How to bet on Football

Football is one of the most popular sports out there, and is also one of the most popular sports to bet on. But it’s not always easy to bet on football, especially with all of the different betting options out there. That’s why our Football Betting section is here. We go in-depth with all of the different football betting options, and we also give you some examples as well to help make betting on football as easy as possible. We’ll cover betting on the sport from every angle, and give you some basic tips on how to be a profitable football sports bettor. We’re going to start with the always popular point spread betting, all the way to parlays, teasers, money lines, buying points, and much more. So let’s get it going.

Point Spread Betting

Point spread betting is the most common and most popular type of football betting out there. This is where a line is set on the game, and you bet either the team who is giving the points, or the one who is taking the points. So for example, the team who is giving the points will be -5 possibly, and the team who is getting the points will be +5. So the team who is -5 would have to win the game by MORE than 5 points in order to win the bet, and the team who is +5 would have to lose by LESS than 5 in order to win that side of the bet. The odds start out right around even and may vary a little bit depending on the betting action. If the game ends exactly on a 5 point win for the favorite, then it is a push and both sides will get their money back. Here’s an example of how a point spread bet would look:

New Orleans Saints -7 (-110) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 (-110)

So this means that the Saints are favored by 7, while the Bucs are 7-point underdogs. The -110 odds means that on either side of the bet you would have to bet $110 to win $100.

Total Betting

Total betting can also be called over/under betting. Essentially you are betting on the total combined points for both team in the game. So the line will be set based on what the projected total points is, and you bet on whether you think it will be higher or lower than that. The odds on a total bet typically are pretty much set, with the number moving depending on the betting pattern. So for example if the New York Jets were taking on the New York Giants, the total spread might be set at 44.5. So this means that if you were to be over, the two teams would have to score 45 points or more, and if you were to bet under they would have to score 44 or less. Here’s how it may look on a betting board:

New York Jets vs. New York Giants Total O/U 44.5 (-110)

So this means that the over/under is 44.5, and the odds showing mean that for every $110 you bet, you would win $100.
Point Spread Betting on Quarters and Halves Some books even offer point spread bets that are broken down to the two different halves, and even to each of the four quarters of a football game. So for example, if we use the example above, and the Saints are -7 for the game; they would probably be somewhere around -3.5 for the first half, about -1.5 or -2 for the first quarter, -5.5 for the third quarter, and then the full -7 for the game. Betting on a team at by half is the most popular bet of the ones listed above, typically because teams can go entire quarters without scoring sometimes.

Buying Points

Buying points is another option that some online sports books will offer for football betting. The option of buying points can get fairly confusing, but we’ll break it down to make it as easy as possible. If you were going to ”buy points” it means that you can add anywhere from a half point to 3 points (normally) to a line for an underdog, or take off anywhere between a half point to 3 points from the favorite. Of course doing this will affect the odds of the bet though, depending how many points that you add. So if a line is -3.5 and you want to buy a half of a point, it would make the line -3. Most sports bettors will buy points in order to get the line from 7.5 to 7, or 3.5 to 3, basically so that if the game comes down to a field goal, the bet would become a push instead of a loss.

Money Lines

Betting on the money line is essentially just picking the winner of the game. Unfortunately though, it’s not quite that easy. There are always the odds to consider, and if you have a favorite who you are looking to bet on the money line; you typically won’t get very good odds for that bet. For example, if a team who is -4 and you were looking to bet them straight up on the money line, instead of the -110 odds, you would get something more like -230. What this means is that with the point spread you would bet $110 to get $100, but on the money line you would have to bet $230 in order to get $100, quite a difference. Here’s a broken down example of a money line bet:

Detroit Lions -4 (-110) vs. Cincinnati Bengals +4 (-110)

Money line bet: Detroit Lions -230 vs. Cincinnati Bengals +260

So as you can see here, the underdog gets quite a bit of love though if they can pull the upset. If you were to bet the Bengals for the upset here, you’d bet $100 and win $260, which is a very nice payout.

Teaser Betting

Teaser bets in football are quickly growing in terms of popularity. Teasers give bettors the option to add points to an underdog’s point spread, and take points off a favorite’s point spread. They are just like a parlay, but offer adjusted lines, and higher odds due to these adjusted lines. Most sites offer teaser options that change the spread by either 6, 6.5, or 7 points in the teams favor. A way to break it down in comparison to a parlay, is that a two team parlay will pay out around 2.6 to 1, and a two team 6 point teaser will pay out 10/11. 3 team parlay’s pay about 6 to 1, with a 3 team 6 point teaser paying 9 to 5. The best time to look for a teaser bet is if a team is something like a +4 underdog, but you don’t see them losing by more than a touchdown. Taking a 6-point teaser on a +4 team would make the point spread +10 then. Here’s an example of a teaser bet:
New England Patriot -4 vs. Atlanta Falcons +4

If you put a 6 point teaser on the Falcons, you would then be betting the Atlanta Falcons at +10.

