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How to bet on NFL games online: Complete April 2024 guide

The Philadelphia Inquirer has gathered everything surrounding how to bet on NFL games online and put it in this collective guide for new bettors.

Scroll down to learn exactly how to bet on NFL games online in the US in 2023. (Credit: Getty images/iStockphoto).
Scroll down to learn exactly how to bet on NFL games online in the US in 2023. (Credit: Getty images/iStockphoto).Read moreFSTOP123 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Our football betting expert is here to teach exactly how to bet on NFL games online when wagering on football games in April 2024. This includes new players in North Carolina, where sports betting just went live.

The best NFL betting sites 2024

More on How to bet on NFL games online

Biggest NFL events 2024

The 2024 NFL Super Bowl marked the culmination of what was an unpredictable 2023 regular season with the Kansas City Chiefs repeating as champions over the San Francisco 49ers.

Free agency has mostly came and went, but players can continue being signed nonetheless. The next major milestone on the NFL offseason calendar is the draft, which takes place at the end of April.

April 25-27, 2024
NFL Draft

Understanding NFL odds

Odds for NFL markets will always be represented by a number, with the lowest amount this number could be is 100.

This number will always be accompanied by a positive (+) or negative (-) sign, with each of these being used to represent which team is the favorite or the underdog.

If a team’s odds are accompanied by a positive sign, this indicates that they are the underdog: the higher the number, the bigger the underdog they are.

This is also applied if a team’s odds are accompanied by a negative sign, with this indicating that they’re the favorites, with a higher number implying how much of a favorite they are to win.

The number itself also indicates how much a bettor will stand to win once betting on the market itself.

If the odds of a market are accompanied by a negative sign, this shows how much you need to bet in order to make a profit of $100.

For example, if the LA Rams are -150 to beat the New York Giants, this implies that you will need to bet $150 in order to make $100 profit.

If the odds of a market are accompanied by a positive sign, the number shows how much you’ll win if you bet $100 in this market.

For example, if the Steelers are +200 to beat the Bengals, this means that you will make $200 profit on this bet if you wager $100 and the Steelers win.

Understanding NFL betting markets

There are a lot of markets to try and get your head around when placing your bets on NFL games this season, with the likes of moneyline, spread, totals and props just some of the ones that’ll be available to you.

We’re here to go through all of the major markets you’re going to come across when betting on NFL games online, offering explanations as to what they mean and exactly how to wager on them.

NFL moneyline markets

When it comes to betting on football games, the moneyline is the easiest and simplistic form of betting to understand and participate in.

When making a moneyline bet, you are simply betting on the team you think will win the match, with your bet winning should the team you’ve bet on end up winning.

It doesn’t matter whether the game goes to overtime or not with this market, with you just needing to get the winner of the match correct for your bet to be a winner.

This market is very simple and proves to be one of the most popular markets around, with the betting looking something along the lines of this:

Philadelphia Eagles
Moneyline Odds
Kansas City Chiefs
Moneyline Odds

In this instance, if you’re betting on the Eagles, you will just need them to beat the Chiefs by any means necessary, with your bet being paid out should Philly manage to do so.

NFL spread markets

The spread is another easy-to-understand market that is offered by sportsbooks as a way to level out the match for bettors.

The favorite for the game you’re betting on will start the game with a points disadvantage, whilst the underdog will start with the game with the same amount of points, but in the form of an advantage.

In order for the favorite to win, they must beat the other team by a margin that’s higher than their spread, whilst the underdog will win if they don’t win by a margin that’s less than their spread, or just win the game outright.

When it comes to betting on the spread, the market will look something like this:

Miami Dolphins
Spread Odds
(+6.5) -110
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread Odds
(-6.5) -110

In this scenario, if you’re betting on the Dolphins, your bet will win should they fail to win the game by six points or less, or win the match outright.

If you’ve bet on the Bucs, you’ll simply just need Tampa Bay to win by seven or more points for your bet to win.

