Below is a complete guide on how to bet on the NFL. This includes info on football bets like moneylines, spreads, totals, futures, and player props. You can also find a step-by-step guide on how to sign up at an online sportsbook and wager on the NFL.

Football betting at online sportsbooks

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How to bet on football online

  1. Select an NFL betting site with odds that interest you. Note that football is often a main attraction at the top sports betting apps. 
  2. Follow the prompts to sign up for an account. As you get set to bet, please remember to gamble responsibly
  3. Once your account is set, choose a deposit method to add money to it. Common options in states where sports betting is legal include online banking and PayPal. 
  4. After you’ve added funds to your account, review the latest NFL odds and available bets to choose what you want to wager on. 
  5. Click the odds for your choice to add that wager to your betting slip. Remember to apply any welcome bonuses or promos that you’ve received. Review your selections and, if you’re happy with everything, click to place the bet.  

How to bet on NFL games

Point spread

Sportsbooks set a point spread for each NFL game. The spread is essentially an estimated margin of victory. Bettors choose which side they think will cover the spread: the favorite minus the points or the underdog plus the points. 

In the above example, the 49ers are 1.5-point favorites over the Chiefs. For San Francisco to cover the spread, it would need to win the game by two or more points. The underdog Chiefs can cover the spread by keeping the margin of victory to one point or by pulling out the upset and winning the game outright. 

Moneyline

The moneyline bet is simply where you choose which team you think will win the game. There are no points or margins of victory to worry about, just the winner of the game. Each team will have odds: negative for the favorite and positive for the underdog. 

You can quickly determine the potential return on a winning bet using the moneyline odds. For favorites, the negative number indicates how much it would take to bet for a chance to win $100, such as $130 on the Cowboys at odds of -130. The line for the underdog is equal to the profit potential on a winning $100 bet, as in $110 on the Bills at +110 odds. 

Over/under

Also known as totals, over/under bets let you wager on the total points scored in a game. Sportsbooks will set a benchmark number, and bettors can choose whether they think the final combined score of the game will be over or under that line. 

If you select over the line of 48.5 points, the combined total points in the game will need to be 49 or greater for your bet to win. On the other side, under bettors are hoping for the final score to be 48 points or lower. Sportsbooks generally set NFL total lines in the 40s to the low 50s, with the occasional outlier in both directions. 

Parlays

A parlay is a bet in which you include two or more legs on a single slip. To win, you need to get all of your picks correct. If you get even one wrong, you lose. Parlay odds will vary based on your selections. 

The profit potential rises based on the odds for each choice and the number of selections, but the actual chances of winning decline as you add more choices to the slip. In addition to regular multi-leg wagers, same-game parlays are available at US sportsbooks. Also known as SGPs, these are parlays where all of the selections come from a single contest.     

Teasers

A teaser bet affords bettors the chance to adjust the spread for two or more games in their favor. The bets appear on the same ticket like a parlay, and — as with a parlay — you need to get all of the legs correct to win a teaser. You can move the spread by a certain number of points, though six is standard for football, and the sportsbook will provide odds for the wager based on your choices. 

Additionally, you can also move the spread in the opposite direction. Known as a pleaser bet, it’s the same concept: You must get all your selections correct to win.  

Betting on NFL players

Player props

Beyond betting on the weekly games, you can also wager on player props. For each contest all season long, there are dozens of betting options. Player props allow you to wager on specific individual accomplishments, such as an over/under wager on QB passing yards, or on whether a player will score a TD during the game. 

You can also wager on player props with regular and same-game parlays. For example, you could put together a three-leg parlay for RBs to go over their designated yards or do an SGP on a team to win plus a player to score. The odds and lines for props can vary by sportsbook, and you can sometimes find significant differences by simply shopping around

Touchdown scorers

Betting on NFL touchdown props continues to grow in popularity. There are a variety of options for each game. Sportsbooks will have odds for all of the top players, as well as for longer shots who are further down the depth chart. TD props include the following: 

Part of the appeal of TD prop betting is the cut-and-dried nature of the wager. For example, if you bet on Christian McCaffrey to score at any time during the 49ers’ next game, and he does, you win. The bet loses if he fails to find the end zone.  

Yardage totals 

Sportsbooks will also have lines available for player yardage totals. These bets use the over/under format with a benchmark number. For an average regular season game, you’ll find yardage wagers available for all of the key skill position players: 

Some sportsbooks will go further down the depth chart for all games. Others stick to the star players during the regular season and expand the menu during the postseason. This is another wager that aligns well with shopping around to discover variances in odds and lines.  

Longest play

Lengthy offensive plays are a staple of highlight reels. You can get in on the fun and try to forecast which players might make it happen with NFL longest play props. Once again, the top options for this wager will be key offensive players: 

The sportsbook will set a line for a top player, such as the longest reception for CeeDee Lamb to be over or under 24.5 yards. If you bet the over and he breaks one for 25 yards or more, you win, but you lose if his longest reception is for 24 yards or fewer.   

Defensive stats

Props for offense tend to attract the most attention, but options are available for defensive players, as well. Options vary widely here, as some sportsbooks offer a large assortment while others only release a handful for each game. The main stat categories are for sacks, tackles, and interceptions.

Just like the player props on the other side of the ball, these are over/under bets with a benchmark line. As an example, you may see a line for T.J. Watt at 1.5 sacks. If you bet over, he needs to get two or more sacks during the game for you to win, while the bet would lose if he gets just one or zero sacks.  

