American football is the most popular sport in the United States, but its reach is growing across the globe, offering ample betting opportunities. In this article, we'll go over the NFL season, the Superbowl taking place on 14th February, and we will give your our best NFL betting tips, list the best NFL betting sites available and much more.
- What Is American Football and the NFL?
- Top 5 NFL Betting Sites We Recommend
- Best NFL Betting Sites
- NFL 2021 Betting Odds
- How Does the NFL Work?
- NFL International Series
- Top 10 Online NFL Betting Tips & Strategies
- Popular Online NFL Betting & American Football Betting Markets
- Super Bowl 2022 Betting
- Super Bowl Betting 2022 NFL Betting Tips
- Popular Super Bowl Betting Markets:
- Things to Consider for NFL & American Football Betting
- The NFL Teams
- American Football & NFL History
- Upcoming Sporting Events
- NFL Betting FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
What Is American Football and the NFL?
One of the reasons NFL betting online is great for UK punters is the amount of available stats. The NFL site displays stats for Passing, Rushing, Receiving, Fumbles, Tackles, Interceptions, Field Goals, Kick-offs, Kick-off Returns, Punting, and Punt Returns for individual players, as well as teams. They also offer Next Generation Stats for things like Fastest Ball Carriers and more.
Ultimately, betting on the NFL is much safer if you understand the game and its stats. For this reason, we'll be explaining all the rules of the game.
The game takes place with 11 players on each team, with the action unfolding over four 15-minute quarters. Teams score 6 points for a touchdown and 3 points for a field goal. After a touchdown, a team can either kick from 36 yards for a point or attempt a two-point conversion with their offense from the two-yard line.
A touchdown is successful when the attacking side carries the ball over the designated line or end zone and touches the floor with the ball. Touchdowns happen when attacking players run with the ball until tackled, or throw the ball downfield to a teammate who carries the ball over. A touchdown can also be scored by a defensive player through an interception or fumble return to end zone. Scores can also occur special teams through a punt/kick/blocked kick/fumble return.
The NFL is very strategic, with teams deployed in various defensive and offensive positions for each play. Teams are typically divided into three units, depending on the team’s position and who has the ball. Unlike European football (soccer) or rugby, teams can switch players, or even the whole team, between plays. Teams must stay in formation until the snap of the ball.
When the team has ball possession, the goal is to get the ball to the other side of the field to score a touchdown. The team will form a legal offensive formation with the quarterback in the centre. There can be no more than four players on the backfield and no less than five on the offensive line.
The most important positions in the offensive unit are the quarterback (QB), halfback/tailback (HB/TB), and fullback (FB):
- Quarterback: Generally seen as the team leader, he (or the coach) calls the plays. Quarterbacks usually call the plays in the huddle, before the teams line up. He stands behind the ‘center' to take the snap (the first pass backwards), and then passes or runs with the ball.
- Halfback: Catches and carries the ball on running plays. They are also called ‘running backs' or ‘tailbacks'.
- Fullback: Fullbacks are usually physically larger than halfbacks. Their job is to block the other team from tackling the quarterback or halfback. They sometimes function as runners, and pass less frequently.
- Offensive Line Players: The offensive line consists of players who are responsible for blocking the other team from tackling the players with the ball. The middle player is the ‘center', who typically stands in front of the quarterback. On either side of him are the ‘guards', who are flanked by the ‘tackles'.
- Receivers: Catch passes from the quarterback. They also function as decoys or blockers during plays. The principal receivers are the wide receivers (WR) and the tight ends (TE). Wide receivers line up close to the ‘center', while ‘tight ends' are further away. ‘Tight ends' also function as blockers.
When the other team has the ball, the defensive unit comes into play. Their goal is to tackle the ball carrier, or force turnovers by intercepting the ball or causing the other team to fumble a pass.
- Defensive Line: The defensive line is made up of defensive ends (DE) and defensive tackles (DT). Defensive ends are at the end of the line, while defensive tackles are in the centre. Their job is to pressure and block the offensive line, stop the quarterback from running plays, and allow the linebackers to break through.
- Linebackers: Linebackers are just behind the defensive line. They are divided into middle linebackers (MLB) and outside linebackers (OLB). They call the defensive plays and lead the defensive strategy.
- Defensive Backfield: Often called the secondary, the defensive backfield is made up of cornerbacks (CB) and safeties (S). Cornerbacks position themselves outside the defensive formation, often to cover a receiver. Safeties line up further back between the linebackers. They are the last line of defence against deep passes and touchdowns.
Special Teams Unit/PAT (Point After Touchdown)
Whenever the team has a chance to score a field goal, the special teams unit comes into play, being responsible for all kicking plays. It has three specific positions:
- Placekicker (K or PK): Kicks the ball forward, either as a pass or an attempt at a field goal.
- Long snapper (LS): Catches the ball and pass it to the holder or punter during punts.
- Holder (H): Holds the ball for the kicker. There isn't always a holder in kickoffs, since the ball is usually kicked off a tee. However, in certain situations, a holder will hold the ball for the kicker. This is common in windy situations.
- Kickoff Returner (KR): The player on the receiving end who catches the ball from the kickoff.
- Punter: If an offence fails to convert on third down, they more often than not opt to kick the ball downfield back to their opponents using their punter.
