NFL and college football in the United States is the biggest and most popular sports for Americans to watch, and bet on. Though the legality of sports gambling is only allowed only in the state of Nevada, still today countless Americans turn to offshore sportsbooks or local friendly wagers on NFL and college football.
Sports gambling with sports books is not the only way to enjoy the game. Numerous Americans enjoy football through office pool competitions and local friendly wagers. Regardless how you enjoy a football game, you’ll still find people trying to get every edge through their own research online, ESPN coverage, and even a sports prediction handicapper or service. But whatever way you plan to elevate the excitement of watching a football game, understanding how do you get on football is a fundamental requirement.
There are a number of ways to invest or bet on an NFL game, and in this post we’ll cover the basics of how to bet on football. The fundamentals of betting on football will apply to both NFL, college, CFL football and a number of major North American sports, including betting on European and international soccer. And just as important as understanding how to bet on football is also understanding betting strategies and bankroll management in football. Money management can be if not one of the most crucial aspects of succeeding in sports investing and where most gamblers ignore. So for those who are getting caught up to speed for their football office pool, or a newcomer to sports betting or seeking to make sports investing a piece of your investment portfolio, the basics of how you bet on football will give you fundamentals for any football game you throw down the benjamin’s.
Betting on football with a sportsbook
Placing a football bet at a Vegas casino sports book, or you’re legally betting with an online sportsbook, you’ll soon understand how the sportsbook make their money. The sports books make their money by collecting a commission on losing bets. There are a few names for this commission, but its commonly known as Vig (vigorish).
Secondly understanding the odds of a football game you’ll find is an area where you have the control to shop around. The odds define the spread of risk and profit you’ll potentially make your money. The most common odds found are 11 to 10. So what does this mean to you? Lets make it easy – a sports bet with odds of 11 to 10 simply means you’ll risk $110 to win $100. The $100 unit is one of the most common figures you’ll find with the sportsbooks, or office pool. For example you place a bet on the Saints with an online sportsbook. You’ll lay down $110 on the Saints to win, and if the Saints win, the online sportsbook will pay you $210. The $210 is split between the $110 you bet on the game, plus the $100 profit you won for betting on the winning team. But if you lose your bet, the you’ll lose the the $110 you wagered on the football games.
While this seems fairly straight forward, you need to remember the sportsbook or person taking in the bets will want to balance the same amount of money wagered on the football game on both teams playing. This is where it gets interesting because different sportsbooks may have different odds. The different odds will fluctuate based on the volume of money coming in on the different teams, and the information the sportsbook bookies receive on game stats, players and any other information that may influence the game outcome. This is where learning how to bet on a football game is important since its never a clear cut value when placing your bet. You may find better odds with one sportsbook over the other. And as you get more involved with investing or sports gambling, you’ll learn of value-add services as expert football handicappers and their nfl picks, and related football picks services who watch the odds, run all the data and statistics and make a football prediction recommendation based on the timing of these data points.
So how does the sportsbook make their money? Regardless of the odds they set or move during taking in bets, once they’ll do their best to balance the money taken in on both sides and earn the commission or vigor from the difference of the losing bettors. Remember, you bet $110 to win a $100, and if you lose the would pay the winner who bet on the other team the $100, and earn their commission on the other $10. Now multiple this by the number of sports bets the books take in week after week, and especially during big games like college bowls and the Superbowl, you can imagine the potential profit a sportsbook can take in. Always remember the sportsbook will assign lines or odds to make the betting event as evenly attractive on both sides.
The Point Spread
Reviewing the sportsbooks lines or your office pool you’ll come across the point spread. What is the point spread in a football game? Lets first cover what a point spread is not. Many people think that the point spread is the predicted margin of victory by which one team will beat another team. This actually is an inaccurate assumption.
The line is a handicappers prediction of what number will be required to split the wagering evenly on both teams. And remember as information comes in leading up to the game, the line may change from the opening line to the line at game time.
So what is the point spread then? When betting on a football game, the point spread does not necessarily mean your team needs to win. They just need to ‘cover’ the spread. For example, if you bet on the Saints who were favored to win by a touchdown (7 points), and they won the game by a field goal (ex. 3 points), then you’d lose your bet. Why? Because the spread of 7 points was not covered. Yes, the Saints won, but they had to win by 7 points or more. But lets say you bet on the underdog who is a 7 point underdog. If they lose the game by only 6 points, you still win. Why? Because the underdog covered the spread of 7 points.
Types of Football Bets: Straight Bet
A straight bet is one of the most common and simplest ways of betting on a football game. A straight bet made on a single game or outcome. You bet on Saints to win, and if they win regardless of how many points, you win. Regardless if you bet on the underdog or favorite or even the combined / total score, then you win your wager. Just remember this type of bet is all in its name ‘straight’. Its straight simple and uncomplicated. You bet on the winner or total score.
Betting over/unders always adds the extra level of excitement to a football game. As you learn how to bet on a NFL game, the over / under is a wager where you’re betting on the score is over, or under the total game points.
To figure out over / under bets, it’s simply betting on the score of a game is under the total accumulative score, or over the total score at the end of the game. Why the excitement on over / under bets? How many football games have you watched where there was a last second field goal, or hail mary pass to secure a few extra points for the win.
When betting the over of a football game, you’re predicting your bet is on the score is over the total of the game points. Similarly when you bet the under you’re betting the score will be under the total.
Parlay football bet
Parlays are sports bets where you’re betting on the outcome of more than one game or event. This applies to football, basketball, horses, soccer and many other sports. These are the most challenging, but also can pay out very lucratively. A parlay football bet is a single bet that wins based on the outcome of more than one game or event. The parlay can be comprised of a series of bets on a team, over/under bets, or any mixture of the two. For parlay football bets to be a winning wager, every play or game must win. Even if one play or game loses, you lose your bet. Through the football season an Expert handicapper can find indifferences and opportunities in games where the smart money can be parlayed for a much larger payout in their investment. As a new sports bettor or investor parlay bets are not recommended, but as you hone your sports investing skills and not gambling on the sports bets by throwing money on a game based on emotions or personal reasons, you’ll find the rare opportunities to parlaying football bets.
How attractive can a football parlay be to the sports bettor? Very attractive. The payout for a parlay bet varies with the number of wagers in the parlay. A two team parlay usually pays 13 to 5 and a three team pays 6 to 1. Some sports books and bookmakers offer slightly or higher payouts on parlays so you should always shop around for the best payouts.
But thats the nature of sports gambling. Parlay bets are attractive because the bet is low and the payoff is high. But thats the kicker and why many sports bettors lose their bets. If your new to sports betting it may be to your advantage to pick several games straight up instead of parlaying them together.
And lastly when learning how to bet on football, you should be familiar with a Teaser bet. A teaser football bet is one consisting of 2 or more propositions that you can adjust the point spread in your favor. Lets run through an example. In a two team football teaser bet you can add or subtract 6, 6 ½ or 7 points to the point spread of each team. And most teaser bets are even money bets.
Lets say you test your newly found knowledge of how you bet on football and bet on the Giants and Saints in a teaser football bet. The Giants are 7.5 favorites over the Saints and San Francisco is a 3.5 underdog to New England. Taking them in a 6 point teaser the point spread for the bet is: Giants – 1.5 (subtract 6 from 7.5) and San Francisco + 9.5 (add 6 to 3.5).
You now have the basics of how you bet on NFL football, and how you bet on a number of major sports as college football, MLB, soccer and more. Got more tips or comments to help new sports bettors to betting on football or their office pool, comment below or click our Facebook Like or Google +1 to share and help others.