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Football Bet Types Explained


Football Bet Types


Football sportsbooks provide us with ample opportunity to beat them with the large number of markets they offer, allowing us to play a game in a number of different ways. The biggest football competition worldwide, the National Football League (NFL), has a total of 256 games throughout the regular season, providing plenty of options for us bettors.

The following article will highlight, in detail, a number of different football markets on offer.


Popular Football Markets

There are three main betting markets when it comes to football, they are as follows:

Point Spread

The point spread market is the leading betting market in football. Football sportsbooks offer a point spread to each team, depending on how they think the game will go. The team considered the favourite, will have a negative spread (for example -9.5), and the underdog will have a positive spread (for example +9.5). If you place a bet on the favorite, they will have to win the game by 10 or more points. If you back the underdog, they can either win the game outright or lose by no more than 9 points. The odds for this market are generally the same for each team (-110), so if you bet $110, you would win $100. 

Over / Under

Over / Under betting in football is another popular market. The sportsbook offers a combined total of points for a game, and you decide on whether the number of points scored will be above or below that figure. Due to the current trend in NFL being high powered offenses, the lowest game total offered by sportsbooks is usually around 40.0. The total can rise as high as 55.0 when the bookmaker expects the game to be high scoring. 

Money line

Money line refers to the outright outcome of a game, which team will win. It is actually the least favored betting market compared to the two mentioned above, because the teams favored by the sportsbook generally have very short odds (such as -360 – you would need to bet $360 to win $100). Money line is an effective betting market if you believe that an underdog will win the game outright. The odds will be a lot higher compared to the point spread market.

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Other Football Markets to Consider

Most sportsbooks offer 120+ different markets to bet on. The main markets were highlighted above, but there are some others to consider when researching the days football games.

Winning Margin

This market allows bettors to determine the winning margin of either the Home or Away team. It is usually broken down into 6-point brackets, ranging from 1-6 up to 37-42.

Double Result

If you think a team will overpower their opponent throughout the entire game, then this market allows you back that team to be winning at half time and at full time. The odds offered in this market are higher (in comparison to money line) and can provide bettors with higher pay-outs. Other possibilities within the double result market is Away/Home (the away team winning at half time, but the home team fights back to be leading at full time) and Tie/Home (both teams tying at half time, but the home team finishes the game ahead).

Total Number of Sacks

Another exciting market to bet on is the total number of sacks. If both teams have an outstanding defensive line and weak offensive lines, then there is a possibility of an abundance of sacks in the game.

Proposition (‘Prop’) Betting

Prop betting in football involves placing a bet on an event happening (or not happening) during a game which doesn’t affect the overall outcome of the game. Prop betting has become extremely popular with football bettors and provides more ways for us to play a game. There are a number of markets involving team and player props: 

Team Props

The most common team prop bets in football include the overall total points scored by a team and the total number of touchdowns scored by each team.

Player Props

Player prop markets are designed specifically for individual performances throughout a game. These include passing attempts / yards by a quarterback, rushing yards by a running back, receptions / receiving yards by a wide receiver and which player will score a touchdown.


Football parlays involve betting on 2 or more outcomes and can be a very entertaining and lucrative betting system. For you to be successful with your parlay, all of your bets will have to win. Two different parlay bets are highlighted below:

  • If you think two games will go over the total offered, you can place a parlay bet including these two outcomes. Grouping them together will give you a higher pay-out than betting on them individually.
  • Bettors also like to place 10 team parlays, which has the possibility of massive pay-outs, but the probability of this bet winning is much lower. 

Futures & Outrights

Future and outright betting markets involve betting on outcomes throughout a season: 

  • Superbowl – who will be crowned Superbowl champions.
  • Conference / Division Champion – which team will win their respective conference / division.
  • Most Valuable Player (MVP) – which player will be regarded as the best player throughout the entire campaign.
  • Regular Season Team Total Wins (Over / Under) – sportsbooks offer a regular season win total for each team at the beginning of the season.

Following your extensive research into all areas of each game, the markets explained above will create plenty of opportunities for you to bet on and to help you beat the bookie. 

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