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Ever wondered how to bet on football for beginners free? The simplest type of football wagering is placing a straight bet on the point spread. The team the player bets on must cover the point spread when placing a straight bet. This implies that the underdog will score that many points if the favorite team doesn’t win by the predetermined margin.

Point spread wagers are often available at odds of 11 to 10. This implies that the bettor needs to “lay” $11 in order to win $10. As a result, it’s common practice to wager in $11 increments ($22, $55, $110, $550, etc.) while making a point spread wager.

Example of Football Betting

On the wagering sheets and electronic display boards, the point spread is always displayed next to the favorite. Unless otherwise noted, the home team is always mentioned at the bottom.

Washington (Line)+3 (Total)42 (Money)+140
Philadelphia -3 42 -160

What does -1 mean in football betting? Or, in this case, -3. Philadelphia (-3) is favored by three points in this example. For the player to win his wager on Philadelphia, the team must win by a margin of more than three points. If the player wagers on Washington (+3), the player wins if Washington wins the game straight-up or loses by a margin of no more than two points. All straight bets on the points pread are returned if Philadelphia wins by precisely three points, which is regarded as a wagering tie or “push” for betting purposes.

The total for the game, commonly known as the Over/Under, is the total number of points scored by both sides, and it is the number next to the point spread (42). The player may place a bet on whether the total score will exceed or fall short of this amount.

The final score also includes points scored during overtime. Similar to the point spread, unless otherwise specified, the gambler bets $11 for each $10 he hopes to win or multiples of that amount. The player might wager $55 to win $50, $110 to win $100, etc., as an example.

Where to Bet on Football for Beginners

Football Betting

NOTE: While point spreads are subject to change, in sports betting, the odds are “fixed” at the time the wager is made. The point spread that is printed on the ticket at the time of the wager may differ from the game’s opening or closing point spread and the odds that are displayed on the wagering sheets.

Money Line

Without using the point spread, bettors can also choose to back a side to win the game; the winning margin is irrelevant. The number on the far right that shows these odds is the money line.

The favorite is the team that has a negative sign (-) next to the money odds. Every money line starts with $100. Rather than laying three points at -110, gamblers might wager on Philadelphia to win the game at -160 in the example.

A $16 wager on Philadelphia would return $26 in winnings, while a $160 wager would return $260 in winnings. If Washington wins the game, a $100 wager on them would win $140, giving the bettor a $240 return.

Point spreads

Teams must win by more points or lose by fewer points in order to win point spread bets. To assess the sport, oddsmakers compute the apparent difference between two teams on the scoreboard and use that figure as the spread.

The team with a strong point spread is the favored. It is denoted by a negative number (-), like -3.0, next to its spread. The favorite must win by four points or more to cover the spread.

The club with a positive value (+) next to its spread, like +3.0, is the underdog in the point spread; it is the lesser team. The underdog must win the game hands-down or lose by a margin of no more than two points to cover the spread.

Understanding vig, often known as juice, or the cost of the bet, is another essential skill when learning how to bet on NFL spreads. Another set of odds, referred to as the vig or juice, will be linked to both sides of the point spread.

Next to the spreads, vig will show up as 7.5 (-110) / +7.5 (-110). US Sportsbooks frequently employ a flat -110 line for point spreads, meaning you can win $1 for every $1.10 staked or spend $110 to win $100.

Total in Football Betting

When you don’t feel strongly about either team, betting on the overall number of points scored, also known as the over/under or the total, is a smart option. The teams’ offense, defense, and other elements—like the weather—are taken into account by oddsmakers when estimating the teams’ point total.

In the event that the total anticipated score for a game is 53 points, wagerers have the option to wager that the final score will surpass or remain below that figure.

Similar to point spread wagering, vig is allocated to both sides of the total. In Over/Under betting, the majority of bookmakers employ a -110 line, which means that for every $1.10 staked, you would earn $1 or need to pay $110 to win $100. Under 53 (-110) / Over 53 (-110) would be displayed.

Similar to point spread wagering, vig is allocated to both sides of the total. In Over/Under betting, the majority of bookmakers employ a -110 line, which means that for every $1.10 staked, you would earn $1 or need to pay $110 to win $100. Under 53 (-110) / Over 53 (-110) would be displayed.