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Best NFL Betting Sites
We've ranked all the best NFL betting sites in the UK below:
#03 Paddy Power
#04 William Hill
NFL 2021 Betting Odds
Find the best NFL betting odds for the Super Bowl offered by bet365 below. Do keep in mind that odds can change at any time with any bookmaker (recent team or injury news which could impact the result the impact of an upcoming game, for instance, would likely change the odds), although we do update as often as we can to give you the most up to date NFL betting odds. In any case we’ve chosen bet365 as our pick for odds example as our favourite NFL bookmaker, for providing consistently competitive odds, and as an example of what a quality selection of NFL betting odds in key markets should look like.
Super Bowl (2022) Outright Winner
The Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl LVI with 23-20 over the Cincinnati Bengals on 12th February 2023. This is their second Super Bowl title to date.
|Buffalo Bills||15/2||William Hill|
|Kansas City Chiefs||17/2||Unibet|
|Los Angeles Rams||12/1||William Hill|
|Green Bay Packers||14/1||bet365|
|San Francisco 49ers||14/1||888Sport|
AFC Championship Winner
The Cincinnati Bengals tied an AFC title game record when they overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the Chiefs 27-24 in overtime.
|Buffalo Bills||17/4||William Hill|
|Kansas City Chiefs||9/2||Unibet|
|Los Angeles Chargers||14/1||Paddy Power|
|New England Patriots||18/1||10Bet|
|Cleveland Browns||20/1||William Hill|
NFC Championship Winner
The Los Angeles Rams were loosing hope in their quest against the 49ers as they trailed by 10 points in the fourth quarter. However, their offence led to a win in the last 13 minutes and 30 seconds of the game, 20-17.
|Los Angeles Rams||11/2||Unibet|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16/1||10Bet|
|New Orleans Saints||20/1||10Bet|
|Washington Commanders||30/1||William Hill|
Super Bowl (2022) MVP
Los Angeles Rams' Cooper Kupp became the eight wide receiver to be named MVP at the Super Bowl LVI. Kupp caught 8 out of 10 targets for 92 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
How Does the NFL Work?
The NFL has a very different structure to most European sports. The NFL Draft is unique when compared with European contracts, and the season has an overall structure that starts with the Preseason, going up to the Playoffs, and finally the Super Bowl.
Unlike in professional European football, where teams can offer contracts to any player and buy players during the transfer window, the NFL has a much more egalitarian system for assigning new players to the league.
Players are recruited from college, after playing college football for at least 3 years. Every year, the best college football players are drafted into the NFL; rather than choosing their own teams, rookies are selected by NFL teams once a year.
The idea is that the worst team in the league should get the first choice of player. This goes on to the Super Bowl champion, who gets the 32nd pick:
- Non-playoff teams: Choice 1–20
- Eliminated in Wild Card round: Choice 21–24
- Eliminated in Divisional round: Choice 25–28
- Conference runners-up: Choice 29–30
- Super Bowl runner-up: Choice 31
- Super Bowl champion: Choice 32
In total, there are 7 rounds of 32 picks. Teams can trade picks or make agreements, allowing them to trade picks in various rounds. They are also awarded compensatory picks if they have lost players in certain positions due to free agency. As such, NFL draft betting is one of the most highly anticipated betting events of the NFL season.
Players are traded rather than sold in the NFL. A trade has to occur during the offseason, or before the 8th week of the season. NFL teams can trade players for another player or for a draft pick, usually in one of the lower rounds.
Unlike professional soccer, a team cannot simply sell a player. They have the option to trade a player or cut, waive, or release him at the end of a contract. This makes a player a free agent who can sign wherever he pleases.
NFL free agency occurs at the start of the new league year in March. Players that are out of contract can then discuss terms and sign with new franchises after expiry of their previous deal.
The system was brought into place in 1993 to address balance in the NFL, allowing players to seek out the best financial deal possible on the open market from all 32 teams. Leading players in the NFL, such as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, are among the most notable players to hit the open market.
Before the start of each season, NFL teams play unofficial exhibition games before the regular season starts. It starts with a Pro Football Hall of Fame game in early August, leading up to five weekends of exhibition games.
The NFL consists of two conferences, each made up of 16 teams, divided into four divisions of four teams each.
American Football Conference (AFC)
- East Division: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets
- West Division: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers
- North Division: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers
- South Division: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans
National Football Conference (NFC)
- East Division: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins
- West Division: Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks
- North Division: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings
- South Division: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The NFL regular season lasts for 18 weeks, running from early September to late December. Each team must play 17 games with one bye week after the league amended their schedule for the 2021 season to include an extra game.
NFL games are typically played on Sundays, although there is usually a Monday night game and Thursday night game as well. Normally, NFL games are absent on Fridays or Saturdays, at least until late in the regular season, as they are barred by federal law from competing with college or high school football.
- Each team must play against the other teams in the division twice a season. This gives a home game and an away game, for a total of 6 games.
- A team must also play 4 games against 4 teams from another division in the same conference.
- They must also play 4 games against 4 teams from another division in the other conference.
- They must play 2 games against 2 teams from the two remaining conferences.
