How to bet the NFL (2023 edition)

Football Aug 25, 2023

Placing wagers on NFL matchups has evolved into a pastime almost as prevalent as tuning into the thrilling contests themselves. Countless individuals across the globe relish staking modest sums on AFC and NFC clashes each Sunday, while a substantial number opt for more substantial bets. However, if terms like "betting against the spread" or "player props" still bewilder you, don't fret – you're far from alone.

Regardless of whether you're a complete neophyte to NFL betting or simply wish to refine your betting tactics ahead of the forthcoming season, you've arrived at the appropriate destination. This comprehensive guide delves deeply into the diverse array of NFL betting options. If you're a complete newcomer to betting and feel befuddled by odds and oddsmakers, it would be advantageous to peruse our introductory guide to sports betting before delving into this realm.

Strategies for Wagering on NFL Contests:

Betting on NFL Matchups in 2023 In 2023, the landscape of NFL betting has expanded to its most expansive magnitude, resulting in a plethora of betting alternatives. Given the profusion of NFL odds available for AFC and NFC encounters, online sports enthusiasts can now promptly place wagers on everything from preseason matches to pivotal playoff duels.

Should you aspire to commence your NFL betting journey, a cursory glance at some of the finest promotions presented by eminent sportsbooks like is a prudent initial step. To facilitate your decision-making process, we have thoughtfully provided the premier NFL promotion below, empowering you to make an educated choice.

The promotional code offers a 100% deposit match up to $250 with a $20 free sports bet.

Singular-Game Wagers on NFL Contests Upon accessing from our article, you will encounter the following betting options for each game: point spread wagers, moneyline wagers, and totals wagers. These three classifications are typically amalgamated, appearing as a "line" structured thus:

Engaging with the Point Spread Opting to "bet against the spread" represents the prevailing modus operandi for wagering on football matches.

References to the spread manifest in assorted expressions: "betting against the spread," "betting the spread," "point spread betting," or simply "ATS" (against the spread).

Football games seldom constitute perfect showdowns, and the spread serves as the mechanism through which sportsbooks establish parity. Triumphing in a point spread bet or "covering the spread" necessitates that the favored squad not only secures victory but does so by a specific points margin (i.e., the spread).

The spread fosters equilibrium in the betting action for both teams, given that it essentially bestows an advantage to the underdog. Frequently, spreads incorporate half-points, often referred to as a "hook," designed to preclude the occurrence of a push (or tie).

Examining the earlier Giants/Cowboys illustration, the team attributed a negative numeral adjacent to its identity assumes the role of the favorite; in this instance, Dallas (-5.5). Should one bet on the Cowboys against the spread, they must secure triumph by at least six points for the wager to yield dividends. Under such circumstances, Dallas is said to be "laying" 5.5 points. An alternate perspective involves deducting 5.5 points from Dallas' conclusive score at the match's culmination. If, after subtracting 5.5 points, the Cowboys retain a superior score, the spread is effectively covered.

The spread operates as an equalizer: the favored contingent must not solely clinch victory but must do so by a designated points quota.

Conversely, the Giants possess a favorable figure in proximity to their team designation, indicating their status as the underdog. Emerge victorious they need not; so long as their shortfall doesn't exceed five points, triumph shall be your spoils. Naturally, a direct triumph by the Giants also translates into victory.

Broadly, point spread odds persist uniform irrespective of the team bet upon. Should a disproportionate volume of bets tilt toward one side, sportsbooks may tweak the spread in the interim to stimulate wagers for the opposing side (sportsbooks aim for balanced wagering). Fear not, though – your bet remains fixed with the initially chosen spread.

For deeper insights, explore our point spread betting manual for comprehensive enlightenment regarding ATS wagers in NFL engagements.

Moneyline Betting While overshadowed by the prevalence of spread betting, NFL moneyline betting emerges as the simplest football wager to comprehend. Moneyline wagers entail selecting the team anticipated to triumph in the contest.

