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Blog with Comprehensive Tutorials on Sports Betting
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Football is the most popular spectator sport in North America. NFL games average over 17 million viewers during the regular season alone. This viewership only ramps up during the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl.
College football is also big on the American football landscape, drawing over 5 million views for teams like Alabama. Canada can also enjoy watching exciting action from the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Due to this immense popularity, American football betting is huge and widely available. If you're interested in football gambling, you can learn more about it in the following guide. This page covers how to place bets, top football sportsbooks, bonuses, leagues, wager types and more.
You can wager on football at both land-based and online sportsbooks. The latter have become quite popular due to their convenience. You can now make bets on American football through a smartphone at any time. Here's how to wager at an online site:
Make a deposit.
Browse the available American football odds.
Add one or more bets to your slip.
Confirm the wagers and wait for the results.
No matter where you bet, you'll definitely want to find a quality bookmaker. The best sportsbooks are licensed and regulated and have a good history of serving bettors.
You also want to look for operators that have plenty of American football betting markets, bonuses and banking options (online). Regarding the markets, NFL and college football betting are musts. You also want a great range of bet types, including moneylines, point spreads, totals, in-play options, and more.
Best Football Betting Sites
The American football betting world is full of online sportsbooks. Therefore, you may have a difficult time sifting through all of the options. If you need any help in this department, you can check out our advice and recommendations below.
Recommended Best Football Betting Sites
Our Gambling.com team has spent many hours reviewing American football sports gambling sites. We look at several key aspects when conducting sportsbook reviews, including markets, promotions, odds, banking options and customer support. You can see our recommendations for the 5 best Canadian football betting sites below.
Our expert team has spent lots of time bringing you the best online football sportsbooks. You can take a big shortcut to enjoying the top betting sites by letting us help out.
However, you might also want to do your own research. It pays knowing what to look for when scouting out top-tier sports wagering sites. The following aspects are all important when seeking a place to bet on football online.
What American football leagues does a sportsbook cover? How many football bet types are available? These are important questions regarding American football betting markets. More bets ensure that you'll have more options to choose from.
Odds determine what kind of deal you're getting on an American football wager. To illustrate this point, let's say that you like the Jacksonville Jaguars on the moneyline. If Jacksonville has +205 odds at one sportsbook and +225 at another, you're getting better odds with the second bookmaker. The goal is to find mobile sportsbooks that consistently offer favourable odds during the regular season and playoffs.
Betting features and tools
Features refer to the extras available at American football betting sites. Cash out, live streaming, and pre-game statistics are examples of such features. You should look for operators that offer multiple tools and a great user experience.
Welcome bonus and promotions
Most mobile sportsbooks provide a welcome bonus to draw new players. Such deals can include a match deposit bonus, free bets, or risk-free bets. Ideally, you'll find a gambling site that offers many promotions beyond the welcome deal too.
Live streaming and in-play betting
In-play wagering (a.k.a. live betting) gives you the chance to make wagers in the middle of games. If this sounds interesting, then the live wagering selection should be important. A sportsbook gains bonus points if it offers live streaming, which lets you quickly see live wagers play out.
Licensing and safety
You should only consider licensed and regulated sportsbooks. Licensed bookmakers must follow the rules of their gambling commission and treat gamblers fairly.
Any solid sports betting site will have quality customer service. A knowledgeable support staff will answer your questions in a friendly and timely manner.
Football Betting Apps
Some football gambling sites offer sports betting apps, while others feature instant mobile play (a.k.a. in-browser wagering). In either case, you want a smooth experience that's complete with a user-friendly site/app and fast-loading pages.
Football Betting Bonus Offers
The welcome bonus is a big part of any American football sports betting site. Both the bonus' size and terms and conditions heavily weigh into the equation. As for the terms, you want lighter T&Cs so that you'll have an easier time unlocking bonus funds.
Assuming you're experienced at sports betting, then you may have a firm grasp on American football odds. If not, we'll give you a quick primer on the subject.
Betting sites that serve Canadians typically use American odds by default. American football betting odds assign a minus sign (-) to the favourite and plus sign (+) to the underdog. Here's an example of American football odds from an NFL regular season game:
Detroit Lions +150 (risking $100 to win $150)
New York Giants -190 (wagering $190 to win $100)
Simply put, you're always wagering more to win less on the favourite (+). Meanwhile, you're wagering less to win more on the underdog team.
