How to Bet on NFL – NFL Betting Sites and Strategies

NFL betting sites, strategies and upcoming matchup odds. Learn how to bet on the NFL. It’s easy! Our friendly guide discusses easy and exotic bets, futures odds and the best betting sites. See the latest Super Bowl and conference futures odds. Crush your bookie this season courtesy of


  1. Current Matchup Odds
  2. Easy Bets
  3. Exotic Bets
  4. How Teams Make the Playoffs
  5. Super Bowl & Conference Futures
  6. Live NFL Odds
  7. NFL Team Pages

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How NFL Betting Works

This tutorial has two sections. The first contains the most common NFL bets. These include the spread, total and moneyline bets. Winning sports bettors stick these bets. They’re the most profitable in the long haul.

The second section outlines exotic NFL bets. These include the parlay, teaser, if bet, parlay card and props. Be careful! They all come with a higher house edge. Smart handicappers only place these wagers when they think they have an advantage.
How to Bet on NFL Football - NFL Betting

Easy NFL Bets

1. NFL Spread Betting

Bet is made on the expected score difference.

Taking the Underdog
Add the spread to the underdog’s final score. The underdog wins if the sum is greater than the favorite’s final score.

Taking the Favorite
Subtract the spread from the favorite’s score. The favorite wins if the difference is greater than the underdog’s final score.

Identifying the Spread
The spread is the smaller of two numbers next to each team. The larger number is the total.

Sportsbook odds specify the juice to the right of the spread. This is the amount of money you bet to win $100. Assume -110 when no number is given. -110 is standard odds or full juice.

NFL Spread Example

New York 3½ -112
Green Bay 44½

  1. Bettor chooses favorite New York Giants. They must win by 3.5 points.
  2. The favorite’s juice is -112. Lay $112 to win $100.
  3. Giants win the game 24-21.
  4. Bet wins if favorite’s score minus spread is greater than underdog’s score.

Result: Giants 24 – 3.5 = 20.5. 20.5 is less than Packers’ 21. Green Bay covers spread.
Favorite bettors lose. Underdog bettors win.

Note: Tie bets are possible when the spread is a whole number, for example 3, 6, 7 or 9. Your bet will be returned if the final result ties the spread.

Consider the example above with New York as the 3 point favorite. A final score of 24-21 means New York tied the spread. The final 3 point difference (24-21) equaled the 3 point line. Bets for the both the favorite Giants and underdog Packers would be returned.

More Info

Watch our spread betting video and read our complete spread tutorial here. You’ll also find NFL key numbers, strategies, spread to moneyline converversion and other insights.

2. NFL Total Betting

Sportsbook estimates a combined point total. Bettors decide whether final result will be over or under this number. Final point total includes overtime result.

Identifying the Total
The total is the larger of two numbers next to each team. The smaller number is the spread. Sportsbooks specify the total bet’s juice to the right of the line.

Choosing a Side
One side of the bet may have different juice than the other. NFL betting odds will abbreviate over as “o” and under as “u”. The more expensive side will be provided. For example, 41 o-117 means anyone betting over 41 will lay $117 to win $100.

Assume -110 when no number is given. That means the juice for both the over and under is -110. Bettors taking either side will lay $110 to win $100.

NFL Total Example

New Orleans 41
Chicago 6½

  1. The total line is 41. The over and under both have -110 juice because no other value was indicated.
  2. Over bettors believe the final total will be greater than 41. They lay $110 to win $100.
  3. Under bettors believe the final total will be less than 41. They also lay $110 to win $100.

Result: Final total is 45. This number is greater than 41. That means all over bettors win.

Note: A total equaling 41 means all bets push. Your wager will be refunded.

More Info

Our total betting video makes the over under bet easy to understand. The reference section explains how to calculate the value for the opposite side of the line when sportsbooks charge more than -110 juice. Note, most sportsbooks provide juice for both sides of a line at their websites. Calculating the opposite side is only necessary when viewing abbreviated third party odds tables.

3. NFL Moneyline Betting

Bet is made on the outright winner. A positive number indicates the underdog. A negative number indicates the favorite. Two -110 numbers mean the matchup has no specific favorite.

Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100.
Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100.

The juice is included in each moneyline. Sportsbooks usually add 10 cents commission to each side. A -220 true odds favorite would get a -230 line. A +150 true odds underdog would get a +140 line.

Sportsbooks don’t display moneyline odds with spreads and totals. Moneylines will be provided on a different table or page. Look for “ML” or “Moneylines” on your sportsbook’s odds page.