Special Teaser Betting

Some sites even offer ”special” teaser bets, which are typically things like more points offered than the regular 7, or more teams in the teaser bet. So basically instead of a site offering a max teaser of 8 or 9 teams, it may go all the way up to 12 or 13 teams, with 10 or 13 point teaser options. Of course all of the odds would be different on these bets, due to the fact that you are getting a much higher point swing. But an example of a special teaser using the same game as above, would be putting it in with a 10 team teaser (compared to a 3 or 4 normally), and adjusting the Falcons line from +4 to +17.

Teaser Betting Rules

When it comes to teasers, there are quite a few rules to consider as well. The first thing is the payout of a teaser. The payout is fixed based on the number of teams in the teaser depending on the sportsbook. Rule number 2, and one of the most important rules to consider is what happens with a tie, or a push. Books handle ties in four different ways. Some will consider a push or tie to be a win, others will reduce the number of teams in the teaser by one (basically eliminating the team from the bet all together), the other would make a tie act as a no action bet, and they’ll then return your bet to you (as long as you win the other bets). The last way that an online betting site would handle a tie would be treating the tie simply as a loss, meaning that you then lose the teaser. Of course it’s always good to find the spot where the tie would NOT be considered a loss, so that your bet still remains alive after that bet is taken out. The other main rule to take into account is the maximum bets offered. This covers both the maximum that you can bet on a teaser, as well as the maximum that a site will pay out on a teaser. If there is a max that you can bet, it may be less than what you were hoping to actually bet. And on the other end, if there is a maximum that the online sports book is willing to pay out, that may not give you the full return on your bet either. Both of these are things that you need take into consideration when looking into a sports betting site.

Parlay Betting

Parlays are the types of bets that can send you home as a big time winner, or send you doubting that one pick that you made a mistake on. A parlay consists of a minimum of two teams, and at maximum normally 8 teams. Some sports betting sites will allow up to 10 to 15 teams in a parlay though. The idea behind a parlay is that every team in the parlay must cover the point spread in order to win the bet. Parlays pay out a much higher return, as it is understandably much harder to hit multiple teams with their point spreads, compared to just one. The following is a list of the odds broken down by how many teams are involved in the parlay:

2 team: 13/53 team: 6/1
4 team: 10/15 team: 20/1
6 team: 40/17 team: 75/1
8 team: 150/19 team: 250/1
10 team: 400/111 team: 500/1
12 team: 600/1

Round Robins

Round Robins are basically multiple parlay’s at one time from a group of teams. You select between 3 and 8 total teams to put into the round robin, and after that you will decide how many teams will be in the parlay (between 2 and 6). So for example, if you decide to do a 7 team parlay, 3 ways, you would have 35 bets available. Here’s a smaller example of a round robin that you could bet:
The Dallas Cowboys are -4, the New York Jets are -3, and the Oakland Raiders are -2, and this would be a three way round robin. Here’s how it would look:

Round Robins
Parlay 1:Parlay 2:
Dallas Cowboys -4Dallas Cowboys -4
New York Jets -4Oakland Raiders -2
Bet $10 to win $26Bet $10 to win $26
Parlay 3:
New York Jets -4
Oakland Raiders -2
Bet $10 to win $26
Picks/Ways/Number of Bets
8 picks/2 ways/28 bets8 picks/3 ways/56 bets
8 picks/4 ways/70 bets8 picks/5 ways/56 bets
8 picks/6 ways/28 bets7 picks/2 ways/21 bets
7 picks/3 ways/35 bets7 picks/4 ways/35 bets
7 picks/5 ways/21 bets7 picks/6 ways/7 bets
7 picks/6 ways/7 bets6 picks/3 ways/20 bets
6 picks/4 ways/15 bets6 picks/5 ways/6 bets
5 picks/2 ways/10 bets5 picks/3 ways/10 bets
5 picks/4 ways/5 bets4 picks/2 ways/6 bets
4 picks/3 ways/4 bets3 picks/2 ways/3 bets

Parlay Rules

Just like in teasers, there are some rules when it comes to betting on parlays. The first rule to consider is what happens when there is a tie. Just as in teaser betting, there are a few different ways that a online sports betting sites will handle ties. The first is that a tie would reduce the number of teams in the parlay, so for example, if a team pushed in a 4 team parlay, it would then become a 3 team parlay. Some books will consider a push to be a win for your side (which is not the most common way that it’s done). And the final two ways that online sports books handle ties, is the push would act as a no action bet, or that a tie would be handled like it was a lost bet. So be sure to research which rules apply to the site that you use. Another rule is the payout of a teaser, is that some sites will set a max payout on a parlay bet. So it could be set up that no matter how much your parlay pays out, that the maximum you can win is say, $150,000.

If Bets

If bets are considered to be the best way to manage your bankroll when it comes to sports betting. The last thing that you want to do is throw out too many bets, on too many teams, and get into a tough hole from only one day of sports betting. That’s where if bets come into play. An if bet will basically allow you to place your bet on one team, and if that team wins, then you continue on to the next bet from there. Each bet is a solo bet, and you can do up to six different teams. So if you have three different bets set up, it will start with your favorite bet, and go down the line from there. So if that bet wins, you will then have a bet on the second bet, and so on. The games that you bet in an ”if bet” don’t have to be played at different times either. The idea behind these bets is that after one of your bets loses, it automatically cancels out the remainder of the bets (that is where the money management comes into play).


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