Professional sports and its relationship to sports betting has a long and complicated history. A recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court has made the expansion of sports betting far more likely in several states within the next five years. A global leader in sports revenue the NFL has long taken a negative stance on sports betting however, recent partnerships indicate the league may be taking a more neutral approach to the topic.
The expansion of sports betting on the state level means greater legal access to placing bets on NFL games. In addition to in-person betting websites such as ComeOn also allow players the chance to make wagers from anywhere they have internet access.
While betting on the NFL is by no means unheard of this increased ease of access makes it an attractive proposition due to both the popularity of the league and the accessibility of statistics and analyst from experts and dedicated fans. However, for those inexperienced with betting on NFL games knowing how to approach it can be challenging without proper research. Football betting differs from betting on soccer which also has an active betting community in some ways but similar in others.
Betting On Gridiron Football: The Basics
- Two-Way Moneyline: while draws are certainly not impossible under current NFL rules they are far less common than in soccer. The 3-Way Moneyline option common in soccer betting is rarer in NFL betting due to the lesser amount of draws. Moneyline betting on NFL games is simply picking the winner with favorites and underdogs weighted accordingly with plus and minus indicators measuring payout rates.
- Goal Line, Over / Under, Or Point Total: this wager relies simply on betting the point spread either under the amount predicted or over it with the final winner not taken into consideration. Over / Under betting on NFL games also use half-point totals to prevent pushes.
- The Spread: betting the spread is one of the most popular wagers on NFL games (it is also gaining more use in soccer wagers) but is more complex than other options. When picking the spread the wager is both point-based and the favorite versus the underdog. When picking the favored team they have to win within a certain range a spread of -6.5 indicates a need to win by at least 7 points. By comparison and underdog’s spread of +6.5 indicates a wager on losing by less than 7 points or simply winning outright.
- Live Bets: in-game betting is also allowed by many betting establishments. These beats are often based on the above categories with rates and figures adjusted as the game goes on. Another aspect of live betting is the ability to make quick bets on the next play a team will run and what the results of this play will be in terms of gain or loss.
- Future Bets: much like the name implies future bets are based on outcomes of the following NFL season and are only available before the season starts. The most popular future bets include who will win the Superbowl next season, team win totals, and the recipients of performance awards such as Offensive Player of the Year, MVP, Rookie of the Year, and others.
- Prop Bets: a proposition bet is a highly specific wager related to a single category or static and often involving a single player. Examples of these types of bets can include the first score of the game, total yards by a running back, total yards by a quarterback, touchdown totals, and specific statlines. Prop bets can also be highly unusual with bets on the length of halftime shows not being unheard of, these non-play-based bets are more common during the Superbowl.
The NFL and gridiron football as a whole present a viable area for sports wagers. When compared to other popular sports such as soccer football can be more simplistic to bet on in terms of options but it remains a complex and challenging sport to predict. The increased accessibility of legal sports betting in the coming years will offer opportunities for interested hobbyist and the various providers competing with each other will help grow the hobby as time goes on.