Football Betting Sites and Guide
Football is the number one sport for sports betting action in the United States and it's not even close. Last year's Super Bowl generated nearly $120 million worth of handle in Nevada alone. We can't even begin to guess what online bookmakers saw, but you can be sure there were equally impressive numbers on the internet. And that's just for one game.
Whatever the numbers may be, football betting is big business. Visit any US-facing sports betting site during the NFL or NCAA season and you'll be bombarded with special offers and promotions designed to take advantage of the biggest betting season of the year. If you like to bet on football, you will never suffer from a lack of options.
Speaking of options, we'd like to make a few recommendations right up front. Below is a list of safe, US-friendly betting sites that go all out on the NFL every year.
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The reason we recommend these sites in particular is because they have the best reputations among the many options out there. We could recommend dozens of alternatives, but these have served our readers the best year after year. There's no need to constantly switch it up when our mainstays have been so reliable for so long.
The Newbie's Guide to Football Betting
Once you have a betting site to call home, it's time to get to the fun stuff. If you're already familiar with sports betting, feel free to skip this section. If you're new to the game, definitely take a look at our getting started guide here.
Football is one of the most straightforward sports when it comes to betting. Unlike some of the other sports out there, football doesn't have unique or odd types of wagers. Bookmakers almost always stick with the basic types of wagers.
However, some books do offer more advanced wagers such as teasers and pleasures. These aren't as common, but they are nice to play around with if you ever feel like switching it up from your normal routine. Here are a few other types of bets that you might see:
Achieving a basic level of familiarity with the most common types of football bets is only the beginning. It's time now to develop the skills you need to do better than the average sports bettor. We have four in-depth strategy articles that we'd like to recommend as a starting point:
- Football betting systems
- Handicapping the market
- Advanced football betting strategy
- Poisson distributions for prop betting
The majority of the advice in this guide applies equally to NFL and NCAA football. The biggest difference between pro and college football is that there is significantly more parity in the NFL. In other words, the skill differences between NFL teams are usually less pronounced than in college games.
The lack of parity in college football makes it easier to spot winners and losers, but bookmakers do take skill differences into account when setting the lines. College football requires a broad depth of knowledge because there are so many teams, competing coaching philosophies and so many more factors to consider.
It is generally agreed that NFL handicapping is more difficult because there are fewer teams, fewer games to track and more people betting on those games. Oddsmakers follow the NFL closely and know it inside out. Therefore, their lines tend to be pretty spot-on.
In any case, it wouldn't hurt to do your homework before you bet on any particular game. The odds are there are a hundred other people considering betting on the same game. If you can out-study the competition and practice smart bankroll management, you'll be well on your way to outperforming all the other casual bettors out there.
One Simple Trick to Boost Your Earnings
If you have done much research into football betting, you've probably already seen this trick a hundred times. But on the off-chance that you happen to be brand-spanking-new, we have one simple method to boost your win rate:
Open an account at two or three betting sites.
What good does this do? Well, it allows you to go line shopping before placing each bet. Line shopping is the simple practice of getting the best odds possible for any bet you're considering. Let's say, for example, that you want to bet on the Raiders in this weekend's Packers-Raiders game.
So, you head over to BetOnline and see that the Raiders are +180 underdogs. This means that a $100 bet on the Raiders would get you $180 in profits if the Raiders pull off the upset. Instead of stopping there, you decide to see what TopBet and Bovada have for the same game.
TopBet is also showing +180 so there's nothing special there. But then, you get to Bovada and you see that the Raiders are listed at +190. Now there's a nice deal. You could place that same $100 bet with Bovada and get a $190 payout instead of the $180 offered everywhere else. You've just increased your potential by $10 with very little work.
This may not be a huge pay raise percentage-wise, but it's a darn good improvement considering that it only took a minute to check three different betting sites. We're sure you can imagine how that kind of line shopping could make an impact over the course of a full football season.
Unfortunately, that's the only simple trick we know of for improving your results. The other 99% of improvement comes from hard work. Reading strategy articles, studying games, researching statistics and crunching numbers are all integral to becoming a better bettor.
You know what's even better than placing a bet on football? Getting paid. As fun as it is to place a bet on a big game and watch it play out on live TV, it's even better to log in to your online banking account and see a nice, juicy deposit to your checking account.
Most online sportsbooks pay their winners via one of three methods:
- Paper check in the mail
- Electronic funds transfer
- Cash transfer
The paper check is the most common payment method for customers based out of the United States. All you have to do is log in to your account, request a check and wait for it to show up at your front door. We've never had a problem getting a check in the mail, so we wouldn't recommend you worry too much about it getting lost in the mail or anything. The worst case scenario is you tell your sportsbook to cancel your last check and issue a new one.
Electronic funds transfers are super-easy because the book sends the money straight to your bank account. The only reason this method isn't more popular is because banking laws in the United States make it difficult for online sportsbooks to send money to US customers. However, if this option is available, we recommend you take it. It doesn't get any easier than having money delivered straight to your account.
Cash transfers are especially popular for customers withdrawing less than a thousand dollars. If you don't want to wait for a paper check in the mail, you can have your site send cash to your local cash transfer station. All you have to do is bring your photo ID to the nearest Wal-Mart, head over to the customer service area and use the WU or MG terminal to claim your cash.
We've used all three methods in the past to get my money and they all worked out well. Paper checks take the longest to process, but they are almost always free and can be sent for fairly large amounts of money. Cash transfers were quite a bit faster and it was kind of cool to walk out with a big wad of cash in our hand.
Our favorite method of them all is (and probably always will be) the electronic funds transfer. These have almost always taken less than a week and were always free. We've received fairly substantial amounts of money via this method and it has always been a simple, efficient process.
As long as you do business with reputable sportsbooks, any of these methods will work fine for you. Legitimate sportsbooks want your business in the future and they do everything they can to make it just as easy to withdraw as it is to deposit. The only thing you need to worry about is making the right betting picks.