Arguably, the biggest sport in the US, the National Football League (NFL) has been exported successfully across the pond and it has now become one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK. With more games now taking place on UK soil, the NFL has attracted many new fans in this country. The emergence of online betting and live streaming has also enabled the NFL to reach out to more enthusiasts.
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The NFL is the biggest showcase for American Football. With the season beginning in September, the NFL comprises 32 teams across eight divisions. Culminating in the Super Bowl in February, the sport is relatively short in terms of the season’s length compared to other major sports leagues.
Here, we provide a comprehensive guide for how to develop strategies to successfully bet on all aspects of the sport. We will take you through how to bet on the NFL, mention the type of betting bonuses you could come across and highlight some of the best sites to bet with in the UK.
Where can you place a bet on NFL?
For the NFL, there are numerous markets where bettors can place their bets. Bookmakers in the UK are rapidly improving and they are continually reviewing their offering of markets.
Most bettors will be able to bet practically everywhere in the UK on NFL and with most UK bookmakers. There can be excellent value to be found with in-play betting
Of the best betting sites in the UK, bet365 is one of the most reliable. Bet365 is extensive in its coverage and provides some of the best NFL betting bonuses. Aside from having the regular money line and over/under markets listed for each game, there is a multitude of long-term bets to also take into account. They include a team’s regular season record, the eventual Superbowl winners and seasonal player specials, such as regular season MVP and Coach of the Year that are included in their selection.
Also, William Hill is highly recommended as it provides a general top notch sports betting service. There are a huge array of markets and bettors can request odds online. The number of NFL betting markets in the UK is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate.
Understanding the Superbowl
If you’re going to follow American Football then you need to get to grips with the Super Bowl, arguably the biggest sporting event in the US. The 32 NFL teams are split into two conferences, each with 2 divisions. During the regular season, teams play against one another all aiming to reach the playoffs – but only the top six teams from each conference will make them. Those final 12 are gradually whittled down to two – one from each conference. The Super Bowl is the holy grail – it’s the championship event, and the final contest between the two conferences to see which is the best team.
If you’re really going to get into this sport you’ll need to know the specific rules. Keywords to listen out for include defense, offense and quarterback as these elements are key to a team winning the game. Once you know the rules like the back of your hand, you can start to pay attention to other aspects of the game, including the teams, in the run up to this big event. Do check both player and team form. It’s also worth noting the bookies will be doing this too, so pay attention to the odds being given as this can be pretty telling.
How to bet on NFL?
For novices, it can be rather daunting betting on NFL. To master the key strategies, it is paramount to understand betting on NFL. Terms like ‘covering the spread’ or ‘most rushing yards’ frequently pop up, so it is wise to get clued up on the terminology before gravitating towards a particular market. With spread betting, the spread refers to how many points one team is better than another and there will be different factors that will influence the outcome.
There are three basic bets in NFL betting. Less experienced bettors will favour the money line, which refers to betting on the winner of a game. The money line will pay out according to the odds decided by the bookmaker. As draws are exceptionally rare in the NFL, you can bet on either the home team or the away team to win. Match bets include overtime because if both teams are level during regular time, the game continues running until the next team scores.
Alternatively, bettors can win money betting on NFL through the handicap betting method. Typically, NFL is a high-scoring game. So for example, if the New England Patriots were facing the New Houston Texans, the Patriots would be represented as the minus handicap while the Texans, who are the underdogs, will be presented as the plus handicap. Bettors can bet either side of the margin. If they bet on the favourite, Patriots, to win by a margin of more than 9.5 points, their betting odds may be listed as -9.5 @1.94 with Texans +9.5 @1.94. If Patriots win by a margin of more than 9.5 points, then your bet will be successful.
Instead, there are the total points markets and the bookmaker will offer a total points line. You can bet on whether you feel the total number of points in the match will be higher or lower than this number.
Perhaps, you may prefer to consider some season specials and there are other outright markets where you can win money betting on the NFL. One of these is the eventual Championship bet where you can bet on who will win the title that year. The betting on the NFL MVP is another popular bet type, although you are unlikely to know more about that until the Super Bowl. Quarterbacks typically garner the most attention and they are usually the frontrunners to win the MVP each year.
