NFL betting previews, schedule and stats for every team
NFL bet types
There are plenty of options for betting on the NFL. When you visit an online sportsbook, the games you can bet on will appear in order by start time. On the main screen, you’ll see the odds for some standard bets.
From left to right next to the two team names in this example are the odds and lines for spread, total and moneyline bets. The odds come out well in advance of game time, and the numbers may fluctuate in response to betting action and other developments.
If you click on the contest listing, you’ll see all of the other betting options for that game, including player props. Online sportsbooks also have a dedicated link for available futures bets, including odds on the winner of the next Super Bowl.
Let’s take a closer look at how the top bets work:
NFL moneyline betting
The moneyline bet is a straightforward wager that can be an excellent starting point for new NFL bettors. You simply have to choose which team you think will win the game. There will be odds for both choices — negative for favorites and positive for underdogs.
- New England Patriots +130
- Miami Dolphins -150
For the above example, the Dolphins are favored over the Patriots. If you pick the winner of the game successfully, you win your bet. The amount of your payout will depend on the odds at the time you placed your bet and the amount you wagered.
To estimate potential winnings, note the direction of the numbers. When the digits are negative, a bet of that amount would win a profit of $100. At odds of -150, a bet of $150 would win you $100 if correct. If the odds are positive, the number equals what you’ll get back in profit on a winning $100 bet, i.e. $130 at +130.
NFL spread betting
Sportsbooks set a point spread for each NFL game. It represents the difference they perceive between the two clubs, and you can also view it as an estimated margin of victory.
- Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 (-110)
- Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 (-110)
There are two components to a spread betting line: the spread itself (6.5, in the example above) and the actual odds for the bet (-110). To win, the side you choose has to cover the spread. The Bengals are 6.5-point favorites in this example, which means that they have to win by seven or more for spread bets on them to win.
The Steelers cover by keeping the margin to six points or fewer or by pulling out an upset victory. Spread betting odds will typically be around -110 on both sides. At those odds, a bet of $110 would stand to win $100, while a winning $100 bet would bring back $90.90.
NFL over/under betting
The total bet or over/under bet is a wager on the total combined points in a game. The sportsbook will set a line for each contest, and you can wager on the actual total score ending up over or under that line.
- Over 51.5 (-110)
- Under 51.5 (-110)
Similar to the spread bet, there are two parts of the line: the number that the book sets and the odds for each choice. Over/under bets also tend to start with baseline odds of -110, but they may move in response to betting action or news.
For the above example, an over bettor is hoping for 52 or more points in the game, while those on the other side want 51 or fewer.
NFL prop betting
Prop bets are available for each NFL game. You can find them by clicking on an individual game listing. A prop can depend on game events or team accomplishments, as well as how individual players perform.
Total passing yards — Tom Brady
- Over 5 (-125)
- Under 5 (+105)
There are also multiple-choice player props:
Giants vs. Titans — first touchdown scorer
- Derrick Henry +140
- Saquon Barkley +180
- Robert Woods +220
- Kenny Golladay +260
If you make the right call, you win your prop bet. Player props are a popular option for betting on NFL games as they’re essentially a mashup of fantasy sports and betting. They can be a good starting point for those new to wagering as a result.
NFL futures betting
Futures provide bettors with the option to wager on the NFL all year round. These are season-long wagers that will be open until there is an outcome, such as which team will win the next Super Bowl.
Sportsbooks will unveil futures odds early in the offseason. Those numbers will then shift as bettors weigh in with their wagers and respond to new developments. If you make the right pick, you win, and the returns often have the potential to be quite large.
If we look at the above odds, a winning $100 bet on the Green Bay Packers at odds of +1000 would have a profit of $1,000. At the same stakes on the Bengals at +2000, the winnings would be $2,000. Here are some other NFL futures bets you could make:
- Division and conference winners
- Team regular season win totals
- Whether a team will make the playoffs
- Award winners — MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc.
- Exact Super Bowl result
- Season-long player props
When betting on futures, the idea is to bet on your selections at the best possible odds, and to be correct, of course. It’s a style of wagering that calls for patience, as any money you wager will be unavailable until there’s a result.
How are NFL odds set?
All online sportsbooks are responsible for their own NFL odds. Some books set their own numbers in house, while others may use an outside provider. While the numbers often are similar across the industry, you may be able to find differences if you shop around.
What does -110 mean?
Odds of -110 are a standard starting point for NFL spread and total bets at many sportsbooks. At those odds, a wager of $110 has the chance to win $100, while a winning $100 bet would bring back $90.90.
When does the 2022 regular season start?
The NFL regular season gets underway with Thursday Night Football on Sept. 8. The opening game is the Buffalo Bills visiting the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, with kickoff set for 8:20 p.m. ET. The Week 1 action continues on Sunday, Sept. 11, and wraps up with Monday Night Football on Sept. 12.
How do you beat the spread?
There is no way to beat the spread all of the time. Anything can happen on the field of play, so even the most well-thought-out selections can go against you. Add in the fact that sportsbooks are very good at setting lines, and the spread is a challenging bet to win. That said, it is possible to improve your skills to the point where you can show some consistency, and hopefully some profit.
What’s the best way to bet on the NFL?
It’s always best to focus on your interests and work to develop your skills. For starters, begin researching all of the available options. Next, decide which bets interest you the most and learn about those options. If you’re just starting out, a simple approach is likely best. For example, you could start with moneyline bets on the games that you’re into, possibly along with a player prop. As you gain experience, you can always try out more wagers.