Linked odds correspondingly dictate the plausible payout and the implicit probability computed by the sportsbook. Returning to the aforementioned instance, Dallas upholds its role as the favored entity on the moneyline, denoted by the negative figure (-200) adjacent to the team appellation. Nevertheless, this value encompasses an alternative connotation here: a -200 moneyline figure intimates that a $200 bet on Dallas is requisite to procure a $100 gain.

In the realm of moneyline betting, one merely designates the prospective victor of the duel.

The negative numeral aligned with the New York Giants (+150) also proffers analogous information, albeit with one pivotal distinction. It discloses the potential winnings on a $100 bet, equating to $150 in this case.

While the simplicity of moneyline bets is evident, they tend to yield modest returns when supporting the favorite. Explore our extensive manual on moneyline bets for a more nuanced comprehension.

Totals Wagering (Over/Under) Engaging with the "total" necessitates a shift in perspective from forecasting the victor of the contest. Instead, the sole focus pertains to the cumulative tally of points amassed during the game. Alternatively labeled "over-under betting," this betting type prevails.

Remaining faithful to our Dallas/New York analogy, the sportsbook situates the total at 49.5 points. Here again, the inclusion of a half-point (hook) is strategic, forestalling the possibility of a draw. Two courses of action materialize when waging on totals: "over" signifies an anticipation of surpassing 49.5 points between both teams, whereas "under" signifies an anticipation of a cumulative points total below 49.5.

Absorbing our presented NFL wagering guide is pivotal for deeper insights.

Multi-Game Wagers on NFL Matches Given the availability of 13-16 matchups each week, partaking in wagers on multiple games could be enticing. Parlays and teasers furnish avenues to exploit such inclinations, potentially yielding substantial gains for adept strategists.

Parlays In essence, a parlay bet entails encompassing multiple events within a single wager. As an instance, envision a scenario wherein you contemplate the Cowboys to cover the spread (as exemplified earlier) and hold the belief that the game will culminate in over 49.5 total points. Evidently, these two forecasts can be combined under one unified wager. Moreover, augmenting the parlay with the Cowboys and an additional team clinching victory is also plausible.

An amalgam of moneyline, point spread, and totals bets originating from a single game or multiple encounters weekly defines a parlay. Notably, moneyline and spread wagers for the same game generally cannot coexist within a parlay. While select sportsbooks enable boundless events in a parlay, others implement caps on the number of inclusions.

NFL same-game parlays stand out as a commendable method of correlating wagers, culminating in more propitious odds for specific encounters. Evidently, they have swiftly ascended to prominence as a preferred mode of NFL game wagering.

Constructing a parlay invariably augments potential payouts, predicated upon the necessity for accuracy across all prognostications. Ergo, a parlay affords an opportunity to assume lesser risk for amplified returns. It is important to note, however, that the attainment of seven out of eight correct predictions within a parlay does not yield rewards.

Our parlay calculator serves as a useful instrument to illuminate the panorama of possibilities.

Teasers Teasers are essentially a variant of parlays, encapsulating wagers against the spread or the total. Here, the bettor willingly sacrifices potential gains for more advantageous spreads. Let's underscore this with reference to a couple of additional NFL matchups:

Most sportsbooks offer the choice of augmenting spreads by +6.0, +6.5, or +7.0 points. Ponder our earlier illustration; augmenting our spreads by precisely +6.0 points equates to Kansas City acquiring 13.5 points (7.5 + 6.0 = +13.5), and Pittsburgh conceding a mere three points (-9 + 6.0 = -3). Notably, the probability of a less lucrative payout surfaces due to the resulting enhanced spreads.

Likewise, teasers can be harnessed when betting on the total. Certain sportsbooks extend an array of alternative spreads for each game, facilitating manipulation of the spread in either direction for each encounter.

Just like parlay, securing precision across all components within a teaser constitutes a prerequisite for victory. Mastering your sportsbook's regulations pertaining to parlay and teaser construction is pivotal; while some negate a component in the event of a draw, others deem it a loss.

Further chapters of this NFL betting compendium encompass other wagering dimensions, including NFL prop bets, futures, and live in-game betting.

