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How to Bet on the NFL

Football is one of the most popular sports in America and also one of the most popular bet on. The National Football League has a dedicated base of fans who follow every game and know their teams inside out. 

That makes it ideal for betting as there are lots of knowledgeable people who are interested in putting money down on the various outcomes. If you want to bet on NFL games but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article from Ladbrokes, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to bet on NFL, from registering with an online bookmaker to placing your first wager.

how to bet on the nfl
Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

How to bet on NFL games: Registration

The first step to betting on NFL is to sign up for a trustworthy online bookmaker. It’s best to choose one that accepts bets on all the major sports, particularly the NFL. 

You’ll want to choose a bookmaker with a good track record and plenty of happy customers. Some bookmakers also offer free bonuses to new customers. These bonuses come in different shapes and sizes but usually offer you extra cash to bet with when you first start betting with the site. 

You’ll also need to decide how you’ll fund your account. Most bookmakers accept a range of payment methods, from credit cards to e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller.

Betting on the NFL using point spreads

The point spread is the most popular way to bet on football. In a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans, the Cowboys might be given 10 points (written as -10). 

This means that the Texans are given 10 extra points as they have to win by less than the Cowboys to cover the spread. If you bet on the Houston Texans, you’re backing them to win by exactly 10 points or more. 

The line is set by oddsmakers, who take into account the current standings, injuries, and the overall strength of the two teams. You can bet on either side of the line or a combination of the two. You win if your selection wins, regardless of the margin of victory.

Betting on the NFL using game total odds

Another way to bet on NFL is to bet on the total game points. This is the combined total of all points scored during the game. If a game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins goes to overtime, the game total will reflect the points scored in regulation, plus any points scored in overtime. 

This type of bet is usually offered at -110, which means you’ll have to bet $100 to win $100. The game total is often set by the oddsmakers in relation to the point spread. 

In a game where the point spread is Patriots -3 and the total is 41.5, the oddsmakers have set the total points to 5.5 points lower than the Patriots’ margin of victory (i.e. 9 points). The total can move depending on how the game is progressing. You win if the total is higher than what it is at the time you place the bet.

Betting on the NFL using game props

A game prop bet is a type of bet that offers something extra. Although the names might be a little unfamiliar at first, they’re pretty straightforward when you get down to it. Here are some common NFL prop bets: 

  • Total rushing yards for a team: This is the total combined rushing yards for each team in the game. A common prop bet for this outcome is the over/under for total rushing yards. 
  • Total receiving yards for a player: This is the total combined receiving yards for a specific player. If the player you choose to bet on doesn’t catch a single pass, you lose. 
  • Total sacks for a team: This is the total combined sacks for each team in the game. A common prop bet for this outcome is the over/under for total sacks. 
  • First coach to be fired: This is a prop bet that only applies to NFL games. These are just a few examples of the types of prop bets that are available in NFL games. No matter what type of bet you like, there will be a prop bet to match it.

The best places to bet on the NFL

There are plenty of places to bet on the NFL, but not all of them are trustworthy. To be sure that you’re betting at a safe and secure site, check out some of these recommended bookmakers: 

  • Bovada: This is one of the biggest and best online sportsbooks in the world. With tons of payment options and great customer service, Bovada is a great place to start your betting career. 
  • This is a newer online sportsbook that is growing in popularity. Sportsbetting has great odds and some very generous welcome bonuses. 
  • MyBookie: This is another great sportsbook with a large selection of NFL games and bets. 
  • BetOnline: This is a versatile bookmaker with a huge selection of games and bets.


Football might be dedicated to the team, but betting on the NFL is dedicated to the individual player. You don’t need to know anything about the game to place a bet, you just need to know the strength of each player and the likelihood of them scoring. 

If you’re a football fan, then you’ll love the variety of bets on offer. You can pick your favorite player, or you can bet on how many points the team will score. If you want to experience all the excitement and drama of the NFL without having to watch a game, then it’s time to place your bets.

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