Sports bettors have a lot of choices out there. Each sportsbook offers something different and something unique for its users. That also means that some sportsbooks specialize in certain sports and certain betting markets. They want to be able to do something different to separate from the pack.
When it comes to betting on football at US sportsbooks, each one has lines on every game and has the ability to offer different props and futures to customers. It all depends on what you are looking for from your sportsbook and what, exactly, you want to bet on.
There are small, subtle differences that make one sportsbook better than another when it comes to betting on the NFL and college football. Let’s look at those and rank the sportsbooks.
Surely you’ve heard the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Well, what makes the best NFL sports betting site is dependent on what each individual user is looking for. Some want the best odds. Some want the most prop betting options. Some want the fairest futures prices. Some want the best Live Betting platform. Some want the best parlay and teaser odds.
It all depends on what you prioritize. We don’t know your handicapping style or preferences. We’d love to say that there is a sportsbook that is perfect across the board, but we all know that doesn’t exist. Each sportsbook has strengths and weaknesses, even with a betting market as popular as the NFL.
Here are three things you want to look for with NFL betting:
Let’s talk about the fairest odds first because this one is extremely important. Beating the NFL betting market is hard because oddsmakers and bookmakers are really good at their jobs. There isn’t a lot left to the imagination in the NFL. Everybody knows all of the players and all of the team tendencies. It is the most analyzed sport in the United States bar none.
In order to have the best chance at success, you have to be able to bet with the best odds. Places like William Hill Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook are almost exclusively going to offer -110 on spreads or totals. If you can help it, you don’t want to bet with a sportsbook offering -112 or -115 on both sides of a spread or total.
Your break-even rate at -110 is 52.38%, so you need to win basically 53 out of every 100 bets to make money. Your break-even rate at -115 is 53.49%, so you have to win 54 out of every 100 bets to make money. It doesn’t sound like a big difference, but it is.
NFL betting sites can also manipulate the money lines as they see fit as well. You might see +120 and -140 on a game with a small favorite at one sportsbook, but +120 and -145 or -150 at another sportsbook. The vig matters. You have to be aware of it at all times and try to set yourself up for the most success possible.
A sign-up bonus is a really good way to get your bankroll situated prior to an NFL season if you are signing up with a new sportsbook. Places like BetRivers Sportsbook and PointsBet Sportsbook offer a 100% Deposit Match Bonus instead of a Risk-Free Bet. A Deposit Match Bonus means that you will get the same amount as your deposit in free bet credits. A Risk-Free Bet means that if you lose your first bet, you get that amount refunded up to a certain amount in free bet credits.
Think about it. That means that if you win your first bet, the only “bonus” you got was peace of mind that you weren’t going to lose the full amount on your first wager because you had the risk-free component. If you win, you didn’t really get anything out of the deal.
With a Deposit Match Bonus, though, you get something on that first deposit whether you win your first bet or not.
While places like DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook do Risk-Free Bets for the most part instead of deposit bonuses, those two places will do Bet $1, Win $100 promotions regularly. FanDuel Sportsbook also does the same. That could be a better option for you, depending on how much you plan to bet.
The best promotions for the NFL come from PointsBet Sportsbook. No Juice Fridays are the best bets for the NFL because you can bet games at even money instead of -110. That means betting something like $50 to win $50 instead of $55 to win $50 with a traditional -110 line.
No Juice bets put your break-even rate at 50%. That is huge for your bottom line.
Live NFL Betting is growing in popularity every year. It makes sense. Bettors get the chance to see how a team actually looks before betting blindly into their lines. You can do all the research imaginable before locking in your wager on a game and there is still a chance that it doesn’t work out.
Once you’ve seen how the game appears to be playing out, you can make a bet with a higher degree of confidence in some cases. Your ability to make those bets and get your action in quickly depends on how good the Live Betting platform is. A place like FanDuel Sportsbook has incorporated its own technology into its live betting interface to create something unique and reliable.
