NFL betting odds, point spreads and latest lines

NFLbets: Your best bet for NFL betting

Some things just go together – like betting and NFL football. By outward appearance and by the letter of the law, a majority of high-powered NFL officials have taken great pains from the 1920s right into the 2020s to distance pro football from any gambling beyond that strictly legally defined. However, wagering has gone hand-in-hand with the NFL since Beattie Feathers was roaming the gridiron and the Cardinals were playing in Chicago.

In some respects, gambling is right at the heart of enjoying the NFL itself; as that great social commentator Homer Simpson once noted, “Gambling is something daddies do to make football more interesting.”

As with any sport, friendly wagering probably took place among the crowds watching the very first football game. Yet the connection of betting to NFL football has been very nudge-nudge wink-wink since the explosion in popularity of televised NFL games beginning with the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. In those days, pre-game shows and leadup analysis was based firmly in the point spreads and odds – point spreads and odds created by illegal and ostensibly frowned-upon bookmakers.

With the expulsion of Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder and his ilk from network TV in the 1980s, the explicit reference to gambling left mainstream TV and the NFL played down even the subtlest references to odds. But there was still cable TV – not to mention office pools, rotisserie leagues which later evolved into daily fantasy football and Super Bowl betting games aplenty. And when internet gaming came along, the rolling back of puritan attitudes toward an activity which, let’s face it, a majority of fans participate, became inexorable.

In short, as states legalize sports/NFL betting, the only better time to be an NFL bettor is, well, the future. NFLbets has info, advice, bonus codes for the best online sportsbook websites and lot more than you can use for betting NFL games all season long!

Important news first: Bonus code offer exclusive to NFLbets readers

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about NFL betting – and answers in brief

A lot of first-time NFL bettors as well as more seasoned types visiting NFLbets have similar FAQs about the online sports betting process, offerings, industry and of course special bonuses. We answer the following FAQs in detail further down the page, so consider these short versions for the “tl;dr” lot or as a sneak preview of the verbiage to come.

• What is most important in finding a good online sportsbook?
Naturally, the priorities of each individual NFL bettor are unique, but a few constants exist. What separates great online sportsbooks from run-of-the-mill sites for essentially every would-be bettor are essentially threefold:

  • The offerings available, particularly in player props weekly;
  • Customer service, which must be 24/7 plus staffed with knowledgeable and polite folks; and
  • Welcome bonuses – all make offers, not so many are truly impressive.

• Is registration at online sportsbooks difficult?
Not any more or less difficult than at any e-commerce site out there – and things are only getting easier and more convenient with the continual homogenization of cashier services at all online merchants. Just remember that no deposit should be made until one is actually interested in wagering.

• How can i deposit at the sportsbook?
As criminalization of online sports betting gradually disappears in the U.S., Canada and Europe, NFL bettors are given more options than ever at sportsbook sites, from Visa/Mastercard and debit cards to e-Wallet payment services to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to wire transfers, quite a few options are available for most visiting the ’book nowadays.

• Are online sportsbooks safe?
Would you believe us if we told you that, not only are online sportsbooks safe and secure, chances are that one you’ve chosen is well more secure with your personal information than its counterpart in the mainstream goods marketplace? Some sportsbook sites employ government-level encryption tools and all must have all software inspected by independent and/or government-approved auditors.

• What kind of bets can I place?
Again, this depends on the sportsbook site in question, but you should absolutely get to wager on the point spread, the money line (i.e. the outright winner of a single game), the over/under and pretty much each of these after each quarter – and often during the game. Before the season, conference winners, division winners, over/under line on each team’s projected win totals, and the ever-popular “To Win the Super Bowl” props should all be available. And during the Super Bowl, any decent sportsbook online will offer hundreds and hundreds of lines.

• Can i get bonuses at online sportsbooks?
You bet! (So to speak.) In fact, a welcome bonus, i.e. that free playing money you receive upon making a first deposit, is essentially requisite nowadays. Beyond this, the standards at most sportsbooks online include referral bonuses, cashback bonuses and loyalty rewards.

• How popular is betting on the Super Bowl?
Incredibly popular – betting on the Super Bowl is, for a large fraction of Americans, the only time to wager on professional sports all year. It is said that quite a few sportsbooks off The Strip in Las Vegas handle a majority of their wagers for the entire year in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. How big is big…?

• Is NFLbets a betting site?
Not as such, so if you want to place bets, you’ll have to try one of our partnering sportsbook websites, all of which NFLbets employees have personally quality controlled (we bet, too, you know). What NFLbets does have is lots of stuff for the NFL bettor – particularly those on a more modest budget than the stereotypical high-roller: We’ve got picks and tips, quips and tricks. Hopefully, you’ll be entertained and we can turn a profit this NFL season again.

