23 min read

How To Bet On Football

In Canada, football betting is becoming more and more popular every year. With the rise of online sportsbooks and the increased accessibility of information, more people are getting involved in betting on football games.

If you're new to betting on football, this guide will give you everything you need to get started.

How Do Football Betting Lines Work?

Football betting lines work differently in Canada than they do in other countries. In general, the Canadian Football League (CFL) is the only football league with games that are available to be wagered on north of the border. However, there are a few exceptions. For instance, the National Football League (NFL) is also offered by some online sportsbooks that cater to Canadians.

The way football betting lines work in Canada is similar to how they work elsewhere. The team that is favored by the sportsbook will have a minus (-) sign next to its odds, while the underdog will have a plus (+) sign next to its odds. The number after the plus or minus sign indicates how much of a favorite or an underdog the team is.

For example, let's say that the Saskatchewan Roughriders are playing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a CFL game. The Roughriders are favored by 3 points, so their odds might look something like this:

Saskatchewan Roughriders (-3)

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (+3)

This means that if you bet on the Roughriders, they would need to win the game by more than 3 points for you to win your bet. If you bet on the Blue Bombers, they could lose the game by up to 2 points and you would still win your bet (since they would have covered the spread).

The amount of money that you can win or lose on a football bet in Canada depends on the odds and the amount of money that you bet. For example, let's say that you bet $100 on the Roughriders to win their game against the Blue Bombers. If they win by more than 3 points, then you would win $190 (your original $100 bet plus your $90 in winnings). But if they only won by 2 points, then you would lose your $100 bet.

What is a Moneyline in NFL Betting?

A moneyline in NFL betting is a wager on the outcome of an NFL game. The bettor simply picks which team will win, regardless of the point spread. If the Cowboys are playing the Giants and the bettor picks the Cowboys, then they need the Cowboys to win outright, not just by more points than the Giants. In other words, on a moneyline wager, there is no "spread" for either team, so if the final score is Cowboys 20, Giants 14, the Cowboys have won and those who bet on them have won their moneyline wagers. Similarly, if the final score is Giants 17, Cowboys 14, then those who bet on the Giants have won their moneyline bets. Moneyline wagers can be made on either the favorite or the underdog in an NFL game.

The odds for a moneyline wager will be expressed as either a positive or negative number. A positive number indicates how much money the bettor will win for every $100 wagered. So, if the odds are +350, then the bettor would win $350 for every $100 wagered, or $3.50 for every $1 wagered. A negative number indicates how much money the bettor has to wager in order to win $100. So, if the odds are -250, then the bettor would have to wager $250 to win $100, or $2.50 to win $1.

How To Read NFL Odds

NFL odds are usually presented in one of two ways: American Odds or Decimal Odds. American Odds are also known as Moneyline Odds, and are the most common way to bet on NFL games in the United States. Decimal Odds are popular in Europe and other parts of the world, and are becoming more common in the US as well.

To read NFL betting odds, first determine which type of odds you're looking at (American or Decimal), then use the following key to decipher them:

American Odds

Positive numbers indicate how much money you would win if you bet $100. So, a +250 moneyline means that you would win $250 if you bet $100.

Negative numbers indicate how much money you would need to bet in order to win $100. So, a -250 moneyline means that you would need to bet $250 in order to win $100.

Decimal Odds

Positive numbers (such as 1.50) show how much money you would win if you bet $1. So, betting $1 on a 1.50 Decimal Odds event would pay out $1.50 in profits.

Negative numbers (such as -2.00) show how much money you would need to bet in order to win $1. So, betting $2 on a -2.00 Decimal Odds event would pay out $1 in profits.

Types of bets on NFL Games

There are many different types of bets that can be placed on NFL games. Here are some of them.

Point Spread

The point spread is the number of points that oddsmakers believe one team will win or lose by.

The point spread is also known as the "line" or "spread." It is common for a sportsbook to set the point spread at an odd number, such as three or seven points. In this case, if you were to bet on the favorite, they would need to win by more than the point spread in order for you to win your bet. If you bet on the underdog, they would need to either lose by less than the point spread, or win the game outright.

Over/Under Bet (Total)

Another popular type of NFL bet is the over/under, or "total." The total is the number of points that oddsmakers believe will be scored in a game.

