Football is far and away the most popular sport in the United States. Played from a grassroots level, through the college system and into the upper echelons of the NFL, no sport has quite gripped the hearts and minds in such a profound way. Fans are fiercely loyal and partisan, and pack out stadiums and fill bars to watch their favourite teams. Betting on football has become increasingly popular, with fans loyally wagering on their side to win. But betting also attracts neutral viewers, heightening the excitement of the on-field action. After all, football is more fun when you have a team to cheer for, right? It has been proven that betting on NFL games has increased the already formidable viewership. But to be successful when you bet on football, there are many factors you should take into account, unless you want to rely on pure luck. Making tactical and informed wagers not only enhances your enjoyment of the game, but could also help you win big. Let’s look at some of the basics to take into account when you bet on the NFL.
Popular football bets
First off, let’s run through some of the different types of bets that punters like to place on football games. A Points Spread bet balances the odds between teams which may be on uneven form, effectively a handicap that creates a 50/50 betting scenario. The odds in a points spread bet are set by the bookmaker. Let’s say Chicago Bears play the Indianapolis Colts and the spread is +3.5 for the Bears and -3.5 for the Colts. This effectively means that the Bears have 3.5 points taken away from their score, and the Colts have 3.5 added to theirs. Therefore, a wager for the Bears must win by 4 points or more for it to be a successful bet, or if you have bet on the Colts, they must lose by 3 points or less (or win the game). Money Line bets are straightforward, one team to win bets. Obviously, the potential payout from a winning bet on an underdog is much greater, but many neutrals will play safe and wager on the favourite. Loyal supporters, on the other hand, often back their side, even if form dictates they will lose out. Over/Under bets are wagers placed on the total amount of points scored by both teams during a game. You can bet that the total will be over or under the amount set by the oddsmakers (this will be a realistic total).
Knowledge is power
An important part of successful sports betting of any kind, football included, is gaining a good and current knowledge of the game. Learning to read form, pick strengths and weaknesses and how they match up in a particular game can stand you in good stead to win payouts from your wagers. Such knowledge is especially important for Futures bets, where you wager on the overall form of a team throughout a season, or if they will reach (or win) the Super Bowl. It’s easy to acquire knowledge if you have a love of the sport, and reading around all the football news will boost your ability to make informed and successful bets. Even focus on the inter-team news, problems in training or a communication breakdown between players and coaching staff can really affect a team’s performance. The NFL has had its fair share of volatile personalities, and these can have a big impact on the ebb and flow of the season. There are numerous sites, such as WSN.com, providing NFL predictions and picks – these people are paid for their expert analysis and insight, and you can profit from it too.
Where to place bets?
The last few years has seen the meteoric rise of the online gambling industry, with countless sportsbooks and online casinos popping up all the time. With so many places available for football fans to place bets, the competition is fierce, and the market dictates that offers, bonuses and extra prizes are usually offered for sign up or repeat business. Before you decide where to play, investigate any special offers, but also make sure that the sportsbook is certified, with secure payment methods, and good reviews. Many trustworthy gambling websites will have an SSL certificate, meaning that it has a secure environment in which transactions can be made. There are numerous online resources available which can help you select a reputable place to bet on sports, with fair odds, timely payouts and 24/7 support. With the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, almost all bookmakers now have dedicated apps, to make the betting experience easier and more convenient.
Betting on the NFL is growing ever more popular. But instead of betting blindly for a bit of fun, why not take a little time to form a strategy, and increase your chances of winning big?
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