Football Betting Guide For Beginners: From A To Z

Football Betting For Beginners

We are here to give you the ultimate football betting guide for beginners. Here you will learn every detail on how to bet on the NFL and the NCAAF.

This article will teach you how American football betting works and take you to the best sportsbooks where to play.

We’ll also explain all the types of bets available and step-by-step instructions on how to place them.

If you have always wanted to wager on football but don’t know how to start, this is your lucky day.

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How American Football Betting Works

In recent years, sports betting has shifted towards a more mainstream conversation, and that’s a great thing.

Now the NFL and other sporting leagues are in business with different sportsbook brands. You can tell by the many marketing campaigns on TV, Podcasts, Radio, and all over the internet.

Football is the most popular sport in America. Just like the sports’ popularity rises yearly, so do the sports betting markets.

You can see betting lines, totals, futures odds, and more on mainstream media outlets like ESPN, FOX, and NFL Network.

Many people don’t know what half of the numbers on the screen mean, but that’s what we are here to teach you.

Football Betting Basics: A Quick Overview

Bet on football games

The betting lines or odds get set by the sportsbook’s oddsmakers, which are football experts who analyze each game and the probabilities for every possible outcome.

Those odds are the numbers you see on football betting sites next to each bet.

Players get to browse the betting options, pick a number or a scenario they like, and wager on it. That’s the entire game.

There are three possible results after placing a bet: winning, losing, or a push. A push means no one won the bet, neither the house nor the player, and in this case, the money is returned to the player.

However, the wager’s development is the exciting part. It is filled with energy, unbelievable swings, and fun.

Believe me, football is one of the best sports to bet on, and betting changes the way you watch sports.

Best Football Betting Sites For Beginners

Below you will find our top-rated football betting sites.

Our experts have played for years on these sportsbooks. They meet all the criteria that guarantee our readers an outstanding betting experience.

Rank Football Sportsbook Deposit Bonus Get Started
1 Deposit Bonus 100% Up To $2,500 Bet Now
2 Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $250 Bet Now
3 Deposit Bonus 125% Up To $1,250 Bet Now
4 Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $250 Bet Now
5 Deposit Bonus 100% Up To $500 Bet Now
6 Deposit Bonus 100% Up To $1,000 Bet Now
7 Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $1,000 Bet Now
8 Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $1,000 Bet Now

What’s The Best Online Sportsbook For Novice Football Bettors?

Although you can’t go wrong with any betting brands we mentioned above, let me make it easier for you.

The best sports betting site right now is BetUS. They offer a ton of competitive odds and contests during football season.

But also, their list of football betting promos is perhaps the best in the business. The best part is they are constantly changing the rewards for the benefit of the players.

How To Bet On Football For Beginners (Step By Step)

If you have never bet on football, follow these quick steps:

  1. Choose a reputable betting site

    The first thing you must do is find where to bet on football. Any of the names above are great.

    Our recommended offshore sports betting sites have been around for years and know how to give players safety and comfort when playing.
  2. Create an account

    After selecting one betting brand, go to their website and click the join button. Fill in the requested information with your accurate info.

    Eventually, when you want to request a withdrawal of your winnings, the sportsbook will ask for ID proof as a safety measure. The information must match.
  3. Fund your account

    Once you have created your account, go to the banking section on the website and select one of the many banking options available.

    You can choose to deposit via crypto, credit cards, bank transfer, and more. Just select the one suited for your needs. Check our sportsbook payment methods section to learn more.
  4. Claim a bonus

    In the same process, the sportsbook will ask you if you want to redeem a bonus. Most of the sportsbooks’ football promo codes are in their promotions section.

    Copy and paste the code and finish the deposit process to claim your reward. Always read the terms and conditions to know how to use it properly.
  5. Start betting

    Once the money and welcome bonus are in your account, it’s time to play. Go to the football section of the sportsbook and look for the game you want to bet on or the specific wager you are looking for.

    As mentioned above, you can make multiple bets during the football season. Take your time to select the ones that you love.

    Once selected, write the amount you want to bet and click confirm. You can’t take it back after you confirm the bet. So always double-check the wager and the amount you are investing.

    Finally, have fun. Sports betting should be both fun and profitable.

Understanding The Main Football Bets

There are many ways to bet on football, including the traditional forms like betting on the spread, moneylines, and game totals.

And there are some more outlandish options, like prop bets or live betting surrounding a particular game.

Don’t worry about it. Below, you will find the most popular football bets for beginners and how they work.

Here’s where you learn the ins and outs of how to bet money on football for beginners.

Football Moneyline Bets Explained

The football moneyline bet is a popular wager for newcomers to the sport. It’s basically wagering on the outcome of a game without worrying about the point spread.

