National Football League Teams
The NFL is the king when it comes to betting interest and spectacle, both when it comes to betting and fandom. No sport can match the anticipation towards the start of the regular season and year-round obsession that the NFL garners. A record amount of money was bet in Nevada Sportsbooks in 2017, $4.8 billion, but that’s just a small sum compared to the tens of billions bet on NFL betting odds in other parts of the United States and worldwide.
The Super Bowl is the most watched event on U.S. television and it offers the most NFL betting lines and prop bets. If you are a novice and just starting in sports betting American football will provide you with many opportunities to sharpen your betting skills. Before placing your first NFL bet online having the basic knowledge about the league and the teams is a must. Our quick guide will give you an excellent overview of the NFL teams, key player positions, and the most important game rules.
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The league has a total of 32 teams that are split evenly between the National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC). The last team to enter the league was the Houston Texans. Their inaugural season was in 2002. In recent years, the St. Louis Rams moved to Los Angeles to become the L.A. Rams. The San Diego Chargers also made a move to L.A. to become the L.A. Chargers. The Oakland Raiders will become the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2019 season.
The NFL season format consists of a four-week preseason, a seventeen-week regular season where each team plays 16 games, and a twelve-team single-elimination playoff culminating in the Super Bowl, the league’s championship game. Most NFL games are played on Sundays, with a Monday night game typically held at least once a week and Thursday night games occurring on most weeks as well.
NFL Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the NFL title game which pits the winners of the NFC and AFC title games against each other for the league championship. It’s by far the biggest game regarding betting handle and markets. The amount bet on the Super Bowl in Las Vegas Sportsbooks continues to rise each year. The Eagles defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl LII by a score of 41-33 and set betting records at Nevada sportsbooks.
NFL Football Conferences
The AFC and NFC have plenty of rivalries of their own, within the divisions, and out of the divisions, but there is plenty of bad blood between franchises that are separated by conferences. The NFL consists of 32 clubs divided into two conferences of 16 teams in each. Each conference is divided into four divisions of four clubs in each.
|NFL Team||Division||2017 Season Record||Super Bowl Appearance||Bet On Your Team|
|Buffalo Bills||AFC East||9 – 7||Four||Bet On Bills|
|Miami Dolphins||AFC East||6 – 10||Five||Bet On Dolphins|
|New England Patriots||AFC East||13 – 3||Nine||Bet On Patriots|
|New Jersey Jets||AFC East||5 – 11||Zero||Bet On Jets|
|Baltimore Ravens||AFC North||9 – 7||Two||Bet On Ravens|
|Cincinnati Bengals||AFC North||7 – 9||Two||Bet On Bengals|
|Clevland Browns||AFC North||0 – 16||Zero||Bet On Browns|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||AFC North||13 – 3||Eight||Bet On Steelers|
|Houston Texans||AFC South||4 – 12||Zero||Bet On Texans|
|Indianapolis Colts||AFC South||4 – 12||Seven||Bet On Colts|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||AFC South||10 – 6||Zero||Bet On Jaguars|
|Tennessee Titans||AFC South||9 – 7||One||Bet On Titans|
|Denver Broncos||AFC West||5 – 11||Seven||Bet On Broncos|
|Kansas City Chiefs||AFC West||10 – 6||Zero||Bet On Chiefs|
|Los Angels Chargers||AFC West||9 – 7||One||Bet On Chargers|
|Oakland Riders||AFC West||6 – 10||Four||Bet On Riders|
The AFC was created after the merger of the American Football League with the National Football League in 1970. The modern American football conference has been dominated by just a few teams as only six teams have made to the Super Bowl since the year 2000.
Buffalo Bills (Last Year’s Record: 9-7)
Since 1960 the Bills have made the postseason frequently but could never capitalize and win the Super Bowl when they got there. They managed to reach the title game for four straight years in the 1990s but ended up going 0-4 in those games. They’re in rebuilding mode now with a rookie quarterback, Josh Allen.
Miami Dolphins (Last Year’s Record: 6-10)
Miami has won two Super Bowls since they came into the league in 1966. They’re still the only team in franchise history to go undefeated in the regular season and win the Super Bowl in the same year. No one has yet been able to match it since. They have fallen under hard times as of late, failing to reach the postseason just once in the last 16 seasons.
