Even before the end of the season (and for some teams, much, much sooner), NFL team owners and brass had already started looking ahead to the next year with hopes of building a winning squad. [...]
Hitting a brick wall with a hammer makes for a difficult time in construction. That could be exactly what is seen, however, in Super Bowl LIV this Sunday. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is [...]
The prop bets for Super Bowl LIV continue to be the center of attraction and sports gambling fans are not wasting any time making their selections. Some of the prop bets are funny, while others [...]
Prop bets have been around for a long time, but have gained a lot in popularity in recent years. Betting on the outcome of a game has simply become too boring and mundane, and gamblers [...]
And then there were two. Sunday brought to a close the entire regular season and playoff run of the NFL, with only Super Bowl LIV left in the cards. February 2 will determine who will [...]
With just one week of games remaining before the Super Bowl let’s make the most of our Conference Championship player props and snag some winners on Sunday. Damien Wiliams AND Derrick Henry each score a [...]
The New Orleans Saints may have had a tough year on the field, eliminated from Super Bowl contention once again, but the team can still hold its head high. Apart from setting several new NFL [...]
And then there were four. The road to Super Bowl LIV saw some major upsets this past weekend, but only the strongest can survive. As the field has been narrowed to four teams, and only [...]
Super Bowl LIV is approaching fast, now just a little over three weeks away. It seems like just yesterday that the season was started, and a lot has happened since last September. This NFL championship [...]
After this past weekend proved to NFL fans that nothing is ever certain, the playoff picture is now in better focus. New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills players were left stunned and will now have [...]
Unfortunately, the NFL regular season is over. This means that the postseason is now underway, which ultimately means that there is only about one month left of football. Fans will just have to make do [...]
Week 16 is here for NFL fans and the playoff picture is going to be made a lot clearer this weekend. Seventeen teams are all that remain in a battle for the 12 open spots, [...]
After going 6-0 in Week 12 and 13, we stumbled a little bit with a 1-2 week in Week 14. Overall, it has been a positive season for us, so let’s keep trusting the process. [...]
Troy Aikman may always be known as a Dallas Cowboy, especially since he led the team to three Super Bowls, but his love for the team apparently left when he did. Now an announcer and [...]
After another 3-0 sweep last weekend (6-0 last two weeks), we’re back with our NFL Week 14 picks. We’re now in the final quarter of the season, with a ton of playoff implications on the [...]
The Indianapolis Colts take on the Houston Texans tonight in a game that could be a deciding factor on who represents the AFC South in the playoffs. The winner of tonight’s game will take the [...]
Week 11 has been pretty solid in the NFL with, fortunately, no one else using a <a href=”https://www.sportsintel.com/browns-garrett-suspended-for-rest-of-season/ “>helmet as a battering ram</A>. The intensity wasn’t any less than before; it was just without all [...]
For only the third time in 15 years, the Oakland Raiders start the week as double-digit favorites in gambling circles. That’s just one of the big surprises for the NFL as Week 11 gets underway, [...]
Tonight’s NFL contest features two teams out of California as the LA Chargers look to win their fourth consecutive Thursday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders. With the way they’ve been playing, they could [...]
When the NFL got rid of the “probable” label as an injury designation, it didn’t exactly have the intended effect. There is now a whole list of “questionable” players, and not so many “doubtful,” heading [...]
Week 10 of the NFL sees six teams taking some extra time off on a bye week. It’s the most seen in any given week, and it will be interesting to see how those teams [...]
We’re now officially halfway through the NFL season and time has been flying by. Teams are at the point where every win matters and will be digging in to keep their playoff dreams alive. Obvious [...]
As many teams cross the halfway point of their season we take some time to break down our best prop bets for Week 8 of NFL action. Kirk Cousins OVER 234.5 Passing Yards & Stefon [...]
The New York Jets took on the New England Patriots last night and the outcome wasn’t what most people thought. Before the game, there was a good chance that the Jets would rally and pull [...]
Monday Night Football should be like Sunday’s lineup. There needs to be more games played because it’s such a letdown to only have to see one contest instead of three or four. Nonetheless, tonight’s matchup [...]
It’s time for some unexpected football action as the NFL heads into Week 6. Some games will play out just as everyone may have imagined, but there are a couple that are going to prove [...]
