A Beginner's Guide to Betting on Football

April 25, 2023 by Staff

To some extent, it is true that anyone can become a successful sports bettor with the right information. But before you get all excited and start placing bets left and right based solely on your love for the game, it is crucial to understand – there's more to it than that.

Pro bettors don't just sit around watching games or streams like the majority of fans. They do their own research and analyze info in any given moment in order to try to get bets of the highest value.

It may seem a daunting task in the beginning, but with the help of this guide, you will get to learn about different types of sports football bets and how odds work. And last but definitely not least, we'll share our tips and tricks for managing your bankroll in a way that maximizes your winnings. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Pre-Line or In-Play Betting: Which is Better?

This can include markets such as the winner of a game, the total number of goals scored, or the first goalscorer. Sportsbooks offer a wide variety of pre-line betting markets, and we'll cover some of the most common ones in detail below if you are in the beginning of your journey. To draw a comparison to gambling, while casino live offerings may give you the sensation of betting in a physical casino with live dealers, they usually require more expertise and experience to be profitable.

Live sports betting is similar: it can be an adrenaline rush but demands insider knowledge of the game to make wise decisions and collect profits. So before diving headfirst into those in-play picks, take note of the various pre-line wagers available. Sportsbooks offer a wide variety of pre-line betting markets, on the other hand, and we'll cover some of the most common ones in detail below.

Common Betting Markets for Football

Below, we will guide you through the most popular wagering markets on football.


There is no arguing on the fact that picking the result of a football game is the simplest form of football betting. You can choose whether the home team or the away team will win. Moneyline odds indicate the favorite team in a given game with a negative number (-200), meaning that you would have to bet that amount to win $100. Conversely, if you bet on the underdog, the odds indicate how much you would win on a $100 bet.

Point Spreads

In American football, a point spread (aka a handicap) because it is like handicapping the game to predict how much one team will beat another by. If you want to wager on who'll take home the W, you can also gamble on whether they're gonna exceed or fall short of that expected margin

For instance, let's consider the NFL kickoff game for 2022-23. We have got the KC Chiefs and Philly Eagles battling out in the Los Angeles stadium. In this game, the Chiefs are slight underdogs with a +1.5 spread.

So let's say before kickoff you put your money down on whether Kansas City either wins or stays within one point of Philly's score at the end of regulation time (don’t forget OT). Let's imagine reality turns out great and Patrick Mahomes leads his squad to victory with a final tally reading 37-33. The Chiefs totally covered that spread like champions while you hit big on your successful NFL bet.


American football betting also includes Over/Under wagers where you predict if the final score will be higher or lower than a set line. Say Georgia and TCU are playing against each other, and the bookmaker sets a line at 37.5 points. If you bet Under 37.5 and the game ends with a score of 24-17, your stake is taken out by the bookie, and vice versa.

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets, commonly known as prop bets, are all about predicting how well a team or player will perform during a game or even an entire season. This type has become increasingly popular among bettors since the results of these football markets don't directly impact the final outcome. Each match presents numerous prop bets to choose from (with over 270 options available for the Super Bowl alone!).

Prop bets can be as specific as predicting the outcome of a coin toss or the length of the U.S. national anthem. Different bookies may have different ideas but allow your choices to be guided by what makes sense and is readily available. These, for example, may include but are not limited to

  • Number of Passes a Player Makes
  • First TD Scorer
  • Anytime TD Scorer
  • Over/Under Passing Yards
  • First Scoring Play
  • Way of Victory
  • Total Reception Yards


To top everything up, football has loads of variations when it comes to markets, making it easier for even novices to start betting. With thousands of games taking place across countries worldwide, football betting guarantees one thing – a lot of fun to be had. However, don’t forget to stick to betting on what you know. Picking out good-value wagers is the best way to win cash and avoid the disappointment of losing down the road.