NFL Proposition Wagers Proposition wagers, colloquially termed props, are most prominently associated with the Super Bowl, yet they remain available throughout the NFL's regular season. These bets encompass an extensive spectrum, ranging from the first team to attain a field goal to the yardage achieved by a particular quarterback. The repertoire extends far and wide.

Incorporating individual statistics within props mandates the establishment of projected totals by the sportsbook. The bettor subsequently selects either "over" or "under." Each prop bet is lucidly outlined by the sportsbook, encompassing the pertinent odds for each wagering avenue.

The examples of props covered are merely a fraction of the extensive offerings; not all prop bets pertain to football during the Super Bowl. Divergent propositions such as the length of the National Anthem or the hue of Gatorade drenching the triumphant coach during celebratory moments at the Super Bowl further accentuate the diversity. Creation of a prop-fueled parlay also remains feasible, although some platforms restrict parlay inclusions solely to prop bets.

Futures Wagers Bettors can initiate wagers on the victor of the forthcoming year's grand NFL event within a day following the Super Bowl's closure. This classification is referred to as a futures bet. This option permits the selection of the NFL franchise out of the 32 poised to claim the coveted Lombardi Trophy, even prior to the determination of the participating squads. Scrutinizing Super Bowl odds is invaluable in gauging the favorites.

Additional enticing futures bets revolve around prominent player accolades, encompassing Most Valuable Player (MVP), Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, and analogous categories. The sportsbook provides a roster of favorites, often accompanied by a "FIELD" option. Opting for the "FIELD" entails a wager against all designated contenders seizing the honor. Certain sportsbooks also extend the option of betting on the quarterback amassing the most yards in a season, identifying the leading rusher, and so forth.

A popular variant of futures betting involves team win totals. Here, sportsbooks designate a numerical benchmark for every team (often with a half-point), enabling bettors to select either the over or under. These may be characterized as "season props" on specific platforms.

Noteworthy is the fact that numerous sportsbooks terminate futures bets after the commencement of the regular season. Additionally, most platforms proscribe the inclusion of futures bets in parlays. For an exhaustive comprehension of futures betting nuances, delve into our comprehensive guide.

In-Game Live Betting Several sportsbooks extend the option of betting on the moneyline, spread, total, and more throughout the duration of a game. This category is recognized as live betting. The odds and lines undergo fluctuations contingent on the progress of the match.

Incorporating the outcome of the ensuing play within live betting constitutes an enticing proposition. These prop wagers range from predicting the nature of the upcoming play – whether a team will opt for a passing or rushing play – to specific outcomes such as loss or gain of yards, attainment of 1-4 yards, 5-9 yards, a first down, or even a touchdown. Swift action is imperative due to the limited window available for such bets.

Whichever team claims your allegiance, the myriad opportunities to secure substantial winnings through favorable wagers on their behalf can be leveraged from the comfort of your abode.

FAQ: Navigating NFL Game Betting Require further elucidation regarding NFL game betting? The ensuing FAQ segment endeavors to address your inquiries.

What Constitutes the Fundamental Varieties of NFL Bets? Primary NFL bet categories encompass betting against the spread, betting the moneyline, betting totals, parlays, teasers, prop bets, and futures bets.

How Does Point Spread Betting Operate in NFL Wagering? NFL point spread wagering essentially entails forecasting the margin by which a specific team will secure victory or defeat.

What Entails an Over/Under Bet in NFL Wagering? An NFL over/under bet encompasses wagering on whether the cumulative match score will surpass or fall beneath a predetermined total established by a sportsbook's oddsmaker.

Is Wagering on Individual Player Performances Possible in NFL Matches? Indeed, individual player performances within NFL contests can be subjected to bets through player prop wagers.

Pave Your Path to NFL Season Victory, an assortment of avenues beckon when it comes to NFL wagering. A thorough review of the nine elemental NFL betting strategies we've highlighted, coupled with a commitment to responsible wagering, could potentially steer you towards triumph. Moreover, should a weekend replete with football betting beckon, college football furnishes its own assortment of enthralling and lucrative prospects for astute bettors.

Guest Contributor

Special correspondent and contributor and guest sports handicapper provides the latest news and information you can use to make your daily picks.