Beginners Guide to American Football Betting

Interested in diving into American football betting? Excellent decision! NFL bets dominate the US sports betting arena, with an astonishing $100 billion wagered on games each season, and this figure continues to surge.

To ensure an enjoyable experience and accurate predictions in the long haul, we’ve curated a concise guide. You’ll receive a rapid overview of American football betting, packed with all the essential insights required to craft effective strategies. Ready to conquer the realm of facts and figures? To ensure you not only have a blast but also consistently make accurate predictions, we’ve crafted a concise guide. Here, you’ll receive a swift yet comprehensive overview of American football betting, arming you with the essential knowledge required to formulate winning strategies. Are you prepared to dive into the world of facts and figures?

Understanding the Rules

When it comes to wagering on football games, diving headfirst into the first betting site isn’t the way to go – it’s all about taking a measured approach. Even if you’re well-versed in the game, a refresher on the rules is crucial. After all, the league operates by an official rulebook, which all bookies reference to settle NFL-related disputes. So, let’s delve into the mechanics of American football and unravel the elements that make these games truly electrifying.

First and foremost, let’s clarify the ultimate aim of a football game: to outscore the opposing team, plain and simple. This objective is achieved by either passing, carrying, or kicking an oblong ball with pointed ends into the adversary’s end zone.

Speaking of the end zone, it’s a vital component of the gridiron – the official name for the American football field. Stretching 100 yards in length and spanning 160 feet in width, the gridiron features a 10-yard-long end zone at each of its ends, distinguished by colors corresponding to the defending team. Nestled within each end zone lies a goal resembling a trident, minus the middle spike.

But enough about the field; let’s shift our focus to the heart of the game – the players and their positions. An NFL team can boast a roster of up to 48 players, categorized into two groups: offense and defense. Only one of these groups can grace the field at any given time. When it’s time for an offensive play, the offense takes the gridiron, and conversely, the defense steps up when the team is on the defensive. Now, let’s break down each side and their respective positions.

The Offensive Line

Offensive players have a clear mission: to rack up points for the team. While certain players, like QBs and WRs, are primarily focused on scoring, others have different roles to fulfill. Here’s a straightforward breakdown of the key offensive positions:

  • Quarterback (QB) – The QB is the one responsible for passing the ball during an offensive possession. Often considered the ‘coach on the gridiron,’ QBs call plays, signal instructions, and execute plays. When the ball is snapped to the QB by the center, they can either carry it themselves, hand it off to a running back, or pass it to a receiver.
  • Center – The center is the player who initiates every offensive play. They snap the ball to the QB, kickstarting the play when the offensive line faces the opposing defense.
  • Wide Receiver (WR) – WRs are typically the players who score touchdowns by sprinting into the opposing team’s end zone. When the QB takes possession of the ball, you’ll often see the team’s 2-4 WRs sprinting wide to make a catch and aim for a touchdown.
  • Running Back (RB) – When the QB believes that a WR is tightly covered, they hand the ball off to the RB. The RB’s job is to run with the ball, aiming to reach the end zone. RBs are the ground-focused aspect of the game, complementing the aerial prowess of WRs.
  • Fullback – When an RB is attempting to rush the ball, they encounter strong resistance from opposing defenders trying to tackle them. This is where the fullback comes into play. Their role is to block defenders, allowing the RB to gain more yards in a single rush. Fullbacks also provide protection for the QB during passing plays.
  • Tight End – Positioned right next to the QB, the tight end has a hybrid role. They can receive the ball and also block opponents to protect their teammates.
  • Left/Right Guard – Guards are primarily focused on protection. They use their blocking skills to shield the RB or the QB from oncoming defenders.
  • Left/Right Tackle – These players, also known as offensive tackles, safeguard the outer edges of the offensive line to prevent any disruptions. Their main job is to block opposing defenders attempting to penetrate the offensive line.

