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Author ImageAuthor: | Last Updated: August 2023

This in-depth guide will explain how to bet on football games at a trustworthy, reliable online sportsbook. We will explain how to choose the right sportsbook for your needs, create an account, and place your first wager.

You will also discover the key football betting options on offer, including the moneyline, point spread, totals, props, and futures. If you’re looking to make money betting on football this season, this guide is for you.

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You simply need to follow four steps if you want to place a bet on football this season. This page will break them down in detail, arming you with all the information you need. These are the four main areas to focus on:

  • Choose a Sportsbook – We’ll help you find a secure, trustworthy online sportsbook that offers attractive football betting odds, loads of options, great bonuses, and quick, dependable payouts.
  • Sign Up at a Football Betting Site – Fill in the registration form with some basic personal details and verify your account.
  • Understand Types of Football Bets – Learn what the various football betting options entail, discover how to read football betting odds, and decide which bets appeal to you.
  • Place Your First Wager – Add a pick to the betslip at your online sportsbook, choose your bet amount, and place your first football wager.

Choose a Sportsbook

You can start by identifying an online sportsbook that suits your needs. The best football betting sites offer detailed coverage of the NFL, NCAAF, and CFL, and they offer dozens of betting options on each game.

You can also find a site that accepts your preferred payment methods, offers for special football events, and features your favorite bet types. The sportsbooks listed on this page are all great options for football fans, but BetUS offers the best all-round user experience.

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betus logo
BetUS nails all the attributes we look for in a football betting site. It offers a large sign-up bonus, huge reload bonuses, and lots of football contests. You will find Vegas-style football betting lines and plenty of props on NFL, college football, and CFL games. The odds are very competitive, and it is pretty quick to publish football betting lines each week.

This is a secure, trustworthy online sportsbook that has been operating since the mid-1990s. It pays out quickly with crypto, as well as bank wire and checks. All budgets are catered to, and it offers best-in-class customer support. There are value-added features too, such as BetUS TV, daily odds boosters, and the Locker Room blog, which provide insights and picks from pro handicappers, so it is a great all-round football betting site.

  • Year Opened: 1994
  • Sports Bonus: 150% up to $3,750
  • Banking Options: Credit card, cash transfer, Card2Wallet, bank wire, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum
  • Available In: All 50 states, various international markets

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It is easy to sign up for an account with high-quality football betting sites like BetUS, Bovada and BetNow. They make the process smooth, quick, and simple. Just follow the steps listed below to get started today:

Create an Account

Click the “Visit Site” button displayed next to one of the football betting sites featured on this page. You will land on the homepage, and it will ensure you get the best welcome bonus. Open the registration form, and fill in your name, date of birth, address, cell phone number and email address. Choose a password. Accept the site’s terms and complete the form.

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You may need to verify your information, either by SMS or email. When your account has been approved, visit the cashier and select one of the deposit methods. They will normally include credit cards, debit cards, bank transfer options, and crypto.

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You can claim a welcome bonus when making your first deposit. Sites like BetUS offer a choice of sign-up bonuses, so select one that appeals to you. Provide your payment details, choose a deposit amount and confirm the transaction. The funds will then land in your account, and the site will release the bonus credits. You can then visit the football betting section to place your first wager.

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Before you place your first football wager, let’s take a look at the options you have. The best online sportsbooks offer a large range of football betting options, so it’s important to know which wagers are best suited for your betting style.


This is a simple bet on which team will win a football game. The sportsbooks will consider the strengths and weaknesses of both teams and will release moneyline odds on their chances of winning the game. In the example shown below, BetUS is offering +140 on the Carolina Panthers to beat the Atlanta Falcons (bet $100 to win $140). You can alternatively grab -160 on the Falcons to win the game (bet $160 to win $100). The smaller potential payout available on Atlanta tells you that it is the favorite.

Moneyline Odds


The point spread is one of the most crucial football bets to understand. The sportsbooks will create a point spread on each game by giving the stronger team a handicap. They then provide similar odds on either team covering it. In the example below, you could bet on the Cowboys -3.5 if you expected them to win by 4 or more points. Alternatively, you could bet on the Giants +3.5 if you felt they would either win or lose by up to 3 points. The spread is the most popular football betting market.

Point Spread


This is a bet on the total points that both teams will score in a football game. In the example provided, you could bet on over 47.5 if you expected the teams to combine for at least 48 points. Alternatively, you could bet on under 47.5 if you felt the total points in the game would not exceed that line. There will be alternative totals at some sportsbooks too, and you can also bet over/under on the total points in a half or quarter.

Totals Odds


Football fans can bet on game props, team props, and player props. Game props focus on events within a football game, such as whether there will be a safety or whether there will be a 2-point conversion attempt.

Team props allow you to speculate on a team’s performance, such as the number of points it will score or the number of first downs it will earn.

Player props focus on an individual’s performance, such as a player to score a touchdown, over/under on the number of receptions a wideout will make, or over/under on the number of yards a QB will throw for.


A parlay combines picks on two or more football games. For example, you could bet on Ohio State, Kansas, and Clemson all to cover the spread. The parlay will only pay off if each pick is correct. The winnings you earn from each correct pick – known as a leg – will roll over to the next pick, so your overall profit compounds. Parlays can lead to large payouts, so it is a risky bet with potentially high rewards. Alternative betting options include same game parlays, teasers, pleasers, if bets, progressive parlays, and round robins.