Ten games made the NFL lineup complete yesterday and also made it difficult to keep up with all the action. However, Week 5 was pretty much everything that was expected, along with a few surprises [...]
Some people have a hard time taking a hint. This seems to be especially true of Vontaze Burfict, the Oakland Raiders linebacker, who has repeatedly violated league rules on tackling people. The NFL tried to [...]
Welcome to Week 4 of our weekly weekend props post! A lot of bookmakers spend less time making player prop odds than they do on more traditional NFL lines (point-spread, total). Because of this reason, [...]
Thursday Night Football is here and the NFL season is starting to develop its rhythm. It is beginning to look pretty clear which teams will make it to the playoffs this year, but there is [...]
Welcome to our Weekend Cleanup post, where each week I’ll review my gambling picks from, you guessed it, the weekend. Sometimes I’ll lose, but hopefully I’ll win more often. Remember, to always #trusttheprocess. Either way, [...]
The NFL is wrapping up its third week of the season after a fun-filled day of helmets clashing, interceptions and some pretty awesome moves. Most of the games were exactly what everyone had expected (unless [...]
Are you ready for some football? A Monday night party? The Chicago Bears head East to take on the Washington Redskins tonight, so let’s breakdown the game from a gambling perspective. Bears (-5.5) at Redskins; [...]
NFL Week 3 is finally here, so it is time to have fun, and of course make some money! Welcome to Week 3 of our NFL Joes vs. Pros breakdown. If you are interested in [...]
Welcome to Week 3 of our weekly weekend props post! A lot of bookmakers spend less time making player prop odds than they do on more traditional NFL lines (point-spread, total). Because of this reason, [...]
The Patriots thought they could overcome Antonio Brown's worst baggage. Like the Steelers and Raiders discovered before them, they were very wrong. After another round of allegations against the wide receiver surfaced Friday morning, the [...]
The Tennessee Titans are in Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars tonight and the Jags have something to prove. They’re already 0-2 on the season, with one loss in the AFC South, and they’re not [...]
Week 2 of the NFL season was a bloodbath for fantasy owners. It also means that the waiver wire is unusually flush with widely-available players who could make big impacts now that they are thrust [...]
On Friday night, the NFL Network did what the NFL has always been masterful at, deep-diving into its own history, nostalgia and myth-making for a “Football Life” episode about Terry Bradshaw. And among the highlights [...]
Are you ready for some football? A Monday night party? The Cleveland Browns face off against New York Jets tonight, so let’s break down the game from a gambling angle. Browns (-6.5) at Jets; Total: [...]
The NFL season has already gotten off to an incredibly exciting start, with several close games rounding out the first week of action. Week 2 promises to be just as thrilling, with a lot of [...]
In celebration of Thuesday’s National Video Game day, I wanted to take a few moments to talk about the top-10 greatest video game athletes of all-time. You know, the guys that you or your friends [...]
Week 2 of the NFL season is upon us and fantasy owners are still trying to get a feel for what their optimal lineup should look like. With so many toss-up plays on the board, [...]
Sedrick Hodge had a short but successful career in the NFL, playing as a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints from 2001-05. During that time, he racked up 208 tackles and one sack before been [...]
To kick off NFL Week 2 on Thursday night, the Carolina Panthers will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what should most definitely be a tight contest. Although both teams got off to a [...]
Welcome to our weekly weekend props post! A lot of bookmakers spend less time making player prop odds than they do on more traditional NFL lines (point-spread, total). Because of this reason, player props can [...]
The New York Jets just cannot catch a break. But, boy, can their quarterback catch a cold! Here's a look at the key injuries entering Week 2 of the NFL season: Sam Darnold: What is [...]
Welcome to Rumor Has It. Our weekly post that focuses on the various sports rumors driving fans crazy around the world. The Never-ending (And Troubling) Antonio Brown Saga Where do we start? First, Cryogate. Then [...]
Rob Gronkowski, who retired from football at the ripe old age of 30, may be having second thoughts. The former New England Patriots tight end is reportedly, by his own admission, going to come back [...]
We are just one week into the 2019 season and already a lonely fantasy football nation turns its lonely eyes to the Waiver Wire. Plenty of major injuries and some gruesome Week 1 performances have [...]
Week 1 of the NFL season is finally upon us, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to prognosticate on a few season long prop bets. We’re going to specifically focus on quarterbacks here and [...]