NFL Betting

Defensive Line and Special Teams

Now, let’s dive into the defensive lineup. After a touchdown or field goal, the scoring team heads to the bench, making way for the defensive unit to take the field and defend against the opponent’s four downs. Their primary objective? Disrupt the opposing team’s offense to the greatest extent possible, whether through tackles, lane disruption, or field congestion. Below, we’ll explore their positions and roles:

  • Cornerback (CB) – CBs are tasked with shadowing the opposing receiver closely. Wherever their assigned receiver goes, CBs stick like glue. They aim to either impede the WR’s ability to catch the ball in time or induce pass interference by making a play on the ball.
  • Safety – Safeties are the deepest defenders on the defensive line, akin to zone defenders. They patrol the backfield and serve as the second line of defense should the CB fail to contain the wide receiver in time.
  • Defensive Tackle (DT) – DTs typically come in pairs, with their primary responsibility being to thwart running plays. If an opportunity presents itself, they can exploit gaps in the opposing offensive line to sack the QB.
  • Defensive End (DE) – Positioned on the outer edges of the defensive line, DEs aim to prevent opposing tight ends, guards, and offensive tackles from shielding their players. This allows DTs to reach the QB and effectively shut down running plays.
  • Linebackers (LB) – LBs take their positions just behind the scrimmage line and are renowned as the team’s premier tacklers. When other defensive linemen fail to halt a play, LBs step in to thwart both passing and running plays.

While offensive and defensive players constitute the bulk of each team’s roster, there’s one more distinct group to consider – the special teams. What’s their role, you ask? Well, when each opposing team has four attempts (downs) to advance the ball 10 yards or more, and they fall short on the first three downs, they face two options. If the ball is near the goal, they opt for a field goal attempt. If not, they punt it (a type of kick) to position the opposing team as far as possible from the end zone.

Now, let’s focus on the crucial role of special teams in this specific scenario. Special teams players take the field exclusively for kicking plays, which include punts, field goals, and kickoffs. Here, we’ll introduce the three key members of the special teams and their pivotal roles:

  • Kicker – The kicker plays a vital role in every situation where using your feet to make contact with the ball is permitted. They handle extra points, field goals, and kickoffs. When the team’s designated kicker steps onto the field, the ball is either held by another player or placed on a tee. Their task is to precisely launch the ball towards its intended destination.
  • Punter – Positioned behind the scrimmage line, the punter specializes in kicking the ball, albeit in a different situation and manner compared to regular kickers. When the team faces a fourth down, the center snaps the ball backward to the punter. The punter then elevates the ball about 4-5 feet into the air and kicks it as far as possible downfield.
  • Returner – When the opposing team executes a punt, the objective is to seize the opportunity and make a game-changing play. This is where punt and kick returners prove their immense value. Positioned near their team’s end zone, they eagerly await the punt. Upon making the catch, the returner’s goal is to advance the ball as far downfield as they can. Often, these individuals are the fastest and most agile members of the entire team.

Basic Terms

Feeling confident about your grasp of the rules? Excellent, but remember, there’s more to learn on your journey to mastering online football betting – football terminology. It’s not as complex as it may seem, just a bit more nuanced than predicting the winning team. Take a look at some of the most common NFL terms you’ll encounter at sportsbooks:

  • Line of scrimmage – An imaginary line marking the spot where the ball landed on the last play. Neither team’s linemen can cross it until the center snaps the ball to the QB, starting the play.
  • Red zone – Informal term for the area between the opponent’s 20-yard line and the goal line. It’s a crucial area of activity on the field, where offenses have a higher likelihood of scoring touchdowns due to the shorter distance to the end zone.
  • Sack – When a defensive player successfully breaches the line of scrimmage and tackles the QB behind it, resulting in a loss of yardage for the offensive team.
  • Interception – Occurs when a defensive player catches the ball during the opposing team’s down, leading to an immediate change of possession.
  • Down – A unit of action when the ball is in play. The offensive team has four downs to advance the ball 10 yards or more. If they fail to do so, possession of the ball is handed over to the opposing team.
  • Drive – Any sequence of plays, maneuvers, or strategies executed during a down, with the objective of scoring a field goal or touchdown.
  • Touchdown – Worth six points, a touchdown is scored when a player crosses into the opponent’s end zone, which is the colored area at the end of the field.
  • Field goal – Unlike touchdowns, field goals are worth three points and are achieved by kicking the ball through the uprights instead of carrying it into the end zone.

