Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
13 minute read

Online NFL Betting Guide

NFL Betting Feature Image

It’s amazing to think that the NFL has the least number of games of any major professional sport but still gets most of the betting action. Our NFL betting guide will show you why this market is the crown jewel of the sports gambling world.

Online NFL betting markets have come a long way since sportsbooks only offered sides and totals.

Bettors have a massive assortment of futures, props, and the ability to bet on the go thanks to mobile friendly betting sites.

You will find everything you need to know about how and where to bet on NFL games.

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Intro To Betting on the NFL

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Despite offering a smaller number of wagering opportunities than the other three major professional leagues in the United States, the NFL dominates much of the conversation regarding sports betting.

Betting online on the NFL is available for bettors no matter their location, thanks to online sportsbooks.

Larger Wagering Limits

The NFL has the largest wagering limits when compared to other professional sports.

Many sportsbooks have betting limits for the NFL in tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands on sides, totals, and moneylines. Some sportsbooks will even take million-dollar wagers on NFL football.

Worldwide, Super Bowl betting alone generates a wagering handle of over $8 billion each year.

With the expansion of regular-season games in London and the talk of an eventual overseas franchise, the NFL is no longer just a nationwide obsession. It is gaining international appeal.

Where to Bet On NFL Games

Just like every other red-blooded American out there, you’re a football fan. You’re not only a fan, but you want to plunk your hard-earned money down on some games this weekend.

Depositing at the first online sportsbook you come across is a big mistake.

Choosing a trusted NFL betting site, like BetUS, is vital for potential betting profits and to make sure that you receive your winnings if you run up a balance at an online sportsbook.

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Check Out Our Complete Reviews Of The Best NFL Betting Sites

How To Bet & Win On NFL Games Online

Below you will find a guide with 10 easy tips on how to bet at NFL betting sites, whether it be offshore betting sites or regulated online NFL gambling sites.

These betting recommendations should guide you through the process of picking the best betting site, choosing a betting strategy, and placing profitable bets on NFL games. 

If you’re experienced with football betting, this guide will go over some basics that you may already know, but it still is worth a read.

Lots of people who have been betting on football their entire lives still make mistakes. The good news is they’re easy to fix!

Betting Tip 1Pick Trusted Online NFL Betting Sites

Trusted NFL Betting Sites Icon

Betting with unscrupulous operators or outright scam sportsbooks is one of the biggest problems people run into when choosing an NFL sportsbook.

What’s the use of betting on football if you need to worry about getting paid? Safest Betting Sites has sportsbook reviews from all over the world.

Our reviews are in-depth, and we point users in the right direction when it comes to choosing the best NFL sportsbooks for them.

Things to look for before you decide to deposit? A positive payout history and a look at the sportsbook’s recent processing speeds is an excellent start.

Recreational vs. Professional NFL Betting

Similarly, NFL bettors often mistake choosing a sharper gambling site when they begin their professional betting career.

Once you start to succeed as a sports bettor, you will find that sportsbooks may not take your action or limit your bet size.

That’s why it’s better to deposit at a recreational betting site, like Bovada or BetUS, versus a sharper, more professional-centric sportsbook, like SportsBetting, or BetOnline.

Both sites are excellent for NFL betting, but we’ve found that SportsBetting is far sharper. Having funds at a recreational betting website is of particular importance.

Many recreational sportsbooks will shade their lines to match public betting tendencies and deal with off-market numbers. There is a ton of value in recreational betting sites during football season.

Betting Tip 2MaximizE Online Signup Bonuses

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Football season is also an excellent time to cash in on extra sign-up bonuses. NFL betting sites will usually have promotions and reload bonuses specifically for the start of professional football season.

Those are certainly worth taking advantage of, but it’s important to get the max from all potential NFL betting bonus offers.

Most sites these days offer players the first-deposit bonus. It’s important to deposit the maximum amount to earn the maximum bonus.

For instance, if a sportsbook has a “50% Deposit Bonus up to $1000”, then you would need to deposit $2,000 to earn the max bonus.

Bettors should always be taking full advantage of bonus opportunities. All bonuses are not created equal, however.

It’s important to read the terms and conditions and rollover rate, but for the most part, they’re an excellent way to add extra money to your bankroll, especially when you’re just starting to bet on NFL football.

Betting Tip 3Deposit At An NFL Betting Site

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Once you have decided on an online NFL sportsbook and understand bonuses and how to utilize them, it’s time to deposit.

Deposit options have changed over the years for NFL gambling and online betting in general.

Traditional methods, such as credit and debit cards, bank wires, and sometimes even money orders or paper checks by mail.


Nowadays, users prefer to place their wagers via known cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum.

There are many football bitcoin betting sites available. In fact, just about every major sportsbook these days takes Bitcoin.

Not only that, but they prefer it as their primary means of accepting deposits and paying customers. They will even provide cryptocurrency-specific bonuses, so make sure you take advantage of those.