Top NFL Teams
There are only 32 teams that compete in the NFL and some of these are more successful than others. For whatever reason, there are some teams that enjoy a greater level of popularity than others. One of the top teams will come as no surprise, they are the Dallas Cowboys. Not only are they one of the most searched-for teams online, but they also enjoy one of the most successful, and valuable, franchises in the NFL. Having won five Super Bowls and appearing in a further three, this team’s constant TV presence keeps them continuously in the limelight.
The lead held by the Dallas Cowboys is a pretty hefty one, and there are only three other teams that really run them close in terms of popularity. We can’t really go on talking about the NFL without mentioning the Green Bay Packers. This team may have a very small population, but their fan base is huge, possibly because, uniquely for the NFL, they are publicly owned! Loyalty pays and this team has a whopping 4 million followers online. Despite not having made the playoffs in years, the Chicago Bears are also highly popular, most likely due to their long history rather than for their current form.
- Dallas Cowboys
- Green Bay Packers
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Chicago Bears
- New England Patriots
TOP FIVE BETTING TIPS FOR THE NFL
If you’re planning to bet on the NFL, it’s always good to have a slight edge. In this section we will give you some tips on how to get ahead. Firstly, keep your bets consistent rather than increasing or decreasing bets with the changing odds. For good money management, bet the same amount every game. Odds are the next aspect to look at. Bookies will set the odds the way they think the outcome will land. High profile matches will follow public trends and favourites with the odds reflecting that, so beware of the edge leaning in the bookies favour.
We can’t say this enough, but do check on the team’s form. This is important as bookies will lean towards public favourites. You could get a better deal by betting on a less favoured team that actually has better form. In line with this, don’t bet on your favourite, bet on the team most likely to win. It’s also a good idea to shop around for the best betting lines. Just because you play at one site doesn’t make it the best. Look around and grab yourself the most competitive odds that are on offer. Finally, look at the game location as some teams play better at home.
- Wager the same amount consistently
- Check the odds offered
- Pay attention to team and player form
- Compare different sportsbooks
- Take note of where the game is being played
How to find a good NFL betting site?
Several factors should be taken into account when it comes to finding a reputable site for NFL betting. Firstly, scour each sportsbook and examine the different types of NFL markers. Some bookmakers may ignore the NFL, but usually there will be an American Football category, so head to that section and you should be able to find a range of outright and ante-post markets.
It is best to check that the site you wish to bet with is fully legal and regulated. There are numerous rogue sites that will try to tempt bettors with enticing offers and bonuses, but they should be avoided at all costs. The UK Gambling Commission provides regulatory oversight as well as information on the sports books it licenses, which bettors should check out before choosing a site to use.
Also, check out the odds offered by each bookmaker. Some sites will offer higher payout rates, so do your homework and scout out sites that best suit you, as you don’t want to find that your winnings are capped. In the following sections, we will look at how to win betting on NFL and assess some of the NFL betting bonuses.
What types of bonuses will I find when betting on NFL?
Usually, there are a myriad of different bonuses and promotions associated with NFL betting. Some NFL bookmakers will even offer free bets. A free bet promotion will consist of ‘bet £10 on a game and in return you get a free £5 bet to play with’, or some variation of this. Bookmakers such as Coral may run a refund offer, such as a three-minute rush refund promotion. If your bet is up at the three minute warning and goes on to lose, then Coral will refund your stake up to a maximum amount which can be used for another free bet.
Some bookmakers may offer parlay bonuses. This could be based on winning parlays of two or more selections whereby bettors can pick up a bonus of up to 70%. Bonuses will not apply where a stake has been fully cashed out, however, the bonus will be calculated on the remaining active stake.
Other bookmakers specialise in NFL price boosts and they include enhancing prices for a team to win the Super Bowl or to win specific matches. During the regular season, there can be enhanced offers for touchdown specials, such as naming the first touchdown scorer in any given game as well as doubling odds in other markets.