First Half/Half-Time Bets

It is possible to place a bet on the total or point spread for just the first or second half of a game. When a game reaches halftime, the score determines a first-half wager. For betting purposes, a halftime wager resets the game’s score to 0-0 at the half.

For instance, if a player bets on the Green Bay Packers -3 1/2 points in the second half and the team leads the San Francisco 49ers 14-10 at halftime, the Packers must win by eight points or more to cover the spread. Any overtime periods that are played are also included in halftime wagers.

Parlays for Online Football Betting

A parlay is when multiple teams are included in one wager. Parlays can also make use of totals. All of the teams in the parlay must win in order to win. The player may choose to parlay between two and ten teams in “off-the-board” parlays.

The parlay is lowered to the next lowest number of teams in the event of a wagering tie or “push” with the point spread or total; for instance, a 4-team parlay with one tie would become a 3-team parlay, etc. A straight bet is created from a two-team parlay with a single tie.

Parlay Cards

Football season is when parlay cards are most popular because they give the chance to win big on a small wager.
On the stub, players darken the circles that correspond to their parlay’s teams, the desired number of teams, and bet amount.

During football season, there are a variety of parlay card options available, and each has a distinct reward structure. The “1/2 point” parlay card is the most widely utilized type, as it uses ½-point point spreads to eliminate the risk of a wagering tie.


In football, we provide 6, 6 ½, 7, 10, and 14-point teasers. In several games, a teaser gives the player the option to reduce points from a favorite or add extra points to an underdog. It is possible to combine basketball and football in one teaser.

Any game (apart from 10 and 14-point teasers) that ends in a wagering tie reduces the teaser to the next lowest number; for instance, a 4-team teaser with one tie would become a 3-team teaser, etc. A two-team teaser is considered “No Action” in the case of a wagering tie, and all money risked is returned. Note: Ties are lost in teasers of 10 and 14 points.


The growth of NFL prop betting can be attributed to advanced analytics, DFS, and fantasy football. Props, sometimes referred to as proposition bets, were formerly only allowed for major events. However, gamblers can now discover prop markets for every NFL regular-season game, just like they do for Super Bowl props.

Prop bets focus on certain areas of the game, like player production, team performance, or specific events and outcomes during a match. You can wager on the total number of field goals kicked in a game or the star quarterback’s over/under passing yards using NFL player prop odds.

Prop bets can take many different forms, each with its own set of chances. Examples include Over/Under wagers, Yes/No props, and simple selections from a list of probabilities like players scoring a touchdown during the game.


With NFL derivative betting, you can bet on different odds for specific game segments, including first-half spreads or first-quarter Over/Under totals.

Team props, like first-half team totals or the amount of touchdowns scored in the third quarter, can also be subject to derivative odds.

Finding value in the NFL derivative odds markets can be greatly aided by knowing the distinct habits and trends that each team has, such as strong second halves or poor starts.


There is a sharp increase in casual bettors wagering on NFL futures. These are long-term results-based odds, such as the Super Bowl win odds, the Rookie of the Year odds, or the season win totals.

The majority of futures odds are available for betting before the start of the season and remain open until a winner is declared. They are continuously modified based on outcomes, injuries, and betting activity. Any moment during that time frame is open for futures betting, and the odds you place a wager on will determine how the wager is rated.

For instance, you might wager $100 on a team’s chances of winning the Super Bowl in the spring at +1,600 odds. That team may have a strong season and raise their odds to +800; if they enter the playoffs, their odds drop to +300. At +125 chances, they may even make it to and win the Super Bowl. These are the odds that grade your bet because you bet them at +1,600 in the spring, and that results in a $1,600 payoff.

Live Betting

When it comes to how to bet on football online, it doesn’t get more online than NFL in-game live wagering. Betting on the action as it unfolds is one of the most thrilling and quickly expanding forms of gambling. Another name for this is live betting.

The score, time, and field location are all continually included in the odds. In addition to the live spread and Over/Under, bettors can place bets on several additional in-game markets, such as players to score the next touchdown or the outcome of the next series.

While in-game betting offers bettors the opportunity to enter any game at nearly any time, it does carry a greater vig than pregame odds. Bettors can profit from momentum swings and anomalies that could provide opportunities in various markets. For example, they could bet the adjusted odds on the pregame favorite if it loses 7-0 in the first quarter.

