American Football Betting
American football betting is very popular in South Africa and there are many who look forward to placing bets on the games every year. On this page of our site, you’ll find everything you need to know including information on the game itself, how to place successful bets, our BettingTop10 expert tips and winning strategies, how to read and understand odds, and more.
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We even tell you what the best sportsbooks are and how you can find free bet bonuses. Discover the attraction of in-play betting and how you can do everything from your mobile device too. Keep reading our guide and you’ll be betting like a pro in no time.
American Football Betting Odds Explained
Odds can be quite tricky for beginners and there are a number of different ways they can be displayed. Odds are important as they tell you how much you can win and knowing how to calculate them is important. Below you will find the two most common formats and a brief explanation of both.
- Fractional Odds: These odds are displayed as fractions and will usually appear as 3/1, 10/1, 3/2 etc. The second number in the sequence is your bet amount and the first number is the amount you will win. You stake is also returned with your winnings so if you bet at odds of 3/1 you will win 3 plus your 1 stake so your total is 4.
- Decimal Odds: These odds are a little different to calculate and are displayed as decimal number. They often look like 3.00 or 2.00. To calculate your winnings, you multiple the amount of your bet by the decimal number. The total you get is your winnings including your initial stake.
Most online sportsbetting sites will let you choose the display that you want to use.
Types of Bets You Can Place
There are lots of different types of bets that you can place and we have listed the most popular below.
- Money Line: This is where you predict which team you think will win. In American football, there are no draws and if the game ends in a draw, overtime is played. If there is still no winner, your bet is returned.
- Point Spread Bets: This is like handicap betting and gives you a 50/50 chance of winning. There are positive and negative values in the odds and you add the spread points to the final result of the game if the points were a positive value. If they were negative you subtract it. If there is a draw you get your bet back.
- Outright Winner: This is where you place you bet on who you think will win the game.
- Totals Over/Under: This is where you bet on the total number of points you think the game will have over or under what the bookmaker has selected.
- Accumulators: This is where you combine a minimum of two bets into one. This type of wager is risky and you have to get all your bets correct to win.
- Teasers: This is similar to the accumulator bet but you can modify the point spread or totals line to lower your risk. Teasers usually start at six points but can go up to fifteen points.
- Props: These are considered more of a fun type of bet and can be placed on just about anything in the game such as the team that will score the first touchdown, the total yards a player might run, how many field goals will be kicked, and so on.
- Futures: This is where you place bets on how you think a team will fare over the entire season. The most common future bet is on who will win the Super Bowl or the Conference finals.
American Football Betting Tips For Beginners
Once you decide on the sportsbook you are going to use, the next step is to place your bets and hopefully win some money. To help you out, we’ve created a list of top tips to help beginning bettors to get started.
- Start With What you Know: Before you bet any money, it is important to know the sport and be familiar with the game. This includes understanding the rules and how the games are played. Don’t place any bets before you know this.
- Have a Budget: Decide on a budget and the amount of money you are prepared to lose before you start betting. You should always stick to your budget and never be tempted to spend more than you can afford.
- Compare the Lines and Odds: Check the odds and lines offered and make sure you get the best value for your money. Different sites will have different odds and if you want to find the best offers, be sure to check out our reviews for more information. Make sure you know how to read the different odds formats too so you can calculate your winnings before placing your bets.
- Follow the News: Stay up to date with all that is happening. Watch the games, read the match reviews and end of game reports. Keep track of team performances and player injuries. The more information you have on the teams the easier it will be to determine who has a better chance of winning the game.
- Understand the betting Options: There are lots of different bets that you can place in American Football so it is important that you understand these and how they work. Find the bets that will give you the most value.
How To Bet On American Football – The Rules
American football is a full contact sport and the aim of the game is to move the ball towards the opposition’s end zone where a touchdown is scored. To do this players either run with the ball until tackled, or throw the ball down field to one of their team mates. There are 11 players on each team at any one time and the game is played in four 15 minute quarters. There are three time-outs per half for each team and half-time lasts a total of 12 minutes. If the game ends in a draw there is 15 minutes of sudden-death overtime played.
