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NFL Betting News, Best Bets & Analysis From Top Expert NFL Handicappers

The NFL is the biggest wagered sport at legal and regulated sportsbooks in the US. Pro football delivers the highest amount of handle, with each game attracting an incredible amount of attention and betting action in every legal state. But how do you bet on the NFL? On this page, we will provide you with all the information you need about wagering on the NFL in the US legally and safely. 

Legal NFL betting odds

As mentioned, the NFL attracts lots of betting action, so it is not surprising to see that odds on the games are moving regularly after the initial release. This is why it is important to place NFL bets at the right time and with the right sportsbook to maximize the potential return. Our NFL betting experts are continuously on the lookout for the best odds from legal US sportsbooks and will advise you when there are valuable NFL betting opportunities.

How to wager on NFL games online

Mobile betting in the legal states has grown very rapidly. Although the social experience of betting in-person at retail sportsbooks is something that cannot be replaced, users have learned to appreciate the flexibility of being able to wager when and where they want. Look here at the top sportsbook apps where you can wager on football online legally in the US. 

DraftKings Sportsbook

The daily fantasy sports giant has become one of the top sportsbooks in the UK in several legal states. The DraftKings app is considered to be one of the best in the industry, offering live betting and innovative features.  DraftKings Sportsbook is currently available in the following states: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel is another sports betting titan born in the early days of DFS. The sportsbook app is friendly and very intuitive, and one of the most popular features offered for the NFL is the same-game parlay, which allows users to create parlay bets combining various selections from the same match.  FanDuel Sportsbook is currently available in the following states: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM was created by the partnership between MGM Resorts International and Entain Holdings. The app has been legally made available in several states where it competes with the industry’s top. NFL bettors will find plenty of betting opportunities and competitive lines on an excellent platform.  BetMGM Sportsbook is currently available in the following states: AZ, CO, DC, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, MS, NJ, NV, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet first launched in the US in 2019 and has now conquered a decent share of the market in several states. The company provides a unique experience for bettors, and the NFL is one of the major sports in the app.  PointsBet Sportsbook is available in the following states: CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, VA & WV

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers is part of Rush Street Interactive, a company with several physical casinos in different locations. The app has become very popular, mainly thanks to its unique rewards programme. The app is easy to use, and you will find all the options you need to bet on the NFL.  BetRivers Sportsbook is currently available in the following states: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NY, PA & VA

What are welcome bonus offers for NFL?

With growing competition in the US market, sportsbooks are forced to go the extra mile to stand out and attract new customers. Naturally, each sportsbook will have different offers. Let’s take a look at the most popular sign-up promotions that can be used for betting on the NFL. 

  • Free bet: with this type of offer, you will get free funds to wager on the site. The free bet amount won’t be withdrawable, but if you win, you will be able to keep the winnings. 
  • Risk-free bet: some operators will offer you risk-free bets. After placing your first bet, you will get refunded with free credits up to a specific limit if you lose. 
  • First deposit match: A sportsbook could also match your first deposit. The matching funds will be a percentage of your first deposit, with some operators offering even up to 100%. 

In which US States is it legal to bet on the NFL? 

In 2018, the US Supreme Court removed the federal law stopping states from legalizing sports betting. Since then, things have changed rapidly in several states, with sports betting thriving in particular, and more is yet to come. Below is a current list of where you can bet legally on the NFL online, and the date on which sports betting was legalized:  

  • Colorado sportsbooks May 1, 2020
  • Illinois sportsbooks June 18, 2020
  • Indiana sportsbooks Oct. 3, 2019
  • Iowa sportsbooks Aug. 15, 2019
  • Louisiana sportsbooks Jan. 28, 2022
  • Michigan sportsbooks Jan. 22, 2021
  • Nevada sportsbooks Apps began 2010
  • New Hampshire sportsbooks Dec. 30, 2019
  • New Jersey sportsbooks Aug. 1, 2018
  • New York sportsbooks Q1 2022
  • Oregon sportsbooks Oct. 16, 2019
  • Pennsylvania sportsbooks May 28, 2019
  • Rhode Island sportsbooks Sept. 4, 2019
  • Tennessee sportsbooks Nov. 1, 2020
  • Virginia sportsbooks Jan. 21, 2021
  • Washington, DC sportsbooks June 4, 2020
  • West Virginia sportsbooks Aug. 26, 2019
  • Wyoming sportsbooks Sept. 1, 2021

How to wager on NFL games online

There are many different ways to wager on the NFL. Let’s look at the three big wagering types for betting on the NFL: moneylines, point spreads, and totals. 

How NFL moneyline betting works

The moneyline bet is the most straightforward way of wagering on the NFL. To win, you need to predict correctly which team will win the match. Odds are negative for favorites and positive for underdogs, with larger numbers that indicate a bigger favourite or a bigger underdog. 