In other words, you only need to bet who wins the game on the number the oddsmakers give.

Your moneyline could look something like this:

  • New England Patriots (+120)
  • Miami Dolphins (-140)

How Football Betting Odds Work

Moneyline bet icon

The number next to the team represents the bet’s value on each squad. There will be favorites and underdogs.

The favorite teams will always have a minus (-) before its number, suggesting the money you must wager to collect a standard $100 win.

So, in this case, the Miami Dolphins are favorites to beat the New England Patriots. You must bet $140 to win $100 if you think the Dolphins will end up winners.

If your bet proves correct, the sportsbook will pay you the $100 you won, plus the $140 invested.

Of course, the sportsbook doesn’t limit you to betting just $100. You can always wager more or less, depending on your bankroll.

If you want to bet on the New England Patriots, you will see a plus (+) sign next to the name. The plus means they are underdogs, and the number next to it suggests how much money you can win if you place a $100 bet.

So, if you wager $100 on the Patriots to beat the Dolphins, you will win $120 and get back the $100 or your original stake.

To win a bet, the side you selected only needs to win the game. The point differential doesn’t matter.

Football Point Spread Bets Explained

Knowing how the point spread bets work is essential to becoming a successful football bettor.

The point spread is the most popular and used form of betting during the football season. The goal of the football spread bet is to give value to both sides, allowing the player to choose either.

If you think about it, teams are never equal. There is always a difference in roster quality, experience, and health.

The spread helps the less talented team become an attractive wagering option for those who don’t want to invest in the favorite.

Let me explain how it works with an example:

  • Green Bay Packers -6.5 (-110)
  • Minnesota Vikings +6.5 (-110)

The spread given by the oddsmakers in the example above has the Packers as 6.5 points favorite over the Vikings. You can either grab the Packers at -6.5 or the Vikings at +6.5.

At first, it might sound confusing but bear with me.

Understanding The Numbers Behind Point Spreads

Point spread bet icon

If you bet the Packers, to collect the win, Green Bay must beat the Vikings by 7 points or more in the game’s final score. Any result where the Packers get a score differential of seven points or more makes you a winner.

The -110 number in parentheses describes the price of the bet. Here, to bet the Packers -6.5, you must invest $110 to win $100. It’s the standard price on most sportsbooks.

Here the spread is making betting on the Packers a better call than if you would have taken them in the moneyline. In the moneyline, if you take Green Bay to win straight up, the price would be something like -300, and it wouldn’t be as attractive.

But let’s say you are not sure about the Packers beating the Vikings by a touchdown difference. Yet, you are not sure Minnesota can win this game either. Well, here’s where the spread makes it fun for football fans.

You can bet the Vikings +6.5 with a -110 price, and Minnesota could lose by up to six points, and you still win the bet. You are also a winner if the Vikings upset the Packers and win straight up.

Why We Love point SPreads

In the example above, the spread makes Minnesota a viable betting option by giving them a 6.5-points of room.

If you only have the choice to wager the Vikings straight up against a Packers team that is better, you are unlikely to bet the game in the first place.

That’s why the spread is so popular. It turns a not-so-attractive matchup into a great chance to win money every time.

The 0.5 number you see in the spread is how the sportsbooks make sure the bet doesn’t end in a draw or, in betting terms, a push.

Football Over Unders Explained

Over under bet icon

The Over / Under bets are also called game totals.

Football totals are wagers where the players can bet whether the total points scored in a game will go Over or Under the number established by the oddsmakers.

Let’s see a quick example of how the game total would look when betting on it.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys

  • Over 52 (-110)
  • Under 52 (-110)

The 52-point number set by the oddsmakers is the middle ground. Here you can bet if the Buccaneers and Cowboys combine for more or less than 52 points in the final score.

Bettors can grab either Over 52 points or Under 52 points as a bet.

If you think both teams will combine for more than 52 points, you bet the Over at a standard -110 price. It means you must bet $110 to win $100, and they need to combine for 53 or more points.

If you think they won’t reach that number, you wager on the Under at -110. If by any chance both teams scored exactly 52 points, then the bet gets labeled a push, and all wagers get returned to the players.

Football Prop Bets Explained

Prob bet icon

A proposition bet is a betting line attached to anything but the game’s outcome. As the name suggests, it proposes a scenario for a player or a team, and bettors get to wager on it.

Most football prop bets are about players’ performances during a game. For example, you will find prop bets on the number of touchdowns and yards a player can record during a specific matchup.

