Betting on the NFL

New York Jets vs New England Patriots

New York Jets Chris Ivory (33) in action, rushing vs New England Patriots Dont’a Hightower (54) at MetLife Stadium. East Rutherford, NJ 12/27/2015

A global increase in televised events has seen many sports become more popular outside of their own countries. Who would have thought that some peculiarly niche pastimes such as Australian Rules Football or Kabaddi would have gained an audience across the continents?

This is particularly true of North American sports which, these days, are hugely popular worldwide and while Baseball, Basketball and Ice Hockey all attract interest, American Football is the big event for most.

Betting in advance

As interest grows, so does the betting that follows it with many staking millions of pounds on the NFL, right up to the Super Bowl which defines the season. This is a very intricate game which some have described as a ‘human form of chess’ so if you are looking to bet on American Football, what are your options?

As with any team sport, you can always bet on the winner of the main event which in this case is the Super Bowl. Markets are published well in advance and as soon as one Super Bowl is decided, prices will start to come in for the following year.

In the interim, many player changes will take place during the drafts so it can be tricky to decide who will be strong so far in advance but the upside of that situation is the fact that you can find much more value in the ante post Super Bowl betting.

Format

The early games are known as the Regular Season and the format for these have become a little more complicated over the years. At one point, there were only two divisions to worry about but in the present day, this has been expanded to eight groups, each containing four teams. These are the NFC North, South East and West, together with the AFC North, South East and West.

Ahead of and during the regular season, you can bet on the outright winner of each of these sections and there are busy betting markets for each one. From this point we head into the knockout stages which continue all the way up to the Super Bowl itself.

Once the season gets underway in September, you can now bet on all the individual matches as they are played.

Side markets

Like many US sports, American Football is points driven and the side markets tend to focus on numbers. Therefore, you can expect to see winning margin markets and total points being declared in the lead up to each match.

The games themselves are split into four quarters and you can also speculate on how many points will be landed in each of those four. The bookies will set a line and you simply have to decide whether to go over or under.

You may also be able to find a market for first touchdown scorer although some bookmakers may drop out at this point. However, there are still some ante post markets to enjoy.

There is an option to name the finalists and you can also bet on the winning conference and the winning division. The list of operators fills up as the season approaches but with ten months to go until Super Bowl 51 in 2017, the likes of William Hill, 888Sport and BetFred were among those happy to declare a market.

Promos and Competitions

Promotions do come in from the bookmakers in time for the new season and some of these can be quite creative. 888Sport have published an offer in the past whereby bets could be refunded if a game went into overtime and while this is no guarantee of future deals, it’s typical of what you might find.

Meanwhile, a huge global event such as the Super Bowl will see a number of bookmakers offer prizes to travel to the venue, including flights, accommodation and tickets to the game. Intertops have done this in the past and a number of US friendly bookies like to get involved so keep checking news updates.

NFL football is a great sport that deserves its wider audience and if you’re looking to bet on American Football, there are a number of ways in which you can get involved.