Table of Contents
What is the NFL?
The NFL stands for National Football League. It’s the leading football league in in the USA and the world. It is worth remembering that, although the sport is called American football, it has nothing to do with traditional football, also known as soccer. Even though these sports are somehow related, American football is more like rugby. In this NFL betting guide you will read about the most relevant information about American football and be introduced to all the relevant NFL betting information.
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What is American Football?
American sports are gaining more popularity around the world and American football is one of them.
Within the NFL, the Super Bowl is the most important event of the football season, being transmitted to millions of people around the world.
Many people often compare football as a game of chess, in which each move, and each piece (in this case each player) is essential to determine the victory or the defeat of a team in a given game.
American football is very strategic and involves carefully thought game plays, that are applied in specific moments of a game. It’s a sport involving experts for each sector of the field. For instance, there are specialized coaches in attack and defense strategies.
American Football Basic Concepts
As the name implies, American football in an American game. However, it has other roots. American football was born as a derivation of rugby – a sport created in the United Kingdom. It is uncertain when exactly the game first appeared, but there are records that date back from the 19th century about game, its positions and tactics. Even though the game may seem quite complex to beginners, its basic concept is quite simple.
There are 22 players playing in a match of American football, 11 on each side. Instead of scoring goals like in traditional football, the players’ goal is to overcome the last area of the opponent’s field, called Endzone.
When this happens, it’s called a Touchdown, which offers the equivalent to six points on the scoreboard to the winning team. When there is a Touchdown, the team that won it, still gains the right to try an extra point, which can add one or two more points.
Within the possible scores the team can still try the chance of a Field Goal (to make the ball pass between beams in a “Y” shape at the end of the field), which is worth three more points.
Before delving into football betting strategies, you should know the most important concepts related to American football. This way, you will have a better understanding of the game and betting possibilities.
It’s a strategy used by the teams for the quarterback to be able to change the play on the scrimmage line.
Area of the field behind the scrimmage line, where the quarterbacks and running backs are.
Type of defensive play in which linebackers and / or safeties and cornerbacks advance to try to catch the opponent’s quarterback.
Down by contact
When the player touches any part of the body on the ground, other than the hands and feet, after being touched by an opponent while in possession of the ball. In this situation the play is stopped, and the team’s next offensive action will start at that point on the field.
It’s the final 10-yard area of the field that is protected by defenses. It is here that the teams record the touchdowns. It is usually painted with the colors and the name of the team that owns the stadium.
When the returner signals with a arm gesture that he doesn’t intend to advance the ball when receiving the kickoff or the punt. When asked, the players of the opposing team cannot touch the returner.
Kick that is worth 3 points when the player passes the ball through the yellow beams in the shape of a “Y” at the end of the field. Usually only attempted over safe distances. The calculation of the reach of the Field Goal is established by the distance (in yards) to the endzone plus 18 yards (10 the size of the endzone and eight of the team’s kickback). If the kicker fails the hit, the opponent begins the next offensive move at the point on the field where the kick was attempted.
The team’s goal in terms of conquering territory. Usually established 10 yards ahead of the scrimmage line. The attacking team has four chances to reach the First Down point. In the last, normally, the teams kick a punt to give a worse field position for the opponent to start the attack.
When the player in possession of the ball releases the ball before the play is interrupted by the judges. If the opposing team retrieves the ball and runs to the end zone, it scores a touchdown. If they receive a tackle beforehand, the play is stopped. Next, the player’s team will begin the next attack at that location on the field. If the ball is recovered by the same team that lost, the same happens.
Pass normally used at the end of the second or fourth quarters in which the team is losing and throw a very long pass into the endzone to attempt a touchdown on the last move.
Foul when the quarterback, being inside the pocket, gets rid of the ball with a pass to an area of the field where there is no one from his team to avoid a sack. The team retreats to the point where the quarterback was.
Distance measure adopted by the NFL for the football field. One yard is equivalent to 0.914 meters. The entire field is 120 yards (109.6 meters) long, 100 from the central area plus 10 from each endzone, and 48.7 meters wide.
