How to bet on American Football | Full Guide for Beginners 2021

American football is one of the most popular sports in the world, and has continued to grow internationally in more recent years with the sport becoming increasingly more popular in Europe as well as the USA. Our helpful betting guide will provide you with all the information you need to better your chances of betting successfully, but of course you must be patient and do extensive research to fully understand the game and maximise profits. American football betting is explained, along with NFL sports betting strategies, tactical tips and how to bet on sports.

  • Begin with the markets and teams that you are most familiar with.
  • Keep in mind that bookmakers will underestimate teams at the beginning of each season.
  • Form on paper is often irrelevant and can lead to valuable odds on underdogs.

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Your success in the NFL betting world does not necessarily depend on your knowledge of the game, but more an understanding of how to bet on American football. Nevertheless, to be able to bet on the sport, you must have some sort of knowledge of the top form of the sport. That is the NFL, where 32 professional teams are divided into eight divisions, with all teams only playing 16 games each throughout the season, split evenly at home and away. The season is therefore short in timescale, compared to most sports like football (soccer), as it lasts from early September to early February – not very long at all, which we will go into later. There is also the matter of college American football, where teams only play 12 matches in a whole season, so you should probably avoid that for the time being. Begin with the NFL, focus on perhaps two or three sides and assess their potential deeply, watching the games and the ins and outs of their squad, injuries and so on, so that you can build an idea of whether they are worth betting on as underrated underdogs or worthy favourites.


Whether you’re learning how to bet on basketball or how to bet on baseball or football, the strategy remains pretty much the same. It may sound simple and maybe less exciting, but if you stick to the markets you know from other sports, you enhance your chances of being successful massively. Where better to start than with the standard moneylines (match winner) and point totals (over/under X points)? If you have ever made a bet, it was probably on one of the two, and rightfully so. Betting on a match winner only requires an analysis of the value of the underdog or favourite, and backing them according to how confidently you feel. Consider whether the underdog could cause an upset, or whether the favourites are worthy, using your knowledge of their potential through watching prior matches and some stats research. Point totals are an intriguing market, so check out our section on each market below. Be sure to consider familiarity (with both teams and markets) when betting on American Football!


If you do not closely follow the sport, you may not realise how short the actual season is. The NFL season stems from September to February, that is around five months for a whole season. This makes learning how to bet on American football quite challenging, as the limited time and games can make judging the true potential of a side difficult for the punters. Nevertheless, it is a challenge that we all have to deal with, including the bookmakers, so if you become literal experts of maybe two or even one team, you should find value in certain markets, whether it be betting for or against that team, or the over/under market. Our NFL sports betting guide below outline this and may seem straightforward, but are worth real consideration rather than rushing in and aggressively betting on the sport with no idea of what’s what.

  • Focus and become an expert on one or two teams – it’s a brief season and tough for both you and the bookmakers to judge a team’s potential.
  • Bet only when there is value, as there is really no point in lumping heavily on a 1/4 favourite due to the risk of an upset.
  • Hands-on research is a must – analyse a team and become a fan if you have to, so that you are not only aware of their results but also the nature in which they won or lost, any injuries, how well they perform at home and away etc.

This is where it becomes really interesting. As with all sports, there are several markets to consider when betting on American football. Be cautious of the exotic and obscure betting markets, as bookmakers across the world have an abundance of markets to choose from, but the simplest of all are where the value lies. In this section, we finally discuss the most valuable markets available for beginners and more experienced bettors, and how to go about choosing your bets within the NFL.


As with darts, cricket and just about any sport, the moneyline bets are probably the most popular market, although it may not be the most successful for punters. You are simply betting on the head-to-head result, essentially which team will win the match with no handicaps, no matter of the points totals and so on. It is simple, but if you can capitalise on the moments where value is offered, there are profits to be made. We would advise you to steer clear of committing huge amounts of money on these unless you have done extensive research as we previously suggested. Bookmakers are clever, and they often get it right, but if you happen to bet on the underdog at the right time, there are serious profits to be made – quite similar to the unpredictability of football (soccer).


Over Under bets are simple, where a bookmaker sets a specific number of points that they think will be scored in an American football game, essentially making it a 50/50 bet on whether the total points will end with more or less than that set amount. For example, over 50.5 point to be scored in the match could be priced at 1.91 and the same odds for under 50.5. Remember that when doing this, you are betting on the cumulative amount of points scored by both sides combined, but do not bet aggressively. By this, we mean that punters often bet ‘aggressively’ as they, as viewers, want to be entertained by high-scoring matches and therefore bet for that to happen. That is not always the case, as closer matches may be less high-scoring and not every match can be an over 50-point thriller, so bet with your head here. The best value could be in the Under market, so be sure to think carefully and analyse your teams’ performances and previous amount of points scored during the season.


Betting on American football outright winners mainly concerns the major competitions and awards, that is – NFL Most Valuable Player, NFL Conference Champions, NFL Super Bowl Winner*, NFL Division Winners, and then the NCAA National Champions and the NCAA Heisman Trophy Winners. The most popular and well renowned of those has to be the Super Bowl, which is the largest fixture of the NFL season. There are always good odds on the outright winners at the beginning of the season, as there is so much that can change in terms of form and squad rosters, so it is worth considering the outright winners markets where there is good value.


We hope to have successfully introduced you to the general NFL betting strategies and that you now have more of an idea on how to bet on American football. Here is a recap of our most important tips that you must remember:

  • The season is very brief, lasting just five months, and there is not a huge number of matches played, which makes it difficult to gauge an idea of teams’ form. This is a factor for both you and the bookmaker, so be sure to capitalise if they do underestimate a side you see with good potential.
  • Focus on a few sides to begin with. If you watch and assess one or two teams at a time, you gain more scope and a deeper knowledge of their potential regardless of results. It allows you to decipher whether a side has played well but not got the results, or whether they are playing poorly but finding lucky breaks in terms of the results. With a deeper knowledge, you can find value in underdogs or confidence in favourites.

Be sure to check out the other betting tips and strategies elsewhere at Betastic, as we introduce you to sports that you may never have bet on before, and also give you an updated guide on your favourite sports. Want to get professional wrestling betting tips or rollover betting tips and learn how to bet on darts or how to bet on golf? We’ve got you covered.

Looking for more betting guides on various topics? Make sure to visit our corner betting tips, rollover betting tips, learn how tv show betting works or how to place a successful bet365 wrestling bet!

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