How to Bet on Football

Betting on Football

Any kind of sports betting that is done either through a casino or an online sportsbook, needs to be conducted in a similar fashion; especially for those that are new to sports betting or are simply inexperienced. This is a helpful guide for everyone, regardless of experience, when it comes to betting on football. Here we will go over how to place a bet, depending on the odds, as well as how to do so through an online sportsbook.


How to Bet

Betting on football is a very simple process; the only hard part is understanding the odds and what they mean. Once a bettor becomes familiar with the odds, they can start deciding what bet to wager on. When a bettor finds the appropriate sportsbook that they want to wager at, and they head over to the football section; whether it is for the NFL or the NCAAF. The first thing they will encounter is the betting line; this is where the bettor will find the regular odds like the Money Line, Spread, and Totals, as well as the schedule and teams in the matchup.


Signing Up

Signing up on an online sportsbook should be the step that comes after checking the sportsbook and determining that it is where a bettor wants to place their wagers. This will allow them to deposit their bankroll into their account and they can start placing bets.


The Betting Line

Betting Lines courtesy of BetOnline


This is where the sports bettor has to determine not only what team he is going to bet on, but also which wager type he is going to bet on. The original three types that always appear on the betting line are the money line, spread, and totals. Knowing what each type means and how to use it to your advantage is essential.


The Betting Types and Odds

I will be using as an example the Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers game.


The Money Line bet is a very straightforward bet. In this case, the sportsbook is giving +230 to the Bears and -275 to the Packers. They are speculating that the Packers are going to win the match, and they have good odds to win; the -275. In the case of the Favorite, the further the number is from 100, the better odds they have of winning. In the case of the Underdog, the further the number is from 100, the lower odds they have of winning.


Odds (money line)

Bet Amount

Potential Payout

+230 $100 $230
-275 $275 $100


The Point Spread during this particular matchup is of +6 for the Bears and -6 for the Packers. This essentially means that the Packers are favored to not only win, but to win by more than 6 points. In this sense, the Packers are the favorites. The bettor will have to decide whether or not the Packers can beat the Bears by more than 6 points.


Odds (spread)

Bet Amount

Potential Payout

+6 -110 $110 $100
-6 -110 $110 $100


The Total Points bet is when the sportsbook determines a good average amount of total points that could be scored during the entire match; using the points scored from both teams. The bettor needs to determine if the number that is given is too high or too low; thus the Over and Under portion. For the Bears vs. Packers game, the sportsbook is giving the average at 50 ½ total points, and the bettor can bet on whether they think the game will end Under or Over that amount.


Odds (total points)

Bet Amount

Potential Payout

Ov 50½   -110 $110 $100
Un 50½   -110 $110 $100


Combining the Bets

What good bettors usually do is wager on the best potential bet that they can, and they do it regardless of their personal feelings. What most do is that they combine the bets, where a bettor can place a wager on all three of the betting types.


Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Spread Bet Money Line
Total Points
Money Line
Total Points
Total Points
Money Line
Total Points Money Line


There are countless different ways a bettor can mix up their betting. Doing it this way not only ensures a higher potential payout, but will also spread their bankroll around and not depend one just one bet to win.


Assessing the Bet

After the bettor has chosen which bets to wager on, the next step is finding out how much of their bankroll they want to wager with and how much they could possibly win.


Betting Bankroll

Bettors need to understand that their bankroll is essential to their survival. They have to take care of it, and treat it like an investment; what they say about investments is to diversify your portfolio. This is why placing smaller amounts, over a large number of bets is better than placing a few larger bets. Stick to the 4/6 rule; only wager 4% – 6% of your total bankroll on each bet. That should help maintain good money discipline.


Potential Payouts

As shown above, the payouts when placing a bet on the Favorite is different than when placing a bet on the Underdog; as it totally depends on the symbol in front of the number. When there is a “” symbol, the number represents the amount the bettor has to wager in order to get a $100 payout. When there is a “+” symbol, the number represents the potential payout amount for every $100 wagered.

Note: This payout method is used only for the American Odds.


Placing the Bet

Once the bettor has picked everything and has assessed their investment, the easiest part happens next; placing the bet. Simply pick each bet as you move along, enter the amount you want to wager on each, and hit the Bet Now button; or whichever button the sportsbook has in order to place a wager.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the football matches and watch as your bets start winning.