Kick given to start or restart the game, at the beginning of the 1st and 3rd quarters and after a field goal or touchdown.
Imaginary line on the yard in which the ball snap. It is the starting point of the play from which the distance needed to conquer the First Down is measured.
A type of formation used by the defense in which three cornerbacks are used, two open and one inside, to mark the recipient in the slot.
Play in the kickoff in which the team makes a short kick to try to recover the ball so as not to return possession to the opponent. The ball must travel at least 10 yards. After that distance the ball becomes free and whoever catches it will have the offensive possession.
Interception that is returned to the opposing end zone for a touchdown.
The imaginary space between the two tackles in which the quarterback is protected. To throw the ball away when it passed, the quarterback must be outside that space.
Kick usually used in quarter-downs, when the team is not in a good distance to try the Field Goal. It establishes the position on the field where the opponent will start the offensive play when they receives the ball. The team receiving the punt can choose to try to return and gain more territory, or to stay in the place where they received the ball.
20-yard area of the field just ahead of the endzones considered “danger zone” for defenses.
When a defensive player drops the quarterback still in possession of the ball without passing the scrimmage line, causing loss of yards. The next play starts at the most advanced point on the field at which the quarterback arrived.
When an attacking player on the team is tackled or releases the ball and lets it go out the side of the field into the end zone. The play generates 2 points for the opponent and the team that made the safety safety kicks a punt, giving the ball to the rival.
Area between the last player of the offensive line and the most open receiver. Usually occupied by shorter and more agile receivers who make short routes for quick passes.
When an athlete physically interferes with the forward progress of an opponent player in possession of the ball to try to stop the advance.
Tackle for loss
When the tackle takes place on a player, other than the quarterback, behind the scrimmage line, causing the team to lose yards.
When the attack returns the ball to the opponent without achieving any First Down in the offensive possession.
When the player kneels inside the endzone after a kickoff or punt to not make a return. In such cases, the team leaves the 20-yard and 15-yard line respectively.
It’s the main score of the game. It happens, when an athlete maintains possession of the ball within the endzone defended by the opponent. A touchdown is worth 6 points and grants the team that scored the right to kick the ball between the goalposts to earn 1 extra point or enter the endzone again to score down 2 extra points.
When the team loses possession of the ball to an opponent, either in a fumble, in an interception, or in the wrong attempt at a fourth down.
Warning given by the referee when there are two minutes before the break and the end of the match. Within that period, coaches can no longer request challenges to the field markings and the clock stops whenever a player leaves the field with the ball.
American football is a sport of conquering territories. While one team attacks the other it defends itself. To advance on the field, which has a size of 100 yards, the attacking team has four chances to move, at least, 10 yards to restart the advance and reach the end zone, where the touchdown takes place.
During the attack, if the team does not reach the minimum 10 yards in four attempts, the possession of the ball is transferred to the defending team, who returns to the field to attack. In addition, the game is divided into four quarters of 15 minutes each. But as the clock stops with each completed move, the game lasts an average of two hours.
NFL betting strategy: Types of bets
There are different types of bets that you can place in a sports event, and in NFL bets, this couldn’t be different. In our NFL betting guide we’ll introduce you to the most popular ones.
Game winner (moneyline)
You choose who will win that particular game. You need click on the option, check the odd and enter the amount you want to bet. It’s like choosing which team you believe will celebrate victory after four quarters of 15 minutes (or at the end of overtime).
NFL games normally have no ties. This means the victory goes either to the home team or the visiting team. When selecting a winner, you need to choose one them.
NFL spread betting (handicap)
This is one of the most popular NFL bets. In essence, handicaps (or spreads) serve to balance opponents.
Here’s an example adapted to the National Football League.
Let’s imagine that a strong team like Kansas City Chiefs, by star Patrick Mahomes, will face a much weaker team like the New York Jets. In this case, to bet on the winner of the game, you would have to beat the Chiefs with a very low odd or else choose the Jets with a high odd and hope for a very unlikely victory to materialize.
