American Football Betting Markets Explained And Explored

With the dramatic and exciting start of the new NFL season last weekend catching the eye, it is easy to see why so many people in the UK and across Europe are now becoming firm fans of American Football and American Football betting.

When you have so many games decided by just a couple of points, often in the last seconds of regular time, or even being decided in overtime, it is truly dramatic and makes for superb viewing and exciting betting.

But, if you are based in the UK and are relatively new to American Football betting, then you may well come across some unfamiliar terms to describe betting markets. You may hear people talk about teams “covering the spread” or perhaps being too leniently, or harshly handicapped.

Fortunately, while the terms used for some aspects of American Football betting may be unfamiliar, actually understanding what they mean and why is actually very simple and we are going to look into this in more detail right here.

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Bet365 Sport offers an extensive range of pre-match betting as well as In Play betting and extensive range of outright winner bets on such markets as the Super Bowl winner and each of the eight Divisional Winners and this makes it an ideal choice for customers seeking NFL betting action.

And don’t forget, with the new bet365 Fantasy section, you can also enjoy some fantasy NFL action every week of the season too.

However, fantasy NFL is for another day, for now, let’s take a look at some of the more common NFL betting markets available at bet365, and what they mean to UK punters not used to these particular markets.

American Football Betting – Popular Game Line Bets

Perhaps the most commonly used form of bet on NFL matches, certainly in the United States and perhaps also in the UK too, are a trio of what are termed Game Line bets.

These bets are all to do with the outcome of the game and there are three particular type of Game Line bets that are the most commonly backed.

These are the Spread, Total and Money Line markets.

  • Spread

The Spread betting option is simply a bet that tries to equalise both teams chances of winning a game by applying a theoretical points handicap to each team, much in the same way you can use goal handicaps when betting on soccer.

In American Football betting, the handicap applied to each team in a contest is called the ‘spread’. If a team overcomes their handicap to win the game and sees your bet win, that is called “covering the spread’.

The spread, or handicap, for each team is expressed as a number of whole or fractions of a whole point and the greater the disparity in ability in both teams, the greater the handicap that will be applied to each team.

In this form of betting, the bookmaker wants to handicap the best teams with negative points, and the weaker teams with positive points so that they can offer the same, or very similar odds on each betting option, which again are usually around the 10/11 or even money mark.

So for example, the Week 2 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans sees the favourites Bills given a -10 point handicap, while the Titans are given a +10 point handicap as the underdog.

The outcome of your bet depends on what the score is when you take the actual final score of the game, and then apply the handicap to the selection you backed.

For example, if you back the Titans to win with a +10 handicap and the result of the game is that the Bills win the match 31-24, then when you apply a +10 handicap to the Titans score, you would get a scoreline of 31-34. This means your bet on the Titans would win, even though they lost the real game.

However, if your friend backed the Bills in that same game, when the Bills -10 handicap is applied to their bet, the scoreline becomes 21-24 in favour of the Titans, thus your friends bet would lose.

The easiest way to remember what the handicap means in spread betting is that for positive handicaps, you need that team to win by a margin of more than the handicap number.

For negative handicap numbers, your team can lose the game but provided they lose the game by fewer than the handicap points they were allocated, then your bet will still be a winner.

  • Total

The Total betting market is simply a bet based on the number of points that are likely to be scored in that game and it is very similar to an Over/Under bet you can make in soccer and other sports.

With this bet, the betting site tries to find the ‘middle ground’ to set as the Over/Under total for each NFL game.

For example, in a game between two generally high scoring teams, the Over/Under total may be set at over 50 points in that game, or perhaps even higher.

But, if the two teams that are facing off generally score fewer points than most, then the Over/Under total set for that game may well be set much lower, such as around the 40-point mark.

By setting the Over/Under mark at the predicted ‘average’ midway point for that game, the betting site can usually offer the same odds on each option, which is usually just under even money (10/11 is a common option for this bet).

For example, in the Week 2 game between the Chargers and Chiefs, the Total market has been set at Over or under 54.5 points as both teams tend to score lots of points in games. You can back either Over 54.5 points and Under 54.5 points with bet365 at odds of 10/11 for each selection.

  • Money Line

The Money Line bet is the easiest one for punters to understand as this is a simple straight odds bet on either team winning the game at the stated odds. Similar (although not the same) as picking a Full Time Result winner in soccer.

Ties are very rare in American football, although they do happen (such as between the Colts and Texans on Week 1 of the new 2022/23 season) so this option is not offered as a standard Money Line bet.

Instead, it is a choice between the two teams to win at the stated odds.

There are plenty of other bets you can place on American Football including the following –

Props – These are a series of proposition bets based on the outcome of each game. There is a good choice of props bets available at bet365. You can pick from Main, Player, Score, Game and Team props betting markets on the site.

Parlay Cards – Parlay bets are simply accumulator (or ‘acca’) bets. Parlay is the term used in American sports for this type of multiple-selection bets.

Bet Builder – Bet365 also allows you to use its Bet Builder tool to make your own multiple selection acca bets for NFL matches.

There are more markets you can enjoy such as Half and Quarter betting, plus extensive Outright betting markets on the NFL season and every time there is a live game, you can also take in the extensive In Play betting available on bet365 for each game.

So with a huge choice of American Football markets to bet on for the NFL, if you love Gridiron then check out what bet365 Sport has to offer.

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