Let’s say the Eagles play the Cowboys. You can see a prop bet on the number of touchdowns WR AJ Brown will score against Dallas, which would look like this:

AJ Brown Number of TDs vs. Cowboys

  • Over 1.5 TDs (-110)
  • Under 1.5 TDs (-110)

Following the same principle of the game totals bet, you can wager if Brown scores two or more TDs against Dallas or less than two. Each option has a base price of -110 in this example.

Football Parlay Bets Explained

Parlay bet icon

Finally, football parlay bets are another popular and profitable option for beginners.

However, new players must be careful not to fall in love with this type of wager because it can quickly become a sucker bet.

In a parlay, multiple bets connect to make one big bet that will give the player a higher payout.

However, the catch is that all bets must win. A single selection lost would kill the entire parlay.

Time for an example. Let’s say you grab this combination:

  • Seahawks to beat Washington (+114)
  • Bills to beat the Jets (-220)
  • Dolphins to beat the Panthers (-134)

A three-leg parlay with those odds will give you a $443 payout for a $100 investment. It allows you to have a more significant return than if you beat any of those games individually.

One of the football betting tips for beginners that we love to repeat is don’t fall in love with parlays. Sure, play them, but play them the right way.

Any parlay bet with more than a three-team combination is a sucker bet. It gives the sportsbooks all the leverage.

What Is The Best Football Bet For Beginners?

Football bet icon

The point spread should be your bread and butter. However, you must learn to endure the losses and understand that you won’t get rich betting on football after just one week.

You should have a full-season approach where you bet the best numbers every weekend.

NFL parlays might be the most fun bets for beginners, but as mentioned before, it can quickly become a sucker bet if you attach too many teams to one leg.

Top Football Betting Tips For Beginners

Here are some helpful tips for those starting to bet on football:

Betting Tip #1Use Crypto To Bet

Most sportsbooks don’t charge a fee for deposits via crypto. Other banking methods are solid options, but they come with fees.

For example, a deposit via credit card can cost you between 7% to 9% in fees depending on the sportsbook. Why would you choose that method over cryptocurrencies with no fees?

That’s why Bitcoin football betting is so popular right now. Give it a try.

Betting Tip #2Shop For Better Lines

Savvy bettors shop for the best betting lines. Line shopping means comparing betting lines between trustworthy sportsbooks and picking the best numbers.

It is an old but intelligent practice. It’s like comparing the prices of the same product at several stores to see who gives you the best deal. It’s the same thing, but with football betting lines.

Betting Tip #3Always Take Advantage Of Bonuses

To shop lines, you must open several betting accounts to bet wherever you feel you get the best deal.

Doing that makes you eligible for a new welcome bonus every time you open an account in a new sportsbook. Always take advantage of the promotions. It’s good business.

Betting Tip #4Don’t Fall In Love With Parlays

We already mentioned this above but let me do it again. One of the biggest mistakes new bettors make is betting too many parlays.

The potential payout is more significant, but the chance to win is smaller. Play parlays but don’t fall in love with them.

Betting Tip #5Learn How To Move On From Losses

New bettors think they are going to beat the oddsmakers every time. That’s just never going to happen.

So, learn that you will lose bets sometimes, and that’s ok. Don’t chase losses. Live to fight another day if you are on a bad streak.

The best thing to do is to learn that this is part of the process. The profits will come up by adding wins throughout the entire year.

Betting On NFL And College Football Games

During football season, you get to bet on the NFL and NCAAF. Both are fun leagues to wager but have many differences.

NFL Betting For Beginners

NFL logo

If you follow the NFL closely, you know there are only 32 teams in the league, making it easier to learn about the teams and players.

It’s harder to bet on the NFL because all the players are professionals, and even the worst teams can beat the best on any given Sunday.

The spreads are closer, and deciding to pick one side or the other is more complex than in college.

Learn More With Our NFL Betting Guide

NCAA Football Betting For Beginners

NCAA Football logo

Many believe College Football is where you make money, primarily because of the noticeable differences between programs.

These games have higher spreads and scores. However, a solid recruiting class should beat a lower-tier team almost every time.

There are fewer score swings in College Football than in the NFL. Yet, there is also less information about each team.

Learn More With Our NCAAF Betting Guide

Ready To Start Betting On Football?

By now, you know everything about football betting for beginners. We’ve covered all the basics.

All that is left is for you to choose your preferred sportsbook and join the action.

Remember to collect every bonus you can, and to have fun. Football is fun, and betting on it shouldn’t be any different.

Choose a sports betting site, join, collect your welcome bonus, and start winning today!

About the Author

Alonzo Solano

Alonzo Solano

Sports Analyst and Content Writer

Alonzo is a Sports Betting Analyst and casino games enthusiast who has covered Football extensively at SBS, but don’t be surprised if you read him on other sports. He's the host of the NFL Latino TV podcast.

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