New England Patriots (Last Year’s Record: 13-3) – Bet On The Patriots
New England is just behind the Steelers in Super Bowl wins but have a total of nine appearances since 1960. Since Bill Belichick took over in 2000, the Patriots have the best record in the NFL. Belichick and Brady have won Super Bowls together, and the tandem is still going strong. They’ve won the AFC East 20 times.
New York Jets (Last Year’s Record: 5-11)
The Jets are the least successful AFC East team. They manage to win an AFC title in 1968 but have not made it to a Super Bowl since the NFL-AFL merger. They always seem to play the Patriots to the wire, but they have not made it to the postseason since 2010. They’re looking towards the future with the quarterback, Josh Darnold.
Baltimore Ravens (Last Year’s Record: 9-7)
The Ravens came into the league in 1999 and were an immediate success, especially when you consider the low bar of expansion teams. Like Pittsburgh, they have a reputation for tough defense. They have been to two Super Bowls and won both
Cincinnati Bengals (Last Year’s Record: 7-9)
The Bengals, historically, are the worst team in the AFC North. Their heyday was in the 1980s, when they made two Super Bowls, but could not get by the 49ers in those years. They’ve been a lot stronger in recent years under Marvin Lewis and quarterback, Andy Dalton, but still, play in one of the toughest divisions in football.
Cleveland Browns (Last Year’s Record: 0-16)
The 2017 “Factory of Sadness” Browns joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only team to finish a full 16 game season without a win. Combined with their 1-15 record from 2016, the 1-31 Browns of the past 2 seasons have set a record for futility. Cleveland has never reached the Super Bowl, they dominated the NFL’s early years winning 3 championships.
Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Year’s Record: 13-3) – Bet On The Steelers
The Steelers didn’t have much success in the NFL-AFL merger. Since then, they managed to win six Super Bowls in 8 appearances, the most of any NFL team. The Steel Curtain defense was responsible for four in the 1970s, and Ben Roethlisberger has also produced two championships. They are the league’s most successful teams.
Houston Texans (Last Year’s Record: 4-12)
The Texans came into the league in 2002, making them the NFL’s youngest franchise. They have the league’s worst winning percentage at 43% but have a young quarterback in DeShone Watson and the best defensive player in the league in J.J. Watt. They have yet to make an appearance in the Super Bowl.
Indianapolis Colts (Last Year’s Record: 4-12)
The Colts have won two Super Bowls. They moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis and won two Super Bowls since making a move. Peyton Manning played most of his career in Indy, before moving on to Denver and then retirement. Andrew Luck is now healthy again after more than a season of arm trouble, which has upped their playoff hopes.
Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Year’s Record: 10-6)
Jacksonville came into the league apart of the 1996 expansion. They have not reached a Super Bowl but have been to two AFC title games. Currently, they boast the NFL’s most dominant defense, which was historically impressive in the 2017 season. Quarterback Blake Bortles is the only question mark for them going forward.
Tennessee Titans (Last Year’s Record: 9-7)
The Titans have had many great players since their inception in 1960 but have failed to get that to translate into Super Bowl titles. They moved Houston to Tennessee in 1997 and changed their name from the Oilers to the Titans. They managed just one Super Bowl appearance in 1999, a losing effort, to the St. Louis Rams.
Denver Broncos (Last Year’s Record: 5-11)
The early years of the Broncos were tough. They came into the league in the 1960 and didn’t have a single winning season in their first 13 years. Since the late 1970s, they’ve won two Super Bowls and made it to the big game seven times. They have two Super Bowls with two of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, Peyton Manning and John Elway.
Kansas City Chiefs (Last Year’s Record 10-6)
The Chiefs have been around since 1960 but are one of the least successful teams in the postseason. They’ve put together plenty of strong seasons in the past decade and dominated in the AFC West but have a string of lousy playoff losses. After trading Alex Smith to the Redskins, they have put they have handed the keys to Patrick Mahomes.