Meanwhile, BetRivers is partnered with Kambi and Rush Street Interactive. DraftKings has partnered with SBTech. Each sportsbook has a different technological arm and some are definitely better than others.
If you want to live bet, you need to know that the system will be reliable and update fast enough for the traders to be able to approve your bet or for the system to process it before the next play or before the commercial break ends.
A good Live NFL Betting interface is also the mark of a sportsbook that has its platform in order and a good sign of reliability and availability on game day when everybody is getting those last-minute bets in.
A lot of bettors pay a lot of attention to the offseason markets. The NFL offseason may feel long, but it really isn’t. The monotony is broken up by the NFL Draft, the Free Agent Frenzy, OTAs, training camp, and all of the season previews and the sports betting analysis from the talking heads.
NFL Betting takes place 365 days a year with the futures odds. Sports betting sites that post season win totals, division futures, conference futures, and Super Bowl futures are going to have a leg up on the competition, especially if they can be one of the earliest to post.
Even if you aren’t ready to fire on the futures markets, you can still look at the odds from the best NFL sports betting sites to see what their thoughts are on the teams and their forecasts for the upcoming season.
You can also use these odds to shop around at different top NFL sports betting sites. One NFL sportsbook may list a team’s season win total at 9 and another might have 9.5. If you like the over, why would you bet over 9.5 when you can bet over 9 and give yourself some protection with a push?
Similarly, why would you bet a team at +2000 to win the Super Bowl when they are +3000 somewhere else?
This goes back to the “Fairest Odds” section above. Be sure that your favorite NFL sports betting site has good futures odds if you are going to be betting on those. Places like BetMGM Sportsbook will have fair futures odds across the board. Other places like DraftKings Sportsbook or FanDuel Sportsbook that cater to a lot more volume may have lower prices on the top teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but maybe that leads to better odds on teams like the Los Angeles Chargers or Atlanta Falcons.
A place like PointsBet Sportsbook may offer boosted futures odds on a team in one of its jurisdictions, like the Denver Broncos in Colorado or the Chicago Bears in Illinois. PointsBet loves to offer those geography-centric local promotions to support the in-state teams.
NFL futures odds can even include things like the, Super Bowl, NFL Season Win Totals, NFL MVP or the NFL Coach of the Year, so it isn’t just about team-specific stuff either. The best NFL sportsbooks will have the most variety for their customers.
Knowing how to bet on NFL football is a big part of wanting to be a sports bettor. Whether you are football betting for fun, NFL betting as a hobby, trying to make a little side hustle, or are looking to take it to the next level, there are a few things that you absolutely, positively have to know about wagering on college football or the NFL.
Some of them matter more than others because of apps and NFL betting websites, but you still want to be aware of them in case you find yourself watching and betting NFL games in the sportsbook. Others matter a lot because the terminology is very important in this industry.
Whatever your bet size and your bankroll winds up being, there are some fundamental things about betting the NFL or college football that you need to know.
Let’s run through a few of those things now:
451 Pittsburgh +6 (-110) | +230 | Ov 51.5 (-110)
452 Cleveland -6 (-110) | -270 | Un 51.5 (-110)
Let’s say you come across this on your NFL betting site. This would be the normal format for a betting line in the NFL.
137 South Carolina +14.5 (-115) | +450 | Ov 58.5 (-110)
138 Georgia -14.5 (-105) | -600 | Un 58.5 (-110)
This would be the normal format for a college football line, so let’s just go ahead and group the two together.
Knowing what each element of the line means is very important to ensuring that you make the right bet and understand what it is that you are betting. With football, it isn’t as simple as just picking the winner of the game, unless you want it to be. The most common type of bet in the NFL is the “Spread Bet”. In NFL betting the “Money Line” is how you just pick a winner. Betting the “Total” is the number of combined points over or under you expect in the game.
Let’s break this down section by section to talk about what all of this means:
In the above examples, 451 and 452 and then 137 and 138 are called the Rotation Number. This is what the sportsbooks use to keep the teams and the leagues separate from each other. Let’s say it’s November. The Indians are in Game 7 of the World Series. The Cavaliers have a game against the Pacers. The Cleveland State Vikings are playing an early-season season game.