So, in NFL bets, it is possible to put a ‘handicap’ for the Chiefs and give a ‘strength’ to the Jets. That is, exclude some points from the favorite and give some points to the underdog.
In a simple example, let’s imagine that the line is Chiefs -7. In this case, the Chiefs have to beat the Jets by more than seven points to make their win. That is, a victory by eight or more points — after all you will have to remove seven Kansas City points from the final score.
In the same example, the Jets would have a +7 line, equivalent to a touchdown (with an extra point) advantage. That is, if they lose a maximum of six points or win in an unlikely way, you win the bet.
NFL totals betting (plus / less or over / under)
In this bet, the bookmaker establishes a total point line for the game and you, as a bettor must choose more (over) or less (under) than that line.
In a quick example, let’s assume that New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins have a 51.5 points total line (the middle is so that there is no exact number). Then, you can choose the over (to have 53 points or more in the final score) or the under (to have a maximum of 52 points in the duel).
Secondary markets (the prop bets calls)
Likewise, in NFL bets, there are secondary bets.
These include bets on the player who will score a touchdown (or more) in the game, how many yards the quarterback will throw the ball, how many receptions the receiver will make, how many field goals there will be, etc.
There are countless alternatives. Just look at the website of each online bookmaker to see what options it offers.
It is also possible to place bets in the NFL while the game is running. That way, you can see a how the teams are doing before placing your bets.
Future bets (or early bets)
The future bets are those long-term guesses. You can bet on which team will win each division of the NFL, who will be the champions of the American Conference (AFC) and the National Conference (NFC) and who will win the Vince Lombardi trophy in the next Super Bowl.
It is often possible to place NFL bets also on MVP (Most Valuable Player) award winners, Offensive Freshman of the Year, Defensive Freshman of the Year and much more.
Betting on the Super Bowl – Why is it so popular?
As it is an extremely exhausting sport physically and mentally, the NFL’s dispute model is totally different from other leagues in the world. To start, the season is five months long: all 32 teams play from September to December – and only 12 teams proceed to the playoffs in January. Unlike baseball and basketball, the postseason is not played in a best of five or seven games. Only one game played. The winner moves forward in the championship, while the loser goes home. In the end, only two teams have a place in the final, disputing for glory in just 60 minutes. It’s all very intense.
Another point that greatly increases the popularity and audience of the event is the amount of betting options available on the bookmakers. The options are countless. In addition to the traditional moneyline, spread and totals, bookmakers bring thousands of options involving the game as the first team to touchdown, what will be the first score, who will be the MVP of the game and more.
What is the best American football betting strategy?
When it comes to betting on the Super Bowl, just like betting in other American football games, there are three concepts you should always remember: moneyline, spread and totals.
Moneyline (single bet)
As previously explained, this is the easiest bet to understand. Simply invest your money on the team that you think will win the match.
Spread (number of points)
When it comes to investing in the Super Bowl, this is the most popular bet. Bookmakers determine a margin of victory or defeat points for the teams. The idea is to balance actions and give bettors a 50% to 50% chance of winning when betting on each team.
Total Points (Over / Under)
This is an extremely popular bet for one reason: you don’t have to predict the winner to make a profit. The idea is to guess whether the sum of the points of the two teams will be above (over) or below (under) a specific value for that match – determined by the Las Vegas stock exchanges.
Bet on the MVP of the match
This is one of the most popular bets during the days leading up to the Super Bowl. As is traditional in the American sports finals, there is a vote to choose the best player of the match, or MVP (Most Valuable Player), after the champion is defined.
How to calculate the odds in NFL?
If you are now starting your journey in the world of sports betting, you’re probably wondering what are the odds?
Put it simply, the odds are the numbers that indicate how much you can win by betting on that particular team or situation.
For simplicity, we will use decimal odds – which is the most popular around the world. To find out how much your bet will pay off, you simply multiply the amount that you will invest by the odds available at the bookmakers.
