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How to Bet on NFL - The Complete Guide for 2024

The NFL is a major highlight in the sports calendar, attracting fans and bettors alike with its thrilling matchups and opportunities for winnings. However, betting on the sport can more complicated that people first expect.

Do not worry, here at ZetBet we have the solution. This guide will provide you with crucial knowledge and strategies required to navigate the world of NFL betting in 2024. Whether you’re looking into NFL betting for the first time or seeking to enhance your betting techniques, we are sure that you will find useful information. Grasping the fundamentals and more advanced aspect of betting is essential so read on to learn about the various bet types, insights into making informed bets, and strategies that can help you on the way to winnings.

Understanding NFL Betting Basics

Understanding the basics of NFL betting is vital for anyone looking to place bets on the league. While it may sound obvious, the first thing is to ensure that you understand how odds work. Odds are central to betting, showing the probability of different outcomes and determining potential winnings.

NFL odds are traditionally shown in American format, but they can be displayed in decimal and fractional formats as well. American odds use positive and negative numbers to show the underdog and favourite, respectively; +100 means you win $100 on a $100 bet, while -100 means you need to bet $100 to win $100.

Types of NFL Bets

There are several different types of bets available. Here are some of the most popular.

  • Moneyline - The moneyline bet is the simplest form, where you pick the team you think will win. If they win, you win your bet.
  • Point Spread - Point spread betting involves handicapping the favorite a certain number of points. For example, if the New England Patriots are -7.5 against the Miami Dolphins, they must win by 8 points or more for a bet on them to pay out.
  • Totals (Over/Under) - This bet focuses on the total points scored in a game by both teams combined. The bookmaker sets a line, and you bet on whether the total score will be over or under that number.
  • Props (Proposition Bets) - Prop bets are wagers on specific outcomes within a game, such as which player will score the first touchdown or how many yards a quarterback will throw.
  • Futures - Futures involve betting on long-term outcomes, like which team will win the Super Bowl or who will be named MVP.
  • Parlays - A parlay combines multiple bets into one. All individual bets (or “legs”) must win for the parlay to pay out, offering higher potential returns but increased risk.

Understanding these betting options is the first step toward making informed NFL bets. Each type offers different opportunities and strategies, catering to various betting preferences and risk tolerances.

Preparing to Place Your Bets

Before placing bets on NFL games, thorough preparation is essential to increase your chances of success. This preparation involves conducting detailed research and analysis on various factors that can influence the outcomes of games.

Start by researching the teams involved in the games you’re interested in betting on. Look into their current form, which includes their wins and losses in recent games. For example, a team on a winning streak might be more likely to continue their success, whereas a team with consecutive losses might be struggling.

Player performance is another critical area to consider. Key player injuries or returns can drastically change a team’s prospects. For instance, if a leading quarterback is out due to an injury, this could negatively impact the team’s offensive capabilities.

Analyzing head-to-head statistics between teams can also provide insights. Some teams have historical advantages over others, which might influence your betting decisions.

External factors such as weather conditions can also affect game outcomes, especially in outdoor stadiums. Snow, rain, or extreme cold can impact teams’ playing styles and scoring abilities, particularly if one team is accustomed to playing in a warmer climate.

Finally, consider the venue of the game. Home-field advantage can be significant in the NFL, with teams often performing better in front of their home fans.

By combining team and player analysis with consideration of external factors and historical performance, you can make more informed decisions when placing your NFL bets. This approach doesn’t guarantee wins but improves the likelihood of successful betting based on solid research rather than speculation.

Betting Strategies and Tips

In NFL betting, employing effective strategies and adhering to practical tips can significantly enhance your betting success. Here, we outline several strategies and tips to consider.

Basic Betting Strategies

If you are a newcomer then these basic strategies are a good place to start:

  • Bet Against the Public - Often referred to as “fading the public,” this strategy involves betting against the team that the majority of bettors are backing. The idea is that the public can overvalue certain teams, which skews the odds and creates value bets on the other side.
  • Focus on Underdogs - Underdogs are often undervalued in the NFL. Betting on underdogs, especially at home, can be a profitable strategy over time. The key is identifying underdogs with a real chance to win or at least cover the spread.
  • Consider the Timing of Your Bets - Odds can shift as the game day approaches due to new information or betting trends. Sometimes, betting early in the week can lock in value before the majority of bets are placed, while other times, waiting until just before kick-off can offer advantages if late developments (like injury updates) impact the game.

Advanced Betting Techniques

Those who have been betting on the NFL for a while may wish to consider the following:

  • Understand Key Numbers - In NFL betting, certain margins of victory occur more frequently, such as 3 and 7 points, due to the scoring structure of football. Knowing these key numbers can help when betting on point spreads, as you can look for lines that give you the best chance to win based on historical outcomes.
  • Use Hedging to Minimize Losses - Hedging involves placing bets on opposite outcomes to guarantee a profit or minimize potential losses. For example, if you have a futures bet on a team to win the Super Bowl and they make it to the final, you could bet on the opposing team to ensure you earn a payout regardless of the outcome.

Practical Tips for NFL Betting

Regardless of your level of experience, always keep the following in mind.

  • Avoid Emotional Betting - Do not let personal bias towards your favorite team influence your betting decisions. Objective analysis always trumps fandom.
  • Pay Attention to Matchups - Evaluate individual matchups, such as how a team’s offensive line fares against the opposing defensive line. These matchups can be more indicative of game outcomes than overall team strength.
  • Stay Informed - Keep up-to-date with the latest NFL news, including injuries, suspensions, and team dynamics. Information is key to making informed bets.
  • Record Your Betting Activity - Tracking your bets, including wins, losses, and the reasoning behind each bet, helps you analyze your betting strategy and improve over time.

By applying these strategies and tips, you can approach NFL betting with a thoughtful and informed mindset. While there are no guarantees in sports betting, enhancing your understanding and employing these tactics can improve your chances of betting success.

NFL Seasonal Betting Opportunities

The NFL season offers various betting opportunities, each presenting unique challenges and advantages. Understanding these can help bettors make informed decisions throughout the season.

Regular Season

During the regular season, each team plays 17 games, providing a wealth of betting opportunities. This period allows bettors to gauge team performance and trends. Early season games may offer value bets as teams can perform unpredictably, while later in the season, performance patterns and standings give a clearer betting landscape.


The playoffs bring heightened intensity and scrutiny. Here, the stakes are higher, not just for the teams but for bettors as well. Teams that have shown resilience and strong performance against high-caliber opponents during the regular season can be solid bets. However, surprises are common, so understanding the dynamics of playoff football is crucial.

Key Events

There are two important events bettors should be aware of:

  • Super Bowl - The culmination of the NFL season, the Super Bowl, is the pinnacle of NFL betting. It’s not just about picking the winner but also exploring a wide range of prop bets, from game-specific outcomes to entertainment aspects of the event.
  • NFL Draft - The draft offers futures betting opportunities, such as which player will be picked first overall or how many quarterbacks will be selected in the first round. Performance in the draft can significantly affect a team’s odds for the upcoming season.

Capitalizing on these seasonal betting opportunities requires staying informed and adapting strategies as the season progresses.

Start Preparing for the 2024 NFL Season at ZetBet

There is still sometime until the NFL Kickoff Game, which is scheduled for September 5, 2024; however, the NFL Draft will be taking place from April 5 to 7 and there are already plenty of betting markets available here at ZetBet, including futures bets on next season. Head over to our sportsbook today to start planning your betting strategy for the 2024 NFL season.

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