How to Bet On NFL Games

Football is the most-followed sport across America, and the NFL is the pinnacle of professional football. The league sees millions of people watch every game. Before sports gambling was legalized, bettors still wagered tons of money on each game.

Now that sports gambling is legal in Florida, the sheer dollars risked on every NFL event are mind-boggling. This means big revenue for the sportsbooks and states that are a part of the legal gambling ecosystem.

TV broadcasts now feature betting lines, commentators reference gambling terms and jargon and the average NFL fan is more in tune with betting lingo than ever before. If you’re looking to join the crowd, this guide will cover everything to know about betting on the NFL in the state of Florida.

Best NFL Betting Sites

Online sports betting is not yet active in Florida. This page will be updated with the latest promos, news and odds once Florida sportsbooks launch.

How to read NFL odds at the sportsbook

One of the most important parts of any sports bet is the odds. This is an area where novice gamblers can often have some trouble. Without the ability to read the odds, it’s impossible to be a good sports gambler. The odds will tell you how much money you could win, so you can see the return on a potential wager.

Most odds in the United States will be shown in American format. This is especially true for NFL gambling as sportsbooks like DraftKings Florida will appeal to Americans by using the standard format. American odds are easy to read and allow gamblers to quickly determine how much they could win.

To read American odds, gamblers must look at the number posted on the board (at physical sportsbooks) or online. This number will be at least three digits and is located next to the team name for a specific squad. The first thing to determine is whether the number is positive or negative.

If the American odds for a team show a positive number, this means that there is a 50 percent or less implied probability that their outcome will occur. This means that you will receive winnings at least equal to your original stake. The number shown represents how much you can win from a $100 bet. So if BetMGM sportsbook has the Miami Dolphins odds at +300 for their game, a $100 bet on the Dolphins could win $300, potentially returning a total of $400.

On the other hand, a negative number represents a greater than 50 percent implied probability of an outcome occurring. For these bets, the number represents how much you must wager to win $100. For example, if the Jacksonville Jaguars showed odds of -150 at HardRock Sportsbook, you would need to place a $150 bet on the Jags to win $100, potentially winning $250.

Below this, you can find a live feed of up-to-date odds for the upcoming game.

Common NFL bets

When betting on any sport, be aware of all the different bet types at your fingertips. We generally recommend playing a mix of bet types. This is because gamblers should not be afraid to place any bet type. The thing that matters most is finding value in a wager.

Listed below are all the most popular NFL wagers and a small description for each.

Spread bets

On every NFL game, you’ll find three main bets. The first is the spread. How to bet the spread is a very important concept to understand for gambling on all sports, not just the NFL. The spread is an equalizer applied to games between two teams of unequal strength.

For example, if gamblers were looking to bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against a weaker team like the Miami Dolphins, most people would pick the stronger team to win if there was no spread applied. The spread for a game like that might look like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being forced to win by at least seven points. In this case, you’ll see a -7 next to the Buccaneers’ name.

If the Buccaneers win by exactly seven points in this scenario, that’s a push. This means the bet is a tie. You would be returned your initial stake.

Moneyline

The moneyline is the second of the three most basic bet types. Thankfully, it’s the easiest to understand. If you bet a team’s moneyline for an NFL game, you are simply betting the outright winner.

The most important thing to consider when it comes to betting on the moneyline is the odds associated. While gamblers are encouraged to bet on both sides via the point spread, the sportsbooks manipulate gambling habits by changing the odds when it comes to the moneyline.

Over/under

The third and final main bet type is the over/under format. It doesn’t have to do with which team wins the game. Instead, the over/under focuses on how much scoring a game yields between the two teams combined.

The over/under is set at a number before every game. This number is a prediction from the sportsbooks at the final combined score. Gamblers then have the choice to bet on whether the game will go over or under that pre-game line.

For example, if the Miami Dolphins played the Jacksonville Jaguars, the over/under might be set at 51. If the game ends with a score of 35-21, anyone that bet that the game would finish over would win. See more on how to bet on the over/under.

Parlays

Parlays are a bet type that combines multiple selections into one ticket. These selections can be all different bet types. The advantage of doing this is that the odds of the linked bet will increase exponentially as you add more selections. The disadvantage of doing this is that if even one bet loses, then the entire ticket flops. In a standard parlay, it doesn’t matter if you go 19 for 20 correct; that parlay still loses.