Traditional methods are still available but are inferior options to Bitcoin. Most sportsbooks don’t charge a fee when betting with Bitcoin.

Betting Tip 4Look for +EV Wagers

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Finding +EV NFL football wagers, if you follow the above advice, shouldn’t be too difficult. +EV wagers refer to wagers with a positive expectation or + expected value. Basically, +EV means the bets that you expect to win over the long term against the sportsbooks.

Recreational sportsbooks, or ones that are asleep at the wheel, will often have off-market lines. Not only sides, totals, and moneyline, but propositions, as well.

We can’t cover betting on NFL games in a few paragraphs. There are so many bet types and situations to consider that we’ll point you to some of our favorite articles.

Betting Tip 5Line Shop Before Placing Your Bet

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Gamblers are eager to get their money down on a bet, but it pays to be sure that’s the best possible price available in the betting market.

Having money at many NFL betting sites is always ideal if maximizing profits is a key motivator. And it should be!

Few bettors realize the amount of money saved when line shopping. It could be in the thousands of dollars over an NFL season and tens of thousands or more over a lifetime.

Always check other sportsbooks for a better price before placing a bet. This is not a step to ever skip over.

Line shopping and getting the best price on your bets is the best way to win at sports betting and NFL football betting.

Betting Tip 6Place Your Safe Bets

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Placing a bet at a sportsbook isn’t too difficult. It may be a little intimidating to those who haven’t done a lot of betting or gambling online.

The process is the same for most online betting sites.

Even seasoned sports bettors make mistakes. Many bet on the wrong NFL team and incorrectly calculated an arbitrage bet.

Mistakes happen, but reviewing a bet slip before pressing confirm will save you some dollars and some extra headaches.

Betting Tip 7Utilize Bankroll Management

Bankroll Management

Not properly managing your bankroll is another issue when it comes to becoming a profitable NFL bettor.

It’s rare that football bettors do too little; instead, they put far too much of their bankroll into action.

A general rule is 2% of your bankroll on each bet, but this can be upped to 3% for bets where you feel you have a more substantial edge or down to 1% if you think that your advantage is worth less than your standard wager.

There are many different strategies for bankroll management. It’s essential to adopt one early on and stick with it.

If you’re a profitable bettor – the worst thing you can do is put yourself out of action by betting too much.

There are many bankroll management strategies. Adopt one early in your betting career, and you won’t be sorry.


Betting Tip 8Understand Key Numbers

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One of the biggest misconceptions about sports betting is the value of numbers. A lot of people will say, “Home field is worth three points,” in referencing the point spread.

That’s not true because depending on where the number falls, points have more value.

Three or seven points decide most games, so odds on either side of those, such as 2.5 and 3.5 and 6.5 and 7.5 are vital. If you make a goal to get the right side of these numbers – you’re going to have a lot more success betting football.

Betting Tip 9Examine Motivational Factors

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NFL teams should give maximum effort each week, and most do, but many factors can affect a team. Travel schedule, coaching motivations, and their opponent.

There are also many spots where teams may look ahead to a game the following week or not take a lesser opponent more seriously.

There are lots of factors that go into each week of football. Examining how the betting public feels about a team is also a factor to consider.

Betting Tip 10Don’t Trust Betting Systems

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Some betting systems can make sense, but most of them, especially if someone is selling a “profitable betting system,” it’s likely a scam.

Most “angles” that bettors have these days are fixed by the sportsbooks when they realize they are inefficient in a particular market.

The best “betting system” is often just bankroll management, taking advantage of bonuses, and line shopping.

Online NFL Bet Types

When there is a mention of sports betting, the first thing that comes to someone’s mind is the NFL point spread.

However, NFL betting sites and their markets have expanded heavily in recent years, with more and more bets showing up each year.

Get a breakdown of each wager type below.

NFL Point Spread

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The point spread is synonymous with the NFL and by far the most utilized form of football wagering strategy.

Generally, oddsmakers give three points for home-field advantage, but this also depends on the number in the game, as numbers surrounding the 3 and 7 are more significant.

Unlike college games, there usually are no spreads higher than 15 points.

Most spreads are less than 10 points. Point spreads have attached odds that can change depending on betting action but are set at a default of -110 at sportsbooks that don’t offer reduced juice.

A sample NFL point spread strategy wager might look like this:

  • Cleveland Browns +3(-110) at Pittsburgh Steelers -3(-110)

Find the home team on the right or bottom at your preferred NFL betting sites.

Browns’ backers will need Cleveland to win outright or lose by less than three points. Steelers’ backers will need Pittsburgh to win the game by more than three points.

If three points decide the game, it will be graded a “push.” Both sides get their original wagers returned.

When a game has a half-point in the point spread, also known as a “hook” in betting lexicon – a push is not possible.

NFL Moneyline

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NFL Moneyline wagering has increased in popularity in recent years. The outright winner determines the moneyline odds rather than an attached point spread.