Los Angeles Chargers (Last Year’s Record: 9-7)
The Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles last season. They’ve been a successful team since the early 2000s after drafting quarterback, Phillip Rivers. However, despite coming into the league in 1959, they’ve managed just one Super Bowl appearance and no titles.
Oakland Raiders (Last Year’s Record: 6-10)
The Raiders entered the league in 1960 and were a powerhouse in the 70s. They won three Super Bowls in the 60s and 70s but have not been able to replicate that success in the past 30 years. The franchise is moving to Las Vegas in 2019. They signed Jon Gruden to the biggest contract ever for a coach before the 2018 season, a $100 million 10-year deal.
|NFL Team||Division||2017 Season Record||Super Bowl Appearance||Bet On Your Team|
|Dallas Cowboys||NFC East||9 – 7||Ten||Bet On Cowboys|
|New York Giants||NFC East||3 – 13||Five||Bet On Giants|
|Philadelphia Eagles||NFC East||13 – 3||Two||Bet On Eagles|
|Washington Redskins||NFC East||7 – 9||Five||Bet On Redskins|
|Chicago Bears||NFC North||5 – 11||Two||Bet On Bears|
|Detroit Lions||NFC North||9 – 7||Zero||Bet On Lions|
|Green Bay Packers||AFC North||7 – 9||Three||Bet On Packers|
|Minnesota Vikings||NFC North||13 – 3||Three||Bet On Vikings|
|Atlanta Falcons||NFC South||10 – 6||One||Bet On Falcons|
|Carolina Panthers||NFC South||11 – 5||One||Bet On Panthers|
|New Orleans Saints||NFC South||11 – 5||One||Bet On Saints|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||NFC South||5 – 11||One||Bet On Bacanneers|
|Arizona Cardinals||NFC West||8 – 8||One||Bet On Cardinals|
|Los Angels Rams||NFC West||11 – 5||Three||Bet On Rams|
|San Franciso 49ers||NFC West||6 – 10||Six||Bet On 49er|
|Seattle Seahawks||NFC West||9 – 7||Three||Bet On Seahawks|
The NFC was created as part of the NFL-AFL merger of 1970. The National Football League is considered well balanced as only Detroit Lions team has never appeared in the Super Bowl. The NFC has sent eleven teams since 2000 to the NFL Championship game.
Dallas Cowboys (Last Year’s Record: 9-7) – Bet On The Cowboys
The Cowboys have been one of the league’s most successful franchises. Established in 1960, they have the best regular season winning percentage in league history. Dallas has won five Super Bowls but has been in a bit a drought since their 1996 championship. They were the dominant franchise of the 1990s, winning three Super Bowls in that period.
New York Giants (Last Year’s Record: 3-13)
The Giants come into this season having not won a postseason game since their Superbowl run in 2012. Last year’s 3-13 record was second worst in the league and a team low since 1983. Expect star receiver Odell Beckam Jr. to be poised for a significant impact this year after missing 12 games last season due to a grizzly injury.
Philadelphia Eagles (Last Year’s Record: 13-3) – Bet On The Eagles
The Eagles have historically been one of the NFL’s worst franchises when it comes to winning record and postseason. Established in 1933, they had just a single winning season between 1962 and 1975. They got a bit better in the 80s but still could not bring home a Lombardi Trophy. Last season there was finally triumph in the City of Brotherly Love.
Washington Redskins (Last Year’s Record: 7-9)
Washington has been successful in the league as a franchise since their inception in 1932. Most of their success came throughout the 1980s. They have made the Super Bowl a total of five times and won three Super Bowls. The Redskins made a big move last offseason, moving on from quarterback, Kirk Cousins, and trading for ex-Chief-Alex Smith.
Chicago Bears (Last Year’s Record: 5-11)
The Bears are another team in the North with a long list of accomplishments. They hold the record for most players in the Hall of Fame. They have won 55% of their games, counting the regular season and postseason. They have one Super Bowl in two appearances. Coach, Matt Nagy, takes over an offense with young signal-caller, Mitchell Trubisky.