• Is sports betting legal in the U.S.?
Again, the answer to this depends on where you reside; a slightly more comprehensive list of states with 100% decriminalized sports betting are listed lower on this page, and we’ve got full state-by-state details on current laws elsewhere on the site. NFLbets will update as frequently as possible, as the laws are morphing rapidly.

• Any tips?
NFLbets gets into the minutiae of stuff like East teams going West and homefield advantage ATS, but one tip we can always offer any bettor is this: Make a budget and stick to it; don’t chase losses, don’t throw good money after bad, and do not hold superstitious grudges against any team or player.

O, and if you insist on staying a fan of team X, you have three choices: never bet a game involving the team (no need to divide loyalties); always bet on them to win (because if they win, the gambling loss is ameliorated), or never bet on them to lose (because if they lose, the gambling win ameliorates). Salient arguments may be made for all three betting strategies, but you must choose one and, yes, stick to it absolutely.

• Will any team other than the New England Patriots ever win the AFC?
Probably, but we wouldn’t bet against ’em…

Characteristics of high-quality NFL betting sites

What makes a high-quality online NFL betting site? While the website design, overall presentation and offerings are each highly important for proper NFL betting, the real difference-maker has simply got to be customer service.

Customer service is evident in every step of the process of NFL betting online, from registration, collecting bonuses and withdrawing winnings. The international nature of sports betting in general absolutely calls for customer service that’s 24/7/365 – After all, the biggest games in American and Canadian football take place on or around Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, etc.

A good site for betting NFL games should have this around-the-clock customer service, at very least available through online chat. The best of the best in customer service will also have staffers on hand to answer queries by phone. Also note that an established betting site will have its own customer service with knowledgeable staff rather than outsourced employees working half a planet away. Complications that many online sportsbooks face due to contradictory laws and regulation in the Americas may require assistance from someone in the know – when you need it, you’ll realize the overwhelming value of customer service.

Second in importance for the deep-diving NFL bettor are the offerings. True enough, an estimated 90% of all NFL wagers are placed on three most common bets: The point spread, the money line and the over/under bets. However, even the casual bettor will occasionally get a read on the performance of an individual player or see a matchup advantage that could be exploitable. Every online sportsbook offers the typical bets, live in-game betting is evermore common, as are various teasers; the difference-maker is in the proposition bets. Obviously, the more prop bets on offer, the better.

Another distinction among sportsbooks within the NFL betting sphere is the possibility to adjust the point spread or over/under on a given game. For example, if the point spread is -3½, the top-quality sportsbook will also offer alternate point spreads of (at least) -2½, -3, -4 and -4½; each of these alternative pointspread bets will naturally carry different odds. Buying a half-point or point makes a great deal of sense in many situations, e.g. on a 2½-point spread (why not take the favorite -3, get better odds and have the push covered on a 3-point win?) or in a suspected blowout (if you believe the favorite will win by 13½, why not go 14?).

Such offerings are not nearly as common as one might think; even some of the biggest sportsbooks in Las Vegas do not make such offerings. If you can find an online sportsbook that offers the buying of points on the spread, you’re golden.

How to register at online sportsbooks

Before even starting with the registration process at any online sportsbook website, remember two things – essentially an NFL bettor’s rights:

• No website should require entry of any personal information, from name and email to credit card data, before one is allowed to see the offerings at that website. One simple guideline here is to take note of anything that may say CLICK HERE and don’t click there.

• When registering, one should not necessarily be asked for credit card data if one is not placing a bet at the same time. In other words, when signing up, feel free to provide name, email address and even a phone number. Be sure to note any option to “receive messages about special promotions” and whatnot when doing so. Yes, Virginia (and the other 49 states plus the District of Columbia), sportsbooks online and off do in fact send spammy text messages and emails. So opt out when given the chance.

Registration at an online sportsbook should be fairly well exactly the same as registering at any site at all these days. Creation of an account requires entering the necessary data – as noted above, that’s only the basics before you want to bet; when betting at a given online sportsbook for the first time, enter your credit card info and associated mailing address, etc.

At the overwhelming majority of sportsbooks, you’ll be asked to verify the email address you’ve chosen to link with the account, yadda yadda, again very usual stuff.

Depositing at Online Casinos
As with registering at an online sportsbook, transacting the initial deposit is essentially an identical process to making any purchase online. Seasoned NFL betters know to look for healthy welcome bonuses (see more on this below), which give the bettor double or even more playing money. Welcome bonuses aren’t obligatory to take, and when first depositing the bettor should be given an option as to whether he/she wants to play the bet.

At reputable NFL betting sites, making a deposit is, as we’ve noted, almost exactly the same as at any one online site. After entering the usual – some combination of mailing address, phone number and/or email address – you’ll likely be given the option to go straight to the Virtual cashier; if not, the button on which to click for this service is bound to be quite evident.

This particular subsection includes a rundown of the real basics of NFL sports betting online; please feel free to bypass this bit and more on to another interesting bit directly below. IF not truly familiar with betting online should read on, as certain differences between virtual and “bricks-and-mortar” sportsbooks are significant.