That could be confusing, right? Not if you call out “452” when you make your bet. The 4 stands for NFL in this example for this week. The 52, at least in this case, stands for the Cleveland Browns. If you walked up to the counter and said you wanted to bet on “Cleveland”, the ticket writer would have to ask for clarification. That creates confusion.
The Rotation Number removes all doubt. Each league has a different first number, so in this case, college football is “1” and the NFL is “4”. Each team has a different number, so the Pittsburgh Steelers are “51” this week and the Cleveland Browns are “52”.
Rotation numbers change based on the week for both the league and the teams. It all depends on what else is happening in the sports world that week.
If you are NFL betting online with an sports betting app or with the online sportsbook wesbite, this information is less important because you’re able to pick the right league from a drop-down menu or whatever else. If you are betting in a sportsbook, make it easy and remove all confusion by looking at the Rotation Number before placing your bet.
Pittsburgh. Cleveland. Dallas. NY Jets. Buffalo. Georgia. South Carolina. Ohio State. Clemson. The team name will be next to the Rotation Number.
In the case of the above examples, the spread for the Pittsburgh/Cleveland game, the spread is six points. Cleveland is the favorite, so they are designated as “-6”, while Pittsburgh is the underdog, so they are “+6”. You can bet on either side of the game.
according to the NFL odds in order for Cleveland to “cover the spread”, the Browns must win by 7 or more points. In order for Pittsburgh to “cover the spread”, the Steelers must lose by 5 or fewer points or win the game. If the difference between the two teams’ final scores is 6 points, that is called a push.
The -110 in parentheses is called the “vig” or “juice”. Short for vigorish, think of it like a built-in house edge. If a nfl betting site wrote 100 tickets on the Steelers and 100 tickets on the Browns with no vig on either side, it would be a wasted exercise. They would make $0.
At -110, you have to bet 11 to win 10. That way, if the NFL sports betting site writes 100 tickets on the Steelers and 100 tickets on the Browns, they’d make the difference because you have to bet 11 to win 10. This contributes to what is called the “hold” for the sports betting sites. Remember, they’re not just providing a free service. They get their cut, too.
With the college football example, instead of -110, you see -115 and -105. In this instance, you bet 11.50 to win 10 on South Carolina and 10.50 to win 10 on Georgia. By varying up the vig, NFL gambling sites can balance action on the game better if they need one side over another or can make bettors pay a little extra for the half-point on 14.5.
The Money Line bet is to simply pick the winner of the game. Instead of 11 to win 10, though, you might see what you see with the Browns. As a six-point favorite, the Browns are -270 on the money line. That means betting 27 to win 10. Because the Browns are favored, they are more likely to win the game, so you have to pay extra for that.
If you think the Steelers can win as an underdog, the +230 means that you can bet 10 to win 23. This is all simple math just to explain the concepts. You can bet anything you want up to the limit or as little as you want down to the minimum bet. You don’t have to bet in 10s or 100s or anything like that.
The bigger the spread for the favorite, the more expensive the money line will be, like the Georgia example, where you have to bet 60 to win 10. Similarly, the bigger the spread for the underdog, the bigger the payout, like 10 to win 45 on South Carolina.
The Total is the sum of the combined points of both points. If the two teams score more points than the total, then that game has gone “over the total”. For example, if the Browns beat the Steelers 30-27, the total number of points is 57 and that is higher than 51.5.
If the two teams score fewer points than the total, then that game has gone “under the total”. For example, if the Browns beat the Steelers 24-10, the total number of points is 34 and that is less than 51.5.
Similar to spread betting, most totals will have vig of -110 or thereabouts, so the 11 to win 10 thing once again.
It doesn’t matter how right or wrong you are. The Browns could win by 50. The Steelers could win by 50. The total could go over by 50 points. The game could end 3-0. You are still paid the same amount of winnings based on your bet amount if you are correct.
