The NFL has rapidly become the most popular American sport for Canadians to bet on, and whether you're buying Pro-Line tickets at the local convenience store or doing some serious NFL betting online at a variety of reputable offshore sports books, chances are as a sports fan in Canada you've placed an NFL bet in the past.
NFL Football Betting
NFL betting markets vary from a simple wager as to which team will win the game, known as the Money Line market, to more complex markets based on the points spread. When dealing with the NFL spread or NFL line, one team is given a points handicap that they must overcome in order to win the bet. For instance the home team might have an NFL line of -3 points. This means that they have to win the game by more than 3 points in order for punters to cash their bets. If the underdog is taken with a +3 point head start the spread is covered if that team loses by less than 3 or wins by any margin.
Another popular NFL bet concerns the combined points tally of both teams. NFL bookmakers will post a number, known as the Total, and bettors decide whether the game will finish Over or Under that published total. If the game is expected to be high-scoring then the Over will be played, but if a dour defensive struggle is expected money will come for the Under. Most casual punters prefer betting on a side to win as opposed to betting on the total number of points, but many professional gamblers feel that there is a lot more value in these total points line than with the usual against the spread bets, where odds makers tend to be extremely shrewd.
NFL betting is popular during preseason exhibition games, sometimes labelled as NFLX by sports books, but it really picks up steam during the 16 game regular season and the playoffs, which feature the top 12 of the 32 teams.
Please remember that when you place an NFL bet with a sports book the odds typically offered are -110 or 10/11. This difference (from getting paid out at Even money) is known as the "vig" or the bookmaker's commission, so you will need to pick slightly better than 51% winners over the course of an NFL season in order to show a profit at football betting.