- Finally, for the new regulations brought in for 2021, the team must play one side from other conference not in the division from their other inter-conference games.
7 teams from each conference (14 teams in total) earn a spot in the NFL playoffs. The top team from each of the four divisions from each conference is selected for a total of 8 teams. The three teams with the best record from each conference then get a wild card spot, which gives 6 more teams for a total of 14.
First Week – Wild Card Round
In the first week, the teams with the best record from each conference get a bye week (a chance to rest). Meanwhile, the six other teams from each conference have to battle it out in an elimination round, which leaves three winners from each conference.
Second Week – Divisional Round
In the divisional round, the four remaining teams in each conference play each other in direct elimination, and are seeded according to their records. The top seed from the both the AFC and NFC enters the fray.
Third Week – Conference Championship Round
The conference championship round sees the winners of the divisional round take each other on for the AFC and NFC Championships. The teams with the best records host the Championship Games.
The Super Bowl is the most important event in the football year. It sees the AFC and NFC champions face off for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It's a huge cultural event for Americans, with stars performing during halftime and plenty of other entertainment.
NFL International Series
The NFL made a commitment to broaden their reach outside of the United States to raise the popularity of the game. However, the league failed in their attempts to build a league outside of the States, with NFL Europe failing to capture the attention of fans across the continent. As a result, the league made the decision to play games in the United Kingdom, beginning in the 2007 season when the New York Giants played the Miami Dolphins.
Due to the success of the programme, the International Series in the UK has expanded to a total of four games per season, played at both Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while Twickenham Stadium has also hosted matches. The NFL are now exploring the possibility of moving games further afield into Germany where they also have a passionate fanbase. Mexico City has also hosted games since the 2016 season, with the league recognising the loyalty and the love of the game from the neighbours to the south.
In 2020, the pandemic prevented games from being played overseas for the first time in 13 years. However, the Series returned to the UK in the 2021 campaign with the two following matches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium taking place:
- Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Jets – Sunday 10 October 2021 (Winner: Atlanta Falcons)
- Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins – Sunday 17 October 2021 (Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars)
Every NFL side except for the Green Bay Packers have competed in the International Series. The Jacksonville Jaguars have played the most games overseas, playing their eighth contest in 2021. The Jaguars have been the most active franchise in playing aboard, although it has not been overly successful in their bid to reach the Super Bowl for the first time.
They will be hopeful of a surge from their trip to London. Due to the Jags’ strong presence in London, they have been mooted with the potential switch to England on a permanent basis to become the first franchise to be based outside of the States. However, no deal has come to fruition yet, with doubts on whether regular travel back and forth between the UK and the USA would work logistically for all parties.
London Games History
|October 28 2007||New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins||13-10|
|October 26 2008||San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints||32-37|
|October 25 2009||New England Patriots @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||35-7|
|October 31 2010||Denver Broncos @ San Francisco 49ers||16-24|
|October 23 2011||Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||24-18|
|October 28 2012||New England Patriots @ St Louis Rams||45-7|
|September 29 2013||Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Vikings||27-34|
|October 27 2013||San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars||42-10|
|September 28 2014||Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Raiders||38-14|
|October 26 2014||Detroit Lions @ Atlanta Falcons||22-21|
|November 9 2014||Dallas Cowboys @ Jacksonville Jaguars||31-17|
|October 4 2015||New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins||27-14|
|October 25 2015||Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars||31-34|
|November 1 2015||Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs||10-45|
|October 2 2016||Indianapolis Colts @ Jackonsville Jaguars||27-30|
|October 23 2016||New York Giants @ Los Angeles Rams||17-10|
|October 30 2016||Washington Football Team @ Cincinnati Bengals||27-27|
|September 24 2017||Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars||7-44|
|October 1 2017||New Orleans Saints @ Miami Dolphins||20-0|
|October 22 2017||Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams||0-33|
|October 29 2017||Minnesota Vikings @ Cleveland Browns||33-16|
|October 14 2018||Seattle Seahawks @ Oakland Raiders||27-3|
|October 21 2018||Tennessee Titans @ Los Angeles Chargers||19-20|
|October 28 2018||Philadelphia Eagles @ Jacksonville Jaguars||24-18|
|October 6 2019||Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders||21-24|
|October 13 2019||Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||37-26|
|October 27 2019||Cincinnati Bengals @ Los Angeles Rams||10-24|
|November 3 2019||Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars||26-3|
|October 10 2021||New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons||20-27|
|October 17 2021||Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars||20-23|
Mexico City Games
|November 21 2016||Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders||20-27|
|November 19 2017||New England Patriots @ Oakland Raiders||33-8|
|November 18 2019||Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers||24-7|
Top 10 Online NFL Betting Tips & Strategies
Here are some online NFL betting tips and evergreen betting strategies for all you football punters out there.
- 01Home field advantage mattersJust like in most team sports, the home team generally has a huge advantage. In the US, NFL teams must often fly for several hours to reach their opponent. They usually have even fewer of their home supporters than league matches in European sports. Dome (indoor) teams often perform worse outdoors when exposed to the elements, especially snow.
