What to Know About Betting on NFL Games

Betting on sports games is almost as old as sport itself. Putting your money on your favorite team to win is a pastime enjoyed by millions of people across the globe, especially in big sports such as American football, basketball and soccer.

If you are new to betting and want to start betting on a few NFL games, here are some of the most important points to remember.

Betting lines & odds

Whether you are watching NFL Games in California just for fun or betting on NFL games in New York, understanding the different betting lines and odds is crucial.

Point spread

The first betting line you will come across is called the point spread. In simple terms, a point spread bet is a bet on the margin of victory in a game. For example, if the Rams are at -4.5 against the Bengals, who are at +4.5, the Rams would need to win by 5 points for the spread bet to win.

However, if the Bengals lose by 1-4 points, then those who bet on the point spread for them will win. These types of bets give you a bit of wiggle room, especially if the game is close.


Total bets are also easy, as they are simply bets on the total number of points scored in a game. If the total bet is +45, you are betting on more than 45 points being scored by both teams; if it is -45, you are betting on less than 45 points being scored.


A moneyline bet is a bet on who will win the game. You will see moneyline bets that say Green Bay Packers +110 vs Broncos -110. If you were to bet $100 on the Chiefs, you would win $110; if you were to bet $100 on the Broncos, you would win $210.

Other types of bets

Besides the three main ones listed above, there are other types of bets you can partake in. Considering how much happens in an NFL game, only betting on the winner or total score can be a bit boring.

Future bets

A future bet is exactly what it sounds like you are betting on something that will happen in the future. Some of the most common future bets include betting on who will be the Super Bowl winner, the MVP or the conference champions, for example.

Game & player props

Game and player props are bets on specific aspects of a game or what a player does in a game. An example would be betting on the number of punts in a game or betting on how many yards a QB will throw for.

Some of these bets can be very tricky to get right, but you are often able to bet on totals; instead of betting on the exact number of yards thrown by a QB, you can bet on +250 or -350, for example.


A parlay is a bet that combines multiple other bets. An example would be betting on the Chiefs to win at +7, the Chiefs to win at +110, Patrick Mahones to throw +250 yards, and -6 touchdowns total in the game.

While these types of bets can often provide incredible odds and huge payouts, they require you to get everything right to win.

What to remember when betting

There are three very important things to remember when you are betting: You should always keep it simple, only bet on what you know and take small wins and be consistent.

Keep it simple

One of the biggest mistakes bettors make is trying to make a bet as big as possible to get the best odds. While a win would lead to a massive payday, 99 times out of 100, half of your bet doesn’t even come off, let alone the entire thing.

Instead, keep your bets simple; bet on who will win games or bet on point spreads. Don’t get caught up in having to add a ton of bets to your betting card.

Bet on what you know

Always stick to betting on what and who you know. If you watched a Cleveland Browns game a few years ago and have no idea who their current starting QB is, don’t bet on them; it’s as simple as that. Stick to betting on the players and team/teams you follow, as it is far easier to predict how they will play, and you will know if there are any changes or injuries that could affect their performance.

Take small wins

Finally, if you want to be good at betting, the first thing you need to realize is that small, consistent wins are better than two or three big wins a season. It would probably surprise many to know that some of the most successful bettors in the world do not take many big risks. Instead, they stick to betting on the favorites, keep their bets small and avoid making massive parlays on a weekly basis. Long-term success will always trump short-term wins.

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