NFL Bet Types

Touchdowns and Tactics: NFL Bet Types & Wagers (2024)

When it comes to NFL betting, it’s important to start with a solid foundation of knowledge. The world of sports wagering can seem daunting, especially if you’re new to it. Terms like ‘point spreads,’ ‘money lines,’ and ‘totals’ can be perplexing at first.

That’s why we’re here to provide you with a straightforward guide to NFL betting. Before diving into the more advanced betting options, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals. In this article, we’ll walk you through the common types of NFL bets, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of each bet type’s mechanics.

Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned bettor, having a strong grasp of these basics will help you make informed choices and potentially enhance your betting experience.

Over the years, betting on the NFL has garnered popularity, with millions globally wagering on NFC and AFC games. We, however, understand that venturing into sports betting can be intimidating at first, and terms like ‘player props’ and ‘betting against spreads’ can easily confuse.

It is, therefore, crucial to first understand the basics before delving into complex betting options like NFL picks and parlays.

This article introduces you to the common types of NFL bets. Understanding each bet type’s intricacies is vital for maximizing potential returns as you wager on America’s most loved sport.

Point Spreads

NFL Bet Types & Wagers


Point spreads are the most prevalent NFL wager. You may hear different references to the spread: betting the spread, point spread betting, or betting against the spread. Rarely are football games matchups, and the spread is a way for the sportsbooks to level the playing field.

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To win a point spread bet, the preferred team has to win the game by a specific number of points. The spread encourages equal betting on both teams because it essentially awards points to the underdog. You will often find spreads with half-points attached, known as a ‘hook.’ The hook prevents the chances of a tie or push.

Money Lines

Although the NFL moneyline is less popular than betting the spread, it is the simplest football bet to understand. Betting the moneyline is essentially picking the team that will emerge victorious in the game. Of course, these bets aren’t without risk. Wagering on your favorite team requires you to risk more money.

But on the upside, betting on the underdog guarantees higher payouts.

Here’s a look at a sample moneyline:

Seattle Seahawks +270

San Francisco 49ers -330

Remember that your only task is to select the winner of the game regardless of the point spread, as it won’t impact the result of your wager. Using the above example, you would need to bet $330 for every $100 you want to profit on the 49ers.

Now, say you backed the Seahawks. You would risk whatever amount, and if they were to emerge the winner, you would receive 2.7 times the risk amount in payout.


NFL Betting Totals


Also known as ‘over/unders’ totals follow spreads closely in terms of popularity. In addition, they are among the easiest bets to understand. This type of wager involves a linesman setting a number for the total points that will be scored in a game, and all you need to do is place a bet if you think the final score will be more or less than that particular number.

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A total may look like this:

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills

Over 40.5

Under 40.5

As you can see, the total here is 40.5 points. If you think the teams will combine to score 41 points or more, consider betting the over. However, if you anticipate them to score less than 41 points, bet on the under.


It is called a parlay if you group two or more plays for an increased payout. Parlays are popular among putters because of the greatly increased payoff if all the wagers win.

The downside? Your entire parlay will lose if even one of the games in your group loses. This means that you could accurately predict eight out of 9 of your parlay bets and still lose money. However, you can also bet a small amount compared to other bets as the odds here are huge.

Parlays in NFL



Short for proposition bets, prop bets are bets on the performance of a particular player or occurrences at a certain point in a game. A prop is anything a book chooses to put out.

You could bet on whether Jalen Hurts has more passing yards than Patrick Mahomes this week. Or whether the coin flip during the Super Bowl will fall on heads or tails. All of these wagers can be considered prop bets.

NFL Futures Betting

If you’re looking to take a longer-term approach to NFL betting, futures betting is an option worth exploring. Futures bets involve predicting outcomes that will occur later in the season or even in the following year.

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One of the most popular futures bets in the NFL is predicting the Super Bowl champion before the season begins. These bets can offer substantial payouts, but they also require patience, as you’ll have to wait until the end of the season or even longer to see if your prediction comes true.

Some other common NFL futures bets include predicting division winners, conference champions, and individual player awards like the Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Keep in mind that while future bets can be rewarding, they tie up your money for an extended period, so it’s essential to make well-reasoned selections based on team and player performance expectations.

In-Game Betting

NFL Betting In-game


For those seeking a dynamic and real-time betting experience, in-game betting, also known as live betting, is an exciting option. Unlike traditional bets placed before a game begins, in-game betting allows you to wager on various aspects of the game as it unfolds.

You can place bets on events such as the next team to score, the outcome of the current drive, or whether a specific player will make a touchdown during the game. In-game betting keeps you engaged throughout the match and allows you to react to the game’s changing dynamics.

It’s important to make quick decisions and stay updated on the game’s progress when engaging in live betting. This form of betting adds an extra layer of excitement to NFL games and offers numerous opportunities to capitalize on shifting odds and momentum.