- 02Pay attention to time zonesMany punters overlook the fact that the US has three separate time zones. It can be a challenge for those teams based on the west coast of the US, who have to play games three hours earlier than usual. For a 1pm ET contest, it would be like playing at 10am PT. Therefore, their performance can be affected after being taken out of their normal routine. The same can be said vice versa, although the timings more often than not favour the teams on the east coast.
- 03Individual matchups are importantAs they say in boxing and UFC, styles make fights. The same applies to football. While a team may have an overall better record than another, its weaknesses may play directly into the opposite teams strengths. This is why it is important to compare the individual players going head to head (for example, the offensive tackle versus the edge rushers, or a particular wide receiver against a cornerback).
- 04Pay attention to the coaching stylesCoaches are even more important in American football than in soccer. This is because every play has been planned and rehearsed by them. They tend to use recurring plays and strategies that work better against different opponents. They also know tendencies belonging to other coaches, and some can adapt better than others.
- 05Know which players are injuredFootball is a team sport, so each player is an essential part of a larger whole. A small change to the line-up can have major implications, especially if it is a key position like a quarterback. Teams are required to submit injury reports on a daily basis after practice before confirming the eligibility of those ailing players to play in the upcoming game. Therefore, it is a good idea to pay attention to who is missing practice in a game week. Teams official websites, along with Twitter and Instagram, can be very helpful in this regard.
- 06Manage your bankrollWhichever sport you wish to bet on, bankroll management is quite important. A bankroll is your wallet for betting. You can leave it on your account at your bookie, or even spread it between several bookies. If you want to bet on an NFL season, you can deposit a sum on a bookie or several bookies. It is usually best to bet between 2% and 5% of your total wallet, as this helps you keep your bets under control and gives you a chance to win back lost money.
- 07Look for valueWhile some punters will bet on whomever they think will win, regardless of the NFL betting odds, this is not always a recipe for success, since bookies are very good at odds. It is up to you to see if you can find value in some bets. Value means odds are overpriced or underpriced, or what is more or less likely to occur, than what the odds of the bookies imply.
- 08Choose the best NFL betting oddsBookies often offer different odds for the same events. Each bookie has its own methodology for setting odds. Shopping between different bookies can often lead to better NFL betting odds and more value.
- 09Watch the betting linesBetting odds are not set in stone. They move depending on how much money comes in at either side. Since NFL betting odds invariably move, you should monitor the movement. When odds drop suddenly, it is often a sign that big money has come in on a particular side. Often, this money is smart money, meaning money from other educated punters. In this case, you should look for a bookie where the odds have not dropped yet. Of course, NFL betting odds can also drop because of hype money, with casual punters betting more than they should. Here, you would usually bet the opposite of what the masses are betting.
- 10Never tiltThis is a very common mistake. Even the best NFL punters lose bets of up to 40%. Whenever you lose a bet, do not get overemotional and try to win your money back on bets you have not analysed. A sound betting strategy means occasionally accepting your losses.
Popular Online NFL Betting & American Football Betting Markets
While the NFL has struggled to make a mainstream breakthrough in Europe, where massively popular sports already exist, American football and NFL betting online is becoming increasingly popular outside of the US. This, in turn, means that the game has a growing audience this side of the ocean.
If any further proof was needed, NFL fixtures are taking in place in London each season, and there have even been whispers of a London franchise being created in the future, so the outlook for the game looks very bright indeed.
Overseas fixtures only make up a fraction of the regular season games, but national television networks across Europe have picked up the broadcasting rights. As a result, more and more fans are watching NFL at home, making this the perfect time to learn about different bet types for NFL betting.
Betting against the spread, or spread betting, is the most popular type of betting in the NFL and American football. This is when a set number of points has been established pre-match by the bookmakers, and it's up to the bettors to decide where and what to put their money on. Do you think that the favourites will win by more or less than the bookmakers suggest? Or will the underdogs lose by more or less than the number of points proposed by the odds-makers?
The moneyline in American football betting is essentially betting on who will win or lose the game, just as we do when betting on other sports.
This type of American football betting is basically the US version of an accumulator: pick upwards of two winning selections for a larger payout.
Totals NFL betting online works by calculating how many combined points will be scored by both teams during the game. Bookmakers propose an option to bet on whether or not the total points will be either over or under the totals mark, requiring you to bet against it, similar to the spread.
While we've outlined the more common American football betting markets, there are many more offered by bookmakers that bettors can consider. Because of the nature of a match being divided four ways, punters can bet on specific markets within any of the game’s quarters, first and second half, or touchdown scorers.
Another way to bet on the NFL and American football is live betting, often referred to as in-play betting, where bettors can watch a game unfold for one, two, or three quarters and place their bets using real-time odds.
Bet builder are commonplace across football betting, but are now beginning to emerge as a market for American football and the NFL. This allows bettors to select individual markets for one particular game
Super Bowl 2022 Betting
There is no bigger event in the online NFL betting calendar than the 52nd edition of the Super Bowl, the final stop of the 2021-22 season play offs and one of the most highly anticipated sports spectaculars of the year, no matter where you hail from.
It will take place on February 13th, 2022, at the SoFi stadium in Inglewood California. It is the first to be held in the area since the 1993 edition of the Super Bowl at the Rose Bowl. And it’s already set to be a historic event beyond the action on the field. Eagle eyed readers will note that this Super Bowl is scheduled to take place on the second February of the month as opposed to the traditional first, a result of the expansion of the NFL season from 16 games to 17. The halftime show is also already set to be a truly epic show with the likes of Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamer and Mary J. Blige all booked and ready to create history.