What is the best betting strategy for NFL betting?
When it comes to learning how to win when betting on NFL, it is paramount to do your homework. Research is important in any sport and none more so than NFL. Bettors should analyse the stats of each team and assess the form guide. If one side has hit a purple patch and is in a rich vein of form, bettors are more likely to side with them than teams that are struggling.
Certain elements of games can help with betting strategies. Yardage stats are a key indicator. Teams that gain more yardage and concede the least tend to win more games. So it is important to take an analytical approach when crunching the numbers and they will always provide the most valuable insights. Keep an eye on head-to-head record and average points scored per match as this could influence your betting decision.
Also, it is worth checking out the smaller and perhaps more sophisticated markets that may be neglected. Here, you will be able to grab odds and make money on prop markets, which is a weak spot for some bookmakers. Therefore, online shopping is a must, as here is where you will be able to unearth markets that provide the biggest value.
How NFL betting odds work
Knowing how the betting odds work is key to making successful bets. Typically, with NFL betting, the odds will be reflected in decimal or fraction format. Odds can drift or shorten in the run-up to matches and they will be continually updated. For those who like in-play betting, this is more immersive as odds change during real time and bettors will be able to keep tabs on all the stats during matches.
The odds will be clearly displayed for any given market and usually they will show the likely returns for potential winnings. For example, if you bet £10 on Los Angeles Rams to beat San Francisco 49ers and the odds offered were 2/1, you would get £20 if that bet were successful.
Where can I find the best odds for NFL?
All bookmakers provide competitive odds, but the onus is on the bettor to find the bookmaker that best suits them and provides the best returns from their bets. While no bookie will offer the best odds on every market and every game, it is best to check out the most reputable sites and do a comparison of each.
Bookies are always looking to gain an edge over their rivals, but bettors must do their research to maximise their chances of success in the long term. Some bookies, such as Betfair offer the best odds online as they are a betting exchange. Bettors can back on an outcome occurring or lay odds against the probability of an event happening.
Popular betting markets for NFL
There are several common betting methods used for NFL betting and the most popular include:
- Accumulator — Otherwise more commonly known as an acca, this type of bet consists of betting on multiple outcomes. On a given day where there are a handful of fixtures, bettors can place bets on the home or away side winning.
- Money Line — Also known as the game line, this is the American football equivalent of the outright match winner market. Bettors just need to bet on who could win the match and the possibility of a draw is removed. Money Lines tend to be more popular among underdog bettors and in games with small spreads.
What it is
Cashing out enables bettors to get their money back on a bet before a game they are betting on is over. It is calculated by using the potential winnings from a bet alongside the current odds you would receive if that bet was placed at that moment.
How to do it
To cash out in play on any NFL line, you simply have to visit the ‘My Bets’ section, which is located in the ‘Bet Slip’ area of a betting website. You can then select the bet you wish to cash out and click on that button.
Live Streaming and where to watch NFL?
More bookmakers are now live streaming NFL games, allowing bettors can keep on top of their bets. To effectively live stream an NFL match, you will need a strong broadband connection. You can stream on desktop or via a mobile app. Sky Sports also has the broadcasting rights to show NFL games in the UK.
NFL betting FAQs
Is NFL betting legal in the UK?
Online sports betting is legal in the UK and that includes the NFL. It is completely legal to bet with any online bookmaker and the only stipulation is you must be at least 18 years old to play.
What is live betting?
NFL live betting puts bettors at the heart of the action. Odds will change as the action unfolds, so bettors can bet at any time and keep abreast of the action.
What deposit methods are available when betting on NFL?
While players aren’t allowed to gamble using a credit card, there are a multitude of methods to deposit cash with, including Visa, Mastercard and Skrill, which are accepted forms of payment.
Is betting on NFL safe?
With the UK Gambling Commission regulating all aspects of online sports betting for UK residents, gambling should be safe. Many online sportsbooks in the UK are public companies and listed on the London Stock Exchange so have a duty to look after their customers.