A few words on payment methods
Using a Visa, Mastercard or American Express issued from a North American financial institution can prove problematic; thus do good online sportsbooks offer NFL bettors a great variety of payment methods to make deposits and hopefully collect winnings. Common options beyond the old credit card/bank card standby include eWallet solutions, prepaid cards and direct money transfers.

Players from the US and Canada would do better to use payment methods involving e-wallet accounts such as Paypal, Skrill, Neteller and the like which create a virtual account based on a bank account that allows for easy transferring of cash electronically. The best news here is that PayPal – trumpeted as the top electronic payment solution in North America and the world – is steadily returning its presence in online casinos after backing out of the business for much of the 2000s. Neteller and Skrill have been allowed in many casinos and sportsbook websites since the dawn of online sports betting. If you plan ahead, you can always try things the old-fashioned way, i.e. via personal check or wire transfer.

Prepaid cards are an ultra-convenient method of deposit at online casinos, though truly internationally-useable prepaid cards are becoming rarer; they’re hardly impossible to find in most countries; just be sure to check the bank for possible invalidity outside of the United States and/or Canada. This must be checked on prepaid cards because so few online casino operations are based in the U.S. And of course the primary disadvantage to using these cards is that another source for withdrawal of winnings must be found.

One alternate payment method which came to the fore in the 2010s but tailed off heading into the 2020s is via Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency. For more information on Bitcoin sports betting, click on the link. Write, NFLbets will state summarily that the biggest difference between cryptocurrency and other forms of more-easily recognized legal tender is in their purely virtual existence; it’s akin to having an e-wallet account without a bank account to tie in. Like all other forms of liquid legal tender, the value of Bitcoin is driven by investment. The more frequently individuals buy and transact with Bitcoin, for example, the value of the cryptocurrency increases. Online sportsbook websites may even encourage the use of Bitcoin when depositing; its relative off-the-grid nature makes cryptocurrency attractive to sportsbook sites and NFL bettors alike, as does the added baked-in safety and security.

However, sometimes the old methods are the best: Direct money transfers, wire-to-wire bank transfers and even personal/bank checks are essentially foolproof ways of deposit and withdrawal. The drawback is the lack of convenience – let’s face it, these are 20th-century, pre-internet methods of payment and are no longer high-tech. So you’ll either pay extra in money (by way of transfer fees) and/or time (for hours to days may be involved with these methods.

After depositing at the sportsbook
In addition to the basics and any profile information you choose to enter upon initial deposit, thereafter you should be able to easily access a record of all transactions partaken in with the given online sportsbook. Better outlets will allow access to these personal records in perpetuity, but a reasonable time period’s – likesay six months’ – worth of wins, losses and open proposition bets should be expected.

If you so choose, most reputable online sportsbooks will cap your deposits in order to assist with your budgeting, but most online sportsbook automatically set deposit limits and/or bet limits, particularly on props – this is one major difference between online sportsbooks and Vegas outlets: While legendary studies of dudes betting millions on the Super Bowl or betting a few thousand on a 200/1 longshot, i.e. the St. Louis Rams going into the 1999 season, you’ll not be allowed to bet more than a few thousands at a time. Look, save the huge-money stuff for that trip to Nevada, dude...

Of course, big-money betting may be done at quality online sportsbooks; you’ll just have to gain a little experience or appeal to customer service personally to do so.

Finally placing the bet or bet(s)

The range of bets on sports offered at even the newest startup online bookie begins with at least 30 sports. No matter for the football bettor, though, as thanks to its entire popularity (and thus profitability), “American football” in general and NFL football especially enjoy special status at the sportsbook. Almost always during NFL season is the landing page of any given online sportsbook is just about guaranteed to be promoting Thursday, Sunday or Monday night games front and center.

The basic NFL bets should be prominently displayed whenever the season is in session:

• Money line bets require the bettor to pick one team to win the game. The favorite in most games gets odds of shorter than 1/1 (and big favorites can be going off at -1600 or -2000, essentially short enough odds so as not to be worth betting), while the potential payout on the underdog is higher.

• A pointspread bet is expressed in points, with a negative number assigned to the favorite and a positive number to the underdog. If the Cleveland Browns are favored at home against the Packers, the line might read something like “Cleveland Browns -4½ vs Green Bay Packers.” If you bet on Green Bay, you can add 4½points for the Packers’ total in the game and subtract likewise for Cleveland on a loss.

• An over/under bet is a bet on the total number of points to be scored in the game by both teams put together, expressed on sportsbook tote boards as over or under the set total; note that overs and unders may have odds that don’t pay out at 1/1.

• Proposition bets are defined as bets which pay on any outcome which is not directly a result of the game’s final score. Other bets (as described in the “Types of Odds and Bets” section below) are traditionally available on every game, every week. These are usually linked to via the odds and line on an individual game.