For example, if a sportsbook sets the total at 42 points, they are essentially saying that they believe that both teams combined will score 42 points.

If you bet on the over, you are betting that the final score will be more than 42 points. If you bet on the under, you are betting that the final score will be less than 42 points.

Prop Bets

A prop bet is a wager on something that will happen (or not happen) during a game.

Prop bets can be on anything, from how many yards a player will run for to whether or not a team will score a safety.

Some examples of common NFL prop bets are:

  • Which team will score first? 
  • How many total yards will be gained in the game? 
  • Which player will score the most points?

Futures Bet

A future bet is a wager on something that will happen at some point down the road. For example, you could place a future bet on which team will win next year's Super Bowl before the season even starts.

Future bets are usually placed on events that will happen a long time from now, such as the winner of the next presidential election. However, you can also place future bets on things that will happen in the near future, such as which team will win this year's Super Bowl.


A parlay is a bet that combines two or more bets into one. You could, for example, bet that Team A will beat Team B and that Player C will have more than 200 yards passing.

If all your bets win, you would win your parlay. If any of your bets lose, you would lose your entire parlay.

Parlays are generally seen as high-risk/high-reward bets, as they offer the potential for a large payout but are also very difficult to win.

NFL Teaser Bets

A teaser is a type of parlay that allows you to adjust the point spread or total in your favor. For example, if the point spread for a game is 7 points, you could "tease" it down to 3 points.

This would obviously make it much easier for the favorite to cover the spread, but it would also lower the potential payout.

Live Betting

Live betting allows you to place bets on events that are happening in real time.

For example, you could bet on whether or not the next play will be a touchdown, or how many yards a player will run for on the next play.

How to Bet on the NFL Draft?

The NFL draft is one of the most exciting times of the year for football fans. It's a time when hope springs eternal for all 32 teams, and every fan believes that their team can find the next superstar.

If you're looking to get in on the action, here are a few tips on how to bet on the NFL draft.

1. Know the Format

The first thing you need to do is understand the format of the NFL draft. It's important to know how many rounds there are, and how long each round lasts.

2. Research the Prospects

You can't just blindly bet on a team to draft a certain player. You need to do your homework and research the prospects.

3. Pay Attention to the Mock Drafts

Mock drafts are a great way to get an idea of where prospects might be drafted. Pay attention to who is being linked to which team in the mock drafts, and use that information to make your bets.

4. Know the Team's Needs

Each team has their own needs and wants heading into the draft. Do your research and try to figure out what each team is looking for. This will give you a good idea of who they might target with their picks.

5. Place Your Bets Early

The earlier you place your bets, the better odds you'll get. As the draft gets closer, the odds will start to change as more information is known.

These are just a few tips to help you get started with betting on the NFL draft. Do your research, pay attention to the mock drafts, and know each team's needs.

Betting on the Super Bowl

Betting on the Super Bowl is one of the most popular activities for sports fans every year. According to a survey conducted by the American Gaming Association, nearly 25 million people in the United States alone placed a bet on Super Bowl LIII in 2019.

While there are many ways to bet on the big game, some of the most popular bets include picking the winner of the game, choosing which team will score first, and betting on the final score. For those looking to get more creative, there are also prop bets available that allow you to wager on things like how long the national anthem will last or whether or not the halftime show will feature a wardrobe malfunction.

Five Tips for Betting on the NFL

1. Know the teams

This may seem like an obvious one, but it can't be stressed enough. Knowing as much as you can about the teams playing is crucial when betting on the NFL. Pay attention to things like team morale, player injuries, and recent game results. This information can give you a big advantage when placing your bets.

2. Pay attention to the point spread

The point spread is the number of points that the favored team is expected to win by. It's important to pay attention to this number because it can often be misleading. Just because a team is favored by 7 points doesn't mean they're going to win by 7 points. Be sure to do your research before placing your bets.

3. Don't bet on your favorite team

It can be tempting to want to bet on your favorite team, but it's important to resist the urge. Doing so can cloud your judgment and lead to bad decision making. If you're going to bet on the NFL, it's important to do so with a clear head.

4. Know when to walk away

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is just walk away. If you're having a bad day or you're just not feeling confident in your picks, it's okay to take a break. It's important to remember that betting is supposed to be fun. Don't let it become a chore.