Tips & Strategies

Here are some tips that should be very valuable for those looking into how to bet on football for beginners online. There’s no exact science on how to bet on football and win, but this comes close.

Follow the odds

NFL odds are subject to frequent changes as soon as the sportsbooks release them. When the odds increase on Monday, a team may start as a 5-point favorite and end up at -7.5 by the time of kickoff on Sunday.

Based on the movement of the line, you can always determine when to bet and get the greatest odds for you. Rather than waiting until the favorite is -7.5 on Sunday, you should wager them earlier in the week if you like them and see that their spread is widening.

The same is true of how NFL line movement affects Over/Under odds; totals fluctuate throughout the week in response to betting activity as well as outside variables like weather and injury reports.

Remember key figures

The best ways to bet on NFL football start with understanding the significance of key numbers for point spreads and why it’s wise to bet on and around them.

Field goals are worth three points in football, whereas touchdowns (with the extra point) are worth seven. The scoring system in football is quite strict. As a result, three, six, or seven points usually decide the majority of NFL games. These crucial numbers are typically where point spreads are determined.

Depending on which side of the point spread you prefer, line movement around those pivotal numbers is quite important. It is more advantageous to bet on the favorite at -6.5 or the underdog at +7.5 since there is a greater chance that the final score will be determined by exactly seven points.

Bets made by the public and consensus

Even though football fans support various teams, there is a common way of thinking when placing a wager on an NFL game. The betting public, or recreational gamblers, who are swayed by popular opinion and their favorite teams, are placing a lot of bets at sportsbooks as NFL betting becomes more and more popular.

The NFL consensus for every game, which displays the percentage of bets on either side of a point spread or Over/Under, reflects this public betting sentiment.


As you are aware of, there are positive and negative betting trends in NFL wagering.

Situational patterns that repeat the same betting outcome, frequently against the spread (ATS) or Over/Under (the total), are known as NFL betting trends. For instance, a team may have a record of 10-2 as an underdog against the spread over the previous 12 games.

The legitimacy of betting trends is sometimes contested by bettors, particularly when it comes to short-term outcomes or small sample sizes. Long-term betting trends, however, may indicate patterns that are worthwhile pursuing, particularly if those trends have a storyline that explains the outcomes as opposed to being the product of chance.

Home-field advantage

The value of a home field in football wagering is one of the most contentious subjects. Football betting games at home may not be that much different from football betting games on the road. The average assessment of home-field advantage’s value about NFL spreads is three points, however, this is more a matter of opinion than actual impact.

Home teams’ performance has been declining in recent years, particularly during the pandemic-plagued 2020 season, when few to no supporters attended most stadiums. Home-field advantage was estimated to be worth 1.9 points in 2021.

Meteorological conditions

The weather and its potential to affect your bets are the most important external factors when it comes to NFL football betting. The weather can have a significant impact on a game’s outcome. In northern cities, fall brings lots of wind, rain, and cold to outdoor events.

Although snow and rain can have a significant impact on a team’s performance, particularly given the teams’ geographic origins, wind is the most disruptive weather factor and can affect kicking and passing.
A smart NFL betting tip is to monitor the week’s weather and games that are scheduled for bad weather.


Because the sport is physically demanding, injuries have a big impact on the chances and the results. When studying how to bet on NFL spreads and totals, it’s important to keep track of who is in and out.

In terms of the odds, quarterback injuries have the biggest influence, but certain skill players—such as standout receivers and running backs—can also make a spread shift. Individual player injuries have little bearing whatsoever on the odds, except in certain crucial positions.

Nonetheless, identifying cluster injuries at specific positions or units is a wise NFL betting tactic. The result of the game can be affected by numerous starting offensive linemen being out or by multiple members of the secondary being injured.

If you’re wondering where to bet on football, this might help you. Visit your local sportsbook and log in or register. It only takes a few clicks to register with a new sportsbook. When you’ve found a football betting website that meets all of your needs, you can easily register for an account and make a deposit using a variety of banking options, including credit cards and electronic transfers. The majority of sportsbooks also welcome new customers with attractive incentives and sign-up deals. Moreover, they usually have a bet on football game apps.

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