NFL Moneyline Example

San Francisco -190
Dallas +170

  1. The San Francisco 49ers are the favorite. The Dallas Cowboys are the underdog.
  2. San Francisco bettors lay $190 to win $100. Dallas bettors win $170 for risking $100.

Note: A tie means all bets push. Your wager will be refunded.

More Info

Our moneyline video explains this bet completely. The entire moneyline tutorial also includes useful tips and strategies. Use the reference section to convert Moneyline odds to equivalent Fractional or Decimal values. Note required break even percentages for moneyline odds.

Exotic NFL Bets

1. NFL Parlay Betting

Combine 2 or more spread, moneyline or total selections. Parlay wins if all selections win. Parlay loses if any selection loses.

NFL Parlay Directions

  1. Select 2-15 spreads, money lines, totals or combinations of all three.
  2. Matchups from other sports like basketball, hockey or baseball can be included.
  3. All selections must be correct to win.
  4. Each tie reduces parlay size by 1 selection. Review your sportsbook’s parlay rules carefully.

More Info

Learn more about NFL parlay betting with our handy infographic. We’ve explained the parlay bet in a simple visual format.

The complete parlay article has examples and suggested betting options. It includes a thorough discussion about what happens when one or more parlay selections tie.

The reference section also discusses the difference between standard parlay odds and true odds.

Tip for Winning Bettors
Always choose the parlay over separate straight bets. Your +EV (expected value) is much higher for a winning parlay. Winning sports bettors should always choose the most profitable bet available.

2. NFL Teaser Betting

Combine multiple spread and total bets into a modified parlay. Buy points to shift lines in your favor. Winning teaser bets receive a lower payout than the same straight bets with unmodified lines.

Teaser Bet Exclusions:
Moneylines, Props and Futures cannot be added to a teaser bet.

NFL Teaser Directions

  1. Select 2-10 spread bets, total bets or combinations of both.
  2. Buy points to shift lines in your favor. The more points you purchase, the lower your potential payout.
  3. Favorites can now win by fewer points. Underdogs can now lose by more points.
  4. The Under is now more likely with higher total. The Over is now more likely with lower total.
  5. All selections must be correct to win.
  6. Note: Sportsbook tie bet rules vary. Each tie reduces payout by 1 selection above 2 total selections.

More Info

Dig into teaser betting on our tutorial page. Our teaser bet infographic explains how to place this bet. You’ll also find a full example, sample tie rules and teaser odds from popular online sportsbooks.

3. NFL If Bet Win Only

Player combines multiple bets into simple If-then sequence. Next bet sees action if previous one wins. Up to 7 bets can be combined.

Why an If Bet Win Only?
Make multiple bets when you only have money for one. The maximum amount of the next bet is the prior bet’s risk and win. That makes If bets ideal for players with small bankrolls.

The If-Bet is a single action wager. Subsequent bets cannot be more than previous bet’s risk and win.

NFL Football If Bet Win Only Example

Player combines 2 bets: favorite Pittsburgh Steelers -3 -110 vs Jacksonville Jaguars and underdog Miami Dolphins +6 -110 vs Houston Texans.

  1. Player risks $220 to win $200 on favorite Steelers.
  2. If Steelers win then player takes underdog Dolphins.
  3. Maximum second bet is $420. $220 risk + $200 won from Steelers game.
  4. Player risks $330 to win $300 on Miami Dolphins.
  5. Total potential win is $200 (Steelers) + $300 (Dolphins) = $500.

More Info

Explore the if bet win only further here. Our engaging infographic explains how to place this bet from top to bottom. It’s much easier than you think!

Experienced Gamblers: The reference section compares the performance of 2 straight bets versus a 2 part if bet win only.

Hint: Straight bets are better for winning bettors. If bets are bettor for losing bettors.

4. NFL Parlay Card Bet

Choose 3-12 spreads, totals or player propositions from a preselected list. ½ point parlay cards are most common. They exclusively feature ½ point spreads and totals. No ties are possible. Your entire card either wins or loses.

Sportsbooks offer 3 types of parlay cards. Rules and payouts vary for each:

  • ½ Point Parlay Card
  • Ties Win Parlay Card
  • Ties Lose Parlay Card

Make at least 3 selections. Choose from spreads, totals or player props. Some cards require 4 or more prop selections.

Minimum Bet is $2. Maximum subject to sportsbook approval. Most players bet less than $100 per card. Maximum payout amounts range $100,000 – $200,000.