Downs are the most fundamental part of any NFL play and this is where the offensive team moves the ball forward in sections of at least 10 yards. They are given four chances (downs) to get those ten years and every time the ball is advanced 10 yards or more during the four chances another down is earned. If this doesn’t happen, possession of the ball is surrendered.
A touchdown is worth six points and is scored when a team crosses the opposition’s goal line with the ball, or catches the ball in the end zone. A field goal is worth three points. Extra points are earned by kicking the ball through the uprights after a touchdown. Two points are earned if the ball is kicked into the end zone again. Two points are awarded to the defensive team for a safety when a member of the offensive team is tackled with the ball in his own end zone.
Annual Events, Tournaments & Competitions
South Africa has their own American Football Association which is called Gridiron South Africa and it was founded in 2015. The sport hasn’t been recognised formally and there are no financial resources available. South African bettors can still bet on NLF tournaments though.
- NFL Regular Season – played annually between September and December with games on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursday nights. 32 Teams take part with 16 in each conference.
- NFL Play-offs – Held in January every year. Teams are chosen based on their success in the regular season. Six teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs and compete in a knock-out tournament.
- Championship Games – These games are held at the end of January every year. The top two teams in the AFC compete for the Lamar Hunt Trophy. The top two teams in the NFC compete for the George Halas Trophy.
- The Super bowl – Annual event held at the beginning of February. The AFC and NFC champions go head to head for the Vince Lombardi Trophi and this is one of the most popular futures betting opportunities for fans of the sport.
- NCAA Regular Season – This involves College football teams who compete in several leagues from August to December.
- Bowl Championship Series (BCS) – A number of events are held to find the best college teams. Events include the Rose Bowl held on New Year’s Day, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and the National Championship Game.
- American Football World Championships – Also known as the IFAF World Cup, this event takes place every four years and is contested by teams. The next event will take place in 2019 and is expected to have 12 teams divided into four groups of three teams.
- National Football League (NFL)
- Arena Football (AFL)
- Canadian Football League (CFL)
- Liga de Futbol Americano Professional
- Indoor Football League
- Champions Indoor Football
- National Arena League
In-Play Live Betting
In play betting is great for American Football fans. There are lots of stoppages during the game and this gives bettors plenty of opportunities to win. You could see a three hour long game being played. A lot of fans watch the first quarter first before placing their bets as this lets them get a feel for the game. In-Play betting has soared in popularity and most people have a smartphone with them when watching the game so this means that they never miss out on an opportunity. In-Play options allow you to place bets on each drive and even attempt to predict the outcome of each play. It provides more excitement and gives you many more chances to win.
A Winning Strategy for Professionals
If you want to increase your chances on winning on American Football betting, our winning strategy should help.
- Handicaps: If you are planning to use handicaps or point spreads be sure to take everything into consideration and evaluate the teams on their strengths so that you know who will have the advantage in the game.
- Yardage Differential: Look at the average offensive yards gained and the average defensive yards allowed during every play as this will really help when it comes to placing predictive bets and is especially helpful in in-play betting.
- Home field Advantage: Calculate the home field advantage before selecting your wagers. To work this out you have to subtract the number of points scored by the visiting team from the number of points the home team have and then divide the number by the total number of games they have played. This will help you to decide which team to put your money on.
- Money Management: The American Football season is a long one so make sure you manage your bankroll and take the entire season into consideration. There will be wins and losses so be prepared for this.
- Weekly Edges: You don’t have to bet on every game that is played each week. Our advice is to look for the edges and use them to your advantage. You’ll find edges in money lines and you can place your bets on these. You may find that some weeks you place a lot more bets than another and that’s okay.
- Check the Stats: Weekly statistics are released and it is important that you read these and stay up to date with all the team and game news. Make sure you know about any injuries, weather predictions, etc. Anything that can affect the outcome of the game. The more you know, the easier it is to choose winning bets.
- Know The Players: Does a team have a particularly strong or weak player? Knowing about this is very helpful. See which teams are impressing the experts and watch as their odds change. Keep a note of every team’s wins and losses as this will help you to see a pattern and make it easy to choose your bets.