When it comes to sports betting in the USA, the NFL is king. NFL season is the busiest time of year for any sportsbook—especially the growing number of legal online sportsbooks and apps where you can legally bet on the NFL online.
Here’s a complete look at how to bet on the NFL at legal online sportsbooks in the US with direct links to register for and get free bets or bonuses at the top legal sportsbooks in every state. To compare spreads, moneylines and totals for every NFL game every week across top US online sportsbooks, head to our NFL odds & betting lines page.
The majority of online sportsbooks have both and online sportsbook and an app you can download for both iPhone and Android. A sportsbook betting app is your best tool for betting on the NFL as you can access and make live bets virtually instantaneously as the game progresses. You can also shop for the best NFL lines quickly and easily before the game. Use the links below to access and download any sportsbook app in your preferred state.
The convenience of having a real live and legal sportsbook at your fingertips for NFL betting can’t be overstated. You can bet wherever you are within the borders of the legal states and shop around for the best NFL game lines at every sportsbook. While there are a number of good NFL betting apps to consider, some books have certain strengths.
To take advantage of the fast-moving live betting markets, you need an app that’s built for the task. DraftKings edges out its closest competitors with a super slick platform and extra attention paid to its live betting feature.
In advance of game time, you want to be able to find the props you want quickly and easily. You can do so at BetMGM, an app that does a fantastic job of listing out the player props for each individual game.
There’s always a good assortment of promos to be found during NFL season. Caesars Sportsbook has plenty of opportunities to get some extra bang for the buck.
Parlays can be lots of fun during NFL season, and FanDuel is doing its part to make them even better. The company has been at the forefront of the same-game parlay craze and makes it easy to build them out.
We have a tie on the medal stand as both DraftKings and FanDuel have been going all out with offerings for the Big Game. If you’re looking to make Super Bowl Sunday even that more special, be sure to check out what they have to offer.
NFL betting can seem intimidating at first, but it suddenly doesn’t seem so daunting once you get a handle on the basics. As far as various kinds of bets, let’s walk through it all in full detail, starting with where to place a bet.
For NFL games, three types of bets are the most common: point spread, moneyline and totals (over/under). Here’s what you need to know about each of them.
There’s also live NFL betting, which means you will be placing wagers on specific events or outcomes as the game moves along including specific team and play prop bets. In addition, there is an active futures market for the NFL. You can place bets on an event which has yet to happen, such as the winner of the Super Bowl or the number of regular-season wins a specific team will have.
The Super Bowl is the biggest betting event of the year, and you’ll have plenty of different ways to get in the game. Sportsbooks go all out for the Big Game, so you can expect to see hundreds of different prop betting opportunities to choose from.
Check in with our live NFL odds feed often for the latest odds on which club will take down Super Bowl 56. Check our complete guides to NFL Playoff and Super Bowl betting here:
Once the regular season kicks off, fans can look forward to 18 weeks of regular-season action. Here’s how the games are scheduled and spread out:
Once the playoffs get underway, there are four games spread over Saturday and Sunday for both the wild card and divisional rounds. Conference championship games take place on Sunday, as does the biggest sporting event of the year, the Super Bowl.
One of the great things about sports betting is that your involvement level can vary as you see fit. Some casual bettors prefer to focus on a game or two per week, and there’s the other end of the spectrum for handicappers who like to tackle the whole slate.
In between those two extremes are various other approaches. Naturally, it’s entirely up to you. The same applies to how you approach the actual handicapping of games. You could take a hands-off approach, rely on specific sources to make decisions or even pay for NFL picks.
There are plenty of bettors who also take the time to develop their detailed routine. It’s entirely up to you, and it also depends on the amount of time you have at your disposal.
If you’re looking to develop your own system, it can help to start small and expand from there. A great starting point is to use football power rankings, which attempt to assign a reliable numeric value to each team.
Many power rankings are free to use on the internet, while there are also plenty of subscription services which provide metrics. It’s important to remember that power ranking numbers are not the only piece of the puzzle, but they can be a great tool to have in the belt.
When devising your system, focus on the most important statistics, e.g., average points scored and allowed for each team, as well as for and against yardage.
Turnovers and sacks are also helpful metrics to consider. You can even get as advanced as spotting the differences between disciplined and undisciplined squads by looking at things such as penalty yardage.
There are plenty of ways to develop a system, but it’s often helpful to start with the basics and work your way out. You can become as advanced as you like in your research. However, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple and focusing on the areas you deem to be most important. And remember, even with extensive preparation, there could be arising factors that are out of your control such as bad weather during NFL games.
It’s great to have a betting system, but it’s also beneficial to know the red flags to avoid when it comes to NFL betting.
Here are some of the common mistakes that inexperienced bettors can make:
The list is far from all-encompassing, but those are some of the most significant potential NFL betting mistakes.
The NFL preseason gets underway in the first week of August with the annual NFL Hall of Fame game. In prior seasons, there were four weeks of preseason action following that, but the number has been reduced to three for the 2021 campaign and moving forward.
Due to the shift, the second week of the preseason should be the one to pay the most attention to. This should be when teams take an extended look at starting units, but starters may also see limited action in the first and final preseason games.
