How Does Betting on American Football Work?

American football betting is a popular way to gamble on the sport. There are many ways to bet on the game, but using a point spread is the most common. 

The point spread is the number of points the favored team is expected to win. This article will explain how to bet on American football and how it works.

American Football Betting Odds

If you’re interested in betting on American football, you’ll need to understand how the odds work. Below are some American football betting odds you’ll often come across:

1. Moneyline Odds

This is a bet on your favorite team to win the game outright, without any point spread. The favored team will have negative odds (e.g. -200), meaning you would have to bet $200 to win $100. The underdog team will have positive odds (e.g. +300), meaning that a $100 bet would win you $300.

2. Moneyline Parlays

A moneyline parlay is a single bet that links more than one bet placed on different games. The key to winning a moneyline parlay is finding value in each leg of the bet. In our example, you would need to believe that the 49ers are a better team than the Rams and that the Seahawks are a better team than the Cardinals.

3. Fractional Odds

The fractional odds are very popular in American football betting. They are sometimes called “traditional” or “UK” odds. These odds allow you to calculate the amount of money you’ll likely win based on the amount of money you bet.

To calculate your potential winnings using fractional odds, simply multiply the amount you bet by the odds. So, if you bet $100 on a team with odds of 3/1, you would stand to win $300 if they won the game.

Different Bet Types

In American football, there are a variety of different bet types that can be made. Below is a brief overview of some of the most popular bet types:

1. American Football Lines

When betting on American football, there are several different types of lines that you may encounter.


The point spread is many points the oddsmakers believe will be the margin of victory for one team over another. For example, if the point spread is 7, then the oddsmakers, such as BettingUSA-NJ, believe that the team favored to win will win by 7 points.

2. Over-Under Bet

In an over-under bet, the sportsbook sets a number for the combined score of both teams. Bettors then wager on whether the final score will be over or under that number.

The over-under bet is a popular way to bet on American football because it offers even money odds. If you bet $100 on the over, you will win $100 if the final score is 49 or more points. If the final score is 48 or fewer points, you will lose your $100 bet.

3. Futures And Outrights Bets

When it comes to betting on American football, there are a few different ways that you can do it. One way is by betting on futures and outrights. This means you are betting on which team will win a game or tournament at some point in the future. The odds for these bets are usually very good, and if you choose wisely, you can make a lot of money.

4. Winning Margin Bets

This is a bet on the margin of victory. For instance, you might want to place a bet that one team will win by more than 10 points. Margin bets can be made on both the point spread and the moneyline.

5. In-Play Betting

In-play betting features many online sportsbooks that allow gamblers to schedule new bets while playing the game. It can be a great way to get in on the action if you’re feeling lucky or just want to add some excitement to the game you’re watching.

You’ll need to find a sportsbook that offers this feature to place an in-play bet. Once you’ve found one, you’ll need to create an account and deposit some money into it. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to browse the sportsbook’s in-play betting options and choose the one you want to bet on.

Generally, you can place three bet types during an in-play betting session: pre-match, live, and post-match. Pre-match bets are those that you place before the event begins, while live bets are those that you place while the event is in progress. Post-match bets, as you might have guessed, are those you place after the event ends.

6. Scores Props

In American football, the score props bet is a type of bet that allows you to wager on the specific outcome of a drive or play. This can include the points scored; yards gained, turnovers, etc.

Score props can be found for both NFL and college football games. They can be placed as pre-game wagers or live during the game.

When betting on score props, you will want to pay attention to the specific odds offered. These can vary depending on the bookmaker you are using.

Some common score props include:

  • First Half Total Points – This is a bet on the total number of points scored in the first half of the game.
  • First Half Spread – This is a bet on the point spread for the first half of the game.
  • Second Half Total Points – This is a bet on the total number of points scored in the second half of the game.
  • Second Half Spread – This is a bet on the point spread for the second half of the game.
  • Halftime Score – This is a bet on what the score will be at halftime.
  • Final Score – This is a bet on the game’s final score.

These are just some of the more common score props you will find – many others can also be found.


Betting on American football can be a fun and exciting way to make extra money. However, it is important to understand how the betting process works before placing any bets. You can raise your chances of winning by understanding the odds, point spreads, and how to place bets. You can become a successful American football bettor with little research and practice.

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