All of these bet types that you see, and the line format examples above, also apply to things like 1st Half, 2nd Half, and Quarter betting in the NFL as well. At NFL betting sites these can be popular bet types if you think a team will get off to a good start or have a better game plan or something like that. There are some teams that do better with their scripted plays and scripted drives for example.
Spread, Money Line, and Totals betting will be available in what we call “Derivative Betting”, so 1st Half, 2nd Half, 1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter, 3rd Quarter, and 4th Quarter.
A lot of sportsbooks have gained a lot of popularity for allowing users to parlay player props. Places like FanDuel Sportsbook have gotten a lot of attention and free marketing on social media from bettors placing small wagers to win a lot of money on player props.
Whether you bet player props straight or parlay them together looking for that magic lottery ticket, the NFL betting sites with the most player props are going to have the most options. You want to exercise safe and responsible gambling with these because they can get a little bit dangerous if you try to bet too many, but the options are there for those that want to look more at the player props.
There can be team props as well, like over/under number of touchdowns or over/under team interceptions or sacks.
Basically, what top NFL betting sites have found is that their customers simply want choices. Whether or not they bet on those choices is up to them, but there is something for everybody out there in the sports betting world. Some sportsbooks do more than others in that regard.
The best NFL betting sites are going to do as much as they can to provide the best possible user experience. The best experience for you, both as a bettor and as somebody hoping to win money, is to take all of it under consideration and see what the best NFL sportsbook is for you.
Parlays are all the rage these days. The idea of doing Same Game Parlays has caught on like wildfire and there are a lot of people that also look to parlay props with low-risk, high-reward wagers that feature small bet amounts and big payouts. While the chances of hitting these lottery tickets is fairly low, success stories are shared on social media each and every day from these bet types.
As long as you keep a responsible approach to making these bets, you can make some “fun money” wagers in hopes of hitting that big long shot.
The Best NFL Parlay Sportsbooks are going to be the ones that don’t restrict what you can add to the ticket. You’ll have the Same Game Parlay options. The player props. The fairest parlay odds and the industry-leading payouts. FanDuel Sportsbook is definitely thought to be at the top of the list for those types of wagers, especially with parlaying player props.
Most sportsbooks offer Parlay Boosts nowadays as well, so they’ll put together pre-selected parlays and sweeten the pot a little bit with higher payout amounts. A lot of these are done geographically, depending on the sportsbook. Places like PointsBet really hammer home the local angles of supporting the home team. You’ll see that with BetRivers or Unibet, too.
The sky is the limit for the NFL parlays that you can put together, but, again, bet responsibly. While parlays are fun and the draw of betting a little to win a lot has a very strong pull, just remember how many things need to go right in order to cash a big parlay ticket because you have to be correct with each and every bet.
A lot of recreational bettors will play parlays and won’t even think about teasers. If you ask sharp bettors and those that bet for a living, they will tell you about the importance of teasers in the NFL. Teasing NFL spreads through key numbers like 3, 4, 6, 7, and 10 can create a +EV environment for those that properly utilize teasers.
The Best NFL Teaser Sportsbooks don’t shy away from taking that kind of action. They can anticipate it and know when it is coming. An underdog of +2.5 is going to be a big teaser consideration to go up to +8.5. Similarly, a favorite of -8.5 will be a big teaser leg to go down to -2.5 on a six-point teaser, which is the industry standard.
The best teaser sportsbooks are willing to put lines out there knowing that they’re going to get those teaser bets and will balance the books accordingly. They’re also going to offer -110 on a 2-team, 6-point teaser instead of the -120 that a lot of sportsbooks offer. Teasers are a great weapon in a very tight and efficient NFL betting market. They are inevitable and they are usually sharper in nature.
When you see a sportsbook willing to put some lines up that could get exposed to some teaser liability and will do so with a -110 payout, you know that’s when you are betting with one of the best. If you see -120 when other sportsbooks have -130, at least you aren’t getting the worst of it.
Be sure to check out the Help section of a sportsbook or the terms and conditions pages to see which sportsbooks offer the fairest payouts on teasers because it will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook.