The Basics
3 Min
betting types

Whether you’re new to betting on the NFL or you’re a more seasoned vet than Tom Brady, one of the most exciting things about wagering on the NFL is the plethora of money-making options you have at your fingertips! Here’s our Bet Basics run down on the top NFL betting types available:



Moneyline betting is as straightforward as it gets when it comes to gambling on the NFL. All you’ve gotta do is pick the team you think will win the game! Easy, right?


The sportsbook allocates odds to each team based on their likelihood of winning the game. For example, the favorites are represented by a minus sign in front of the odds such as -175, while the underdogs are represented by a plus sign in front of the odds such as +150.


While the favorite might seem like the obvious choice because of the smaller level of risk involved, a winning bet will be less profitable than if you’d bet on the underdog. That being said, favorites are favorites for a reason and profit is profit, no matter how small it may be!


On the other hand, if you’re already the kinda person who likes to root for the underdog, betting on a money line outsider can add an extra level of excitement to watching NFL games as you cheer the upset and an extra juicy payout!


For a step-by-step guide on how to understand moneyline odds and place a moneyline bet on the NFL, click here.



NFL spread betting or betting ‘against the spread’ involves factoring in a handicap set by sportsbooks that is designed to level the playing field between the favorite and the underdog. It is essentially an estimation of how much the oddsmakers expect a team to win or lose by.



For example, if the sportsbook expects the favorite to win by a field goal (remember, kickers are people too!), they would set the spread handicap at -2.5 points. This means the favorite must win the game by 3 points or more in order to cover the spread.


In this scenario, the underdog has essentially been given a +2.5 point head start and they must either win the game outright or lose by 2 points or less to cover the spread.


For a more detailed explanation of points spread betting, click here.



Totals bets are exactly what they sound like - betting on the total number of points scored in an NFL game. Sportsbooks will estimate the total and give you the option to bet either over or under that total.


For example, an oddsmaker sets the total at 47.5 points. If you bet the over, you need there to be 48 or more points scored in the game to win your bet. If you bet the under, you need 47 or less points to be scored in the game to win your bet. Either way, expect to spend a lot of time anxiously staring at the game clock to check if the scoring is on pace for you to collect your payout!


For more information on how to place a totals bet on the NFL, click here.



Prop bets or ‘propositions’ allow you to bet on specific elements within a game such as milestones for each team or individual players. Examples could include the number touchdowns a team will score in the game, or the total number of rushing yards for a running back.


Prop bets usually take the form of Over/Under totals, Yes/No propositions, or certain events, such as the first touchdown scorer.


For help navigating the sometimes overwhelming world of prop bets, click here.



Live betting allows you to wager in real time once the game is already underway. NFL games can be full of pivotal moments and serious momentum swings and there’s certainly money to be won if you can sense these coming!


Sportsbooks generally have live betting markets for moneyline, spread, total and some props. It’s important to be aware that the odds for these are constantly changing based on the action taking place on the field. You’re gonna need move faster than Tyreek Hill running a go route to get your bet placed before the oddsmakers adjust the market in their favour again!


For tips on how to make the most of fluctuating odds during NFL live betting, click here.



Parlays give you a shot at collecting a bigger payout by combining multiple bets from different NFL games. Each bet included in a parlay increases the odds and potential winnings, but the caveat is ALL of the bets must be winning ones for the parlay to pay out. 


Like going for it on 4th and 10, NFL parlays are high-risk, high-reward wagers, but the excitement they bring is perfect for the more adventurous bettors out there!


For hints and tips on how to build the perfect NFL parlay, click here.



Futures bets are wagers made before or during the season in advance of an event taking place, such as picking the Super Bowl winner or NFL MVP. 




For a more detailed breakdown of different NFL futures markets and what to look out for when placing a futures bet, click here.

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