5. Shop around for the best lines

Not all sportsbooks offer the same odds on NFL games. It's important to shop around and find the best lines before placing your bets. Although it may be a bit of a hassle, its well worth it if it means you're getting a better return on your money.

Basic Rules of American Football

American football is a game played between two teams of eleven. The object of the game is to score points by carrying the ball into the end zone of the other team.

The basic rules of American football are quite simple. The field of play is 100 yards long and 53.3 yards wide. There are two end zones, each being 10 yards deep, at either end of the field.

Each team has four chances, known as «downs», to move the ball 10 yards forward. If they succeed in doing so, they earn another set of four downs. If they fail to do so, possession of the ball is handed to the other team.

Points are scored in several ways:

  • A touchdown is worth six points and is scored when a team carries the ball into the end zone of the other team.
  • A field goal is worth three points achieved by a team kicking the ball through the uprights (goalposts) of the opposing teams end zone.
  • An extra point may be scored after a touchdown by kicking the ball through the uprights or by carrying it into the end zone again.
  • A safety is worth two points and is scored when a team tackles an opponent in their own end zone.

Naturally, the team that scores most points wins. If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, then overtime periods may be played until one team finally emerges victorious.

Common Mistakes in NFL Betting

  1. Not Shopping Around for Lines: There are times when one book will offer a significantly different line than another on the same game. By not shopping around and taking the best line available, bettors are leaving money on the table. 
  2. Not Having an Edge: In order to win when betting on NFL games long term, bettors need to have an edge. This could be in the form of handicapping skills, inside information, or simply being better at picking winners than the average Joe. Without having some sort of edge, it is nearly impossible to profit from betting on NFL games.
  3. Chasing Losses: One of the biggest mistakes bettors can make is chasing their losses. After suffering a bad loss or a couple of close ones, many bettors will increase their bets in an attempt to recoup their losses quickly. This is a recipe for disaster, often leading to even greater losses and an even bigger hole to climb out of.
  4. Betting Too Much: Another typical blunder is betting too much on NFL games. Many bettors get caught up in the action and bet more than they can afford to which will no doubt lead to financial problems down the road, so it is important to only bet what you can afford.
  5. Not Managing Your Bankroll: A lot of winning NFL bettors have one thing in common – they know how to manage their bankrolls properly. This means having a set amount of money that you are comfortable betting with and sticking to it. It also means knowing when to walk away when you are ahead or behind for the day.
  6. Not Doing Your Homework: Finally, one of the most frequent mistakes made by NFL bettors is not doing their homework. With so much information available at our fingertips, there is no excuse for not being up to date on the latest news and trends. Taking the time to do your homework can be the difference between winning and losing when betting on NFL games.

NFL Terms

  • An offensive lineman is a player who lines up on the line of scrimmage on offense.
  • The quarterback is the leader of the offense. He calls the plays and controls the ball.
  • A running back is a player who runs with the ball on offense.
  • A wide receiver is a player who catches passes on offense.
  • A tight end is a player who lines up on the line of scrimmage and can catch passes or block on running plays.
  • A defensive lineman is a player who lines up on the line of scrimmage on defense.
  • A linebacker is a player who lines up behind the line of scrimmage on defense. He is responsible for stopping the run and covering receivers.
  • A defensive back is a player who lines up behind the line of scrimmage on defense. He is responsible for covering receivers and making tackles.
  • The kicker is the player who kicks the ball on special teams.
  • The punter is the player who kicks the ball on special teams. He is responsible for kicking the ball when the offense cannot gain enough yards for a first down.

History of the NFL

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season.

In 1966, the National Football League (NFL) merged with the American Football League (AFL), creating the Super Bowl, which has become North America's most-watched television event. The champions of each conference compete in a championship game that is usually held at a neutral venue one or two months before the game.

Bet on the NFL Responsibly

When it comes to gambling in the NFL, it’s important to do so responsibly. That means knowing when to walk away, setting limits, and not chasing losses. It also means understanding the odds and how they work.

The thing to keep in mind with the odds is that they’re not guaranteed. Just because the odds are stacked against you doesn’t mean you can’t win. And vice versa – just because the odds are in your favor doesn’t mean you will win.

Oliver Campbell
Oliver Campbell
1 December 2022 15:5