American Football Betting Guide
There are plenty of different sports worldwide with large fanbases who follow their team everywhere they go. American Football is one of the largest sports in North American history and continues to be a hugely followed and betted sport. When you look at how people in the USA gamble, a large majority will hedge their bets on American Football.
When trying to be as efficient as possible when betting on American Football, it is important to understand the basics of the sport as well as some of the more detailed factors. You should also be aware of different betting strategies and systems that you could implement and use to your advantage within such a busy market.
American Football Betting: What Is It?
Many people in the USA would argue that American Football, or ‘football’ as it is called locally, is their favourite sport to watch, play and place bets on. Within the sport, various leagues range in difficulty and prowess, with college football being an entry point and the National Football League (NFL) being the highest level attainable.
In 2021, the NFL alone made $11 billion USD in revenue. This is shared between the 32 involved teams. The NFL is also the top US league in crowd attendance, seeing over 60 thousand people at every game. This shows how popular the sport is for spectators and fans, and it makes sense why it is so sought after within the betting market, too.
American Football Rules
Rules and regulations are vital for any situation, but within the realm of sport, they can determine how entire seasons play out. American Football is played by two 11-person teams across a 100-yard field. Each player has a specific role on the field, as with many sports, and they must stick to their role throughout the game.
If you get involved in American Football, you will want to learn some common phrases and terms. This next section will be dedicated to teaching you some of these terms.
Considering every team has a multi-man squad, some players may be rotated to keep them fit and give them enough recovery time between games. As you can only have 11 players in a game, some squad members will be chosen to play, and others will not. This is known as Drafting. Knowing which players have been drafted for a game you want to bet on can be quite important.
There are different ways in which teams earn points during a game, with the biggest being a Touchdown. Touchdowns give the team six points, and to score a touchdown, the team must bring the ball into the opponent’s end zone, either through a direct crossing of the line or by catching a thrown ball within the zone.
As mentioned in the last paragraph, American Football has different scoring methods. Touchdowns are one example. A Field Goal is where a player has to kick the ball from the field and attempt to get the ball over the crossbar and through the two upright sticks. The defensive players can also score a two-point play, known as a ‘safety’. These are scored from a successful tackle, interception or pushing an opposing player out of bounds with the ball while in their own end zone.
In its simplest term, offence players are the attacking players and point scorers. There are two types of offence players. The offensive line are responsible for blocking opponents and allowing the skill players the time and space to move the ball by passing or running.
Contrary to offence players, the defence players’ main role is to stop the opposing team from reaching the end zone.
‘Special Teams Unit’
A large majority of the duration of an American Football game is played using your hands, but there are times when kicks are involved. For these moments, such as kickoff and punt returns, teams would use their Special Teams Unit. These players are specifically played when kicking is involved as they are more trained in this area.
American Football Odds
In every bettable spot, there are different odds for different bets. Odds are the implied probability of an event occurring. This can describe various things, such as a specific team winning a game, a specific player scoring a touchdown, the total amount of touchdowns or many other options. You may see the odds listed in three ways; Moneyline, Fractional and Decimal.
Moneyline odds are in two halves, a minus (-) symbol for the favourite and a plus (+) sign for the underdogs. Moneyline tells you how much you need to wager to win a £100 profit.
Fractional odds are written with two numbers separated by a slash (/). The number on the left shows how much you would win for every amount wagered about the number on the right. For example, odds of 5/2 would pay £5 for every £2 placed.
Decimal odds are the easiest to understand and will essentially show you how much you would win for every £1 stake. Thus, a decimal odd of 7.00 would give you a winning bet of £7 if you staked £1. This is the simplest form of odds to understand.
American Football Bet Types
There are multiple markets on which you can place American Football bets, but some are easier to understand than others. There are some very active markets, and in bigger events and competitions, you can expect massive jumps in the odds depending on different scenarios. The following few sections will be an explanation of some of the available markets.
Outright markets involve the bettor predicting the outcome for an entire competition or season. These can also be known as Futures in the betting world, but keep your eye out for both names. These bets take longer to finalise as you typically place them at the start of an event and then have to wait until it concludes. For this reason, outright bets will have higher odds than other markets, bringing a higher profit margin.
