How to Start Betting on NFL Games (2022)

Football is by far the most popular sport in the United States. Consequently, it is one of the most bet upon sports globally. Betting on NFL games can be extremely fun and profitable, but you need to familiarize yourself with the different types of bets available to be successful.

With more states legalizing sports betting in the United States, now is the perfect time to get up to speed on how to bet on NFL games. This guide will introduce you to the different types of bets that you can place on NFL games and give you some tips on how to get started. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be better positioned to win more money betting on NFL games.


For a moneyline bet, you pick the team that you think will win the game outright. Moneyline odds represent the amount of money you stand to win (or lose) if your pick is correct.

For example, let’s say you want to bet on the Green Bay Packers to beat the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers are listed at -200, meaning that you would need to bet $200 to win $100. On the other hand, the Vikings are listed at +180, meaning that if you bet $100, you could win $180.

Because the Vikings’ odds are “plus odds,” they are considered the underdog in this particular matchup. On the other hand, the Packers are the favorite since their odds are less than zero (“minus odds”).

Points Spread

With a points spread bet, you are betting on the margin of victory or loss for the team you’ve chosen to bet on. A points spread bet is more complicated than a moneyline bet, but it can be more profitable if you know what you’re doing. 

Let’s say, for example, that you bet on the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Seattle Seahawks. The Rams are listed as -7.5 point favorites, meaning that they would need to win by more than 8 points for you to win your bet.

On the other hand, if you had bet on the Seahawks +7.5, you would need them to either win the game outright or lose by less than 8 points.

With point spreads, the team with a negative number determines the favorite team, while the positive odds represent the underdogs. In this case, the Rams are the favorite, while the Seahawks are the underdogs.

What is covering the spread?

When a team “covers the spread,” they have won by more than the margin of victory set by the points spread. For example, if you bet on the Rams -7.5 to beat the Seahawks and won by 9 points, they would have covered the spread. However, if they had only won by 7 points, they would have failed to cover the spread.


With a totals bet, you are betting on how many points will be scored in the game by both teams combined. The sportsbook sets this number, and all you have to do is pick whether you think the final score will be over or under that number.

For example, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the New England Patriots game is set at 50.5 points. If you think the final score will be 51 points or more, you will bet on the over. If you think the final score will be 50 points or less, you will bet on the under.

Is Betting on the NFL Profitable?

Yes, but it’s not an easy task. Because NFL betting is a large and fast-moving market, being profitable on moneylines, spreads and totals is an incredibly tough challenge. Especially when you factor in beating the vig.

When oddsmakers first release betting lines for the week of NFL games, they are working around the clock to ensure that the betting lines are as efficient as possible. As a result, it’s a tough challenge to beat -110 NFL odds over the long run.

If you’re looking to make money betting on NFL games, your best bet is to focus on one particular type of bet and become an expert at handicapping that specific type of bet. Once you’ve mastered that, you can then start to branch out and place other types of bets.

NFL Player Prop Bets

Player props are bets on how a player will perform in a particular game. Betting on NFL player props is more considered to be more beatable than betting on game outcomes. Now that you know the different types of bets available, you might wonder if it’s possible to make money betting on NFL games.

The reason for this is that there are many more factors that go into a player’s performance than there are for a team’s performance.

When betting on player props, you need to be aware of injuries, matchups, weather conditions, and motivation. If you can handicap these factors correctly, you’ll be in an excellent position to profit. Another benefit of betting on player props is that there are many more player props available than game outcomes. You’ll have a lot more opportunities to place winning bets.

Most sportsbooks spend the majority of their time making sure that betting lines for sides and totals are as sharp as possible and, as a result, are much slower to adjust player prop lines. Bettors who are good at handicapping player prop bets have a significant advantage.

How much can you bet on NFL player prop bets?

Sportsbooks will typically limit how much you can wager on each player prop bet. These limits will usually be relatively low because the NFL player prop lines are typically very soft. 

NFL Futures Bets

Futures bets are wagers on events that will take place at a later date. For NFL futures bets, you will typically bet before the season starts, and they will not be graded until the season has ended.

Some of the most popular NFL futures bets are wagers on which team will win the Super Bowl, which team will win their division, and which players will win various awards like MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and many others.

Because there are so many unknowns on futures bets, odds are usually very high, which gives bettors a chance to make a lot of money if they can correctly predict the outcome.

Other types of NFL futures bets available are on player propositions. For example, you might bet on how many passing yards a quarterback will throw during the season or how many rushing yards a running back will earn.

Futures bets are usually graded at the end of the season, but some sportsbooks will offer in-season futures bets on things like who will make the playoffs and which team will win each conference.


There are hundreds of different wagers available for betting on NFL games. And while it can be a challenging task to be profitable at specific types of bets, like moneyline, spreads, and totals, it can be done if you have the dedication and knowledge to do so.

The best way to make money betting on NFL games is to focus on one particular type of bet and become an expert at handicapping that type of bet. Once you’ve mastered that, you can then start to branch out.

One of the most profitable bets you can focus on during the NFL season is player props. If you can handicap player props correctly, you’ll be in an excellent position to profit throughout the season.

Check our favorite bets and predictions if you are looking for help choosing which player props to take. We share NFL bet picks for player propositions to help you save time each week.