Football Leagues to Bet On
The NFL and college game draw the most attention in American football wagering. However, football actually includes various leagues across the US and Canada. You can check out the different organizations below, along with how they differ from each other.
NFL betting is no doubt the most popular type of American football gambling available. It features the world's top football players and draws the most viewers. NFL regular season games begin in early September and run until early January (17 games total). The playoffs begin in early January and culminate with the Super Bowl.
Timeframe: Early September to early February (Super Bowl).
Number of teams: 32
Overall Top Performing Teams: Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs
The NFL playoffs begin with 14 teams and end with two teams playing in the Super Bowl. Speaking of which, Super Bowl betting is the biggest out of any annual sporting event. Well over 30 million people wager on the Super Bowl each year.
College football currently features 131 schools in FBS Division 1. Roughly half of these teams play in the Power Five conferences, which contribute most or all of the playoff teams. Not coincidentally, NCAAF betting mostly revolves around the Power Five, including the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.
Timeframe: Late August to early January (National Championship)
Number of teams: 131
Overall Top Performing Teams: Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia
College Football Playoff
NCAA football features many bowl games in December and early January. However, the College Football Playoff (CFP) is the season's pinnacle. It pits the top-four teams against each other in the semifinals and, eventually, National Championship.
The CFL features Canada's professional football teams, such as the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders. That said, CFL betting draws plenty of gamblers in Canada and beyond. The regular season sees teams battle for seeding in the East and West Division. Six of the league's nine teams make the playoffs, with the East and West champs meeting in the Grey Cup.
Timeframe: Usually runs from mid-June to late November (Grey Cup)
Number of teams: 9
Overall Top Performing Teams: Winnipeg Blue Bombers, BC Lions, Toronto Argonauts
The Xtreme Football League originally launched in 2001 under Vince McMahon. The WWE founder relaunched the XFL in 2018, with Alpha Acquico LLC purchasing the league in 2022. Sporting eight teams total in two divisions, the XFL plays from February to April.
Timeframe: February to April
Number of teams: 8
Overall Top Performing Teams: Houston Roughnecks, DC Defenders
Like the XFL, the United States Football League is another reboot of an older league. The USFL rebooted in 2022, with eight teams playing the entire regular season schedule in Birmingham, Alabama. USFL playoff games took place in Canton, Ohio in 2022.
Timeframe: April to July
Number of teams: 8
Overall Top Performing Teams: Birmingham Stallions, Philadelphia Stars
The American football gambling industry offers a wide variety of bet types. You can see what to expect across different sportsbooks below.
An outright bet deals with the entirety of a season rather than a single game. Commonly called "futures," these bets are typically available at the beginning of a season. Here are examples of outright football bets:
Team to win AFC South
Tennessee Titans +125
Indianapolis Colts +255
Houston Texans +790
Jacksonville Jaguars +1200
Who will win the Super Bowl?
Los Angeles Rams +350
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +475
Cincinnati Bengals +570
Green Bay Packers +650
Arizona Cardinals +800
Las Vegas Raiders +1100
Atlanta Falcons +1400
Denver Broncos +2000
Who will win the AFC?
Buffalo Bills +450
Cincinnati Bengals +505
Kansas City Chiefs +560
New England Patriots +815
Pittsburgh Steelers +1050
Team to win AFC North
Cincinnati Bengals +275
Baltimore Ravens +400
Pittsburgh Steelers +800
Cleveland Browns +950
A match market refers to wagers involving specific matches, or games. Match betting covers lots of territory, including everything from moneylines to prop bets. You can see a quick synopsis of these wagers below:
Moneyline - A moneyline assigns a minus sign to the favourite (e.g., -200) and plus sign to the underdog (e.g., +250).
Point spread - The favourite and underdog must cover their respective point spreads.
Totals (i.e., over/under) - Based on the total points that two teams score.
Parlays - Features multiple outcomes on the same ticket (e.g., 4-team parlay), and you must win all outcomes for a successful wager.
Players - Based on offence player performances, such as who'll get the most yards or score a touchdown.