There will be instances where the spread is offered a whole number, with the betting looking like this:

Miami Dolphins
Spread Odds
(+7) -115
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread Odds
(-7) -105

In this instance, you will need the Bucs to win by eight or more points for your bet to win, with you needing the Dolphins to be defeated by six or less or win if you’ve wagered on them.

Should the Bucs end up winning by exactly seven points, your bet will go down as a ‘push’, with your bet then being voided and your stake being handed back to as before.

NFL totals markets

Totals are also one of the easiest forms of betting to understand. You’re ultimately placing a wager on how many points you think will be scored in the game.

Your sportsbook will offer a predetermined line for this market, with you simply just needing to bet on whether you think the amount of points scored in the game will be over or under this amount.

An example of the totals market for an NFL game this season will look something like:

Eagles vs Giants Totals Points 48.5
Totals Odds
Eagles vs Giants Totals Points 48.5
Totals Odds

Here, if you’ve bet on the under, you just need the combined number of points scored between the two teams to be lower than 49 for your bet to win, with you needing the total points to be 49+ if you’ve bet on the under.

The best sportsbooks will also allow you to bet on the amount of points a specific team scored, with the market being laid out like this:

Philadelphia Eagles Totals Points 25.5
Totals Odds
Philadelphia Eagles Totals Points 25.5
Totals Odds

Much like with the regular totals market, you are betting on whether you think the Eagles will score 26 points or less, with your bet winning should you wager on the correct market.

NFL prop markets

Prop bets are very popular amongst bettors when it comes to wagering on NFL games online, with these markets allowing you to bet on the other side of the game besides the total amount of points scored or who wins.

There are two different types of prop markets: player props and game props, with a huge range of markets being available for each of these for all NFL games this season.

Player props

Player props allow you to focus on specific players when betting on any NFL game, with you able to bet on a huge range of markets, such as touchdowns, running yards, sacks and completed passes.

When it comes to betting on player props, these are some of the markets you’ll be able to wager on with the best online sportsbooks:

  1. Total Player Passing Yards

  2. Total Player Rushing Yards

  3. Total Player Touchdowns

  4. Player to Score First/Last Touchdown

  5. Total Player Sacks

  6. Total Player Interceptions

Game props

Game props are slightly similar to player props, with the difference here being that you’re betting on the game itself rather than individual players, however you’ll still be betting on the more obscure side of the game.

There will be a wide range of player props available for you to bet on for each game, with these some of the markets that’ll be available:

  1. Total Number of Touchdowns in the Game

  2. Total Number of Rushing Yards in the Game

  3. Which team scores first/Last?

  4. Will the first/last score be a touchdown?

  5. Will someone score in the first 7 minutes?

  6. Will the team that scores first win the game?

  7. Will a safety be scored in the game?

  8. Will total points be odd or even?

NFL parlay markets

Parlay bets are slightly more complicated, but still fairly easy to understand. Parlay bets allow you to combine multiple different picks together to form one bigger bet with increased odds.

You will be allowed to make parlay bets involving a number of games, with some sportsbooks even allowing you to choose markets from different sports.

Some sportsbooks will offer pre-selected parlay bets, whilst most will allow you to make your own should none of the picks you’ve included overlap.

An example of a parlay bet you can make will look like this:

Parlay Bet
Eagles, Chiefs and Jets all to win

You can also make a ‘same-game parlay’, with this being the same as a regular parlay bet, with the only difference being that the picks you include will all come from the same game:

Same-Game Parlay Bet
Eagles to win, Eagles to score 1st Touchdown, AJ Brown to Record 80.5+ Rushing Yards

Both regular parlays and same-game parlays are great ways to bet, as they allow an extra level of creativity to your wagers when betting on NFL games online.

NFL live betting markets

Live betting, also known as in-play betting, is the act of placing bets on games that have already gotten underway, with a number of different markets being available as opposed to the ones offered pre-game.

When betting in-play, you’ll be able to wager throughout the game whilst your sportsbook updates the odds for the markets on offer, with the odds reflecting how the game itself is playing out.