Detroit Lions (Last Year’s Record: 9-7)
The Lions have struggled since the NFL merger but did have several titles since their inception in 1930. They have yet to make to a Super Bowl and their postseason appearances have been sporadic in recent years. They have not won a playoff game since the 1991 playoffs.
Green Bay Packers (Last Year’s Record: 7-9) – Bet On The Packers
The Packers have a long and successful history in the league since their inaugural season in 1919. They have many NFL championships, pre-Super Bowl era, but also have two wins in three appearances in the big game. Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers’ health, has been the most crucial factor in their success in recent years.
Minnesota Vikings (Last Year’s Record: 13-3)
The Vikings came into the league in 1960 and still don’t have a Super Bowl to their credit. However, Minnesota has been a moderately successful team regarding regular season and postseason success since the late 1980s. After a 13-3 season in 2017, they signed a free-agent quarterback, Kirk Cousins, and have their sights set on a Super Bowl in 2018.
Atlanta Falcons (Last Year’s Record: 10-6)
Sporting a 0-2 record in the Super Bowl since their inception in 1965, the Falcons have hopes of greatness in the upcoming season. With a record-breaking offseason contract extension of $150 million, Veteran Matt Ryan signed the NFL’s biggest contract in history. He’ll earn $30 million a year for five years, including $100 million of guaranteed.
Carolina Panthers (Last Year’s Record: 11-5)
Carolina came into the league in 1993. They’ve had some postseason success, but ultimately have fallen short in the Super Bowl in the two times they have made the big game. Since drafting Cam Newton, they have been competitive in most seasons. The Panthers are in a tough division, but regularly in the postseason.
New Orleans Saints (Last Year’s Record: 11-5)
Saints history has been rough for the most part. They have a 44% all-time win percentage, but since signing quarterback, Drew Brees, they’ve been far more successful. New Orleans has made one Super Bowl in 2009 and took down the title. They’re still going strong each year with the ageless-Brees, who is now going into his 18th season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Year’s Record: 5-11)
Tampa Bay has been maligned as the least successful team in NFL history. That’s true due to their 38% winning percentage, but they still have a Super Bowl credit to their franchise. Since coming into the league in 1976, there have been more downs than ups, and their Super Bowl win in 2002 remains their high point.
Arizona Cardinals (Last Year’s Record: 8-8)
The Cardinals franchise history dates back to before the 19th century. They have no Super Bowl titles, but did make an appearance in Super Bowl XLII, but ultimately, ending up losing to the Steelers. Arizona changed coaches this past offense but still have the ageless Larry Fitzgerald around as they look to build around the first-round pick, Josh Rosen.
Los Angeles Rams (Last Year’s Record: 11-5)
The Rams have a storied history, going back to 1936. After beginning in L.A., they moved to St. Louis, but are now back in Los Angeles. They have made the Super Bowl three times, and won one, during their Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, Issac Bruce, and Marshall Faulk years. They made a massive turnaround in a head coach, Sean McVay.
San Francisco 49ers (Last Year’s Record: 6-10) – Bet On The 49ers
The Niners are one of the league’s most storied franchise. They have been around since 1946 and have six Super Bowl appearances and five championships. All but one came in the 1980s, due to the great quarterback play of Joe Montana and Steve Young. The best receiver to ever play the game, Jerry Rice, also played most of his career in San Francisco.
Seattle Seahawks (Last Year’s Record: 9-7)
Since the team was established in 1974, the Seahawks have had some tough years. However, since the turn of the century, things have gotten much better. They’ve made three Super Bowls during that time, winning the Super Bowl in 2013. Their roster has changed a lot in their past two seasons, but still, have an elite quarterback in Russell Wilson.
Key Football Player Positions
The coolest part about today’s sports betting market is the number of proposition bets available for teams and players. There are now player propositions for just about every position on the field, besides offensive lineman. These bets are not only fun but can have a huge edge if you’re a sharp bettor.
A franchise quarterback is a dream for every NFL franchise. There are props available for just about every aspect of a quarterback’s game. The number of yards thrown, number of completions, number of touchdowns thrown, number of interceptions thrown, and so on. You’ll find the most player props centered around quarterbacks at football betting sites.
