How Do You Bet on Football

Learn how to bet on football.

Key Points

– The most common football bets include the money line, point spread, and totals.

– Live betting on football is a new and popular trend.

How to Bet on Football

There are three primary bets on football. These bets include wagers on the moneyline, point spread, and game totals. The sportsbooks put out the lines for each NFL game and college (FBS) football game every week of the season. Each of these has certain betting rules to follow.

The point spread line factors in the difference between the favorite and underdog as a set number. The most frequent numbers are three, seven and 10 which reflect the possible final scoring margin between two teams. All the numbers in the point spread are designed to figure out the difference between the favorite and underdog.

The total line is the combined score of the football game as the OVER and UNDER of the set number. Many times, the total line uses ½ point increments to decide the number as far as the OVER/UNDER outcome. With a total of 55 for example, if a bettor wagers on the OVER and the final score is 28-27, the result is a Push and all bets are refunded.

The money line is a straight up bet between the favorite and underdog. Bettors are simply picking the winner. The odds that go with it are risks and rewards. The favorite has a risk (money wager) and the underdog has a reward (money wager) built right into the  set odds. The bigger the difference, the bigger the risk vs. the reward.

For more on betting the OVER/UNDER in football, read BETTING FOOTBALL OVER UNDER ODDS.

The Outcomes of Betting on NFL Games

The point spread line, the total line and the money line when betting on football games all have outcomes built right into the numbers. 

The New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins point spread line is expecting a three-point difference between the favorite and the underdog. The money line is set at -165 for the favorite and +140 for the underdog. The total line is listed at 46.5 points.

The listing for the New England vs. Miami game will be as follows:

New England Patriots +3 (-110)   +140 UNDER 46.5 (-110)

Miami Dolphins -3 (-110)   -165 OVER 46.5 (-110)

If the Dolphins win this game by four points and the final score is 28-24, bets on the point spread line, money line, and total are winners. The final combined score of 52 is higher than the set game total of 46.5.

If the Patriots win this game outright, a $100 bettor on the money line would win $140. Because the Patriots won, they would win against the point spread. If the final score was 23-20 and you bet on the UNDER, a $100 bet would win $91.

The list of scenarios for the outcome of this game have Miami winning by three or New England losing by two. These are a couple of possibilities of outcomes.

When you bet on football, the point spread offers the widest range of outcomes. The total line and the money line offer only one chance to win.

Live Betting Football

The point spread line, the total line and the money line are the most common bets placed on both college and NFL football. There are more bets, however, including futures, props and live game betting. 

Live betting is quickly becoming one of the most exciting new ways to wager on sporting events. The proliferation of online sportsbooks led to the development of a new kind of betting system – live betting. The ability to leverage technology and the rise of sports betting has produced this new phenomenon. 

Bets can be placed on a game after it has already begun. In the past, once the game had started, all action was stopped immediately. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks were the first to make the shift toward in-game betting. One of the first steps they took was to begin offering halftime bets. These are lines that are posted at halftime and reflect action from the first half.

Bet on Football – Live Bets

Because you want to be successful at in-game betting, you need to understand something first. You need to grasp the reasoning behind why there is so much value in live betting. By gaining an understanding of the rationale behind the value’s existence, you can gain some insight into why live betting makes sense.

When sportsbooks put out their starting lines on games, they have a significant edge on their side. The advantage is time. 

Oddsmakers have a few days during which they are able to come up with accurate lines. They complete their research, test out their algorithms, and confer with subject matter experts. Additionally, oddsmakers look to see what other sportsbooks are doing to help them determine pregame lines.

Sportsbooks just don’t have the time to develop accurate lines for all of the football bets they offer via in-game betting. That’s why there is value in live betting in football.