NFL Betting

The NFL is one of, if not the biggest leagues in world sport. It brings in more revenue than any other sports league and averages a staggering 15.4 million viewers per game. It’s the fifth best paid league in world sport based on average annual player salary and the NFL’s biggest game – the Super Bowl – attracts over 100 million viewers worldwide. Read on to find out why you should add NFL betting to your strategy,

NFL in Canada

Here in Canada, we have our very own version of the sport that American’s call ‘football’, and of course we have the CFL which itself is hugely popular domestically, but frankly it can’t compete with the wealth on offer and marketing power of the NFL. Many Canadians appreciate this, and rather than choosing one or the other, they add the NFL to their sports viewing and find themselves supporting a team. There currently aren’t any Canadian based NFL teams, however, that could soon change. Toronto has played host to several NFL games through the years, whether preseason games or the regular season matches. A franchise moving to be based at the Rogers Centre is certainly an idea that excites many NFL fans and should an opportunity arise, we could potentially see it happen.

Popular NFL Bets

NFL has always been hugely popular in the States and also in Canada, but its pull is stretching across Europe and with games regularly taking place in the UK, its spread is growing far and wide. As the popularity of any sport rises, so does the rewards for bettors. New and exciting markets get introduced. More money is deployed into statistical analysis and sportsbooks compete with one another to provide the best odds for players. So, let’s take a look at some of the different bet types you can make.

Match Bet

The best market for newcomers to NFL is the match bet market. It’s the simplest bet type and the easiest to follow. All you have to do is choose who you think will be the outright winner in a particular game, and if you predict correctly, your bet will pay out and leave you with profit.

Handicap Bets

So, sometimes match bets aren’t particularly alluring because one team's odds are ridiculously short and you see no chance for the outsider. Well, this is where handicap betting comes into play. Handicap betting makes even the most one sided ties fun to bet on. Say, for example, that the Patriots are facing the Raiders and the Patriots are 1.30 to win. The Raiders are having a bad year and are 5.00 for the win. You don’t see any chance for the Raiders, so you lose interest in betting. 

Well, stop for a second because handicap betting is about to change that thought process. You can add a handicap to the Patriots to make the game far more exciting and profitable. Say you choose to place a -10.5 handicap on the Patriots, they now have to win by 11 or more points for your bet to pay out, but the profit is much more appealing. Handicap betting is great for when a game appears like it is a foregone conclusion.

Over/Under Betting

The NFL, like many other top sports leagues, is perfectly suited for over/under markets. There are a whole range of scores and events you can place over/under bets on. From points scored, to touchdowns, to yards made and even interceptions. The versatility in the markets and amounts of points scored in the NFL make it the perfect sport to place your over/under bets. Simply put, the sportsbook will offer you a specific score with odds, let’s say 27.5 points or more in a game. It is then your job to successfully predict if there will be more or less than 27.5 points in that game. Guess correctly and you are in the money. Simple!

Prop Bets

Prop bets, or proposition bets, are hugely popular in the NFL and it allows bettors to bet on specific game events. It could be which team will score first, or which player will score the first touchdown. You can also bet on whether a team’s first possession will be a touchdown, field goal or a turnover plus many more. Prop bets are so popular because they are so versatile. Exciting new markets are available all the time, and you can pick and choose which avenues you go down. It might be you want to bet on the over/under yardage of one team's quarterback or how many carries the running back gets, the world is your oyster with prop bets.

Parlays or Accumulators 

A parlay is a bet that consists of two or more football sides being chosen and they all have to win for your bet to come in. You can do parlays on over/under markets or match bets. The more scores you add to your parlay, the higher the multiplier becomes and the more profit you can win. Of course, the flip side to that is there is more chance of the result not coming in. However, when used correctly parlays can be an extremely profitable source for your NFL strategy.