Where to Find American Football Betting Websites?

Get up to:
50 Free Bets
1 for every $1 deposit
1 Free Bet credited for every $1 deposit. Up to 50 Free Bets valued at $0.10 each on Book.

New players only

18+. New players only. Welcome Bonus - Place 3 x €/$/£20 or more bets to receive €/$/£50 in free bets. This bonus only applies for deposits of €/$/£40 or higher! All you need to do is just deposit the money in your account and you will receive this bonus instantly!

Bonus:  €100
18+. Minimum deposit €/$/£. Only real money wagering with minimum 0.20 odds qualifies for the promotion. Additional T&Cs apply.

New players only

18+. New players only. Welcome Bonus - Place €/$/£1 or more bets to receive €/$/£100 in free bets. This bonus only applies for deposits of €/$/£1 or higher! All you need to do is just deposit the money in your 1xBet account and you will receive this bonus instantly!

Bet €5 & Get €45
*18+. Min Deposit: €20. The first deposit matched up to €45. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Terms Apply.

New players only

18+. New players only. Welcome Bonus - Place 4 x €/$/£10 or more bets to receive €/$/£25 in free bets. This bonus only applies for deposits of €/$/£10 or higher! All you need to do is deposit the money into your account and you will receive this bonus instantly!

4 x $25 Free Bets
*New customer offer. Place 4 x $10 or more bets to receive $25 in free bets. Repeat up to 4 times to receive maximum $100 bonus.

New players only

18+. New players only. Welcome Bonus!

Bet £5 & Get £45
*18+. First deposit matched up to £45.

New players only

18+. New players only. Welcome Bonus!

Get up to:
100 Free Bets
1 for every $1 deposit
1 Free Bet credited for every $1 deposit. Up to 100 Free Bets valued at $0.20 each on Book.

New players only

18+. New players only. Welcome Bonus - Place 4 x €/$/£10 or more bets to receive €/$/£25 in free bets. This bonus only applies for deposits of €/$/£10 or higher! All you need to do is just deposit the money in your account and you will receive this bonus instantly!

Get up to:
50 Free Bets
1 for every $1 deposit
1 Free Bet credited for every $1 deposit. Up to 50 Free Bets valued at $0.10 each on Book.

New players only

18+. New players only. Welcome Bonus - Place 3 x €/$/£30 or more bets to receive €/$/£35 in free bets. This bonus only applies for deposits of €/$/£30 or higher!

Free bet up to: C$240

T&Cs apply.

New players only

18+. New players only.

Now that you’re equipped with knowledge about various betting options and have familiarized yourself with the NFL rulebook, you might be eager to jump into action. But hold on a moment. Even if you’ve got some winning football bets in mind, it’s crucial to know where to place your wagers on NFL games.

Why is this so important? Well, believe it or not, peace of mind plays a significant role in American football betting. That’s why your top priority should be choosing a secure, licensed bookmaker when considering NFL betting sites.

To get started, take a look at our guide featuring the top-rated bookmakers for American football betting. It contains all the essential information to help you find a bookmaker that suits your requirements. And while you’re at it, be sure to grab a solid welcome bonus to kick things off on the right foot!

Which Are the Most Popular Leagues?

While American Football betting predominantly revolves around the NFL, it’s worth noting that there are other leagues worth exploring. After all, Monday Night Football comes around just once a week. If you’re eager to delve deeper into the world of football betting, diversifying your knowledge sources is a strategic move to make.

Wondering which American football leagues to explore beyond the NFL? Your top choices include college football, which offers a rich and diverse experience. If that’s not on your radar, consider diving into the Canadian Football League (CFL) or the Central European Football League (CEFL). Both of these leagues have witnessed substantial growth in recent years, promising an exciting journey for football enthusiasts. And here’s a fun tidbit – Vince McMahon’s XFL is making a comeback!

