NFL Betting Sites - Top Football Sportsbooks Guide

The NFL is America’s biggest sports league, and also the one that attracts the most betting action. At BetPicks, we give you a breakdown of how it all works, tips/strategies for betting, along with NFL free picks and NFL parlays.

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Understanding the NFL

The National Football League is America’s most-watched sport. The league features 32 teams from across the country that face off every week, competing for a shot to play in the Super Bowl. There are two conferences in the NFL, the AFC, and the NFC. Within each conference, there are 4 divisions, the North, South, East, and West, each division contains four teams.

Football games are 60 minutes long, taking place over 4 quarters, with a break at the half. Each team will play 16 games. There are 17 weeks of the NFL regular season, so teams play every week except for one throughout the season. Teams play every team in their division twice in the regular season and then play games against one other division in their conference, and one outside of their conference, as well as two games against random opponents. Games are played on Sunday typically, with either one or two games on Monday, and one on a Thursday.

Once the regular season ends, 7 teams from each conference will make the playoffs. These teams will be the 8 division winners, and 3 wildcards in each conference. The wildcard teams are the teams with the best record that didn’t win their division. 1 team from each conference will get a bye, and then based on record teams will face off. This means the division winner with the best record who didn’t get a bye will play the wildcard winner with the worst record and so on. Eventually, there will be two teams left in each conference. They’ll play each other to determine who is the NFC and AFC champion, and then those teams will play in the Super Bowl.

The NFL is great for betting because teams only play once a week. There is always a ton of analysis done throughout the week, and each game is extremely important to a team’s playoff chances, as they only play 16. The NFL is the most betted upon league because each game is such an important event. With so many people tuning in for NFL games, there are a ton of different NFL odds and NFL lines available to bet on. Odds and lines are the projections for games that oddsmakers create. We give a further breakdown of the different types of NFL betting lines that experts create in a section below.

NFL Odds and Lines

If you are just starting, there are many terms and types of bets you can make on the NFL that might be confusing. To help make betting simple, we’ve created a list of some of the different kinds of markets and lines you might find:

  • NFL Futures: Futures are a type of bet where bettors bet on an event in the more distant future, so not just a game that upcoming Sunday. For the NFL, this would include betting on who will be the Super Bowl champion before the season began. If you had placed a future on the Buccaneers to win the 2021 Super Bowl last year, you’d have earned yourself a nice chunk of change right now. Bettors can also place futures on things like MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year.
  • NFL Moneyline: Moneyline betting is betting on what the outcome of a game will be directly. If you are betting the Moneyline on a team, you are betting that the team is going to win. For example, if the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers are playing, and you bet Arizona Moneyline, that means you are betting that the Cardinals are going to win.
  • NFL Point Spread/Line: Point Spread betting is betting on the spread that is on a game. The spread is the line that oddsmakers come up with that they project a team to win or lose by. For example, if the New England Patriots are playing the Carolina Panthers the spread for that game might be New England at -7.5. That means New England is projected to win by at least 7.5 points. If you were to bet on Carolina to cover the spread, that means you are betting that Carolina will be at least within 7 points of the Patriots at the end of the game. That is what an NFL pick against the spread is.
  • NFL Totals: NFL totals is the line that oddsmakers come up with that they think the total amount of points scored in a game will be. If the Chicago Bears are playing the Detroit Lions, the line for the total of the game might be 47. Bettors would then have to decide to bet the over or the under, meaning whether there will be over 47 points scored combined, or under.
  • NFL Prop Betting: Prop betting is making bets on various things that could happen within a game. This type of betting is the most comprehensive option, with a huge amount of different bets bettors can make. For example, at the Super Bowl, bettors could bet the over/under on a line of how man rushing yards Leonard Fournette would have, the over/under on combined passing yards between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, and even inconsequential things like the length of the national anthem.

NFL Betting Strategies and Tips

  • Make some NFL Parlays: Parlays are a type of bet where bettors combine multiple bets into one so they can win extra big. Instead of betting on multiple teams to win individually, bettors can make a parlay bet on multiple teams to win. For a parlay to payout, all the teams betted on must win. It’s a great way for bettors to make the odds steeper so that they can earn more if they are right.
  • Don’t bet massive underdogs on the Moneyline: In the NFL more than most other sports leagues, the best team typically wins. If you are looking at a line, and see one team is a massive underdog, maybe resist the temptation to bet the underdog on Moneyline. Massive underdogs might cover the spread in the NFL relatively frequently, but it is quite rare for them to actually win.
  • If you’re making a Future on MVP, bet on a QB: The NFL is a Quarterback’s league. If you are placing a future bet on league MVP, you should be betting on a QB. Only one MVP in the past 14 years went to a player at a different position. While the odds are always steep and thus intriguing for a non-QB, the smart bet is always on a Quarterback for league MVP.
  • Look into recent trends when betting player props: For player props, it is always important to look at a player’s recent performances on a game-to-game basis before making a prop bet. Sometimes, players’ statistics are inflated by one good game, so to find the most accurate info on how they consistently play, check out their game log. If you are trying to find accurate numbers, put their numbers together and see their median performance, rather than their average. That is the best indicator of their typical week-to-week standard.
  • Pre-season futures on a Super Bowl winner can payoff huge: A fun and potentially lucrative way to start the NFL season is by picking a team to place a Super Bowl future bet on. At the start of the season, even the best teams will have odds with a big payout, so if you are right and correctly predict the Super Bowl, you can win huge. For especially big odds, bet on a sleeper team that you think has a real shot. Anyone can win in the NFL!