL Spread Betting (Point Spread or “line”)
One of the most popular bets, the point spread in a game, is a way to demonstrate the qualitative difference between the two teams playing. For example, the “point spread” between a great team and a poor team might be 9 points, indicated by -9 for the favored team and +9 for the underdog.
If you bet on the Patriots(-9), they would have to win by more than 9 points for you to win the bet. If you bet on the Jaguars(+9), they need only lose by less than 9 points for you to win the bet.
In either case, if the margin of the game was EXACTLY 9 points, it would result in a PUSH, and everyone would get their money back.
How to Bet on NFL Games: Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you’ve got a handle on all of the important terms let’s take you through a step-by-step walk-thru for placing an actual bet on an NFL game. For this example, we will use our #1 site for NFL betting, MyStake.
Step 1: Sign up for a New Account
- Click here to visit MyStake
- Click the Red “Sign Up” button at the top of the page
- Enter your personal info
- If you have a promo code, put it in here!
- Go to your email and click the link they send to your address
Step 2: Deposit Funds
- Click the $$ deposit/cashier button
- Pick your desired currency type and how much you want to deposit
- Don’t forget to see what kind of bonus promotions you might be eligible for
Step 3: Place Your NFL Bets
- Click “sports” at the top of the page.
- Scroll to Football on the left sidebar. Click “NFL”
- This will bring up a list of games and bets; just click the ones you like, and they’ll be added to your bet slip.
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NFL Betting Guide: Tips and Strategies to Consider
Everyone has their own approach to betting, and we would never want to dissuade you from something that is working for you.
However, if you are new to the game or just looking for some alternative strategies, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks of the trade that might assist you on your quest for gambling supremacy (or at least doing slightly better than breaking even).
Know how much you have to wager (bankroll): This is one tip we implore you to pay attention to! If you are going to be making regular bets, before you start, put aside the total amount you are willing to lose into your BANKROLL.
Keeping track of your bankroll will give you an idea of how well your strategies are doing and also let you know when you can afford to be aggressive or if it’s better to be cautious until you can build up your reserve again.
Break your bankroll into “units”: Once you’ve established how much you have in your Bankroll, divide that amount by 100, that number will be one unit. So if you have $500 total in your bankroll, each unit would be $5.
Never bet too much: Most professional bettors will never bet more than 2 or 3 “units” on any outcome, except in rare instances. This conservative approach will preserve your Bankroll and let you live to bet another day when you come up against a Bad Beat. There’s no such thing as a sure thing in the world of Gambling.
Shop around for the best Value: With sports betting gaining acceptance around the country, there are more options than ever to place your bet. One of the advantages of so many options is that there will always be a range of lines available for any sporting event. The smart bettors will shop around at a variety of NFL betting sites, looking for the best value.
When you shop for a car, do you only go to one place and take the first offer? I sure hope not. It’s no different when you are making a wager (except your Car Dealer isn’t giving you any money in any circumstance).
When a ½ point can be the difference between winning and losing, you would be a fool to NOT shop around for the best odds.
Major Things to Consider Before You Place NFL Game Bets
Don’t bet every game: There are always going to be some point spreads that look better than others, concentrate on the games where you see an edge and put your money there rather than using the shotgun approach of betting everywhere and hoping it all works out. Just because you CAN make a bet doesn’t mean you have to.
Knowledge is power: This applies to everything, but in gambling, no one has ever gotten rich by throwing darts blindfolded. Betting on Super Bowl fun, especially when you win. While no amount of research can guarantee a result, it can help you recognize patterns and refine your strategy. Professional sports bettors pour over statistics before they make their picks, and every piece of information is just a Google search away; take advantage!
Give your strategy a chance: Successful sports betting is about recognizing trends and exploiting them. Trends take time to develop, and you can’t make a decision based on one result. Patient, considered, conservative betting will allow you to test your strategies while not risking too much. Once you begin to see trends, you can adjust your bets to take advantage.
Beware the Public: Professional Sports Gamblers depend on the general betting population to make bad decisions based on poor strategies (or, more likely, NO strategies). Here are a few things the Public tends to do way more often than the Sharps.
- Lose: This is important, and all the other items on this list are connected to this first one.
- Betting the over: The Public wants to see scoring! The linemakers know this.
- Betting on the ratings darlings: There are a few NFL teams with National followings, and their fans love to lay the money on them. The Cowboys, Packers, Steelers, and Bears will always have a point spread designed to get their hardcore fans to throw their money away. Don’t be like them.