Sadly, the Super Bowl 2022 also looks to be historic for more unpleasant, but unavoidable reasons. This is the second Super Bowl, and we certainly hope that last, to take place amidst the coronavirus pandemic. At the time of writing no changes to the event are expected, although an increase in restrictions remains possible even at this late date, in that case there is a small possibility that it could be moved to the AT&T Stadium in Texas.
However, that looks very unlikely right now. The NFL’s Katie Keenan, who is the senior director of event operators stated on January 13th “Just to start and clarify, all of our plans for the Super Bowl and Super Bowl week remain fully in place for a month from today,”. That said, extensive health and safety restrictions are being implemented.
And as important of all of that may be, let’s not forget the real reason we’re all here and that is to enjoy some truly excellent American football. The Super Bowl 2022 has all the makings of a world class tournament both from an entertainment and a betting perspective. Such a huge event makes it perfect for the likes of free bets promotions, and even though best odds guaranteed promotions are more common on racing markets, such a popular event ensures competitive NFL betting odds.
Super Bowl Betting 2022 NFL Betting Tips
The most eagerly-awaited match in the NFL 2021/22 schedule is packed with Super Bowl betting opportunities. While sizing up your bets, keep these Super Bowl NFL betting tips in mind:
- 01Don’t limit yourself to the money lineIt is easy to suffer tunnel vision while betting on a headline event like this. It is almost like you feel obliged to back a winner. If you are not seeing value in either side, that is OK – in this day and age, there are so many markets available that you are spoilt for choice. Consider over/under total points, handicap, both teams to score x number of points, etc. There is a wealth of options out there and they might provide better NFL betting odds and opportunities. It is also worth considering in-play betting as well. Not only does this provide ongoing up to date markets and therefore more chances to win, but also allows you to get an idea of how each team is playing before you make your decision.
- 02Study each teamAs you get closer to the finals the number of teams you have to consider is very few, making it relatively easy, and very rewarding, to research and wrap your head around all remaining participants. We recommend you look up their recent form, how they have performed in previous Super Bowl tournaments, any team news, past head-to-head meetings against upcoming opponents, as well as analysis on the weaknesses and strengths of each team.
What is great about the Super Bowl and Super Bowl betting being so popular is that there is a lot of analysis out there. And while some of it is certainly more valuable than others, it is a great tactical policy to get as much information as you can. Remember that when it comes to sports betting strategies that work, there is no replacement for knowledge.
- 03Watch the gamesWhile studying statistics and theory is useful and important, we do not think anything can replace simply watching the games as a vital NFL betting tip. And, when it comes to the Super Bowl, that of course means the play-offs. It is the perfect place to start if you are a newcomer. And if you are a long-term fan, you do not need us to recommend the play-offs.
- 04Don’t let your heart overrule your headThe only problem with watching those all those great games is that it is so easy to get emotionally invested to the point where you are not making the best decisions with regards to NFL betting tips and strategy. Considering you are watching the best American football teams play towards the biggest event in their sport, you are going to be enjoying some thrilling stuff. The problem with this is you can end up betting for what you want to happen rather than what is likely to happen, and this can often make for unwise bets, poor strategy, and probable losses. You might get lucky, but generally speaking, our NFL betting tip is to avoid this as much as possible. If you ca not back a team without emotions clouding your judgement, consider one of the many great alternative markets.
- 05Remember that every team is in with a decent chanceOne of the things that makes the Super Bowl such an amazing event is that the selection of teams that take part are the best of the best. It means that although there are certainly favourites there are always several teams with a serious chance of winning. It is usually unwise to write off any underdog as a sure loser. In fact, if the history of the Super Bowl has taught us anything, it is that anything can happen at this epic sporting showdown.
Popular Super Bowl Betting Markets:
Best Super Bowl betting site for Super Bowl and NFC/AFC Championship winner betting: bet365
Best Super Bowl betting site for MVP betting: Paddy Power
Best Super Bowl Betting Site for Over/Under points betting: Betfair
Best Super Bowl Betting Site for First/Last Touchdown Scorer: Betfair
Things to Consider for NFL & American Football Betting
There are so many factors that can influence a game. Remember the Ice Bowl match at Lambeau Field we told you about earlier? Well, how would freezing temperatures effect your picks? Also, consider the impact that playing at home versus away will have on the result.
Is there a personal issue, or reported slight injury to a star player that could sway the result? These are all factors you may want to take into account.
For the really studious, you could consider putting together a stats pack of information, such as a team’s strengths and weaknesses, in order to calculate who will have the advantage on any given Sunday. This allows you to further develop the perfectly informed American football and NFL betting strategy.
