Understanding NFL Betting

Understanding NFL Betting - sportingbet

The NFL has kept American audiences glued to their screens for generations. Originating from the popular sports of football and rugby, the first American football match was played way back in 1869. Since then, the sport has evolved into one of the most lucrative sporting events in the world, with the Super Bowl generating revenue in excess of $14 billion!

The sport of American football has evolved since those early days where television pundits like Jimmy The Greek would control the NFL betting markets. Fast forward to recent times, it is far easier to place your bet on the Super Bowl. Now bookmakers have sophisticated algorithms that determine the spread and the NFL odds for keen sports bettors.

The NFL consists of the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). Each conference has 16 teams in the United States, four in each division - north, south, east, west). The top 6 teams from both conferences will play each other, and the last undefeated team in each conference plays in the championship game – the Super Bowl – in February.

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Understanding betting odds is key to successful American football betting. South African NFL fans have limited access to games and news surrounding the league. This sometimes prevents otherwise keen sports betting fans from participating in the exciting betting opportunities. Being able to understand the probabilities expressed in betting odds allows you to easily assess betting value and get involved in some quality NFL betting markets!

American football odds are displayed in three popular formats. These are:

  • Decimal odds
  • Fractional odds
  • American odds

NFL Betting - What You Should Know

There are many ways to bet American football. Sportingbet now offers a deep menu of American football betting markets, from the more traditional to the more exotic. In this section we will discuss the most popular of the American football betting markets.


The most popular and certainly the most traditional way to bet on American football games is known as the Point Spread. American football Point Spread (also known as betting lines or handicaps) is an estimated final margin for a given NFL game. Bookmakers determine the margin as a 50/50 bet. In other words, they believe there is a 50% chance the result will end on one side of the estimated margin and a 50% chance the result will end on the other side of the estimated margin. NFL bettors can bet on which side of the margin the game will end on.

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Main Props

This section boasts lots of additional markets for each NFL match including Alternative Point Spread, Winning Margin and Race to (Points). 

The Alternative Point Spread allows you to take longer or shorter odds depending on your view for a particular match. 

The Race to (Points) market is where you bet on which team will reach 10, 20 or 30 points the quickest. Double Result is another good market for those expecting a fast start from a particular team in an NFL game. With this market, it’s like HT / FT in a football match and you can get juicier odds than simply backing a team to win.

These are all prop or side bets that are related to the score of a particular NFL game. You might want to bet on which team will make the first score or something player-related such as which Houston Texans player will score the first or last touchdown.

You can also back a player to score a touchdown at any stage in the game and that removes the rigidity of backing a player to score first or last during a match. Most of the time, every player on this market is 2.00 (evens) or bigger so you will at least double your money by getting this one right.

If you want to focus more on one particular team with your bets rather than the match at large, then this is the section for you. A bookmaker will create a list of betting markets for each of the two teams competing in an NFL match, so you can win on NFL betting without having to predict the match outcome.

Team Points 2-way means that you can bet on whether a team will score more or less than a certain amount of points, usually at odds of 1.90 (9/10) or similar. Team Touchdowns is a popular Team Prop bet and you can have as many as seven options for each team, although there are also two-way and three-way options available to you.

Some of the other more unusual Team Prop bets are Team to Lead After Every Quarter, Team to Call First Timeout and Team to Have First Coaches Challenge.


You can enjoy an outright bet on the NFL as with any other sport. This might be backing a particular team to win the Super Bowl and the prices change all the way through the season until there are only two teams left. There is usually the option to bet each-way which means getting a side to the final for a guaranteed profit.


It’s a great sport for live In-Play betting. There are numerous stoppages throughout the course of an NFL match, so that on average you get three hour-long games and various betting opportunities.

However you would like to bet, Sportingbet has the American football market for you!