Welcome to our weekly weekend props post! A lot of bookmakers spend less time making player prop odds than they do on more traditional NFL lines (point-spread, total). Because of this reason, player props can [...]
The first Sunday of the NFL season already feels like midseason form when it comes to injury news – not to mention the will he/won’t he saga of Antonio Brown. As of Saturday afternoon, it’s [...]
The NFL’s Betting History
The NFL was founded nearly a century ago, and it has taken almost 100 years for betting on the sport to become more accepted, following the recent repeal of PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Act) in the United States. Moving forward, betting on NFL games will not seem so forbidden or taboo in the U.S. or around the world, as it is already becoming more mainstream, with corporate sponsorships coming in from casino resorts and legal wagering opportunities continuing to expand across the globe.
In fact, the planned move of the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2020 signifies how far the league has come in terms of embracing a city best known for its roots in gambling, dating back to legalization there in 1931. Vegas had been previously viewed in a very negative light, but Raiders owner Mark Davis did not care and followed through on his father Al’s dream to bring the team to Sin City. The Raiders already have a partnership with Caesars Entertainment, and others may soon follow with similar deals.
With the Super Bowl also continuing to be the most heavily-wagered sporting event on the planet, there is unlimited potential for NFL betting in the U.S. and beyond. Sportsbooks will compete with each other to offer the most creative props and betting options, giving the public a bigger menu to wager than ever before. The debate on whether or not fantasy football should be considered a game of skill or another form of sports betting will be cleared up at some point as well, and it will not matter what you think eventually because it will all be one in the same. NFL betting is only growing.
The league’s history is well-documented, but not so much from a betting perspective. The goal here is to provide you with as many details as possible regarding when wagering on the NFL came to fruition, discuss current betting options and reveal handicapping tips that can help you beat the oddsmakers at their own game.
NFL Betting History
First and foremost, football fans will always remember Joe Namath’s famous guarantee 50 years ago that his New York Jets would upset the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. You did not even have to be alive at that time to realize the significance of Broadway Joe’s prediction and how he successfully backed it up, leading the Jets to their lone Super Bowl victory against the Colts, 16-7, as 18-point underdogs. This is a player who was later elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985 based mainly on this one huge accomplishment, as the rest of his injury-ravaged NFL career was pretty forgettable.
The New England Patriots (14-point underdogs in Super Bowl XXXVI) and New York Giants (12-point underdogs in Super Bowl XLII) are two other notable champions who beat the NFL odds with big upsets, thanks to the play of future Hall of Famers at quarterback. The defenses of the Patriots and Giants both slowed the game down and limited prolific offenses that are still known as some of the best of all-time. But it is New England’s Tom Brady and New York’s Eli Manning who we remember the most, just like Namath, even though neither of them was bold enough to guarantee a Super Bowl win.
While those three are probably the most memorable Super Bowls based purely on the point spread, the history of betting on NFL games obviously goes back much further. Before the Super Bowl even existed, there was the NFL Championship Game between 1933 and 1966. The Giants and Colts participated in “The Greatest Game Ever Played” in 1958 for the NFL Championship, with the latter winning 23-17 in the first sudden-death overtime game in league history.
The first Super Bowl then took place in 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs, as Packers head coach Vince Lombardi and quarterback Bart Starr both became legends by helping take home the second of their three straight titles overall.
Of course, there was wagering on those earlier championship games too, but many bettors used illegal bookies instead of going to Vegas, so it is hard to say exactly how much volume was involved back then, compared to today. Betting on NFL games was not even discussed publicly in the media on a regular basis until Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder had a regular segment picking games on the popular CBS pregame television show The NFL Today with Brent Musburger, Irv Cross and Phyllis George in the 1970s and 80s.
In 2017, Musburger, whose love of gambling was always evident in his broadcasting style, quit his job as a play-by-play broadcaster and moved to Vegas to help start the Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN), which has provided comprehensive coverage of sports betting. More and more media networks focused specifically on gambling have been created since then, and the NFL has been a heavy emphasis for many of them due to its popularity.
While betting on the NFL has always existed, it is being covered now more than ever before. That has also made it easier to re-trace the history, which is being told to us by those who lived it and appreciated by a younger audience who can learn from it.
