Both Professional and College American Football is hugely popular in the USA and around the world. It’s by far the dominant sport, far exceeding Baseball, Basketball, and Ice Hockey.

The Professional form, the National Football League, is made up of 32 teams divided into 8 divisions, and each team plays 16 games in a regular season, 8 at home and 8 away. This means the season is pretty short when compared to most other major sports leagues, stretching from early on in September through to early February.

This brevity can be challenging for bettors because the limited number of games and rivals makes assessing teams’ true ability a difficult task. But that’s what makes it so interesting to explore, and it’s not impossible to turn this obstacle into an advantage if you’re committed to doing things properly!

American Football Odds Formats Explained

The odds for these games come in three formats:


Decimal odds formats represent the amount you can win for every 1 you wager. The number represents your total return rather than just the profit.


Whenever you see numbers separated by a slash, like 10/1, you’ll know it’s a fractional betting odd. These allow you to calculate how much you’ll win compared to how much you’ve staked, so in this example, you’ll get 10 back for every 1 you bet. The outcome is similarly to horse racing betting outcomes as averaged by industrial experts


Thanks to their popularity in this country, Moneyline are also referred to as American odds and are represented by either a positive or negative number. A positive number indicates how much profit you’d see from a winning stake of 100 and the negative number shows you how much you need to bet to make 100.

The Most Popular Bet Types

You’ll be glad to hear that you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to betting on American Football, with online bookmakers able to offer a deep menu of odds and markets, ranging from the staunchly traditional to the more exotic.

The Point Spread

This is the most popular and by far the most time-honoured way to wagering on American Football games. It’s also known as Betting Lines or Handicaps and gives an estimated final margin for any given match.

Bookmakers will determine this margin as 50/50 bet and you’ll be asked to wager on which side of the margin the game will end up on.

The Over Under

This simple wager is similar to the Point Spread in that the bookmaker will set a total number of points that they think will be scored in a certain game. There will be a 50% chance that the game will end with more than the number set, or be Over, and a 50% chance that the game will end with fewer than that many points, or be Under.


These are superbly simple wagers that can be described as Head-to-Heads by another name. You’ll be betting on the final result, including overtime. No handicaps will be taken into account, no points totals will be examined. The only thing that matters is who the winner is.