Let’s look at an example. Imagine these are the odds for the opening match on the next season:
(1.40) Kansas City Chiefs v New York Jets (4.50)
The team with the lowest odds is always the favorite. In this case, it makes perfect sense for Kansas City to start at the front. How much would you receive if you invested $ 10 in the Chiefs? 20 x 1.40 = $ 28.00. Now let’s see the same bet on Jets: 20 x 4.50 = 90.00.
As you can see, it is pretty easy to calculate the potential profit. Just take the total amount generated by the bet and decrease the amount that was initially invested. In the case of Jets: $ 90.00 – $ 20 = $ 70.00. So, if the Jets win, you get $ 70 in profit on a $ 20 bet.
NFL betting guide: How to analyze a game?
Doing a quality analysis for NFL bets is not simple. Ideally, the best way to bet on NFL games is to keep track of the league, the teams and keep an eye on trends. Who’s been playing well? Who’s been doing it wrong? What are the surprises of the season? It all matters.
It may not be an easy task, but it is possible for you to prepare your own analysis to define a professional sports betting strategy.
Keep an eye on the news and what’s happening in the NFL
Always follow the news linked to the league, including NFL previews and predictions. It can be through the official website of the NFL, American ESPN or any other website with information about the NFL. What is important is that the information is updated and reliable.
Paying attention to the news of the teams and everything else will let you know which teams are going stronger.
Moment and performance of the teams
In American football as in football, the timing of the teams is an important part of the team’s performance. Remember, especially in the NFL, statistics are serious.
It makes perfect sense for you to find out about the defenses of each team and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Which team has the most receiving yards and in what way? Do the same for the attack. For example, does the team use ground game as its strategy? Then, try to combine all the information you have and decide on the best bets.
Focus on team injury report
This is a very important tip in NFL bets. Unfortunately, as an extreme contact sport, American football involves many injuries. But it is the reality of this passionate modality. Therefore, as a gambler you should keep an eye on the players’ injuries.
Before betting, always read the injury reports that the teams officially disclose. This analysis can make a difference when choosing, for instance, a winner of a game.
Always check the historical records
The historical record between the two teams is important in NFL bets. But it is not the most important. The current circumstances of the two teams is equally important.
As such, you should analyze how that team usually plays against that specific opponent. But don’t focus only on that. Evaluate the full picture, including what has happened in recent games.
Question yourself and know the NFL betting markets
When defining your football betting strategies, you should always question yourself.
Is that team really able to overcome a -10 handicap against the other team? Did that quarterback really play well, or did he simply pick weaker opponents at the start of the championship?
Always ask yourself these questions and more. Always.
Moreover, make sure you understand how the market works. For example, understand hat sometimes the general public will get excited about a specific team and bet on it against the team you are betting on. Over time, as you gain more experience, you will get a hang of the NFL market dynamics, and deciding on your bets will become easier.
Choose the best NFL bookmakers
Before you start making NFL bets, it is important to find some good bookmakers, where you can register and place your guesses.
Always look for trustworthy, licensed bookmakers. There are many options available online and not all of them are good, so choose wisely.
When choosing a bookmaker, verify whether it has a good number of NFL betting markets. Additionally, check if the odds offered by that bookmaker are competitive and in line with the market average.
It is natural that teams playing at home exhibit a higher performance. However, the opposite is also true for other teams and coaches. This is because some fans are known to hinder their opponents, for instance, by disturbing the communication with loud noise.
Typically, analysts rate the hosts’ advantage over visitors at 3 points. Not infrequently, this is the handicap between the teams. But, of course, it’s worth trying to understand how the team is at home during that specific season.
The climate, wind and altitude factors
As a continental country, the United States has very playing conditions across its territory. There is a huge difference between playing in Detroit than playing in California. In Detroit, during the winter, it is common for the lawns to be covered by large amounts of snow, creating challenging condition for the players’ resistance.
In this situation, the teams playing at home generally have the advantage because they are used playing under harsh climatic conditions.
Now that you’ve finished reading our NFL betting guide, you’re all set to start placing your bets on the American favourite sport.