A futures bet runs throughout the football season. You can bet on an NFL team to win the Super Bowl, or you can bet on it to win the conference or division. There are lots more options too. You could bet on a team to make the playoffs, place an over/under bet on how many regular season wins it will earn, or wager on a player to win an award, such as the NFL MVP award or the Heisman Trophy.

NCAAF Championship Futures

Live Betting

Live betting begins as soon as a game kicks off. Online sportsbooks update the odds on betting options such as the moneyline, over/under line, the spread, alternative lines, and props, reflecting the score and the momentum of the game. You can often continue betting on these markets until late in the fourth quarter. Some sportsbooks allow you to live stream the game while betting on it too.

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There are lots of exotic props, parlays, teasers, and pleasers on offer, but beginners will find it easier to initially stick to the moneyline, spread, or total. They are the most popular betting options, and they also tend to carry the lowest house edge, which is known as the juice.

When you find a betting option you like, click on it. That will add the selection to your betslip. You can then type in the amount you want to risk. The betslip will inform you of the payout you will earn if the bet succeeds. If you are happy, click again to place your first wager. The funds will be deducted from your account balance, and you will get paid out after the football game if your pick was correct.

Beginners might also find it helpful to read up on picks and predictions from sources like ESPN or Most of the writers are experienced sports bettors, so relying on their expertise for a while is a good way to get your footing in the sports betting market.

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Experienced punters all have different ideas about what it takes to be successful at football betting, but there are some tips and tricks that are just musts for every kind of bettor.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you start your sports betting career:

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As much as we’d like to see pristine football every game of the season, it’s just not going to happen. There are multiple different factors that go into the outcome of a game. Think about:

  • Player injuries
  • Inclement weather
  • Home team advantage

Sometimes a perfect wager can fall short because of an unexpected injury or a bad ref call because of terrible weather. The best way to deal with these changes is to stay up to date. Read football news, check the weather, and keep an eye on the betting lines in the hours leading up to the game.

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When it comes to gaining experience and finding the best possible payouts for your wagers, there is no better course of action than creating more than one account with different football betting sites. Creating more than one real money betting account has several perks, such as:

  • The ability to line shop and find the best payouts
  • Access to a wider variety of bet types overall
  • More chances to experiment with wagers

If you decide to create more than one betting account with different sportsbooks, the biggest thing you will need to keep track of is your budget.

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Football Shape With Betting Money

One of the worst mistakes you can make when getting started with football betting for real money is not having an established betting budget for all of your wagers. You would be surprised how quickly your funds can disappear when you are not tracking all your wins and losses.

This is why you should only deposit what you are willing to lose into your real money betting account, and come up with a strategy each week for how much of your budget will go to each bet. While some bettors prefer to spread their budget over several bets, others swear by putting all their eggs in one basket and placing a large wager.

There are benefits to having a larger bankroll (potential for larger wins, more opportunities, etc.), but you by no means need a massive sum to start sports betting. You can place wagers for as low as $5 at most sites, and even winning back $5 is doubling your money. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you are keeping track of your wins and losses, and never wagering more than what you can afford to lose.

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We get it. You want the best for your team. Nothing would make your year better than to watch your favorite football go on an undefeated streak and leave all the other teams sitting on the ground staring at their participation trophies. However, this is rarely the case.

As a result, it’s not good practice to get into betting on football simply so you can rely on your favorite team to make you extra money.

Don’t get us wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with betting on your favorite team. After all, that is part of the fun of real money football betting. We simply don’t advise you to solely bet on them and expect a great return on your betting investment.

Bet With Purpose

What is the point in doing something without purpose or knowledge of what you are doing? That’s right, there isn’t one.

So, if that’s the case, why would anyone want to wager real money on football games just for the sake of it? The risk of losing real money alone should be reason enough for you to have purpose behind your bets. And just because all of your friends bet on football games does not mean that you have to do the same.

On the flip side, if you are someone who places many bets on football games because you love the sport and are good at analyzing it, then understand that you do not have to bet on every game every week. In fact, there’s no set number of bets that you have to make at all. Just take your time and always have a good reason for placing your bets.

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Betting Term Definition
Against the Spread (ATS) A betting result that involves the given point spread for a game.
Bad Beat Bad luck; someone on a losing streak.
Chalk Team The team that is the favorite to win a matchup.
Cover Also known as covering the spread. Refers to a winning bet, meaning you “covered.”
Dime A $1,000 wager.
Dog The underdog in a matchup.
Hedge Betting on the favored side of the wager to try and guarantee a small payback.
Juice Commission collected from bets by the football betting site’s sportsbook.
No action A bet that is cancelled for any reason. Bettors are returned their original wager.
Parlay A bet type; also known as an accumulator.
Side Short for a side bet, where you simply choose a team to win a matchup.
Total The total projected number of points scored in a game. You can bet over or under on this figure.

Gamble Responsibly

Betting on football can be exciting, but it is important to gamble responsibly. Some betting sites will allow you to set deposit limits, wagering limits and time limits on your own account, which can help you stay on track. If you stick to a pre-determined bankroll, take regular breaks and treat gambling as a source of entertainment, you can enjoy it in a responsible fashion. If you fear you may be at risk of developing a gambling problem, these organizations can help: