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American football is my favorite sport to watch. The National Football League (NFL) is the premier tournament for an action-packed sport filled with complex tactics and strategies that I find [...]
Sports betting can be a daunting prospect to the uninitiated. And that’s why you need expert advice to help you through the experience. Luckily, help is at hand here!

One of the most popular and frenetic areas of sports betting is Football – and here we’re talking about the American game, the gridiron rules in all its pomp, rather than Soccer or Rugby (although they are great for gambling on as well).

We’ll give an overview of the game here and then a brief explanation of how to bet on American Football, but really you should check our column regularly for pro tips, news and views about sports betting and the NFL so you can bet successfully.

So make sure you bookmark this page!

In the US itself, sports betting at a walk-in betting shop or ‘bookmakers’ is of course illegal in every state apart from Nevada, where it was legalized in 1949.

Today, the total take for Nevada sports betting firms is close on $3bn!

The online situation is a little bleaker in the US itself, but for those outside the US the Internet has led to an explosion in sports betting on the NFL (not to mention viewing the games).

Let’s take a closer look at Football betting, then – we’ll principally be talking about the National Football League, or NFL, the prime professional Football league in the US and beyond, although College and other leagues are also widely followed, so all our sports betting tips apply equally to those leagues as well.

The NFL comprises 32 teams, divided into 2 conferences, the NFC and the AFC.

These were originally 2 separate leagues, which merged in 1970 under the NFL banner.
More expansion teams were added down the years, the last being the Houston Texans in 2002, with other franchises changing location.

Both conferences are divided into 4, geographical divisions, North, South, East, West, with 4 teams in each.

Unlike a lot of European soccer leagues, there is no promotion or relegation to and from the NFL – College leagues are the feeder leagues for NFL players, who almost all come via this route.

Teams principally play the other teams in their division, along with various other teams from the same conference, and a handful of cross-conference regular games.

The regular season runs from September through to Christmas time, the playoffs through January culminating in the winners of the AFC and NFC meeting each other in the Superbowl.

NFL Betting school

Anyway, enough about the background, we’re really interested in how to bet on the NFL, hopefully with the prospect of making real money wins.

Whilst we don’t have the scope to offer expert advice here, we’ll outline the main types of sports betting and live betting to get you on your way, as a way into reading our regularly-updated articles to maintain your gaming credentials!

We’ll use an example game to help make things clearer. Let’s assume the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing ‘at’ the Cincinnati Bengals.
Your online sportsbook or casino will present you with a box, thus:

Steelers 45 +400
Bengals -10 -600

But what does it mean – are we not getting into expert betting here already?

First things first – the ‘-‘ symbol above shows that the Bengals are the favorites to win the game.

The other numbers, we’ll explain as follows.

The 3 major types of NFL sports betting are:

Money Line Bets: These are straightforward win/lose outcome (stakes will push back in the event of a draw). The -600 by the Bengals above means that is how many dollars, Euros, whatever, that you’d need to stake to return 100 if they did win. Conversely if you bet on the Steelers to win you’d need to stake less, 400, to get a 100 win.

Total Bets: here you bet on the total amount of points to be scored by both teams in a game. The odds of these are usually set at 10:11 unless stated otherwise.

This is what the ‘45’ means above –the total number of points the site has set to be scored by both teams – you can bet under or over 45; if the total comes to 45 exactly the bet pushes back.

Straight Bets: these are in effect point spread bets under another name. The ‘10’ noted above is key here. This is the point spread, and it is usually placed next to the favorite team, marked with the ‘-‘ as noted. You can bet, again usually at 10:11, and in this example you are betting either that the Bengals win by more than 10 points, or the Steelers lose by 9 or fewer points.

Other types of NFL betting

There are a few more ways to bet on Football. Here are some of the main ones.

Parlays – Parlay bets link multiple events together. They are ideal because each event would payoff more than if you bet on each game individually, so the total payout will be very high. On the other hand if any bet loses, the whole Parlay is off and the player loses his or her stake. If one game draws, the bet can still hang on the outcome of all the other games, though at reduced odds.

Teasers – these are a variant on Parlays, but somewhat safer because they cover you with points, with 6, 6.5 and 7 point teasers being the main variants. If you took the Bengals as above at -10 points, a 7 point teaser would reduce the point spread to 3 (ie. 10-7), so the Bengals would only ned to win by more than 3 points, and not 10.

Futures – these are bets on the outcome of a game when there are still more than 2 possible winners. For instance betting on the winner of the Superbowl at the start of the NFL season, when anybody could (theoretically) win.

Live betting is a sub-genre of sports betting, as you can bet on games which are currently in process. Naturally if the Steelers are unexpectedly leading the Bengals by 20 points in the 2nd quarter of the game, the margins for straight bets and all the other figures will be radically changed from those prior to the game beginning.

Essential sports betting tips and updates

There are plenty more pro tips we can give you and that is precisely why you should bookmark this page and check back regularly for all our updates on the NFL, Football and sports betting in general, live betting tips, and much more.

We’ll provide all the free advice you need to play safely and responsibly, both on- and offline, and hopefully take home some healthy winnings too!

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