There are some handicappers who view the preseason as a great time to bet, but others prefer to sit on the sideline and observe as they wait for the games that matter. Generally speaking, preseason games can be tough to project due to the uncertainty over playing time, but following the approach of head coaches in previous seasons can provide some clues.
After Labor Day, the NFL regular season begins with the opening game held on a Thursday night. The season lasts for 18 weeks with each team playing 17 games. Each squad will have eight home games and eight on the road, plus a rotating home or away inter-conference matchup between teams that finished in a similar position during the previous season. Select teams will have international games, which can reduce the equation one way of the other.
During the season, each team will get a week off, which is known as a bye week. (Side note: You might be surprised to see just how much bye weeks can affect NFL betting lines.) The season closes out in Week 18, which extends the regular season into the first weekend in January.
After the regular season closes, 14 teams will have qualified for the expanded NFL Playoffs.
Seven teams from each conference qualify: four division winners and three wild card teams from each. The seed on each side will have the first week of the playoffs off. The first round of the postseason is the wild card, which involves three games from both conferences.
Winners advance, and it’s then on to the divisional round. Four teams are left in both conferences at this point, resulting in four games for one of the most exciting football weekends of the calendar year. The winners move on to the NFC and AFC conference championships with the victors in those contests advancing to the Super Bowl, the biggest betting event of the year.
While the same principles apply to handicapping games throughout the year, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind. At the beginning of the season, it’s not uncommon to see higher-scoring games. There are several reasons for this, ranging from personnel turnover to rule changes which the league’s teams are forced to adapt to.
As the season moves along, defenses tend to catch up. Overall scoring may drop from this point, but that doesn’t mean every game will be low scoring. Once the playoffs roll around, the 14 best teams in the NFL are involved.
Naturally, the playing field is pretty level at this point. However, there are situations in which there are powerhouse teams and weaker members of the field. Lines will generally be tighter as defenses improve and the playoffs get underway, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
Each NFL season is a unique event and should be treated as such, and the same applies for the individual games on the weekly slates. That said, there are league-wide trends that may develop over the year. These situations are certainly worth factoring into your handicapping process.
In fully legalized US states, consumers will have the option of placing their best NFL bets online or at a retail sportsbook. For online purposes, the major operators will generally have a web-based and a mobile sportsbook for consumers to use.
Experiences can vary. Some operators spend a lot of money on the technical side, and the result is a smooth product devoid of glitches. Other web and mobile-based options may not necessarily be as user-friendly. In the end, the product to use is entirely up to you.
The same rules apply for betting online versus at a retail sportsbook. Often, the sportsbook will be located in a casino. Typically, there will be betting windows that are operated by employees, as well as some self-serve kiosks.
On the retail side, it’s not uncommon to find that the sportsbook has numerous amenities, such as a bar, food menu and multiple television screens to watch the action.
Once again, placing bets online or in-person comes down to user preference, as well as the convenience factor. Placing bets online can be a snap, but visiting a retail sportsbook can certainly be worth the trip.
On May 14, 2018, the US sports betting landscape changed forever. The Supreme Court of the United States gave its nod of approval, and the floodgates opened up soon thereafter. NFL betting is now completely legal in a growing number of states in at least some form – retail, online, or both.
New Jersey was one of the first states out of the gate, and the Garden State has emerged as a premiere location for legal sports betting. Other major markets that have opened up since that point include:
For the legal sportsbooks, NFL betting is the biggest game in town. From the opening kickoff of the regular season straight through to the Super Bowl, each and every game on the docket will bring in tons of betting volume. To see where things stand on a state-by-state basis, you can check out our US legal gambling guide.
While sports betting is legal in several US states, there are plenty of operators out there that have serviced US consumers for many years. These operators are also known as offshore betting sites.
These sites have accepted US consumers while pointing to the unclear legal situation as the reason for doing so. Just because many remain open for business isn’t a reason for bettors to take their business there.
Here are some reasons why users should only use legal, regulated sites:
At PlayUSA, we only review and recommend legal, regulated operators. Our advice is to always stick with these sportsbooks as opposed to taking chances with an illegal entity elsewhere.
A parlay bet is when two or more games or outcomes are linked together on a single betting ticket. To win the wager, you must be correct on all selections.
Home field advantage is when the home team, or team that is playing in its stadium, is generally viewed as having the edge over the visitor, or away team.
These are bets on an outcome that has yet to be determined, such as the winner of the Super Bowl or league MVP. Futures bets are quite popular in the offseason and throughout the regular season.
The NFL draft takes place a few months after the Super Bowl. For 2021, the draft took place in Cleveland, Ohio from April 29-May 1. The Jacksonville Jaguars picked QB Trevor Lawrence from Clemson with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The 2021-22 NFL Season is scheduled to begin on September 9, 2021.
There are 32 teams in the NFL.
Each team has 53 roster spots. For 32 teams, that means 1,696 players. In addition, each team is allowed to designate up to 10 players for the practice squad.
For the 2018 season, the league generated nearly $15 billion in revenue. Commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly has aspirations of reaching $25 billion in revenue annually.
Week 18 is the final week of the regular season, and the playoffs begin the week after. This year, wild card weekend gets underway on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022.
The Dallas Cowboys have the moniker of “America’s Team” and are generally considered to be the most popular in the NFL.
On Nov. 7, 1943, the Detroit Lions and New York Giants played to a 0-0 tie.