How to Bet on Football - Football Betting Strategy
The beauty of betting on football is that it makes every game meaningful no matter the teams involved.
Two last-place teams can be facing each other, but you will still be glued to the television set until the last play if your bet is still on the line. The game can be lopsided but your interest might never waver because you need the teams to score a certain amount of points.
Betting on football is a significant reason why the sport has become the most popular in the United States.
Many factors come into play in a sound football betting strategy which can make the experience one of the most thrilling times for any sports fan. The terms point spreads, money lines, over/under bets, parlays, teasers and propositions may be foreign to you if you do not know how to bet on football.
This article will not only teach you how to bet on football, it will help you develop the best football betting strategy once your knowledge is in place.
The first steps
After you have learned how to bet on football, you should create an account at SportsBetting.ag if you have not already done so. That’s where all of the fun and suspense starts at the Sportsbook.
With the account created, you should set up your banking method to fund your wager in the Sportsbook. From there, you will hopefully see your winnings start to grow.
While in the Sportsbook at SportsBetting.Ag, click on the “Football” entry in the column to the left under the heading of “Main Sports”. You will notice the subheads “NCAA” and “NFL” appear. “NCAA” refers to college football games while the “NFL” header includes all of the NFL games for that week.
Once you click on either field, you will see the matchups of the teams, dates and times of the games, and information under the “Spread”, “Money Line” and “Total Points” categories. This is where you decide what kind of bet you want to make.
Definitions of football betting terms
As a novice, you may know only about office pools in which you just pick the winners. With football wagering at SportsBetting.ag, you can choose from a variety of ways to make money. The following is an explanation of the many different ways to make your bet:
This type of bet is the most common for football games. Here’s an example:
The Carolina Panthers are favored by seven points to beat the Atlanta Falcons. The line at the sportsbook would look like this:
109 Carolina Panthers -7 -103
110 Atlanta Falcons +7 -117
The teams are identified as the numbers to the left (109 and 110). The point spread is shown after the team names. In this case, the point spread indicates Carolina as the favorite at -7. How can the Panthers be favored with a negative number? A negative number means a team is giving points. The Panthers in this situation are giving seven points to Atlanta, which means they must win by more than seven points to cover. The Falcons, at +7, cover if they lose by less than seven points.
If the Panthers win by exactly 7 points, the outcome is considered a “push” or “no action” and your money is returned.
If the Panthers win by less than 7 points or lose the game outright, the bet for them is a losing one.
The last number (-103 for Carolina and -117 for Atlanta) indicates the ratio of what can be won in relation to what is bet. Normally, spread bets are at -110, which means for every $1 won you must wager $1.10. If you bet $11 in this case, you win $10. You receive the $10 you won and your original $11 spent for a total of $21.
The -103 for Carolina indicates that you pay $1.03 to win $1. If you bet on Atlanta at -117 you pay $1.17 to win $1.
One last note: You’ll notice the red “O” with many of the lines. That means the game is circled at the SportsBetting.ag Sportsbook with a limit placed on the amount of a wager. The maximum wager in this case is generally $1,000.
Money line bets are straight-up bets, choosing the winner or loser outright without the use of point spreads.
As an example, the Michigan State-Alabama matchup in the College Football Playoff game at the Cotton Bowl indicates the Spartans are the underdogs at +300 as the money-line bet while the Crimson Tide is the favorite at -360.
That means that if you believe Michigan State will surprise Alabama and win straight up, you win $3 for every $1 you wager on the Spartans. In other words, if you bet $20 on Michigan State to beat Alabama straight-up, you win $60. The $60 matched with your original $20 means you take home $80.
If you make the safer bet of taking Alabama, your take-home scale from a victory is reduced. You win only $1 for every $3.60 you pay. If you bet $20 on Alabama to win, you win $5.56, which means you take home $25.56. You don’t win very much but your chances of winning are greater than taking the underdog.
Total points or Over/Under
This category affords you the opportunity to bet on the amount of points scored in a game.
Example: The Carolina-Atlanta game has an over-under or total of 47 points. You can bet whether the total points scored by both teams will go “over” 47 points or stay “under” that total. Please note that odds makers set a realistic number to ensure close to half of the people will bet on either side. You won’t see an over-under of 100 points in football in other words.
If the final score is Carolina 34, Atlanta 28, the combined score of the teams is 62 points. That means the game went “over”. If the score is Carolina 24, Atlanta 10, the total points scored is 34, meaning the game went “under” the 47-point line for both teams.