Match markets are the easiest entry point for new sports bettors to get involved. These markets can bring profit more frequently but typically in smaller amounts. There is no real need for a system or strategy in match markets, and you can use these bets as a pocket money builder because there is a consistent amount of games being played at most times.
The most common form of match bet is Moneyline, which gives you the option of either Team A or Team B winning an American Football game. Player bets also come under the match market category, allowing you to say which player you think will contribute the most during a game or achieve a certain statistic in a match.
When looking to place bets on American football you may have come across ‘draft bets’ before. This is a market in which you can choose which players you think will get picked for the year’s draft.
Betting on the NFL
The NFL is the top level of American Football and the most popular option for sports bettors. There are many different things to bet on during the NFL season, such as regular games, outright markets, the NFL playoffs and, of course, the Super Bowl. All of these can have bets placed on them.
Betting Tips and Strategy for American Football Betting
All forms of gambling, whether betting on American Football or playing live casino games, both involve an element of luck and chance. This does not mean you are completely out of control of your winning ability. If you have enough knowledge of the game and the markets involved and implement a proper betting and wagering system, you can make smarter bets and increase your chances of winning.
You can increase your chances of winning whilst betting on American Football; let’s look at those now.
Using Statistics Databases
Around the internet, a whole host of different user-compiled databases contain information about everything you could need to know. These databases hold information such as the win-to-loss ratio of a certain team, individual player statistics, league averages and much more.
These can come in handy when spotting value in NFL or other football markets. If you are using databases to assist in your betting ventures, you want to try and spot patterns between the stats and the bets coming out as winners. You can try out your strategy using ghost bets (writing down the bet you would have placed without using any real money and noting down if it would have won or lost). This is an effective way to build your strategy before implementing it with real cash.
Using Knowledge to Your Advantage
Many new sports bettors will jump into the game with little-to-no knowledge. This often results in very wild and blind bets being placed and a lot of money being lost to the bookies. You may get beginners luck using this technique, but the luck will run out at some point, so it is not worth the risk. Studying form and other statistics can give you that extra edge of understanding and can help you formulate a logical approach to your bets.
Betting with your head instead of your heart is a huge factor in a successful strategy. Making sure you know what result you want and how feasible they are to occur, you can see better results. Smart bettors make smart choices.
Following Sports News
Watching or reading news updates can seem like a monotonous task for the most part, but sports betting can prove very beneficial. Bookmakers are very clever in adjusting their values, and they will often follow the news similarly. For example, if a team’s key player is injured or cannot play a game, the team could see a shift in odds. It is the small details like this that can make all the difference. If you are quick enough to find value in a bet, you could beat the market and get better odds before they decide to change them.
Studying Team and Player Form
We have briefly mentioned the importance of Form, but this is a slightly more detailed view. Good bets are strategic bets, and in American Football betting, this concerns more than just the market odds. Some teams will perform much better in certain places than others, so if you study their form, you can find information like this.
There is also a possibility that a team has a ‘bogey team’, which is essentially a team they just cannot seem to beat. A team’s recent performance is important to track because it can give insight into their confidence in approaching the next game. These factors all come under form.
Don’t Buy Money
Buying money is a bettor’s term for staking on the favourites to find yourself easy wins. We understand that seeing a winner is a nice feeling, but if you constantly bet on the favourites, you could miss the value in other markets. The favourite in a match will also have smaller odds, meaning they may not be as valuable as other bets you could place.
One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give you as a new sports bettor is this: find which competition you enjoy the most and focus on only betting in that area. This narrows down your scope and makes it much easier for you to find information and value. Leagues such as the NFL, the CFL and the NCAA can all be bet upon.
For many American Football bettors, college football catches their eye, preferring this over the bigger leagues. College football can also be easier to get stuck into, as the teams are more local, and if you are from the area, you could support your team.
To finish off this article, we will give you a general round-up of all the important information we have given:
- Only bet on what you understand.
- Implement a strategy before putting money on the line.
- Do your research!
If you would like to read more on the upcoming NFL season, head to our 2022 NFL Season Preview, where you can find more information on teams competing and how we think their seasons will go!
Betting on American football can be fun, but you should always keep responsible gambling in mind. Only bet with what you can afford and take regular breaks. Please gamble responsibly.