The chain-mover of the offense will usually have a large list of props, as well. With running backs, it’s more dependent on their role in the offense. Bell-cow backs will have a large list of props at sportsbooks that offer propositions. Betting on the number of rushing yards, receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns are all possible with running back props.
The pass catchers of the offense will mostly have player props centered on their number of yards and receptions. There are also TD propositions for just about every offensive position player, including wide receivers.
The blocker/receiver role offers similar markets to the wide receiver. Tight ends are rarely utilized like wide receivers, but they will also have props on yards, receptions, and touchdowns.
Prop markets have gotten so much bigger in recent years, that now defensive players also have propositions. Bettors will be able to wager on an over/under on the number of tackles a linebacker has or the number of sacks he will get. For defensive backs, it’s the number of tackles and in some cases, passes defended.
Important NFL Game Rules
#1 NFL Overtime
This has been tweaked several times over as it appears players, coaches, and the NFL front office are not a fan of ties. Ties are still possible, but the team who gets the ball on the first possession can only win the game if they score a touchdown. After each team gets the ball once, any score after that wins. Before the 2017-18 season, the overtime period lasted 15 minutes. That has now been reduced to a 10-minute overtime period.
#2 Second Wild Card
In 1978, the NFL added a second Wild Card team, which meant one more team from each conference made the playoffs. They later added more divisions, and we still sit the ideal number of 12 teams making the playoffs out of 32 teams and two teams getting first-round byes due to their strong regular season performances.
#3 Instant Replay
We may be annoyed with the slow-pace of NFL broadcasts at times and the endless commercials, but we’re still going to sit through all that to watch the game we love. Instant replay came into the league in 1999, and while they’re still slower paced than they should be, at least they get the call right! Well, at least, most of the time.
#4 Two-Point Conversion
Borrowed from the defunct-USFL, the two-point conversion changed the NFL game. It was introduced in 1994 and gave teams a chance that are down eight points to tie the game and force overtime. Most importantly, the conversion added excitement and drama to an already great game.
#5 Moving the Goal Posts
Most readers can’t remember an NFL where the goal posts were on the field. They used to be stationed on the goal line, rather than at the back of the end zone. It seems obvious, but plenty of players ran into the posts while running slants down the middle of the field. Since 1974, the goalposts have been on the outside of the end zone.
Professional football, in some form, has been around for more than 100 years. The NFL’s rise to prominence started nearly 100 years ago and taken the league to heights they likely never could imagine, even when the game grew in popularity in the 1960s and 70s.
The game of football has a history all the way back in the 19th century. The National Football League formed in 1922. The game and the league had plenty of rough patches in their early years. Although they had a small, loyal following of fans, they didn’t gain much national television appeal till the 1960s.
NFL League Growth
In 1966 the NFL merged the American Football League (AFL). The deal with the former rival also began the tradition of the Super Bowl as the game to decide a league champion each season. The league truly began to grow in the 1970s with Monday Night Football becoming a national event each night. The NFL’s TV deals during this time took them to TV rating heights they are still matching today.
The Future of the NFL
The NFL is just as profitable as ever. With the legal opinion changed and the social opinion of sports betting becoming more acceptable, the future is bright for the league when it comes to increasing popularity. More betting action means more interest in their game, and therefore, better ratings and TV contracts. To learn more about pro football betting visit our NFL Betting Guide.
Legality of Betting on the NFL
Placing bets on NFL games at online betting sites is perfectly legal as an individual. State laws may vary, but no one has ever been charged with a crime for betting on an NFL game on the internet.
Recent legal developments due to New Jersey winning their case against the Supreme Court have led to several states legalizing recreational sports betting, including Delaware, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Currently, there aren’t enough recreational sportsbooks to challenge offshore bookmakers. Online betting is still the best choice for players who want a larger selection of odds and markets. Online sports betting bonuses are not something bettors will be able to get with local bookies or at regulated sportsbooks.
In the end, the combination of the excellent line shopping ability and thousands of dollars of bonuses available for new bettors makes online betting sites a no-brainer if you’re betting football. These betting companies have far more experience in sports betting and offer way better options when it comes to betting variety and software, especially when it comes to live betting on sports.
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