Be wary of the parlay: Sure, it’s fun to put $2 down on a 13-team parlay on the off chance that it hits, and you can tell your boss to REDACTED. It’s not a smart way to win week in and week out, however.
When you combine wagers into a parlay, you are always giving up some value over what you could win, making the wagers individually. You are much better off placing 3 separate wagers than putting them into a parlay, and not just because you need all 3 to hit to win anything in the parlay.
Bet Favorites early, Underdogs late- The Public (remember them?) tends to love the favorites, and so the spread generally gets bigger during the week as more bets come in on the favorite. Therefore, your best bet is to get in on the favorite early AND/OR to wait to bet the underdog until right before game time. If the line moves enough, you could make money betting on both sides!
Know the stats that matter: Statistics are important, but some are more important than others. Two statistics directly related to chances of winning are turnover margin and passing yards per attempt. When you do your research, look for which team has the advantage in these statistics, it could point the way to winning your bet.
How to Bet on NFL Games: Things to Avoid
- Avoid Recency Bias: Trust that over time all things even out.
- Don’t bet when drunk: Duh.
- Don’t tilt: Don’t try to make up for a tough week by putting it all on the line on one bet. That could make things even more not good (also known as BAD). We’re saying pretty please on this one.
- Home underdogs: Did you know that betting on NFL home underdogs is one of the best bets you can make? (Statistically speaking, over time). Now you know!
Betting on NFL Games Online: FAQs
What’s the Best Site for Betting on NFL Games?
There are plenty of great places to wager on the NFL. We recommend sticking with the big, established sites like the ones listed at the top of the article.
For 2023, our Overall #1 site for betting on the NFL is MyStake. They have everything today’s bettor is looking for in an online sports betting site.
What’s the Best Strategy to Use for NFL Games Betting?
The best strategy is one that wins. There are many ways to achieve that, but the most important things to always keep in mind when betting are listed below.
- Know how much money you can afford to wager and keep track of it.
- Do your research.
- Be selective with your wagers, don’t bet every game.
- Start small and give any strategy you employ a few weeks to pay off.
What’s the Easiest Bet in Football?
Now that Tom Brady is retired for good (?) you could say there are no easy bets anymore in football.
That said, history shows that over time picking NFL home underdogs and the UNDER for total score is a winning strategy. If you know a better bet, PLEASE contact us! Whether you are looking forward to NFL draft betting, Super Bowl, or anything else, you need a good strategy to use.
Why Bet on the National Football League Online?
The NFL is the most popular sport in America, but if that isn’t enough for you, here are some more reasons why betting on the NFL is a great idea!
- Options Galore: There are more ways than ever before to bet on the NFL. Point spread? Over/Unders? Futures? Don’t forget the prop bets!
- Easy Research: As the most popular sport in America, the NFL doesn’t suffer from a lack of coverage. If you want to find a breakdown of the Cincinnati Bengals 3rd down run defense, the hardest problem will be deciding WHICH one to read.
Combine this with the exploding landscape of sports betting, and you can find any kind of statistics, history, or recent trends you are looking for just by typing a few words. With the internet at your fingertips, you can confirm your hunches with data or maybe even use data to come up with better hunches.
- In Game Wagering: One of the newest innovations in betting, you can now place bets on games IN PROGRESS. You can bet on an adjusted spread or total for the game or bet on your team to win the second quarter OR dozens of other bets being made available throughout the NFL games.
Your favorite team may only win 5 games this year, but even the worst teams will win 20 quarters this season. Just figure out which ones!
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So, Did You Find Out How to Bet on NFL Games Online?
For as long as the NFL has been in existence, folks have been betting on the games. For many years, unless you were making those bets in Vegas, you were breaking the law!
Thanks to the flood of states allowing sports gambling and the availability of online betting sites, you don’t have to make any more bets with shady characters in shadowy locations, never knowing if you would even get your winnings. And if you are looking for the best sites, check out MyStake!
Wagering on the games is an exciting, fun way to participate in the NFL, and it’s safer than ever before. Just remember to use a well-established site like the ones we’ve listed at the top of this guide. And as always, wager responsibly!
DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for entertainment purposes only. Online gambling comes with risks. There’s no guarantee of financial gain, so you should only gamble with what you can afford to lose. All information on this site is for entertainment purposes only.
While gambling can be fun, it can also be addictive. If you or anyone you know suffer from a gambling addiction problem, we recommend that you call the National Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700 to speak with an advisor. Please remember that our guides and all gambling sites are only for people who are 21+. Also, check with local laws to find out if online gambling is legal in your area.
For free online gambling addiction resources, visit these organizations: