NFL Betting Guide for Beginners 2024: Everything You Should Know

The popularity of placing online bets on NFL games has become very popular over the course of the last five years, mainly thanks to incredible development when it comes to mobile applications. There are millions of punters worldwide enjoying wagering on favorite weekend matches. New players might struggle a little bit when it comes to an initial understanding of spread betting, odds and other standard terms. Hopefully, this guide is going to answer all main questions and remove potential confusion among newcomers. We will cover all different ways to place a bet on the National Football League, explain odds and share some of our personal strategies.

So, after opening an account with one of the sportsbooks for your region, players are supposed to head to the NFL section to see which games are available. Some of the European operators might also list this section as „American Football”. All upcoming matches are usually going to be displayed with three different wagers: moneyline odds, the total number of points odds and point spread options.

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Spread Betting

Point spread betting is definitely the most popular way to place bets on the NFL. Some of the newcomers also call it betting against the spread, which is correct as well (ATS betting). Of course, a lot of matches during a season are going to have a heavy favorite. In order to make those matchups more interesting for punters, bookmakers are trying to even things up by adding handicap points to the underdog before the match even started. This means that a favorite team not only has to win the match but also to win it with a specific number of points. Players would rather take part in even betting options rather than backing heavy favorite and getting very small returns.

Let’s take an example of spread betting. New England Patriots are hosting Miami Dolphins, being marked as a massive favorite for the win at low 1.10 odds. This means that $1000 bet on Patriots would return $1100. However, spread betting is giving 12.5 points advantage to Dolphins and offering identical 1.90 odds both on home and away victory. This means if Miami loses the match with twelve points difference or less, away win bet is going to land. 

Moneyline Bets

The second most popular way of wagering on the National Football League is moneyline. This one is definitely the easiest one to understand if you are new to the world of online football betting. Punters are having a simple choice – to bet on Team A or Team B to win the match. Potential returns are obviously going to be dictated by the given odds. It depends on a bookie if they want to include overtime victory in the wager or not, so it would be best to ask the customer support representative before placing the bet. Understanding the rules can be one of the most important things when it comes to long term profit.


Betting on totals is probably the most fun way to approach sports betting on the NFL. If you are a big fan of this game and enjoy good plays and high scoring matches, there is no doubt you will love the wagering opportunities. Punters are given a specific line of total points, let’s say 45.5 points for a match between Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts. If you choose the over option, you will need a grand total of 46 points in the match to win the bet. Sitting back and enjoying a great match, while cheering for both teams to score points is a unique experience!


Parlays or accumulators are types of wagers that involve more than one event. Let’s say you are after slightly bigger profits than one single spread betting match. Combining two, three, four or more selections are going to provide significantly higher potential returns. All of the odds you choose are multiplied with each other, and with the stake to show potential winnings. Parlays are also allowing you to combine total points, moneyline predictions and point spread. Keep in mind that 99% of the sportsbooks won’t allow you to place both moneyline and spread bets for one single match. Accumulator betting does include much bigger winnings, but the risk is also much bigger. You will have to predict all selections successfully to get paid. Beginners can struggle to calculate potential returns. In this case, we suggest using one of the thousands of parlay calculators available online.

Betting Tips For Beginners

Here are some of the general guidelines when it comes to NFL betting and online wagering in general. The first and most important one is that you only gamble with money you can afford to lose. Placing insane amounts, especially in the early stages of online betting experience, is just wrong and irresponsible. Newcomers will usually hear a lot about terms like a staking plan or proper bankroll management. Basically, these two are suggesting to always make a plan and stick to it for the long term. It is ridiculous to wager more than 5% of your total bankroll on one match. Bankroll management is a hard thing to master, especially because it is not easy to completely exclude emotions from online betting. We have heard of hundreds of situations where players lost a bet, unfortunately, and then started chasing wins and wasting a lot of money. Winning and losing streaks are a core part of online betting. Learn how to handle with both and never stop following your own rules.

Be Informed

Gaining an advantage over bookies is possible. The odds are usually made by algorithm programs, which means well-informed punter can be ahead. Following all the latest news, injury reports, player stats, head to head history, and all other relevant info can be of crucial importance for sports betting. Also, there are numerous tools available online for NFL. NFL score is a free app we highly recommend to everyone, both new and more experienced players. It is free and extremely easy to use. You can download it directly from the app store.

The main sportsbooks for football betting are Draftkings, Fanduel or William Hill.

last update : June 2024