How NFL spread betting works

The point spread is a figure that sportsbooks set to eliminate a perceived margin between two teams. You can take the favorite minus the points or the underdog with the points when picking sides. The side you select would need to cover the spread for the bet to payout. 

How NFL totals (OVER/UNDER) works?

This is a bet on the total combined points that both sides will score in a game. Sportsbooks will set a benchmark number, which is called the total. Bettors can then decide if they believe the total points will be over or under that amount come to the end of the game. Since the NFL is played weekly, sportsbooks are releasing lines for the upcoming slate of NFL games as soon as the current set of games is winding down. Bettors have the opportunity to take advantage of early prices, with sportsbooks that are likely to adjust the odds and lines as they see the action coming.

As a result, you will notice that although some lines won’t move much, others will fluctuate significantly. Some bettors like to get their wagers in early, while others like to wait and see how the prices and lines develop.  The NFL odds are likely to shift in response to betting volume or team news. When betting live, odds are updated in real-time based on how the action unfolds. This is a fast-moving market where there might be good opportunities, but they are likely to disappear quickly. 

Key things to consider when placing NFL wagers

  • Sportsbooks consider all the bets placed to be live after kickoff. The sportsbook will settle winning bets at the odds of the time of placement, regardless of how the prices have moved from that point. The final result will also include overtime, when necessary. 
  • If the match is delayed due to weather, wagers will stay active. If the game is cancelled, the bets will be voided and refunded. 
  • For spreads and totals, sportsbooks will consider the results that land precisely on the number as a push and will issue refunds. This also applies to moneyline bets when the game ends in a tie.

NFL futures, props and live betting

Despite the pregame odds and lines attracting the majority of the attention of NFL bettors and delivering plenty of action, there are several other ways to wager on this sport. Futures, props and live betting do also attract plenty of volumes. 

How NFL futures betting works

There are bets on season-long outcomes. The NFL futures market is always very active, with odds that are coming out in the offseason, with the most popular market being: 

  • Super Bowl winner
  • Division and conference champions
  • Team regular-season win totals
  • Playoff and non-playoff teams
  • Individual awards (ie. MVP)
  • Individual stats achievements

Futures are long-term bets that won’t be settled until the outcome is determined. The sportsbook will void and refund any future wagers in the remote case of a season cancellation. So always make sure to check the bookmaker’s rules before placing your bets. 

How does NFL prop betting works?

An NFL prop is a side wager on a match. You can find many props bets by clicking on the individual game listings. Prop wagers are usually focused on player performances, team accomplishments, or the match as a whole. An example of an NFL player prop bet is how many total TD’s will player X deliver: Over or Under 2.5? An example of an NFL team prop bet is: which team will have more rushing years: team A or team B? There are also multiple-choice props, like which player will score the first touchdown of a game. 

NFL live betting: Betting on the NFL is not limited to pregame markets. Live betting has exploded in popularity in the US, as it allows bettors to wager in real-time after the ball has been kicked off. As soon as the match starts, you will see additional opportunities based on the game’s situation. For example, you can wager on halves, quarters, or drill down to situations like a touchdown, field goal, turnover, etc.

In a nutshell, the possibilities to wager live are endless with sportsbooks that are continuously increasing the in-play wagering market. Additionally, there are also a variety of props while live betting, many of which will be very similar to the ones that are available pregame, but with odds that are updated simultaneously to reflect the current situation. The settlement of live wagers is usually based on official data and stats. 

What is the juice/vig in NFL odds?

Vigorish, generally abbreviated as vig, refers to the margin a sportsbook charges to facilitate a wager. It is also called juice, and it is the core of how books make their money, and it is something to take into account as it does influence your probability of turning a profit in the long range.

The best way to visualize the juice is by looking at typical NFL odds for spread and total wagers. With the majority of sportsbooks, the default odds for these two wager types are -110: this means that if you place a winning $110 wager at odds of -110, you will get your winnings of $100 in addition to your stake, which is 90.9% of your initial bet. So the vig, in this case, is $10, or 9.1%.

It is important to always shop for the best price

Of course, this amount will change depending on the odds, so professional punters are exceptionally skilled at shopping around to find the best price and also placing wagers at the best time to reduce the vig.  So, even if the difference between odds of -105 and -110 might not seem like much at first glance, the impact on the potential return over the course of the NFL season will be relevant.

To further understand the vig, consider that spread and total bettors wagering at standard odds of -110, would need to win around 52.4% of their bets to break even and cover the juice. Finding the vig for other wager types is not as straightforward, but the books surely factor this in when publishing their odds. 

Offshore sites and illegal NFL betting

Even if the legal sports betting industry grows steadily in the US, the black market hasn’t completely dried up. Illegal offshore betting sites are still out there, tempting US bettors, especially on NFL betting. These are operators that are outside of US jurisdiction and claim to operate within a legal grey area.

