How to Bet on Football: A Complete, Comprehensive Guide

Welcome, friend! Want to learn how to bet on football like a pro and actually make some money to throw in your buddies’ faces? Thought so. Here’s everything you need to know and personal advice that will get you there!

It can be confusing to understand all the terms and different betting options when betting on football. However, it’s truly not difficult. Even those who have never placed a football bet before can easily grasp the basics of football betting.

How to bet on football: everything you need to know

how to bet on football: what you need to know

Ready to learn how to bet on football the PRO way and actually make some money? Thought I’d make it easier for you so I put all the information nicely and beautifully arranged (like a true friend) so that you can easily read through it. Want my advice? Read it twice.

Straight Bets/Sides

If you want to learn how to bet on football, then one of the very first types of bets you need to know is the straight bets, also called sides.

Straight bets (or sides) are the bread and butter in football betting. Pick which team will cover the spread. This is the bread and butter of football betting. The point spread is added to the equation to make the bet more attractive for both sides. Here’s an example:

Kansas City Chiefs +8

Baltimore Ravens -8

Each team is listed with a point spread. This means that each team gets an equal amount of points. One team will “give” 8 points, while the other team will “get” 8. Baltimore is an 8-point favorite and Kansas City is an 8-point underdog at +8. The (+) sign indicates an underdog, while the (-) sign is always a favorite.

If you bet on Baltimore at 8 you would only win if Baltimore wins the game by more than 8. To register a win on the Chiefs, they must either win the game or lose the game by less than 8. If Baltimore wins by 8 points, it would be a push. This would result in everyone getting their money back.

The bet pays -110 on either side, so you would need to wager $110 to win $100. To win $10, you’d need to place an $11 bet. To win $20, you’d need to place $22 bets.

The book ensures that they will make a profit and stay ahead. They are not in the business of entertaining us. This is “vig”, and it is the reason the book continues to be in business year after year. You can reduce that “vig” by looking closely and obtaining a -105 line to bet on football against the spread.

The Money Line

Another type of bet you need to know about when learning how to bet on football is the money line. This is essentially the same as a straight bet except that you eliminate the point spread and pay more to win less on favorites or bet less to win more with underdogs. Both of these actions are done to compensate for the possibility/odds your team will win. You are simply choosing which team will win the game straight-up (SU). This wager does not involve a spread.

NFL Totals

how to bet on football: NFL Totals

This is the most popular type of betting in football. This bet is the easiest to understand. Each football game has a number that you can use to predict the score. Here’s an example:

Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints

More than 44.5 (-110)

Below 44.5 (-110)

There are two options: whether you choose to bet on the “over” and the “under”. This is similar to betting on point spreads. To win $100, you must generally place $110. While totals are usually bet for the entire game, you can split it into quarters or halves to bet on certain portions of the game.

NFL Parlays

This bet is very popular, especially for those who are looking for a big win. Parlays allow you to place multiple bets on one ticket. The bet must win by all three, though the rewards can be very substantial. Let’s suppose you placed a parlay on college football.

Take Oklahoma -17, Tulsa +3, San Jose State -2. You would win $600 if you placed a $100 wager and all three teams covered the spread. They all must win, or it will all be a waste. You can also read our article on parlays.

Guess you already feel quite educated on the topic of “How to bet on football,” right? Thought so!

NFL Teasers

how to bet on football: NFL Teasers

This is a lot like parlays. You pick multiple teams from the same ticket, and each team must win in order for the bets to succeed. You can move the point spread in favor of your team. Let’s suppose you like UCLA +10 and Oregon -14. Michigan State -4 is your choice. Now you can make a 3-team/7-point teaser. Let’s see what happens to the points spreads of all three teams.

Each game earns you 7 points and you now have UCLA +17 and Oregon -7 and Michigan State +3. The adjusted spread must be beaten by all three or the bet will not win. In exchange for the additional points, you will have to pay a lot more, since teasers aren’t as lucrative as parlays. You can also read How teasers work for more information on this bet.

Still not a pro on how to bet on football, but keep going and you will get there.

Pleaser Bets

These insane bets are the exact opposite of a teaser. Instead of receiving points, you’re actually giving points. You can see that giving points makes it more difficult to win a bet, which is why you get huge payouts. This bet is only for the truly insane. These bets are not for the faint of heart. We’d love to feature your picks every week if you’re one of them!

Halftime and first-half betting

Sometimes you can get a better idea of a game from just a quarter or half perspective than the entire game. You might think that a strong college team will unload in the first quarter before pulling starters off and taking the accelerator. You might place a bet on the team’s first half. These bets are worth looking at in a variety of scenarios.

NFL Prop Bets

how to bet on football: NFL Prop Bets

If you’re learning how to bet on football and wishing to take it a step further, NFL Prop Bets is a great area to understand. This is a great way to view props. They don’t focus on the actual game, but on details within it. This is not about the score. We are more concerned with other aspects, such as whether the quarterback will throw for a certain amount of yards, or which team’s running backs will gain the most yards.

NFL Futures: These bets allow you to place wagers well in advance. You can place bets on things such as which player will win the Heisman trophy or be the season MVP. You can also bet on team performance. For example, which team will win the championship? Or just their conference or division? Futures can be very profitable because you have a long-term vested interest in the outcome of your wager.

If Bets

This is a great way to place bets with money already tied up in another wager. Parlays are not an option for wagers. If your second bet loses you don’t lose anything.

Reverse Betting

how to bet on football: reverse betting

Last but not least when learning how to bet on football is reverse betting. Might sound a bit tricky, but it is actually just a variation on an “if” wager.

So, even if you’re just getting started with football betting or you’re already a pro on how to bet on football, I’m sure that this information is useful, as it represents a great summary of everything you need to know. However, as always, remember to bet with your head and not over it!

Related Article:

How to Bet on Baseball: 10 Gainful Tips

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