In any case, once you’ve found the particular bet you like, click on the link appropriate and the bet will be added to a “betting slip”, somewhat akin to a combination of checkout itemization at another e-commerce site , likesay, Amazon, and a Las Vegas sportsbook’s betting slip. After the initial deposit, the bettor may need to place actual money from his/her account on the bet directly after it is chosen. Doing this requires the bettor to enter the amount he/she wishes to wager on each bet (if multiple bets are allowed); this should simultaneously display the potential payout on a win (just in case you have difficulty calculating something counterintuitive, like odds of 5/17 or +675.

After the amount is entered, finally getting the bet “in” at the virtual bookmaker is accomplished after clicking on a classic CONFRIM button or something similar.

And then you may enjoy the game(s) – and hopefully the winnings!

Safety and security at the sportsbook website

Whether paying by credit card, check, transfer or via electronic payment method, online sportsbooks have taken their cues from Amazon and all the other e-commerce merchants populating the internet in making it simple to deposit and bet – but the would-be NFL bettor is perfectly justified in asking just how safe and secure a given site is.

The good news in short is that it’s quite honestly never been safer to transact in real money at online sportsbook. And if at all possible, we can only expect things to become better as the U.S. slowly liberalizes its attitudes toward online gaming; the more regulators and testers of sportsbetting sites’ security that are done, the more advantageous to all NFL bettors.

For added assurance of safety and security, check for certification from a known, internationally recognized auditing firm such as eCOGRA or TST; alternatively, governments of U.S. states which quality-test licensed/approved sportsbook sites must publish such reports publicly. Symbols indicating testing undertaken by independent and/or government-contracted auditing bodies may be found at the very bottom of the given sportsbook site’s landing page.

Types of odds and bets in NFL betting

As for types of bets, though some NFL/sports betting sites include special methods of wagering, nearly all betting on NFL events has at least three common bets, as described above: odds on the outright winner, a handicap/point spread bet, and an “over/under” line.

Outright winner bets speak for themselves, but a handicap (in NFL and other American football known as the “point spread”) bet is an opportunity to make better money betting on a favorite than with a straight up outright winner wager. This line is expressed in points, with a negative number assigned to the favorite and a positive sign to the underdog. When the final score is known, add or subtract the number of points to your team’s score to determine a winner “against the spread.”

Finally, over/unders are expressed as a single number representing the cumulative score by both contestants for the game. Bet on whether you think the total number of points is over or under the given line.

Those are the familiar wagers in NFL betting; indeed, with the spread of decriminalized sports betting nationwide in the US, even the most casual of bettors understands “over/under” and discusses these numbers. Beyond a few basics, though the complexity of possibility within the less commonly-played proposition bets may surprise some upping their betting game.

NFLbets’ll start with some real basics on types of bets, so depending on your experience as an NFL bettor. A single bet is any bet which is based on the outcome of a single game or season. The result of a winning single bet is based on the stake and the odds offered at the time the bet was placed.

Meanwhile, proposition bets, a.k.a. props, may be defined as those bets which are not based on the outcome of a game or season. Proposition bets are further divided into team props and player props – basically what you’d guess, although the range of props available is each is astounding and fun. Popular team props offered on a week-to-week basis may involve margin of victory; number of points scored by a team or teams in a quarter, half or full game, total yards gained, etc.

Commonly seen player props are those involving individual player stats. During the season, a number of offerings based in total yardage, TDs, sacks, interceptions ¬– any stat really ¬– may be available, though typically only for name players. Note that some sportsbooks may make fewer player props available than others. For the Super Bowl, all sportsbooks offer zillions of these props as untold cash is wagered on player props based in performance and culminating in one of the most popular props of the year, “To Win Super Bowl MVP.” For examples of the sort of proposition betting you can get during the biggest of big games, check out the very last section below entitled “Betting on the Super Bowl.”

Live betting has more or less always existed in some form, but with the lightning-quick possibilities inherent in TV- and internet technology, so-called in-game betting has gone through the roof in terms of popularity. In live betting, the odds on offerings including the point spread and most props may be reset and reoffered to reflect what has happened within the game already.

Futures betting is extremely popular during the preseason; the draw to these NFL bets is clear, because every level of fan reflexively tends to resort to predicting outcomes when discussing teams’ fortunes going into a new season. In these bets, we may include team props like “Over/under Wins for Season” and “To Win Division/Conference/Super Bowl” offerings; for individual player bets, get ready to pick stats and go over/under.

Parlay bets are essentially two or more separate bets played on a single ticket with odds on each event multiplied for much better payouts; all individual bets within the parlay must win for the bettor to be paid. Though intrinsically much harder to win on, the advantage to the parlay bet is that odds on a big favorite may be tilted in the bettor’s favor.

For example, betting the Los Angeles Rams at -1000 on the money line against the Cincinnati Bengals is hardly worth the risk. But if you add that money line wager to a second; likesay, the Pittsburgh Steeler -5 vs Seattle Seahawks. The payout on Pittsburgh is liable to be about -110. All of a sudden, a Rams win and a Steelers cover fetches odds of +110!