All of the best sportsbooks will offer live stats regarding the game itself, ones you’ll be able to use when placing your live bets.

Moneyline markets, spreads, totals and even props can be among the options, though they will vary from site to site.

NFL futures markets

Futures markets are exactly what they sound like: you are placing a bet on events that are taking place at some point in the mid-to-long-term future.

These bets are great as they allow you to bet on long-term events such as who wins the Super Bowl or who wins the league MVP award, giving you the chance to focus on other bets in the meantime.

Most of these markets are available in the offseason before anyone plays a game, as this is when many teams have the most value, however most will be offered during the season as well.

These are some of the futures markets that’ll be available to you when betting on the NFL this season:

  1. Team Wins Total

  2. Team to Win X Division

  3. Team to Win X Conference

  4. Team to Win the Super Bowl

There will also be futures markets available that revolve around specific players, with these the markets that’ll be offered between all good sportsbooks:

  1. Player to Win League MVP

  2. Player to Win Rookie of the Year

  3. Player to Win Defensive Player of the Year

  4. Player to Record the most Touchdowns

  5. Player to Record the Most Passing/Rushing Yards

How to place an NFL bet online

Placing a bet on an NFL game online is incredibly, with you just needing to follow these simple steps in order to do so:

  1. Sign-up for your sportsbook of choice via the offers in this piece

  2. Create your account, entering any promo codes required in the process

  3. Read your welcome offer’s terms and conditions

  4. Finish setting up your new account

  5. Make your initial deposit

  6. Find the market you want to bet on and the bet you want to make

  7. Add it to your bet slip

  8. Place your bet

  9. If your bet wins, your winnings will be paid out in full once the bet’s been settled

  10. If your bets pushes, your wager will be void and your stake will be returned to you in full

Which states allow online NFL betting?

There are 26 different states in which you’re legally allowed to wager on NFL games online, with a number of other states set to join this list over the next few months as more states open up to the idea of legalizing online sports betting.

The most recent state to join this list is Maine. Online sports betting went live in the state on Nov. 3, 2023.

All 27 states are AZ, AR, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, NV, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TN, VA, WV, WY, and Washington D.C.

How to bet on NFL games online FAQs

What’s the best sportsbook to use for my online NFL bets?

Any of the sportsbooks listed in this piece are the best to use when it comes to wagering on NFL games online.

Overall, the absolute best sports betting sites to use for NFL wagers are the likes of BetMGM, bet365 and FanDuel, with sportsbooks such as DraftKings Caesars not far behind in terms of quality.

What types of NFL bets can I place?

There are an abundance of bets you’ll be able to place on NFL games when wagering on football online, with the regular markets, such as moneyline, totals and spread, all available for every game.

You’ll also be able to wager on player and game props, as well as futures markets, with the variety of options available to you depending on the sportsbook you’re with.

All top sports betting sites will also offer live/in-play betting markets for you to wager on for when NFL games are underway.

Is it legal to bet on NFL games online?

Yes, however this answer will change depending on which state you’re located in, with all of the states that accept legal, online NFL wagers stated earlier in this piece.

If it’s not legal to wager on NFL games online in your state, you will sadly be unable to place any football wagers until your state legalizes online NFL betting in the future.

How do I place a bet on NFL games online?

In order to place a bet on NFL games online, simply choose your sportsbook and create your new account, taking advantage of any welcome offers in the process.

Once your account has been set-up, simply make your initial deposit and place your first wager in any of the NFL markets that are offered to you by your sportsbook.

Is the NFL an easy sport to bet on?

The NFL is one of the most efficient sports betting markets in the world. Almost every casual sports bettor is betting on the NFL every week should they be able to. But more importantly, so are some of the sharpest bettors and syndicates.

What can be easier to beat is more specialized markets, such as player props (hint: look to bet unders).

Betting player props is not a sustainable business model for bigger bettors due to limits and restrictions that come along with beating them over time.

However, they should still be considered by beginners as a way to increase your bankroll when first starting out.

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The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.