These offshore sites might look similar at first glance to licenced ones, but they are not. In addition to standard bet types, you will find odds and lines for all the games. In some cases, odds will be even more attractive, and you might also find some wagers that aren’t available at legal US sportsbooks, especially when it comes to props. For instance, you might find wagers that aren’t related to the field of play, like the weather or an entertaining aspect of the match.

Can you bet on the NFL Draft?

There are strict rules about what books can offer in terms of wager types in all the legal states in the US. When significant events come around, like the Super Bowl, things might get confusing with the likes of a coin flip or entertainment events like the national anthem. Another area to consider is the NFL Draft. 

In some legal states, it is allowed to wager on some aspects of the draft, but you may find illegal options with US legal sportsbooks on offshore sites. So, although offshore sites might look appealing, the reality is different. Legal US books have to go through a very extensive licencing process before being given the green light to operate in a state. They have to prove reliable and are asked to invest heavily and have fair rules and regulations. Customers will be guaranteed that their funds will be safe, which is not something offshore illegal sportsbooks can offer you. 

How do the NFL playoffs work, and what are the betting opportunities

The league’s top teams will qualify for the NFL playoffs at the end of the regular season. The format has changed several times throughout league history, but this is how it works: 

  • A total of 14 teams qualify — seven each from the AFC and NFC
  • Four of the seven spots available in each conference are reserved for division winners
  • The final three spots go to wild card teams, which are clubs with the best records outside of division winners
  • The top-seeded team in each conference gets a bye in the first round.
  • The first round is referred to as Wild Card Weekend: six total games, three on each side, with winners advancing.
  • Then there is the Divisional round: four total games, two on each side, with winners advancing.
  • The divisional round winners face off in the AFC and NFC championship games.
  • Conference champions will clash in the Super Bowl.

The NFL regular season is very popular, but the postseason is even more so, and plenty of wagering opportunities are available. 

Wagering on the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the Grand Finale of the NFL season, in addition to being the biggest one-day wagering event of the year. This vast game brings in a wave of wagers every season, with sportsbooks responding with a tremendous number of prop bets. In addition, super Bowl odds tend to come out as soon as the matchup is official, while odds for prop wagers follow shortly, covering plenty of game details. As a result, the two-week run-up to the Super Bowl is extra busy for sportsbooks, with bettors shopping around to find the best betting opportunities.

The NFL betting legal journey

The NFL has always been the most popular sport for wagering in the US. The league, however, has kept its distance from being associated with gambling for many years. There were occasions where odds were referenced, but generally, as far as the NFL was concerned, the topic of betting was taboo.

Things started to change in May 2018, when a case from New Jersey went all the way up to the US Supreme Court. The judges agreed with the Garden State’s view that legalizing sports betting was up to individual states. Since then, many states have regulated and legalized gambling. 

More and more US States are legalising sports betting

The NFL’s stance on sports betting also changed, with financial opportunities that became more attractive to them. Although the league still doesn’t allow players or those with any association with the NFL or its teams to bet, the overall attitude has changed, with sports betting now widely accepted.

You will now find sports betting references prominent across NFL programming, with teams that can make sponsorship deals with operators. Since sports betting legalization began, the revenue numbers from legal states have shown continuous growth. It is clear that legal sports betting is here to stay, and the NFL is taking steps toward accepting and embracing this new reality. 

Where Is It Legal To Bet On The NFL?

The Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, forbade nearly all states from authorizing sports betting. But in 2018, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, opening the door for legal sports betting in the US.

Online sports betting is permitted in the following states as of August 2022: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

There are several additional states where it is permitted to wager on sports, but only in person. Sports betting has recently been authorized in several states, most recently in Massachusetts and Maryland, and will soon be offered online. The majority of other states have at least introduced laws to start the process, so it should only be a matter of time before the remaining states allow NFL betting.

When Is The Best Time To Bet On The NFL?

Even though an NFL regular season only consists of 17 games, NFL betting is fortunately available virtually all year long. The peak season for futures betting is during the summer.
All wagers for season-long wagers, such as Super Bowl winner, conference winner, and regular season win totals, may be placed. While you wait for the real action to begin, you may relax and place a little wager during the preseason, which lasts the entire month of August. Weekly games during the regular season will rule the betting landscape from September through early January.

You’ll need to be at your most alert then. Sundays during the regular season are excellent for identifying opportunities since bookmakers must provide lines for 16 games that you may pick and choose from. From Monday through Saturday, if there are no games, you can place futures wagers all season long. When bookmakers may be overreacting to the present standings, that is frequently the perfect moment to uncover value.

The Super Bowl in February is the end of the postseason, which is when betting is most enjoyable. The Super Bowl is the ultimate betting event, with several props and wagering options available. However, the excitement doesn’t end there. Immediately following the Super Bowl, you’ll be able to wager on combine and draft props in the offseason. It’s basically time to start having your futures bets ready again as soon as the draft begins in late April.