How to bet on NFL futures

Super Bowl futures

While the season itself is relatively short, interest in the NFL remains high all year round. There are plenty of active futures markets for bettors to explore. Super Bowl odds are available at any time for you to take your chances on forecasting the winner. Here’s what the odds for a few of the favorites might look like: 

A futures bet is a long-term wager that can provide you with even more season-long rooting interest. Odds on the next Super Bowl winner will come out as the current postseason is winding down. The market stays active from there, with the odds for each club rising or falling in response to betting action, news, and other developments.  

NFL MVP award winner

You can also place your bets on NFL MVP odds at virtually any time. The lines come out early in the offseason and continue to shift from there. Just like other NFL futures, this bet stays open until the market is settled. In this case, that happens when the award winner is officially announced. NFL MVP favorites might look like this: 

As the season moves along, there’s often a steady amount of movement among the favorites. It’s also not uncommon to see dark horse contenders rise up the board. You’ll be locked in at the odds that your selection had when you placed your bet. Using Lamar Jackson as an example, a $100 winning wager at odds of +1000 would return $1,000 in profit.

Team to make the playoffs

All 32 teams enter the season with the common goal of reaching the postseason. Just 14 of them will make the cut, and you can wager on how it will all shake out. Sportsbooks set NFL playoff odds on each team’s chances to make it to the postseason. 

The initial release of playoff odds happens early in the offseason. The lines provide a sneak peek into the sportsbook’s perception of the teams for the upcoming season. Bettors then get their chance to weigh in, and the odds will adjust from there.  

Division winners

There are eight divisions in the league. You can wager on the winner of any of them with NFL division odds. At the initial release of odds, some division races will have a clear favorite, while others will be much tighter. 

As the season plays out, the lines will move in response to team performance, how people are betting, and other news. If you get your bet in early during the offseason, it can be an opportunity to get favorable odds on your dark horse pick to win. 

Regular season win totals 

Sportsbooks also release NFL win total odds for all 32 teams. These wagers are set in an over/under format with lines that vary by team. It’s another great way to gauge the perception of which teams may be in the running or well off the pace, and also to gain some additional season-long rooting interest.  

Rookie of the Year

NFL Rookie of the Year odds give you the chance to bet on which new players will separate themselves from the pack. Lines are available for both the offensive and defensive award winners, with the market remaining active all season long. 

NFL Draft

You can also look ahead and forecast where next season’s rookies will land. NFL Draft odds on which player will be the top overall choice are available throughout the year. As the event itself approaches, additional lines will become available, such as the second overall pick, which team will select a certain player, and the total number of players drafted by position. 

Betting on NFL games: Where is it legal?

You can bet on the NFL in any state where sports betting is legal. Please note that sportsbook options vary by market, and online wagering is not available in all states. Here are the current options: 

StatesCan I Bet on the NFL?
Arizona sports bettingYes
Arkansas sports bettingYes
Colorado sports bettingYes
Connecticut sports bettingYes
Delaware sports bettingYes
Florida sports bettingYes
Illinois sports bettingYes
Indiana sports bettingYes
Iowa sports bettingYes
Kansas sports bettingYes
Kentucky sports bettingYes
Louisiana sports bettingYes
Maine sports bettingYes (online only)
Maryland sports bettingYes
Massachusetts sports bettingYes
Michigan sports bettingYes
Mississippi sports bettingYes (retail and limited online options)
Montana sports bettingYes (retail and limited online options)
Nebraska sports bettingYes (retail only)
Nevada sports bettingYes
New Hampshire sports bettingYes
New Jersey sports bettingYes
New Mexico sports bettingYes (retail only)
New York sports bettingYes
North Carolina sports bettingYes
North Dakota sports bettingYes (retail only)
Ohio sports bettingYes
Oregon sports bettingYes
Pennsylvania sports bettingYes
Rhode Island sports bettingYes
South Dakota sports bettingYes (retail only)
Tennessee sports bettingYes (online only)
Vermont sports bettingYes (online only)
Virginia sports bettingYes
Washington, D.C., sports bettingYes
Washington sports bettingYes (retail and limited online options)
West Virginia sports bettingYes
Wisconsin sports bettingYes
Wyoming sports bettingYes (online only)

How do I read football lines?

The Philadelphia Eagles will play the Green Bay Packers in an NFL Brazil game in Week 1. Betting odds are already available at FanDuel and other online sportsbooks. 

When viewing the listings for upcoming games, you’ll see the main betting lines for each contest. Here’s how they work: 

Latest NFL News

NFL betting strategies

The NFL is the most popular sport for betting at US sportsbooks. There’s no shortage of betting strategies as a result. However, there are no foolproof systems. Bettors should shape their approach toward their own budget and goals. Here’s a rundown of some common approaches: 

Football betting FAQ

Is NFL betting available at all online sportsbooks? 

Yes, the NFL is available for betting at all legal online sportsbooks in the US. To wager, you must be of legal age and in a state that allows online betting. 

What is the easiest NFL bet to win? 

There aren’t any NFL bets that are easier to win than other options. All forms of sports betting carry risk, and you can lose your wager no matter how well thought out it may be. When starting out, pick a simple type of bet or two and learn all that you can about it. 

How do you beat the spread for NFL betting? 

There is no system that will beat the NFL spread consistently. However, it is possible to win more than you lose as you gain experience while wagering responsibly. 

Which sportsbook is the best for NFL betting? 

There is no one sportsbook that’s markedly better than the rest. Bettors have plenty of options and should choose the sportsbooks that best align with their personal preferences. In terms of popularity, FanDuel and DraftKings are recognized market leaders in many legal states. 

What’s the most popular NFL bet? 

A case can be made for several NFL bets, including spreads, parlays, and player props. Additionally, the most popular bet for a particular game or week of the season may vary.