NFL Online Betting Options
There are all types of betting options already available with NFL games, and the number of opportunities just keeps growing. From game point spreads and over/under totals to futures like odds to win the Super Bowl and season win totals to props such as who will score the first touchdown, NFL online betting options are at an all-time high. If you do not know much about any or all of these, you are definitely in the right place.
First, it is important to understand how NFL lines work in terms of betting on sides in individual games. If you look at the NFL odds on any game, you will see three different pregame betting options, the point spread, moneyline and total. The point spread is a number oddsmakers set at a sportsbook that shows the difference between the favorite and underdog, based on power ratings or other rankings between the teams.
The favorite must win by more than that amount of points to cover the spread, and the underdog needs to stay within that number or win the game straight up to cash. For example, if the Patriots are listed as 9.5-point favorites against the Raiders, then they would need to win by 10 points or more in order to cover. If Oakland loses to New England by nine points or less or wins straight up, then the underdog beats the number.
Meanwhile, moneylines are designed for NFL bettors who do not want to worry about covering the spread and would rather just wager on which team they think will win the game instead. But in that same game between the Patriots and Raiders, you would need to pay a hefty price on the favorite to win, although you would get rewarded with a much bigger payout on the underdog. For New England, the price would be -450 (bet $450 to win $100), and Oakland’s payout would be +350 (bet $100 to win $350).
Game totals involve the combined number of points scored between the two teams. So if the total is set at 45.5 points and you bet the over, you would need 46 points or more scored. Likewise, there would need to be 45 points or less scored to cash the under.
With point spreads and totals, you can also wager on them for smaller parts of the game, like quarters and halves. NFL online betting offers many of these types of additional game options, so it pays to have an account to ensure you do not miss out.
In addition, futures have become increasingly popular as more of a long-term investment over the course of the entire season. They can pay off nicely if you have a long shot bet like the St. Louis Rams in 2000 when they won the Super Bowl behind little-known former Arena Football League quarterback in Kurt Warner, who remains the last player to take home the NFL MVP and Vince Lombardi Trophy in the same year. The Rams cashed at 200/1 for the biggest future odds payout in Super Bowl history.
Season win totals are much more of an investment though because you are simply wagering on how teams will perform during the regular season, again going over or under a certain number without the benefit of getting astronomical odds. Instead, you generally bet on a moneyline, with either the over or under favored at a price like -140.
Finally, props and live wagering round out the different NFL betting options. Props can involve different events that happen before, during or after a game, especially in the Super Bowl. Will the coin toss result in heads or tails? Will Brady throw a touchdown pass or interception first? What color will the Gatorade be that is poured on the winning head coach? These are examples of Super Bowl props widely available over the years.
Then there is live wagering that continues to evolve despite being the most difficult NFL lines for oddsmakers to book. Think about it, sportsbooks need to be able to follow every play and react in real-time to set new numbers every few seconds. Live wagering is the present and future of NFL betting, and more and more sportsbooks will offer it.
NFL Handicapping Tips
Now that you know the many different NFL betting options, it literally pays to know how to wager on them successfully. If you think about NFL betting like playing the stock market, then you can probably understand why research is so important. Handicapping games before wagering on them is essential unless you are just betting blindly or letting others spend your money. If you want to win money betting the NFL, you must earn it.
In the Internet age, there is so much information out there that you have to go through it with a fine-tooth comb on a daily basis and consider the sources very carefully. Even the media can be tough to trust sometimes, so having more than one source is always advised before placing a wager. You certainly do not want to throw your money away, and there are a lot of so-called experts out there who claim to know more than they do.
That said, following newspaper beat writers on Twitter is one of the best first steps you can take to keep track of NFL teams. They are the ones watching practices, talking to players and coaches and forming opinions on what they see and hear from teams. It also helps to follow others who you believe to be true experts with a history of accuracy.
Speaking of history, looking back on what happened in prior seasons can actually help you the most. Studying past game logs for teams can tell you how they fared against the spread (ATS) along with their over/under total results. You will also see all of their scores versus their opponents, and then can use your own judgment to determine if they are worth betting on this time. From there, you can even choose to narrow down your focus to a particular division so that you do not have to handicap all 32 teams.
Having a specialty might be the best NFL handicapping tip you can get. Do you like to wager on teams ATS or prefer handicapping totals? Have you followed the NFC North more than any other division to the point that you yourself feel like an expert? Ultimately, being confident and trusting yourself is the best way to win at NFL betting.