Using our AFC North opponents above, here’s another example:

  • Cleveland Browns +130 at Pittsburgh Steelers -150

The Steelers are the favorite, and the Browns are the underdog.

The NFL betting lines can be especially attractive when betting underdogs, where the increased odds can offer a nice payout if you predict an upset correctly.

Many players will also opt to bet on the underdog when the spread is less than three points because less than three points decide so few football games.

However, some NFL betting sites don’t offer moneylines on spreads lower than three points.

NFL Totals

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Also known as over/under, these wagers are the total number of points scored in the game by both teams.

The total counts any points scored in regulation and the overtime period.

  • Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Over 40.5 (-110) / Under 40.5 (-110)

Totals are simple to understand:

  • If the number of points scored in the game is 41 or more, bettors who wagered on the over will win.
  • If the game has 40 points or less, those who took the under will profit.

NFL totals have a broad range of numbers depending on how the oddsmakers project the game to play out.

The lowest totals are usually within the 35-40 point range, while some of the highest-scoring games can reach the mid to upper 50s.

NFL Parlays

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NFL football parlays, used with the point spread, moneyline, or totals betting, have the caveat that all wagers must win for the bettor to profit.

Parlays, like teasers, are extremely popular for those who bet on the NFL. Parlays need a minimum of two bets but can go up to 12 teams for a potentially enormous payout.

Unlike European accumulators, all NFL parlays are fixed-odds parlays. Betting odds can vary depending on the betting site.

NFL Teasers

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NFL football teasers are similar to parlays because all legs must win for the bettor to profit.

However, with teasers, you can add points to decrease your risk (as well as your payout).

Teasers can range from six points all the way up to 15-point teasers. Like parlays, NFL teasers have fixed odds that differ depending on the sportsbook.

NFL Futures

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NFL futures betting has become one of the biggest markets in the last decade.

Future bets tie up funds for outcomes that will take place at a later date, but that hasn’t stopped their surge in popularity.

The most common NFL future bets are odds to win the Super Bowl and NFC and AFC Championships, but some sites now offer divisional futures as well.

NFL Props

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The NFL has the largest proposition market compared to any other major US sport. Team and player NFL props dominate most of the wagers, but for bigger games, there are bets for everything.

These can range from the total yards or touchdowns a quarterback will throw to wackier stuff such as the length of the national anthem.

While teaser and parlays odds will vary slightly, the difference in some props markets can be stark.

NFL Live Betting

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Live betting, also called in-play wagering, is the most intense and interactive form of NFL betting available today.

Not only can you bet on live-updated spreads, totals, and moneylines, but most betting sites have many more options, including betting on the outcome of each drive or each play.

It is extremely popular for NFL contests, and there are lots of betting opportunities when it comes to in-play betting for both recreational and sharp sports bettors.

When it was initially introduced into online sports betting markets, it began as a niche product that wasn’t available at all sportsbooks.

NFL live betting was mostly offered for primetime games. Nowadays, every sportsbook online has the option to place live bets for every NFL game and for most sports that they offer.

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Betting on the NFL online is perfectly legal under federal law. After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey in May 2018, several states have legalized sports betting in addition to Nevada.

Of course, bettors also have the option of betting at offshore betting sites both in states where there are regulated sportsbooks and those where they are not available.

A Billion Dollars on Weekly Bets

However, Nevada’s bookmakers are just a small fraction of the amount wagered on sports when compared to online betting and other unregulated sports betting options.

When we account for offshore betting sportsbooks, local bookies, and regulated US sportsbooks, there are several billion dollars wagered each week of the NFL season games and much more on the Super Bowl.

NFL Playoffs Bracket Betting

If you love the NFL playoffs, you shouldn’t feel guilty about laying down a bet to encourage some friendly competition among your friends.

When you have gotten a group together, you can print the NFL Playoffs Bracket, read the instructions on how to fill it out and make it a fun betting event for everybody.

Online NFL Betting FAQ

How to win NFL bets?

Winning by betting on the NFL isn’t easy, but possible. Bettors need to learn about betting markets and the league. They also need to learn bankroll management and football handicapping. Profits can be large if you become a winning NFL bettor. It is the easiest sport to get down massive amounts of money on sides, totals, and moneylines.

How to make money betting on the NFL?

It takes some persistence. Bettors should focus not only on sides and totals but also on other markets, such as props. Those are the areas where the sportsbooks are the weakest. However, finding profitable betting markets when wagering on the NFL is more than possible if you put in the work.

How does NFL betting work?

NFL betting follows the same guidelines and rules that other sports do when betting on sports. Once a wager is accepted, it has “action” and will be settled during or after the event ends, depending on the type of bet.

How much money is bet on the NFL each week?

It’s tough to give an exact amount, but a good estimate is between 1-3 billion dollars weekly. The Super Bowl alone has a betting handle of nearly 3 billion.

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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