How to bet on Football Online

How to bet on the NFL & College Football online

It is finally time for Football; College Football or Pro Football. Take your pick or if you are a real fan then watch both. It is time for even the casual sports fan to begin talking about who is going to win this weekend. If you are sure who is going to win then why not have a little extra fun and learn how to bet on football online.

There is no doubt that betting of football is a major form of entertainment in the US. The Super Bowl 50 had an estimated $4.2 billion in bets. The vast majority of that betting will take place not in the mega resorts of Las Vegas casinos, but online, in the many privately owned online sportsbooks operating out of countries like Costa Rica.

The world of online gambling is a fascinating subject, both because of its popularity and the legal issues associated. Throughout much of US history, gambling has been considered a sin. When the internet came along and offered the online variety it to was frowned upon. The legal status of online sports betting is also complicated, with federal agencies offering shifting views. Sports betting is definitely illegal in the U.S. outside of certain areas such as Nevada. However, the non-physical nature of the Internet muddies the waters. Further complicating matters is the rise of fantasy sports, with companies like DraftKings claiming that theirs is a game of skill, not chance. Several States have banned daily fantasy football while others allow it to go on unhindered.

How do I place a football bet?

The first step to bet on football online is to find a reputable online sportsbook. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Just going online and clicking on the top link isn’t advisable.  There are a lot of online sportsbooks located around the world. I have been involved with traditional and online sports wagering for over 20 years and these are well regarded sportsbooks:

Football Betting New Customer Bonus Offers

Bovada Sportsbook
BetOnline Sportsbook
MyBookie Sportsbook Sportsbook
GTbets Sportsbook

Making an account at any of these sites is a straightforward process. Most sites will require typical user information such as name, email address, phone number, etc.

How to open an Online Sportsbook Account at Bovada

Online Sportsbook Registration

Online Sportsbook Account

Online Sportsbook Registration

In order to place a bet, most sites will require a credit card (generally Visa or MasterCard). Additionally, they will typically require photo ID to go with the card. With a profile set up, all that remains is to start betting.

Bovada Sportsbook Lines

Bovada Super Bowl Betting Lines

Bovada Super Bowl Lines

Making a Football Bet

The odds above are from the Super Bowl betting menu. You will need to fill out a bet slip, with each individual bet you want to make. In this case, just click on the various items you want to bet on, entering the money you will risk. The site will automatically say how much you will win on each item if they are correct.  For those unfamiliar with sports betting, there are a few things worth knowing.

Money Line Bet

Various regions of the world have their own ways of presenting odds. American sportsbooks like the ones in Las Vegas, generally use something called a moneyline, which indicates which team is expected to win, which is expected to lose, and the payout for either choice. A money line will always be either a positive or negative number, indicated by a +/- sign, with positive indicating the underdog and negative indicating the favored team. The positive number also indicates how much money a bettor will make if they bet $100, while the negative number is the amount one must bet in order to win $100.

In a preview for the upcoming Super Bowl, for example, the Carolina Panthers have been assigned a moneyline of -190. This means that if one bets $190 on the Panthers to win the game, they will win $100 in addition to receiving their original bet back, for a total of $290. The Broncos, meanwhile, have a moneyline of +165. If one were to bet $100 that the Broncos win and they do, that bettor would walk away with $265.

Making a Spread Bet

The spread or as it is sometimes refereed to as the “betting line”. Is the expected difference in score between the teams, and it is possible to bet on whether or not a team will “cover the spread.” Like the moneyline, this figure is given as either a positive or a negative value, with an additional number in parentheses indicating the payout for that bet. If the Panthers are given a spread of -6 (-110), that means that they must win by more than six points in order to cover the spread. For example, you place $110 on the the Carolina Panthers at (-6) on the spread. The Panthers then win the game 24-10. Carolina has won by more than six, so you win $100 and of course get your $110 back for a total of $210.

On the other hand, the Denver Broncos have a spread of +6, which means even if they lose by fewer than six points or if they win the game. You win!  So, if you bet on Denver and the line is Denver  +6 (-110). Lets say, the final score is Carolina 21 & Denver 20. You win because Denver covered the spread. On a $110 wager, you would win your original $110 wagered and an additional $100 for a total of a $210 payout.


Football Betting Slip

Online Sportsbook Betting Slip

Football Betting Slip

Football Betting Slip

This is an example of a football betting slip. After you choose your wagers the betting slip will be used to confirm your bets, amount wagered and, your payout.

In this example the betting slip is for a parlay on the Super Bowl with a $10,000 wagered on the Broncos money line and the score to go under the total. The payout on this bet would be $39,540 if Denver won and the game total ended under 45.

Is sports betting legal?

What exactly is the US Federal government’s stance on online sports betting? That it is illegal. However, as with any situation where law and the Internet collide, Federal regulation of online gambling is complicated. Federal agencies are more concerned with the big picture when it comes to online gambling; the potential for money laundering, organized crime, terrorism and just plain old income tax evasion.

Should I worry about the Feds knocking on my door? So far, no individual has been arrested for placing a bet on a sporting event. The government goes after the sportsbooks. Many of the most popular sites for sports betting are based outside of the U.S., further complicating matters.

Does this mean I should have no concern with online sports wagering? Nope, in the event that the government goes after a site, they have the power to freeze or seize any assets in that company’s possession, including any bets users have tied up in the site. The most famous example of this was an event dubbed “Black Friday” by online poker players. The US Justice Department cracked down on the biggest online poker sites. While nobody was arrested for playing poker online, millions of dollars stored in players’ accounts was held by the government and although players did eventually get their money back. It took a while.

Get your Sportsbook Bonus

Get your Online Sportsbook Welcome Bonus

If you decide to go ahead and wager on sports then do yourself a favor. Get the biggest bonus you can to start. Like many companies, online sportsbooks love new customers. In fact, they have some of the best entertainment bonuses around. I always recommend that you max out the welcome bonus because that is usually the best bonus you will ever see. I also recommend that you do not put all of your eggs in one basket. You should at least use two different sportsbooks. There are a few good reasons for this.

When you bet on football online there will be different odds and point spreads at different online sportsbooks. Why take a team -6.5 points when you can get the same team at another online sportsbook at -6 points? Line shopping is money in the bank. All you have to do is lose one bet because you didn’t bother to take 3 minutes and shop for the best line to know this is a vital part of online football wagering.

Another reason to go with at least two online sportsbooks is that they will have different bonus offers. One may be doing a special offer one month while another does a special bonus the next month. Always shop for the best bonus!

Read Our Picks for the Top Five Online Sportsbooks