The NFL is the most popular sport in the United States with viewing figures rising on a yearly basis. Its notoriety is spreading across the globe, especially towards the United Kingdom, where three games per season are played.

As a result, it’s a perfect time to learn about the betting markets involved in the sport if you’re not already familiar with a breakdown.

If you’re a fan that will be tuning in every Sunday or perhaps just a spectator for the Super Bowl showdown it’s always worth knowing where the value lies. The popularity of the sport has seen the emergence of NCAAF's rise abroad.

College teams play the day before the professionals and provide just as much entertainment. The rules are more or less the same with few obvious differences, especially when it comes to punting.

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We’ll now break down the forms of betting that are available to American football bettors.


What Are The Types Of Betting In American Football?

Outright Betting

This is the simplest form of punt for the sport. It’s merely picking the winner of the event just as you would in a football, cricket, tennis or boxing match. The favourite for the contest will have the shortest odds which are represented by a fraction.

To place the bet online, select the odds of the team you wish to back and enter your stake. You will not get great value for an outright bet in the NFL unless you’re taking the underdog.

There are few matches where the odds are in the balance for both teams. Therefore you may have to take a slight risk to yield a larger reward on the outright.


Handicap Betting

This is where value can be generated for bettors. Knowledge of the teams involved comes to the fore in this system. The bookmaker will decide a number known as the spread based on the two teams involved in the contest.

The favourite or stronger team will have a minus number given that they are expected to win the game. For example, if the New England Patriots have a -6.5 handicap, then they are expected to win the game by a touchdown – seven points.

A bet on the Patriots would win if they were able to defeat their opponent by seven points or more. On the other side of the coin, their opponent would have the value of +6.5.

They are expected to lose by a touchdown, therefore a bet on the Miami Dolphins at +6.5 would win if they were to be defeated by six points or fewer, and alternatively if the Dolphins were to triumph.

A 21-17 defeat for the Dolphins would pay out if the bettor backed the Dolphins on the spread. However, a 31-17 defeat would see the bettor lose if they opted for the Dolphins rather than the Patriots.

The points are a very important aspect of handicap betting, which makes late field goals or touchdowns crucial.

Learning teams’ records with and against the spread is vital in the success of punting using the handicap. There’s greater value for bettors given the unpredictable nature of how and when points can be scored.

If utilised correctly it can be a lucrative market, especially if used on an accumulator as you would for a round of football matches.

There's a range of numbers on the handicap market allowing the bettor to select their own values. Having a hunch about a particular game can reap dividends if you’re willing to go against the grain.


Total Points

The final major betting market is the total points to be scored in the contest. Points are being scored at a record rate in the NFL in the 2018 season as opposing defences have had no answer for the quality displayed by the quarterbacks this term.

Rules are being swayed in the favour of offences, which has enabled teams to put up the staggering numbers. Bookmakers will set the line on the number of points that the two teams combined in a match will be expected to score.

Bettors can punt on whether the two sides will combine for over or under the points expected.

If two strong offences are playing, it’s always worth taking the over as there have been a number of shootouts over the years in the NFL, especially when the elite quarterbacks are facing off.

If two elite defences are playing and the quarterbacks are not from the top tier of players at the position, the bettor would be more inclined to take the under.

It is more of a specialised punt and requires knowledge of the teams and players involved before delving into a punt.


How To Place Outright Bets With 888sport

Placing the bets with 888sport is routine by going onto the website and selecting the American football section on the left-hand side of the page. All the fixtures are available in the selection for both college football and the NFL.

Simply click the odds that wish to back and enter your stake and then select the place bet button once you’re satisfied with your selection. To add more games to the bet, simply click the odds to make your single bet into an accumulator.


Advanced Betting Odds And Strategies

For experts of the NFL and college game, there are specialised odds for individual games based around the players involved in the contest.

We’ll now break down some of these markets, which provide greater value for punters if they’re willing to put their knowledge to the test.


Touchdown Scorer

888sport offer markets on who will score the first and last touchdown for both teams along with an anytime option. Therefore if you have knowledge of a teams’ strategy it could be worth betting on a market.

For example, a team with a good running back such as the New York Giants, may be more inclined to run the ball early in the game. Saquon Barkley would be a solid punt to score the first touchdown.

However, if it’s a team that throws the ball more such as the Patriots, backing a player such as Rob Gronkowski to score the first would make more sense.

Certain players find the endzone more than others, Gronkowski is a fine example of that, therefore, his odds will be a narrower to score a touchdown anytime.

If there’s a particular match-up that favours a team, who may have a deep receiving corps, while the other side has poor cornerbacks, it could be worth backing the fourth player on the list to win his matchup for better value.


Player Props

You have to know the players and teams involved once again to delve into this market. 888sport provides the lines for yardage for passing, receiving and rushing, setting the markets for individual players.

It weighs the quality of the competitor in question against the team and players they are facing off against. For example, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady averages around 280 passing yards per game.

A line might be set at 280.5 passing yards and the punter has to decide like points whether he will be over or under the mark.

The bettor must take into the account the player and the opposition. Against a weak team, Brady will likely pass the mark with ease, although that will be reflected in the value.

Whereas, against a strong team, he may struggle to pass the ball downfield, which will also be reflected in the value. To get the best value sometimes it’s to better go against the grain.

It’s a similar story for the receiving and rushing yards where the value and the outcome will be affected by the opposition. If you’re feeling confident it can be a lucrative option.


Further Reading For American Football Fans

If you now fancy dipping into some American football betting but could use some extra help, be sure to check out the helpful articles below:

NFL: Players To Watch And Best Bets Ahead Of The 2018 Season

A Guide to the Super Bowl

The Ultimate Sport Betting Guide


*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

The 888sport blog, based at 888 Towers in the heart of London, employs an army of betting and tipping experts for your daily punting pleasure, as well as an irreverent, and occasionally opinionated, look at the absolute madness that is the world of sport.