The NFL Teams
- Buffalo Bills (Colours: Red, White, and Blue / Stadium: New Era Field)
- Miami Dolphins (Colours: Turquoise, and White / Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium)
- New York Jets (Colours: Green, and White / Stadium: MetLife Stadium)
- New England Patriots (Colours: Red, White, and Blue / Stadium: Gillette Stadium)
- Baltimore Ravens (Colours: Gold, White, and Blue / Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium)
- Cincinnati Bengals (Colours: Orange, White, and Black / Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium)
- Cleveland Browns (Colours: Orange, White, and Black / Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (Colours: Yellow, White, and Black / Stadium: Heinz Field)
- Houston Texans (Colours: Red, White, and Blue / Stadium: NRG Stadium)
- Indianapolis Colts (Colours: White and Blue / Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (Colours: White and Black / Stadium: TIAA Bank Field)
- Tennessee Titans (Colours: White and Blue / Stadium: Nissan Stadium)
- Denver Broncos (Colours: Orange, White, and Blue / Stadium: Empower Field at Mile High)
- Kansas City Chiefs (Colours: Red and White / Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium)
- Los Angeles Chargers (Colours: Yellow, White, and Blue / Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park)
- Oakland Raiders (Colours: White and Black / Stadium: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum)
- Dallas Cowboys (Colours: White and Blue / Stadium: AT&T Stadium)
- New York Giants (Colours: Red, White, and Blue / Stadium: MetLife Stadium)
- Philadelphia Eagles (Colours: Green, White, and Black/ Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field)
- Washington Redskins (Colours: Red, White, and Gold / Stadium: FedExField)
- Chicago Bears (Colours: Orange, White, and Blue / Stadium: Soldier Field)
- Detroit Lions (Colours: Silver, White, and Blue / Stadium: Ford Field)
- Green Bay Packers (Colours: Green, White, and Yellow / Stadium: Lambeau Field)
- Minnesota Vikings (Colours: Purple, White, and Yellow / Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium)
- Atlanta Falcons (Colours: Red, White, and Black / Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
- Carolina Panthers (Colours: Black, White, and Blue / Stadium: Bank of America Stadium)
- New Orleans Saints (Colours: Black and Gold / Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Colours: Red, White, and Black / Stadium: Raymond James Stadium)
- Arizona Cardinals (Colours: Red and White / Stadium: University of Phoenix Stadium)
- Los Angeles Rams (Colours: Gold, White, and Blue / Stadium: LA Memorial Coliseum)
- San Francisco 49ers (Colours: Red, White, and Gold / Stadium: Levi's Stadium)
- Seattle Seahawks (Colours: Gold, White, and Blue / Stadium: CenturyLink Field)
American Football & NFL History
The NFL was first established in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with only ten sides participating, and all recruited from just four states. Two years later, the league took its current moniker, and from those original ten sides, only two remain, also having different names. The Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals are now more famously known as The Bears and The Arizona Cardinals respectively, while the Green Bay Acme Packers are the oldest NFL franchise still calling their original location home.
In the past century, the NFL has seen more than its fair share of legendary performers, all-star winning coaches, and great nights in historic arenas, but which are the greatest of all time?
Most Successful Franchises in American Football and NFL History
Despite the fact the Raiders haven't qualified for the postseason since 2002, such was their dominance before the shallow years that they still make the top five successful franchises in NFL history. For an entire decade between 1967 to 1977, the Raiders made the playoffs in all but one season, and picked up their first Super Bowl in 1976. Within seven years, they had scooped up a further two Super Bowls to sit alongside their five conference titles and 15 division titles.
New York Giants
With 4 Super Bowls, the Giants have enjoyed success throughout NFL history, making NFL championship game appearances in each decade from the '20s through to the '60s. And while the '70s saw some barren years, they still won the Super Bowl in 1986, 1990, 2007, and 2011, which go nicely next to four pre-Super Bowl championships and 11 conference titles.
New England Patriots
In the 18 years between 2001 and 2018, the Patriots won 16 of their 20 division titles, which is almost unmatched in professional sport, let alone American football. Throw in another 6 Super Bowl wins and a further 11 conference titles and you begin to see why the Patriots are one of the greatest franchises in world sport.
Since 1970, the Steelers have the best record in football, winning the most games and earning the best winning percentage. They have also scooped 23 divisional titles and 6 Super Bowl titles, while winning 10 out of 16 division titles and another 8 conference titles. That’s a record that speaks for itself.
Green Bay Packers
Established in 1919, the Green Bay Packers have, over the past century, amassed 17 division titles, 9 conference titles, 9 pre-Super Bowl championships, and 4 Super Bowl titles. Even the Super Bowl trophy itself is named after the man who coached the Packers to all those titles, the legendary Vince Lombardi. At the time of writing, they also stand as favourites to win the Super Bowl in 2022, although they are met with incredibly stiff competition.
|New England Patriots||6||20||11|
|New York Giants||4||22||11|
|Green Bay Packers||4||18||9|
During a 13-year career, Payton missed only one game, which gives you some idea as to the type of player he was. Nicknamed Sweetness due to his off-field persona, Payton refused to concede an inch on the pitch, punishing defenders with his plays for The Bears. He finally hung up his boots in 1987, but has never been forgotten.
49ers star Joe Montana was the most decorated quarterback of his generation in the NFL, having retired winning four 4 Super Bowls, 8 Pro Bowls, and making the NFL’s All-Pro team an astonishing five times. In 1990 he was named MVP of the league for the second year straight, while he was also named MVP of the Super Bowl three times before retirement his in 1994.