NFL Format

To those who aren’t familiar with the NFL it can feel quite confusing. Luckily for you, we are on hand to explain just how it works

So, nearly every NFL player would have come through the college system. College football in the USA is huge. College games can attract upwards of 80,000 fans, it’s a big deal. Every year there is a draft system and the NFL teams get to pick the hottest talent from the college system. The NFL itself consists of 32 teams from across the United States. These are split into two different conferences: 

The American Football Conference

The National Football Conference

Within each of these conferences are four regional divisions: North, East, South and West. The regular season sees each team play sixteen games. They play everyone in their division home and away, and then the other ten games are predetermined by the NFL and put into their calendar. 

At the end of the season, the four teams (from each conference) that finish top of their divisions qualify for the playoffs. There are then three wildcards (from each conference) also selected. The first round of the playoffs see the number one seeds from each conference (determined by their regular season performance) receive a bye, while the second seeds play the seventh seeds, the sixth play third, and fourth and fifth seeds go head to head. 

The winners then progress to the Divisional Playoffs with the top seed playing the lowest remaining seed and the other two teams facing off. The winners of the Divisional Playoffs proceed to the Conference Championships. The winner of the Conference Championships (AFC and NFC) then meet in the Super Bowl for the biggest prize in American Football and the ‘final’ of the NFL.

Tips for betting on NFL

So, how do you make your NFL betting strategy profitable? Let’s take a look

Bet with your head not your heart

Emotion can ruin any betting strategy and it certainly applies in the NFL. Put all your personal biases to one side. Whether you have a favourite team or player, ignore all that. Use your head to decipher what you think is most likely to happen.

Research the individual match ups 

Do your research. Period. Individual match ups, whether it be quarterbacks or coaches can decide the outcome of a game. Do your research into previous matches and see who came out better. You can use this data and experience to your advantage.

Check the roster for injuries

A team may be topping the table but their star quarterback is out injured, or their running back is suspended. Always check for roster updates before a game to ensure that you think the game will play out as you thought.


As it does in many sports. Home field advantage matters. Not only that, but the United States is also a BIG country and some teams will have had to travel a long way for the journey. Check the news for any weather delays or hold ups that meant the team had a disturbed journey. Or maybe the climate is different to what they are used to. All these things can significantly impact how a team performs on the night.

Beware of divisional matchups

Divisional matchups often tend to be difficult to predict. When you play one another twice per season you get to know how one another plays. Strengths, weaknesses the lot. This can often lead to tight, cagey affairs that are difficult to predict, so be cautious when betting on divisional matchups.

Best Bookmakers for NFL Betting in Canada

William Hill

William Hill supply a wide range of NFL markets for you to enjoy with extremely competitive odds. There are welcome bonuses as well as NFL and Super Bowl tailored promotions. There’s a wide range of deposit methods which make it extremely flexible for customers while you can also take advantage of their in-play betting features.


LeoVegas offers comprehensive coverage of the NFL, with a great selection of exciting and innovative markets. The customer service is second to none and available 24/7 so should you encounter any issues you can have them quickly resolved. LeoVegas boasts licenses from some of the most respected authorities in the world so you can rest assured your money is in safe hands.


Unibet is home to some of the best priced odds you can get and deliver a great array of NFL bets. The website is perfectly designed to optimize user experience whether on a tablet or mobile and there are always a great selection of promotions for you to utilize.

NFL Betting FAQs

Can you bet on the NFL draft?

Yes, many sportsbooks will provide detailed markets for the NFL draft so you can watch the picks as they happen while placing wagers as you go.

Can I live bet on NFL?

Absolutely. Most leading sportsbooks will offer live and in-play betting on every NFL game. There’s a huge selection of bets at great value for you to take advantage of.

Do bookmakers stream NFL games?

Many sportsbooks will offer streaming for NFL games. It usually depends on the licensing agreements as well as terms and conditions regarding your account and bets placed. It’s always best to check with your chosen bookmaker.