Props - Bets that deal with outcomes besides the game winner or final score (e.g, who will sing the national anthem?).
Halves & quarters - Wagering on the team that wins a quarter or either half.
Live in-game betting - Unlike the pre-game bets covered above, live wagers pop up in the middle of games.
Some of these wagers require a deeper explanation. Here are examples of point spreads, totals, parlays, and players:
Minnesota Vikings +9.5 (-110) - Vikings must lose by 9 points or less for your wager to be a winner.
Green Bay Packers -9.5 (-110) - Packers need to win by 10 points or more for your bet to be a winner.
Denver Broncos: over 49.5 (-110) - Both teams must score 50 points or more for a winner.
Las Vegas Raiders: under 49.5 (-110) - Both squads need to score 49 points or less for a winner.
Player bet (also considered futures wager)
Who will win MVP?
Aaron Rodgers +325
Derrick Henry +400
Tom Brady +455
Russell Wilson +605
Draft bets revolve around the annual NFL Draft in the spring. While there are different draft markets, the most popular involves the first player drafted. Here's an example:
Who will be the first drafted?
Bryce Young QB Alabama +395
Will Anderson DE Alabama +440
C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State +500
Jalen Carter DT Georgia +565
Myles Murphy DE Clemson +700
Kayshon Boutte WR LSU +895
Beyond draft markets, you can enjoy more bets like the offensive rookie or defensive rookie of the year award.
Football Betting Tips
You can boost your chances of winning with football gambling through a few simple tips. The following advice is helpful for NFL betting strategy or any other league.
Tip #1: Handicap Betting
You should spend time assessing both sides of a handicap bet before risking your money. This research should include stats, injuries, team histories, coaches, average touchdown scores and more.
Tip #2: Stats of the teams
Football statistics are often widely available for each league. You'll especially find a wealth of statistics for NFL betting. You can use in-depth team and player statistics to see if one team has season advantages in certain areas.
Tip #3: Formation & line changes
Knowing lineup changes before other bettors can be a huge boost. For example, a defensive rookie might be moving into the starting lineup. We suggest following beat reporters each season to quickly get this news.
Tip #4: Injuries
The same tip from above applies to injuries during the regular season or postseason. Following insiders on Twitter or elsewhere can get you this information faster.
Tip #5: Conditions/location
Weather conditions and stadiums can have big impacts on a game. For example, rainy weather could slow down a passing team like Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
Football Betting FAQs
How do you bet on football?
You can bet on American football through both land-based sportsbooks and betting sites. The latter are more convenient because they don't require any travel. You can get started at an online sportsbook by registering and depositing. Available banking options may include a bank account number, credit cards, cryptocurrencies and e-wallets.
How do football odds work?
Most Canada-facing sportsbooks use American odds, which include plus signs (underdog) and minus signs (favourite). If the Packers have -200 odds, for example, you'd be wagering $200 to win $100. Assuming the Vikings have +160 odds, you'd be risking $100 to win $160.
How to find the best football odds?
You can check out our Gambling.com reviews to find betting sites that consistently offer favourable odds. Additionally, certain software programs let you simultaneously monitor the odds at multiple online sportsbooks.
What are the most popular types of football bets?
Football moneylines, spreads, totals, live wagers, and prop bets are all popular. The latter include players' performance, like who'll get the most passing yards or rushing yards, or get the first touchdown.
What football games can I bet on?
You can wager on NFL, college, CFL, XFL and USFL games. NFL betting involves everything from the regular season to Super Bowl. Therefore, you'll have no shortage of games to wager on during the NFL season.
What football betting site is best?
Plenty of great Canadian football gambling sites are available. However, we like 888sports and LeoVegas the best out of any betting sites. Both bookmakers excel in a number of areas regarding football wagering.
Which is the best football betting app?
888sports offers our favourite American football wagering app. The 888 app features smooth navigation, quick-loading pages, and helpful features. Moreover, 888 offers competitive odds, more bets and many in-play gambling opportunities.
"Jeremy Olson has been writing about gambling since 2004. He started out by covering poker and branched out into casino games and sports betting shortly thereafter when he started reviewing online casinos and sportsbooks in 2008."
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