Round-robin bets are a variation on parlay betting in which one wagers on several parlays at once. Choose anywhere between 3 to 8 teams and the number of teams on each parlay for a resultant number of bets. As an example, we’ll take the Rams -12 and Steelers -5 as before, along with the Jets +5½ at Jacksonville and the Bears +2 at Dallas, and we’ll bet on 2-team parlays. Thus, this round-robin bet is actually six parlays (Rams-Steelers; Rams-Chargers; Rams-Bears; Steelers-Jets; Steelers-Bears; Jets-Bears). Taking these four teams in 3-team round-roubin works out to four parlays.

Teaser bets, a.k.a. teasers, make parlay betting even more enticing by tilting the point spread further into the bettor’s favor. Choose a parlay of two games or more (typically three, for reasons explained momentarily). Betting a teaser adds a certain amount of points to your team’s spread in every game. For example, if you put the Rams at -12 vs Cincinnati and the Steelers -5 vs the Seahawks into a 6-point teaser (the most common variety of teaser), you’d essentially be wagering on a parlay of Rams -6 and Steelers +1. Note the latter spread flipping to morph the favored Seahawks into an underdog; herein lies another attraction to the teaser.

While the teaser may seem like quite an advantage for the bettor – and it is, if used wisely – the catch comes in the significantly reduced payouts: A winning 2-team parlay bet pays +260, whereas a 2-team teaser pays out around -110 – exactly the same as a single bet on the point spread. Teasers of 6½ and 7 points are also widely available at sportsbooks as well, and these payouts are even lower. A 3-team, 6-point teaser can pay as much as +180, however, which is quite a bit more reasonable for the risk involved.

• Buying points allows more precision in NFL betting. Buy ½, 1, 1½ or 2 additional points on the point spread for a payout of 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% lower, respectively. These bets can be worked to the bettor’s advantage by *giving* a ½-point or a full point with the concomitant increase in potential payout.

Gambling problems; please wager responsibly

In America and many other countries, the statistics on problem gambling seem harrowing. The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) figures that between 2% and 3% of all Americans meet the criteria for problem gambling, a number in the area of 6 million to 6.5 million people. The NCPG defines “problem gambling” as that behavior which “causes disruption in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational.”

And if you think that number sounds high, the National Institute of Health (NIH) sets that 3% (or 6.5 million) as the low end of the spectrum, figuring as much as 5% (or just under 11 million) of the U.S population might be considered problem gamblers.

Further, bodies such as those mentioned above regularly turn out statistics such as (the following all from 2015 surveys):

• Some 15% of Americans participate in some form of gambling (from lottery tickets to casino gambling or sports betting) at least once per week. About 80% do so at least once a year. [And you can be damn sure that about 95% of that 80% do so during the Super Bowl, easily the most wagered-upon regular event of any sort in the world.]

• Approximately 76% of problem gamblers have or develop a major depressive disorder in tandem with NCPG.

• Problem drinkers are 23 times more likely to also have gambling problems than the average citizen.

• Gambling by the under-aged is increasing, as youth develop gambling problems at a rate up to threefold their adult counterparts.

• Approximately 6% of American college students have gambling problems. Naturally, problem gambling is comparable to other addictions in its individual personal and greater societal effects. According to NCPG statistics, costs in the US alone due to problem-gambling behaviors run a whopping $17 billion annually (or over $53 per citizen).

While a good deal of this figure is connected with bankruptcy- and personal debt-related issues, the most important part of the story is much darker: According to a 2010 study undertaken at Georgia State University, right around 50% of problem gamblers commit crimes. Informal estimates reckon that 80% to 90% of Gamblers Anonymous members committed crimes or illegal activities in order to fund their habit.

Signs of problem gambling
You’ve probably heard one list or another enumerating the “Signs of Problem Gambling,” and you’re well familiar with them by now. Questions that must be asked to determine the possibility of a gambling problem may include:

• Has gambling become distraction to the exclusion of everything at work or home?

• Do you no longer budget your playing money?

• Do you spend most of your playing time chasing losses?

• Have others commented on the amount of time you spend gambling?

• Have you gambled money that had been earmarked for other uses?

But we’d argue that it’s even simpler than answering a list of question. In order to determine whether one has a gambling problem or not, one need only ask oneself a single simple question; if the answer is “no”, a gambling problem is most probably real. That question is this:

• Is it still fun?

If you suspect someone you know or you yourself have a gambling problem, we’d recommend contacting Gamblers Anonymous, and/or the National Council on Problem Gambling (

Welcome Bonuses, other bonuses to expect at a reputable sports betting site

The no. 1 reason for seasoned players, casual NFL bettors and rookies all to register and play at a new online casino? The welcome bonus, of course! Not only does a welcomes bonus (a.k.a. a signup bonus) provide the player with double (or more) his/her sports betting money, this particular standard perk is the area in which the internet sportsbook is superior to their “bricks-and-mortar” counterparts. After all, how often does your favorite Las Vegas spot just give you playing cash upon walking in the door?