Odds for over-under bets are generally -110, which again means that for every $1 won you must pay $1.10.
Parlays are wildly popular for football bets at the SportsBetting.ag Sportsbook. Parlays are a selection of two or more wagering outcomes involved with one bet. In a parlay bet, all teams bet must win or cover for the play to be active. If any selection loses, the entire bet is lost.
What’s most intriguing about parlay bets is you can combine different sports, point spreads, money lines or over/under bets. You can wager on four NFL games and three NBA games on one ticket, for example.
If there is a tie or cancellation involved with a selection of a parlay, the ticket reverts to the next lowest number. For instance, one leg of your five-team parlay has Atlanta covering against Carolina at +7, and the Falcons lose by 7, which is a push. The bet is reduced to a four-team parlay. Payouts are adjusted accordingly.
You can view the potential payouts for parlays and other bets at the SportsBetting.ag calculator, which is an invaluable tool to learn how much you can win by placing specific bets.
Teasers are a selection of two or more outcomes in a single wager in which either the point spread or over/under is adjusted in your favor.
A teaser adjusts the spread for the favorite so that it decreases the posted spread, or conversely it increases the posted spread for the underdog. If you select a total, the adjustment makes totals higher to go under or lower to go over.
An example: If the lines you want to tease are Baltimore Ravens +3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys over 37, your two-team, six-point teaser would be:
Baltimore Ravens +9
Washington Redskins/Dallas Cowboys over 31
Both results need to be correct for this teaser to be a winner.
Just as it sounds: “Futures” are your pick for future outcomes. A futures bet is a single-wager bet on the outcome of a game or event to be held in the future. For example, the Super Bowl.
Click on the “Futures & Props” header in the left column of the sportsbook at SportsBetting.ag. Then click on “NFL Futures” and you will find odds for every team to win the Super Bowl. The lower the number, the better the odds for a team to win.
An example: The Carolina Panthers are a +400 favorite to win the Super Bowl while the Jacksonville Jaguars are at +50000. Carolina has a much better chance of winning the Super Bowl than Jacksonville. The safe bet is taking Carolina winning $4 for every $1 wager. You could win $500 by betting $1 on Jacksonville but that is like winning the national lottery -- the odds are very highly against it.
Many who bet on futures take a sleeper pick because of a good chance for victory with decent odds if a win occurs. For example, the Denver Broncos are at +1400, which means you can win $14 for every $1 you bet. It is not far-fetched to believe Denver can win it all.
Talk about fun. Prop bets are the coolest, especially when it comes to the Super Bowl because among the many different gambling scenarios, you can bet on what team wins the coin toss, what player scores the first touchdown and if a quarterback will throw for a certain amount of yards, etc.
A prop – or proposition – bet is a wager involving two or more outcomes not directly related to the final score. Typically, props are not allowed to be placed in any type of parlay bet. In most cases, featured props are usually single bets only.
An example: How many passing yards will Aaron Rodgers get in his next game -- Less than 100; 101-150; 151-200; 201-250; 251-300 or 300-plus. Odds will be posted for each outcome.
A bet like that obviously carries tremendous entertainment value and will keep you interested in the game even if Green Bay is beating Denver by 30 points in the fourth quarter.
That’s the beauty of betting on football: Never a dull moment.
25% Bonus For Life
Whenever your account is running on empty, use promo code FORLIFE when you make a qualifying deposit of $50 or more to earn a 25% Sportsbook Bonus. To get the most bang-for-your-buck, you can get up to $1,000 worth of free plays on every qualifying reload 24/7/365.
Mobile Betting $50 Free Play
Haven't tried mobile betting yet? Now is the time to try. Receive up to a $50.00 free play when you place your first-ever Mobile sports bet. All you have to do is place a sports bet from your smartphone or tablet. If your bet wins, congratulations: you are already scoring a profit from Mobile betting! However, if your bet loses, we’ll reimburse your bet with up to a $50.00 free play. You've got nothing to lose - literally - so take advantage of the offer today!
$25 Free Live In-Game Betting
Ever miss a kick-off or lay off a winning pick? Everyone has. With our cutting edge Live In-Game Betting platform, you can get in the action as it unfolds in real-time. Try it out risk-free now. For a limited time, we give you a free $25 bet* if your first bet using our new Live In-Game Betting platform is not a winner.