Parlays are common with novice gamblers. They’re often enticed by the high potential payouts. However, experienced gamblers know parlays are often not worth it. The level of difficulty in winning these bets is too extreme.

If you are going to play NFL parlays, consider treating them more like lottery tickets than the backbone of a smart gambling strategy. That way, you’re not placing too much of your money on a low percentage probability.

Teasers

Teasers are similar to parlays in that they combine multiple selections into one bet ticket. The difference with teasers is that players can use only spread bets or over/under bets. Gamblers are then given points to move the line in their direction in return for weaker odds. This means that they are slightly less risky than parlays.

Many gamblers will avoid teasers. The house edge can often be quite high. The points given on the spread are often not worth the reduction in odds. Thus, learning how your sportsbook treats teasers and calculates odds is important. Make your own informed decision.

Futures

Futures bets are wagers on events scheduled far in the future, just as the name suggests. Gamblers at all levels often enjoy playing these bets. They offer a full year’s worth of excitement. The returns are often quite high, as they require great skill to predict.

Some common futures bets for the NFL include betting on the division winners for the upcoming season, betting on the Super Bowl champion, as well as gambling on what players will win all the major end-of-season individual awards.

For those chasing massive returns, you can parlay futures to create tickets with huge odds. However, these are very difficult to win. Sports are extremely unpredictable, especially over a longer time frame.

Props

Last but not least, prop bets are wagers on the smaller events within a game. They don’t have a direct impact on the outcome. These include wagers on the performance of individual players, such as NFL MVP odds, as well as a wide range of other events.

The Super Bowl is something of a Christmas for lovers of NFL prop bets. It’s the event with the most robust offering. In select legal markets, gamblers can bet on everything from the coin toss to the color of the Gatorade poured onto the winning coach. These Super Bowl prop bets can offer an amusing alternative that novices often enjoy.

Live bets during NFL games

One niche in the gambling industry that continues to rapidly grow is live betting. This is the act of placing wagers on a game as it occurs in real-time. Do this from an electronic device, such as a phone, to make sure you can keep up with the action.

All the different bet types mentioned above are also available during games. Florida sportsbooks will continue to change the lines to reflect the happenings of the game. Gamblers will then have the opportunity to examine these lines and place NFL bets online anywhere they see value.

The lines move quickly, so be aware at all times. However, live betting offers a unique opportunity to take in some information from the first part of a game before placing wagers on events in the remaining portion. For lots of live betting options, consider one of the more popular sportsbooks like FanDuel.

Calculating potential payouts on NFL bets

Before you place a bet, make sure you know how much money you could potentially win if your bet ends up cashing. While many online sportsbooks will do this for you in the betslip, if you’re betting in a physical location, then you may need to do the math yourself.

Remember the rules mentioned above for American odds and how to read them. Positive numbers represent the payout from a $100 bet. Negative numbers represent how much you need to wager to win $100.

For those that want help doing the math (and it can get difficult once more numbers are involved), there are plenty of online tools to do the heavy lifting for you. A simple Google search will help greatly in this area.

Top NFL betting tips for beginners

Before betting on NFL game odds, know these tips. Veteran gamblers may well know these, but novices likely won’t. By learning these tips, you’ll avoid some serious growing pains. It is also helpful to know the NFL specific betting rules at your sportsbook before placing any bets.

  • Keep track of your bets: By keeping track of your bets, you can ensure certainty with where your money is going. You can also see which bet types suit you statistically. Use that information to inform your future gambling habits.
  • Don’t play too many parlays: Parlays are one of the most exciting bet types across all of sports gambling. But novices play them way too much. Instead, play a variety of bet types with single-game wagers comprising the majority. This approach will even out your risk level.
  • Don’t bet while intoxicated: Cracking a few beverages during a game can be fun. It’s certainly common. But it will lead to impulsive wagers and, thus, losses. Experienced gamblers know that intoxication leads to poor decision-making. We’re not saying you can’t enjoy yourself. We’re just saying the above advice regarding research, math and strategy doesn’t square with drinking.