The signup bonus is pretty much exactly what you’d think. With the first deposit a bettor makes with an online casino website, he/she will get a supplement to the new account. Banner ads and webpages promoting for these bonuses usually express the bonus offer as “100% for up to $1,000” followed by any number of exclamation points. The welcome bonus will be based on the size of the initial deposit, i.e. one is certainly not receiving a couple hundred for, likesay, $20 deposited.

Instead, the startup bonus is calculated like so. As an example, we’ll say that the bonus offer is for 100% up to $500. If the first deposit is $100, the casino will match that with another $100. If the player deposits $500, he/she gets $500 – but that’s the max. Even with a $10,000 deposit, the player will receive $500 in bonus playing money with this particular welcome bonus.

Other types of bonuses
The startup bonus may be the reason to get bettor in the virtual door, but other bonuses will keep them around after that first deposit is gone. Some good news and bad news here: The bad news is that no bonus every really matches the generosity of the welcome bonus; the good news is that, for reasons of rollover requirements (see below section for more information on this), almost every sports betting bonus is easier to cash than the welcome bonus.

• Deposit bonuses are, simply put, the most common online casino bonuses after the welcome bonus. As such, these bonuses can vary wildly in size, scope and all-important rollover requirements. In general, we can say that these are most frequently rewarded as a percentage of the given deposit, with 100%, i.e. a doubling of playing money, seemingly the most common bonus figure. Naturally, regular players will receive more of these offers.

• Referral bonuses are another nearly standard perk at sportsbooks online given – those who recommend the site to friends. If the referral makes a deposit with the casino, the player will be credited an amount usually between $20 and $100.

Rollover requirements
Obviously, an online casino won’t merely match the player’s $400 with another $400 and then immediately let him/her withdraw the bonus as real money. Rather, the player must “roll over” the bonus cash (we’re calling it “bonus playing money” for a reason). So the player looking for a bonus on in initial deposit should scan those small-print “terms and conditions” for “playthrough requirements” or “rollover required.”

The rollover requirements on a given welcome bonus define the amount you’ll be expected to play at the casino before cashing out on that bonus. Rollover requirements are always expressed as a multiplier, so let’s use a 5x requirement on our theoretical welcome bonus.

In the above example, the bettor finds a 100% welcome bonus and deposits $500. He/she now has $1,000 in his/her account with that casino. However, he/she must play $5,000 (i.e. 5 times $500 deposit plus the $500 in bonus money) in order to cash out. This is no problem for the bettor lucky enough to hit big on that bonus money – for example, through winning a big parlay or nice mid- to longshot – but most bettors will have to be content with merely enjoying some free bets and extending that bankroll.

In addition, loyalty and referral bonuses may carry no rollover at all and thus may be played as real money (which it is).

How to take advantage of the signup/welcome bonus
The signup bonus is probably the biggest bonus you’ll receive from the sportsbook; sadly, it’s also the hardest to cash winnings from. This is due, again, to the rollover required in taking such a bonus. So here’s our attitude toward taking advantage of welcome bonuses: Play much higher denominations, take bigger risks with longshots and try different sorts of bets, such as parlays.

Why? Because the trick to cashing in on winnings from a signup bonus is getting a huge hit on a single game or multiple games on Sunday. Using an example, let’s say you take a 100% bonus for $250 in free bets on top of your $250 deposit for a total of $500 and the sportsbook asks for 10x rollover. So you’ll need to play through 10 times $500, or $5,000. And the best way to do that is with a nice fat payout. So let’s say you hit on a 10/1 or 15/1 while playing with your bonus money. Congratulations! All you’d then have to do is bet through those winnings and anything won is pure profit.

Alternatively, the low-budget bett0r may simply wish to treat the welcome bonus as regular money, thereby extending one’s potential betting – This conservative strategy can be just as much fun.

How to take advantage of other bonuses
Deposit bonuses go by the same rules as the signup bonus, though the terms and conditions will certainly be more favorable, i.e. with a significantly lower rollover requirement, lower minimums and higher maximums.

As for how to take advantage of the referral bonus, get social! You’ll want to do the proverbial telling all your friends about it, getting them to use your referral code. Along with the now-traditional routes of social networking (e.g. Facebook, Pinterest), the serious bettors participate in forums online to exchange information with other players. Referral bonuses are essentially limitless and have no rollover requirement, so if you know those who are or might be into football betting, leverage that influence.

Betting the Super Bowl

Ah, the Super Bowl – or, as NFLbets likes to think of it, American National Gambling Day. It is said that more individual bets are made on the Super Bowl than on all NFL games through the season combined; that more bets are taken on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day except the quadrennial World Cup soccer final by a factor of at least 2x; that some Vegas sportsbooks off the Strip bring in 80% of their betting money on the ’Bowl.