NFL Betting — What Should You Know?

In the world of American Football betting, there’s always that extra edge to discover, and it’s no exception when it comes to the markets. If you’re aiming for consistent wins, it’s essential to broaden your horizons beyond just NFL odds and delve into some lesser-known yet influential factors:

  • Master the Conferences and Divisions: With 32 NFL teams divided into two conferences, the AFC and NFC, each housing four divisions, there’s a wealth of rivalries and matchups to explore. Understanding these dynamics can be your key to successful betting.
  • Decipher the NFL Games Schedule: Given the vast expanse of the league across North America, no team faces every other team in the regular season. Keep a close eye on the schedule when it’s released, as it holds valuable insights for predicting potential upsets.
  • Analyze NFL Playoff Games: As late December rolls in, American Football betting odds go into a frenzy. Take advantage of the reduced number of games to meticulously analyze each playoff matchup. Look for patterns and standout performers that might give you an edge.
  • The Grand Finale: NFL Super Bowl: When the season reaches its climax with the Super Bowl, a multitude of NFL prop bets emerge. You can even place wagers on elements like the halftime performers! This is where the excitement reaches its peak, and astute betting can be highly rewarding.

NFL Short History and Facts

The National Football League (NFL) as we recognize it today traces its origins back to 1920. However, it underwent a transformative merger with its rival league, the AFL, during the 1960s, shaping the modern landscape of football. Today, the NFL boasts the highest average attendance of any sports league worldwide and holds the title as the most financially prosperous. Since the advent of the Super Bowl era, standout franchises include the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers, both synonymous with remarkable success.

Final Thoughts

Engaging in American football betting is a thrilling pursuit. With that in mind, OddsHome recommends comprehensive preparation before taking that inaugural leap into wagering. Dive into the rulebook, dissect player strategies, leverage online resources, and, of course, make sure to peruse our list of the top-rated bookmakers for NFL bets. Your path to success begins with thorough groundwork.


What is American football handicap betting, and how does it work?

  • American football handicap betting, also known as line betting or point betting, is a mechanism designed to level the playing field between two teams. It provides the weaker team with a virtual advantage before the game commences.

What are the most popular American football markets I can find?

  • The most sought-after American football markets encompass spread bets, moneyline bets, half-time lines, teasers, and future bets.

Can I profit from American Football betting?

  • Indeed, you can, but it’s important to remember that it involves an element of chance. With a well-crafted strategy and a bit of luck on your side, you have the potential to see returns.

How does handicap betting (spreads) function in American football?

  • In NFL betting, a spread represents the bookmaker’s projection for the winner. It goes beyond simply identifying the favorites. Betting platforms utilize algorithms to determine not only which team will win but also by how many points the favorites are likely to win. Additionally, they set a threshold for how many points the underdogs are expected to lose by. It’s akin to a fundamental moneyline bet but with an added layer of complexity.

Is American football betting legal in the US?

  • Since the federal prohibition on sports betting was lifted in 2018, individual states now have the authority to establish their own regulations. However, it’s important to note that even if there are no online sportsbooks available in your state, there’s no legal impediment to visiting offshore betting sites.

Which other leagues are conducive to American football betting?

  • The European CEFL and the Canadian CFL are both popular among US bettors, offering exciting wagering opportunities.

Is it secure to engage in futures betting for American football?

  • Technically, futures betting carries inherent risks. However, it’s worth noting that different bookmakers offer varying odds on futures markets. While it’s not advisable to make them a staple of your regular betting strategy, there’s no harm in placing a modest $10 bet on a Super Bowl MVP, for instance. The potential returns can be quite enticing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Best Bookmakers

Bonus up to:  €100. Minimum deposit 1.


Sport Bet: Get 100% match bonus up to $100 + 100 bets


Get €5000 Bonus. N1Bet €5 No Deposit Bonus


Place 4 x $10 or more bets to receive $25 in free bets


Space Bet: Bet £5 & Get £45. Min Deposit: £5

© Copyright 2024 |