NFL Parlay Card Directions

  1. Parlay Cards are readily available at Las Vegas sports books. Some online sportsbooks offer parlay cards.
  2. Review all matchups and player props. Make 3-12 selections. Carefully fill out card.
  3. Ties are subject to parlay card rules. Not applicable to ½ point parlay cards.
  4. Return to sportsbook with winning receipt or stub to collect winnings.

More Info

Our Parlay Card Tutorial offers a comprehensive explanation of this popular exotic bet. It also includes an image of a real parlay card. Review each parlay card’s potential payouts. The more selections you make, the more you could win.

Each payout is fixed in advance. Be sure to read the rules section. It itemizes minimums for prop bet cards, contingencies for tie bets, and explains how to collect your parlay card’s payout.

Important: Parlay cards are like lottery tickets. They must be filled out completely. Bubble-in your selections with a good pencil or pen. Retain the card until all matchups have finished.

Note the redemption mailing address. Winning cards can be mailed in for a return check. It will save you a trip back to Vegas, not that Vegas is bad place to go!

5. NFL Prop Betting

Sportsbook offers odds on various events related to NFL football. Bettor decides whether an event will occur, in what quantity or both. Prop bets are considered side bets. They are not dependent on the game’s final outcome.

Season win totals are a combination prop and future bet. These bets are available before the season begins. Make sure to place each team’s bet before their first game.

NFL Prop Betting Directions

  1. Visit sportsbook’s NFL odds page. Select “Props” or “Specials”.
  2. Most props are announced before championship events. Others are available throughout the season.
  3. Each prop has moneyline odds.
  4. Make selection and bet desired amount.
  5. Sports props win or lose after applicable game, season or playoff has concluded.

Note: Some props cannot be added to parlays.

More Info

Read our expansive prop betting article here. These bets are fun and easy to play once you understand moneylines. They’re almost like a predictive multiple-choice test!

The article has multiple prop bet examples and tips. Also, a brief explanation about season win totals, one of the NFL’s most common prop bets. These bets are popular with knowledgeable sports handicappers if the numbers are right.

Case Study: How the Kansas City Chiefs Made the Playoffs 2003-Present

We reviewed key Kansas City regular season stats for each year they made the playoffs, 2003-present. We also tabulated numbers for the 49ers and Colts.

New England made the playoffs every year except 2008 in our 2003-present sample. Meanwhile, Cleveland has the longest playoff drought in NFL history. They haven’t made the postseason since 2002. Cleveland’s stats from 2003 onward effectively demonstrate how a team does not make the playoffs. The Raiders have a similar track record, save one playoff appearance in 2016.

Each team’s overall averages are displayed below. Separate tables containing each team’s regular season stats follow. Numbers for the Cleveland Browns are provided as a control group.


Kansas City makes the playoffs if their regular season is above their playoff year averages. In our estimation, the most predictive stats are possession time greater than 30 minutes, a 97 QB rating or better, 5700 offensive yards or better, and at least 50 touchdowns.

Note also an average of 327 1st downs in the regular season. Most of the totals cluster closely around 300. The Kansas City Chiefs must consistently advance the ball to win games!

For the record, the New England Patriots’ averages exceed these numbers. That suggests a range of high end performance – well above the lowly Cleveland Browns and Raiders – guarantees a crack at the Super Bowl.

Select Regular Season Averages, Playoff Teams vs. Drought Teams 2003-Present

Average Stats - Regular Season - Each Team
TDs 1st
Chiefs Playoffs (10)
Colts Playoffs (13)
49ers Playoffs (4)
Raiders Drought (0)

Chiefs 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

Chiefs - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
TDs 1st

Colts 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

Colts - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
TDs 1st

49ers 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

49ers - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
TDs 1st

Raiders 2003-Present Playoff Drought - Key Season Stats (Except: 2016)

Raiders - Regular Season Stats - Drought Years
TDs 1st

Super Bowl Odds

Super Bowl 2022 Futures Odds - All Available Teams
Last Updated September 26, 2021 1:36 pm
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Cached 2021-09-26 14:04:34

AFC Conference Odds

2022 AFC Conference Futures Odds - All Available Teams
Last Updated September 24, 2021 1:38 pm
OutcomeSB3Gen SB3Gen

Cached 2021-09-24 13:38:48

NFC Conference Odds

2022 NFC Conference Futures Odds - All Available Teams
Last Updated September 24, 2021 1:38 pm
OutcomeSB3Gen SB3Gen

Cached 2021-09-24 13:38:48

NFL Betting Required Reading