Whatever they say, we know this: Super Bowl betting is huge and adds a whole new dimension to enjoying NFL action.

Pretty joyous/excruciating are those Super Bowls with a close outcome on the scoreboard. However, in only eight of the first 53 Super Bowls has the winner ATS differed from the winner SU; two of these were Belichick/Brady Patriots SU wins and two others involved Steelers-Cowboys matchups. The deviants:

Super Bowl X – Dallas Cowboys 17, Pittsburgh Steelrs 14. Few of the first 20 Super Bowls were close, despite a few notable upsets (Joe Namath’s Jets, anyone…?), and just one was close enough to split the ML and pointspread winners – the first classic Cowboys-Steelers matchup.

Super Bowl XXIII – Cincinnati Bengals 16, San Francisco 49ers 13. In the famous “John Candy Game”, Joe Montana led his 49ers to the SU win, but couldn’t cover the spread.

Super Bowl XXX – Pittsburgh 17, Dallas 13½. After two wins against the hapless Buffalo Bills in the big game, Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith’s Cowboys needed to work up more of a sweat against the plucky Steelers.

Super Bowl XXXIV – St. Louis Rams 16, Tennessee Titans 16. The only Super Bowl to date to end in a push for (most) bettors was famously the closest ever until the Patriots took the Falcons into overtime.

Super Bowl XXXVIII – Carolina Panthers 29, New England Patriots 25. NFLbets sure isn’t surprised the weirdeset ’Bowl (not to mention halftime show) ever is on this list.

Super Bowl XXXIX – Philadelphia Eagles 21, New England 17. Incredible to think that an Andy Reid-coached team kept things close enough in the fourth quarter to cover the spread against Belichick & Co…

Super Bowl XLIII – Arizona Cardinals 23, Pittsburgh 20. Kurt Warner’s final lifetime mark in the Super Bowl ATS: 1-1-1. Wacky!

Three further caveats, however: Two of the eight divergent outcomes were pushes; five occurred within a span of nine years in the late 1990s/early 2000s; and the win team to win ATS but lose the game was the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

If any conclusions can be drawn from just these outliers, we’d definitely advise splitting bets between SU and ATS winner, regardless of how close you think the final result will be or how dark the dark horse you’re contemplating covering is. One may also note that an underdog win tends to mean the under hits on over/under bets. This tendency is certainly true, but once in a while you’ll get an Eagles-Patriots offensive statistic-destroying result.

What NFLbets brings to the NFL bettor

At NFLbets, we’re bettors on a budget and as such, we hope to bring information, tools, picks and hopefully some fun stuff that like football devotees can find useful and/or interesting. Among our finer points include the following.

Weekly best bets and picks

The staple of any NFL betting-centric enterprise is weekly picks and best bets. To be completely honest, office pools which require one to bet on every game on the weekly slate is preposterous. Who would ever bet every single game of 16 played on opening week? The proper NFL bettor chooses a reasonable amount of games and/or prop bets – likesay, one to three – per weekend to cover and exploits those more obviously lucrative picks. “Best bets of the week” are always the bread-and-butter of the professional prognosticator, and we stake our reputation on our best betting predictions.

NFLbets will of course take a shot on these pages in our weekly picks. Despite the general folly of attempting to win even more than 59% when betting every single match, filing out such forms for fun – not money, unless you’ve got it to burn – can e instructive, as it does draw the attention to the entire league week to week and can instruct as to why certain teams win or lose. Truth is, though, the more games you pick, the worse you’ll do nearly 100% of the time.

Against-The-Spread (ATS) NFL standings
You know what drives NFLbets crazy? The inexplicable reluctance of any outlet online to tack and display the NFL standings Against-The-Spread (ATS) on a weekly basis. Well, allow NFLbets to toot our own horn a bit, because we’re proud of our ATS NFL standings board – we’ve got nothing to hide and wish you success in your bets via use of this free tool.

To use the ATS standings board effectively, a few strategies may be kept in mind; these are delineated on the same NFLbets page on which the ’board appears. However, we would point out two tips which may be used from very early on in the season:

• Home teams fare slightly better ATS than straight up (SU), and home-team underdogs in some seasons in the 21st century have beaten the spread at over a 70% clip.

• Since the 32-team league format was introduced, between 10 and 16 games per year result in a push at the sportsbook – I know, right? It seems like way more. ATS standings are therefore most useful in determining games with a pointspreak including a ½-point.

• Naturally, the ATS standings board becomes handier as the season progresses and the sample size of games played concomitantly increases. The best bets can be found at the ends of the standings board, and the outliers should be apparent from week 6 or 7. Typically, slightly more than half of teams end up with a record between 7-9 and 9-7 ATS; also typical is the trend for these teams to hover around the .500 mark ATS from start to finish. Rarely does a team mange more than 11 or five than five wins ATS – even the 0-16 Cleveland Browns of 2017 went 6-9-1 ATS.

