The NFL is by far the most popular sport in the United States and betting on the games is quickly becoming nearly as popular as watching them on television. Thanks to a Supreme Court decision that allowed states to set their own rules on online sports betting, New Jersey now offers at least nine online sportsbooks so you can place wagers at any time without having to get down to Atlantic City.
NFL odds come in two forms. The first is the moneyline, which basically sets the ratio of the payout to the initial bet. So if the Patriots are a -160 favorite, you would need to bet $160 just to win $100. Alternately, if the Patriots are a +170 underdog, your $100 bet would net you $170 in winnings.
The other form of NFL odds is the point spread. The point spread is the margin of victory the favored team must win by in order to pay out. So if the Rams are a -3 point favorite, they would have to win by at least 4 points to “cover” the spread and pay out. If the Rams are a +3 point underdog, they can lose by no more than 2 points and still pay out. Players can also bet on whether the combined point total will be “over” or “under” the projected total. Various sportsbooks will offer varying odds on all of these.
NFL Regular Season
The NFL regular season is one of the shortest, lasting just 17 weeks. Each of the 32 NFL teams plays 16 games and has one “bye” week during which they rest. The season stretches from September until late December or early January. NFL odds are typically released a day or two after each team has played. The NFL odds may change during the week depending on betting trends, injuries, weather, or other team news. Different sportsbooks will offer different odds so bettors can shop around for the sportsbook that offers their team the best shot at winning.
NFL betting really gets going during the playoffs, which kick off in January and last until the Superbowl in early February. The playoffs feature 12 teams — eight division winners and four wild card teams, who are the non-division winning teams with the best records. The playoffs feature three rounds and the Superbowl. Each round is just one game, with the winner advancing to the next round and the loser headed home.
The Super Bowl
The Superbowl is the biggest sporting event in America and sees the largest number of bets of any sports game each year. The Superbowl takes place two weeks after the AFC and NFC Championship games so the Superbowl odds will often change throughout the break depending on injury news, weather, and who the majority of bettors are wagering money on. Because of the popularity of the big game, many sportsbooks will also offer Superbowl odds on prop bets, or individual in-game events like whether Tom Brady will throw for more than 300 yards or if Aaron Donald records 2 or more sacks. You can even find Superbowl odds for the halftime performance, the game’s commercials, and the broadcast.
NFL Betting Markets
Moneyline, point spread, and point total bets are the most common types of wagers at online sportsbooks but you can also toy with more exotic bet types.
A parlay allows you to combine two or more bets into one, which adds risk because both bets must hit for you to win but comes with higher payouts. A teaser is a type of parlay that allows you to “buy” points by combining two or more bets. Though all of the bets must hit for you to win, the risk is reduced, as are the payouts.
You can also make prop bets on single-game events like whether a quarterback will throw three or more touchdowns or whether a defense will get a shutout. Some prop bets are more for entertainment value, particularly during the Super Bowl, where you can wager on things like which ad will air first and what the first song will be during the halftime show.
Futures bets allow you to be on season-long events, like who will lead the league in rushing or whether a team will get over or under 10 wins.
Best NJ Sports Betting Sites
Before the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey, many football fans got their gambling fix by playing fantasy sports on pay sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. So it was no surprise when both of the fantasy football giants launched their online sportsbooks in August 2018 and quickly became among the biggest players in the space. Casinos like Caesars and the Borgata, which owns playMGM, also offer online sportsbooks. You can also place wagers on NFL odds at other popular sites like 888 Sportsbook, SugarHouse Sportsbook, BetStars, and William Hill.