Tom Brady is another quarterback with a CV to make his rivals sweat. Over the past 20+ years, Brady has scooped 7 Super Bowls, 5 Super Bowl MVPs, 3 NFL MVPs, and 14 Pro Bowls, which makes for a truly blessed career spent almost entirely with the New England Patriots before his move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. What’s more, during that time, Brady has made 10 Super Bowl appearances in 21 NFL seasons.
Widely considered to be the greatest wide receiver in NFL history, record-breaking Rice, who turned out for the 49ers, Raiders, and The Seahawks over a 19-year career that ended in 2004, is the highest-scoring touchdown scorer in the game’s history. Rice is also the all-time leading receptions maker, as well as having received almost 22,500 yards, way ahead of his closest challengers. Famed for his attitude and never-say-die work ethic, Rice never shirked a challenge and never shied away when it mattered most.
Weighing in at 230 lbs and standing at over 6'2″, Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns was unbeatable throughout his career, which sadly only lasted nine seasons. During that time, and using his considerable gifts, Brown was bigger, faster, and stronger than any of the competition, amassing 8 rushing titles among his many records.
Collecting 2 Super Bowls and 6 Conference Championships, Don Shula was a '60s master of the NFL as he took charge of The Colts and then The Dolphins. He could have won even more times had the fates not decreed that Johnny Unitas be struck down by injury in the 1965 divisional round, forcing Shula into a reshuffle that ultimately saw his Colts side unable to see out a win against The Packers. By the end of his time coaching, Shula had won more games than any other NFL coach.
49ers legend Bill Walsh masterminded 3 Super Bowl wins on his way to legendary status back in the '70s. Quite rightly accepted as a reformer and a pioneer, Walsh’s brilliant take on the game originally came about by way of necessity when, as assistant with The Bengals, he designed an offence of three-step drops, quick reads, and short throws by way of overcoming a team injury crisis that would later carry his teams to many famous wins. Throughout his career, that short passing philosophy was his stock in trade, which redefined the game.
Before founding the Cleveland Browns, Paul Brown devised the playbook while still working as a high school coach. In a career that would later see him coaching Ohio State and developing his football philosophy while serving during World War II, Brown did perhaps more than anyone to develop the game we know today, from naming a franchise after himself to devising the 40-yard dash. He really was an incredible man with an influence over the game like no one else before or since. That he achieved it all so young is even more remarkable. Oh, and you can throw in 3 NFL Championships and 4 AFC Championship wins too!
Lombardi is quite rightly regarded as one of the greatest football coaches of all time, as evidenced by his all-conquering Green Bay Packers, which swept aside all before them during the 1960s. Scooping 2 Super Bowl wins and a further 3 NFL Championships, Vince served for five years as assistant coach to the New York Giants, where he played a critical role in the Giants’ success. This culminated in the league championship in 1956, after which The Packers came calling – and the rest is history.
The most decorated coach in the game, Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots has collected an incredible 5 Super Bowl wins and 7 AFC Championships. He didn’t get there immediately, however, working first as Bill Parcells' defensive strategist with The Giants, before tanking as the head coach of The Browns. After going back to the drawing board, he redefined his game when he took up his ultra successful job with The Pats, which have dominated for a generation.
AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys
The 100,000-seater AT&T Stadium, with a retractable roof and gigantic video board, is located in Arlington, Texas, and opened in 2009.
CenturyLink Field, Seattle Seahawks
Hosting soccer games as well as football, CenturyLink is generally accepted to be the loudest stadium in the NFL, especially when this downtown Seattle venue is at full 68,740-person capacity.
U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota Vikings
Built in 2016, the U.S. Bank Stadium is a modern venue that puts others to shame. This indoor glass and metallic cultural highlight holds 66,655 people, making it a true symbol of Minnesotan pride.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta Falcons
Complete with a floating, circular video board, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is home to The Falcons, while also serving as home of Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer. When the former play, the pitch gives way to allow up to 71,000 fans.
Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers
Opening in 1957, Lambeau Field, named after founder, player, and coach, Curly Lambeau, is a classic stadium that harks back to the games’ golden age. Set outdoors on Green Bay’s notoriously cold frosty shores, this historical old ground is located on Lombardi Avenue, named in honour of former head coach, Vince Lombardi.
Green Bay Packers vs Dallas Cowboys – 31 December, 1967
Taking place on the last day of 1967, this classic match was christened the Ice Bowl, as the game was played between two of the league's most recognisable teams and took place in Arctic conditions as the winter of December’s final day blew in off Lake Michigan.
Players suffered, while Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry played out their chess match on the side of the pitch, before Lombardi ordered a final drive by Bart Starr to win the tie outright, rather than tie the game and force a horrid frozen overtime that nobody other than the fans really wanted.
Miami Dolphins vs Kansas City Chiefs – 25 December, 1971
This Christmas Day classic is still the longest NFL game ever played at 82 minutes and 40 seconds, and while The Dolphins came out on top, 27-24, it was The Chiefs who had raced into 10-0 lead and held good for a holiday win.
Miami fought back in the second quarter to draw the game level before almost allowing The Chiefs back in for the win in standard time, only to see them miss a game-winning field goal. Extra time proved to be just as wasteful, only this time for both teams, before The Dolphins clinched the win in the second overtime.