State-by-state breakdowns of online NFL sports betting law
Lwas on NFL betting and other sports betting laws are made state by state in the US and province by province in Canada. NFLbets assures that any sportsbook you see promoted on this site has ben approved for players from your country. We also have pages detailing up-to-date information on sports betting law in each of the 50 American states.

The latest summary, a sort of “tl;dr” version of 50+ pages of material, follows in the next section.

Online sports betting law in the USA

The relationship between NFL football and betting is evolving. With the US Supreme Court decision in the 2018 case Murphy v NCAA the right for individual state governments to decide on the legality of intrastate sports betting was made. NFL betting, the most popular sport on which to wager in the U.S. and draws the second-most in wagering worldwide, is naturally at the forefront of reformation to gambling law in America. Since ’18, states one by one have been falling into place and by about 2025, some two-thirds of the country could be in a state which allows sports betting.

Following Nevada and New Jersey in full legalization of sports betting before the beginning of the 2019 NFL season were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Mississippi, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Iowa and Arkansas.

In 2018-19, legislation allowing legal sports betting was passed in New Hampshire, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee, North Carolina and Washington D.C., though none of these passed laws legalizing sports betting before kickoff to the 2019 NFL season; these seven are certain to have the legal and taxation infrastructure in place by 2020.

Post-SCOTUS decision, most every state considered bills in legislature on the subject in 2018 and/or '19. Sadly, these were rejected in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Hawaii.

Clearly, the aforementioned states are of varying levels of seriousness in their dedication to legalizing gambling: Legalized sports betting appears inevitable to come to California, Washington and Oklahoma sooner rather than later, whereas the likes of Georgia and Hawaii will be among the very last to allow NFL betting with Alaska, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. And, as in so many areas, who the hell knows what’s going on in Florida.

In any area of the U.S. currently without legislation, players may essentially enjoy any international online sportsbook of their choosing, thanks to the 2018 decision. With no legal infrastructure in place in a given state, all that matters within that state is that certain avenues, i.e. certain credit cards based in one of North America’s larger financial institutions, are made unavailable for withdrawal and deposit. Otherwise, Americans may now enjoy NFL betting like never before.

A few basic tips for betting NFL games

We won’t claim an impossible success rate in NFL betting like the snake-oil salesmen out there, but after more years in NFL betting than we’d like to admit, we’ve managed to glean enough information and tendencies to have produced a few solid rules of thumb. We’ve turned a profit for years – not a massive one, mind one – mostly done by playing relatively conservatively. In any case, here are a half-dozen basic tips for NFL betting that we’ve found useful.

• Do not bet week 1 games in the NFL. Every year – *every year* – opening week shows us enough to flip our perceptions of anywhere between four and six teams. In any season, compare your preseason expectations to actual week 1 outcomes; see what we mean? The truth is that, until the first game is in the books, the fan/bettor may as well admit that every team has way too many unknowns for good lucrative betting.

• Do *not* bet week 1 games. And don’t talk about Fight Club, either.

• Think long and hard about week 17 games, for that matter. You’d be better off saving your bankroll for the upcoming NFL playoff props instead.

• Do not bet for or against your favorite team. In fact, as a proper gambler seeking to turn a profit, you should simply eschew favoritism altogether. The truth is that, unless your team is clearly the NFL’s worst (and after week 1, we can safely call this a tie between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts), your analysis will be skewed one way or another. And if you’re a diehard, well, you’ll hate your team unless they win and you picked them to win. Which happens for most fans about 7.54% of the time.

• Do not go beyond your limits. So highly important in all forms of gambling – admittedly less so for higher-skill games like sports betting and poker, but still – is keeping to a budget. If you deposit, likesay, M10 once a month as a regular bankroll, we’d advise not betting more than M5 in a given week for fear of busting and giving into the temptation to reload.

• Do not gamble outside the sport(s) or your expertise unless you’ve got the money to burn. It’s waaaaaaaaay more lucrative to divide your research time following the 75-20-5 rules, ie.e 75% of time is spent on the first choice, 20% on the second and 5% on all others combined. In this case if your favorites are both in the offseason, you can still play relatively intelligently anjoy returns in NFL betting along with NFLbets. Good luck throughout the season!

Some things just go together – like betting and NFL football. By outward appearance and by the letter of the law, a majority of high-powered NFL officials have taken great pains from the 1920s right into the 2020s to distance pro football from any gambling beyond that strictly legally defined. However, wagering has gone hand-in-hand with the NFL since Beattie Feathers was roaming the gridiron and the Cardinals were playing in Chicago.

In some respects, gambling is right at the heart of enjoying the NFL itself; as that great social commentator Homer Simpson once noted, “Gambling is something daddies do to make football more interesting.”