How to Bet on American Football

There are plenty of great betting sports but American football is extremely unique in the interest in generates in betting along with the ability to bet more than just the money line. In fact, there are plenty of prop bets you can make on American football, and the game’s length keeps you interested because there are so many twists and turns. Naturally, you want to make more than you lose when you bet on American football games, and with the amount of games including NFL games and college football, you easily have plenty of options when betting, although you don’t want to get in the situation where you are chasing late and have to bet on the Hawaii game so you can break even.

Learning how to bet on American football is actually not too difficult. You won’t have to work too hard to learn how to bet these games, and the best part is you will not need to spend a lot of time learning the intricacies of American Football – and there are many to this game. Instead, you need to learn about the overall picture of the game and this will help you do more than just using some tool like an alphabet betting calculator to place your wagers. Instead, understanding how to bet games will help you nullify any advantage the house may have so that you can get the most out of your betting on American football games.

Understanding the Odds in American Football

There are three different types of odds you need to know about with American football. There are decimal odds, fractional odds, and moneyline odds. American fans are very familiar with the money line, or the amount of money you need to wager just to win $100. If the Miami Dolphins were playing the New England Patriots, and the moneyline odds were -130 for the Patriots and +150 for the Dolphins, that means in order to win $100 by betting on the Patriots you would need to wager $130 while a wager of $100 on the Dolphins would net you $150 if the Dolphins managed to win. Fractional odds are used in the United Kingdom, and for example, a 5/2 odds means that the number on the left is what you win by betting the number on the right. Decimal odds represent the return you get based on a single betting unit. This is most commonly used in the EU. So, if you have decimal odds at 2.75, that is indicative of what you will win per unit. That means if you bet 100 Euros, for example, you will win 275 Euros. The key here is determining value. If you get a high rate of return for a small bet, that means the odds are long, but you will have a big payout, and vice versa.

Using American Football Lines to Bet

The first step in betting American football is understanding how the lines work. The point spread is the margin by which the favored team should win by. Taking the Dolphins and the Patriots again, if the Patriots are favored by 14, then that means the bookmakers believe the result will land 50% with the Patriots winning by more than 14 or the Patriots winning less than 14 or maybe even losing. If the Patriots win by 14, that’s a push, and you get back exactly what you bet – nothing gained, nothing lost. The way the line for this game would appear is the Patriots would be -14 and the Dolphins would be +14. As for odds, the odds you would be looking for are at least 1.92, as most bookmakers offer odds between 1.90 and 1.95 if doing decimal odds. Obviously, the higher greater the point spread, shows the different levels of quality between teams, so in theory it would be easier for the underdog to get inside the spread, while the closer the spread the more the outcome of the game would affect winning and losing the bet much more.

Other bets are the over/under bets. These bets are essentially the total amount of points. Going back to the Patriots vs. Dolphins game, if the over/under is set at 33.5, then betting the over means the combined score of the game must exceed that number while the under means the amount of points would not equal the over/under line.

Successful Ways to Bet on American Football

As with all bets, you want to bet where there is the most value. Reading football analysis and listening the commentary does not help – these ideas are focused on a why a team wins or loses and not if a team is going to be a value bet. That said, the first place you should start betting is with teams you know. A rule of thumb is not to be on a team that is your favorite. Don’t bet with your heart, bet with your head. However, if you know the teams in a division or you have another team that you like to follow, these would be good teams to bet. If you know their tendencies (for example, the Vikings play very well in domes but poorly in outdoor settings), this is helpful information to determine value on a bet.

It is also important to bet the markets that you know. If you understand the point spread but don’t understand fractional odds, then bet the spread, same with the over/under.

Some other things to think about – aside from keeping track of your bets and seeing where the winners are consistently – is taking into account how homefield advantage works, injury issues, and styles. For example, a tricky bet would be a team that has a powerful offense against a team with a good defense in the powerful offensive teams’ home. It is very possible the defensive team could do well and interrupt the offense’s game plan, or the environment could overwhelm the defense.

One of the final pieces of advice is to follow American football bettors. These people know value and will direct you to value. The best part is their expertise is critical to the success of their business, so see the people who are constantly finding value and making good on their bets. These are the people to follow as you begin to bet American football and work your way towards developing your own model for success.

AFI
American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!
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