Denver Broncos vs Cleveland Browns – 11 January, 1987
In one of the most iconic games in NFL history, TV replays showed what in-play video reviews did not: the winning goal, struck by Broncos’ Rich Karlis, went wide of the posts instead of over them to deny Browns a place in the Super Bowl. What’s worse, the miss hit shot was launched as part of a play that started with only 5:32 left on the clock.
San Diego Chargers vs Miami Dolphins – 2 January, 1982
Every so often, you get a sporting contest where all involved play so well that no one deserves to lose. Such was the case with this '80s classic that led to Sports Illustrated labelling it “The Game No One Should Have Lost“. Although The Chargers stormed into a 21-0 lead, The Dolphins fought back to only lose by 41-38.
Baltimore Colts vs New York Giants – 28 December, 1958
The first NFL game to be broadcast live on TV, the networks really couldn’t have selected a better match to run with. Featuring the legendary Johnny Unitas starting at quarterback for The Colts, Unitas got the ball with a few minutes of play left before embarking on a two-minute drill that saved the game for his team, with seconds left to play and mark the first overtime in NFL championship history. In added time, The Colts repeated the trick to win the game 23-17.
New York Giants v New England Patriots – 3 February 2008
The Patriots were aiming to become the first team in NFL history to go 19-0, after surging through the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Giants were their only obstacle, who had scraped their way into the post-season and put forward an incredible run to reach Super Bowl XLII, beating the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.
New York’s defence held MVP Tom Brady’s record-breaking offense in check for the majority of the contest. However, a late strike to Randy Moss appeared to have won the game for the Pats. Eli Manning had other ideas, orchestrating a drive that included the infamous ‘helmet catch’ to David Tyree before throwing a game-winning touchdowns to Plaxico Burress, breaking Patriot hearts and denying them the ultimate season.
New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons – 5 February 2017
The game will live long in the memories of Patriots fans and haunt the Falcons for the rest of their days. League MVP Matt Ryan guided the Falcons into a dominant 28-3 lead at Reliant Stadium in Super Bowl LI in the third quarter. Atlanta were rampant, and the statisticians predicted that they had a 99.7% chance of securing the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time.
However, Tom Brady was on the other sideline. After a terrible start to the contest, including a pick-six to Robert Alford, the GOAT revitalised the Patriots and delivered an emphatic 25-point comeback in the final 18 minutes of regulation to stun the Falcons. New England received the ball first in overtime, and James White found space to find the endzone to secure a fifth Lombardi and second in three years for the Pats.
Upcoming Sporting Events
NFL Betting FAQs
Yes, you can, and what’s more, there are loads of options for you to choose from.
Betting on the NFL is simple and works exactly the same way as betting on, for example, soccer or rugby. Players can place accumulators, simple singles, or season-long bets that pay out when the trophies are awarded.
The most popular way to bet on the NFL is spread betting, also known as betting against the spread.
You can place your bets on the NFL in the same you would if you were betting on soccer. Pick your selection, add it to your betting slip, and place the bet.
Of course! These days, more and more people bet through their smartphones, and bookmakers make sure that their sites work on desktop, laptop, tablets, and mobiles on either Android or iOS.
Yes, there are loads of ways to watch your favourite NFL matches. Many European broadcasters have bought the rights to broadcast events, so you can watch the action take place from the comfort of your own home.
The NFL International Series is a slate of games that are played in London on a yearly basis. The league has played up to four matches from its schedule of regular season matches at Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since 2007. It allows fans from Europe to attend matches without having to travel to the United States.
No. The Green Bay Packers are the one franchise that has not competed overseas yet. The Jacksonville Jaguars have played the most games abroad and will compete in their eighth contest in London in the 2021 season.
Yes. You can bet on the NFL International Series just as you would any other NFL game.
Absolutely you can. In fact, the Super Bowl is the biggest betting event in the American Football sporting calendar.
Because the Super Bowl is such an immensely popular event you can find many great operators which provide markets on the event, including our pick for best NFL bookies in general.
There are all kinds of great markets to choose from including winner of the whole competition, individual games, conference winners, handicap markets and plenty of markets focused on individual players including MVP of the whole tournament.
The Super Bowl LVI is scheduled to take place on February 13th at SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
By reaching the end of this article, you should now know how to bet, and who to bet on, in American football, from the teams involved to the traditions and histories they are playing for. You'll now be able to join in on the conversations, online or in person, that are becoming increasingly commonplace now that the game is picking up some serious traction this side of the Atlantic, incentivising bookmakers to offer even more opportunities to bet on this great sport.
This is why regular season games are increasingly taking place in Europe, and there have even been mooted suggestions that London may one day be the home of its own NFL franchise. Watch this space. But even if things were to remain exactly as they are, the NFL is well worth paying attention to even if you are new to the sport, as is often the case for many of our UK and European readers. The Super Bowl itself provides the perfect place to begin, easy to follow and get into, while being a suitably epic conclusion for long term fans. And just like watching the Super Bowl, betting on the NFL is easy for newcomers too thanks to an exceptional variety of markets and so many great operators making them available. The future is exciting, but this sport can offer you more than enough to get involved right now.