Football sometimes referred to as American Football by people from outside of North America, is up there with the most popular sports in the eyes of bettors. Unlike soccer, for example, where there are literally thousands of teams from hundreds of leagues, football has only a select number of professional teams from leagues that exist in just a handful of countries. Despite this, you will be hard-pressed to find a more popular sport in any part of the world for bettors.
For the inexperienced bettor, it is useful to know that there are thousands of different online sportsbooks through which you can place any number of football bets. While this is so, just as it is with anything else, those thousands of sites each have a unique offering that differs from the one before it. In the following, we will discuss what it is you should be looking for when choosing the best place to place football bets online. We will discuss everything there is that you need to know the goal of helping you decipher which sportsbook(s) is going to be the best fit for you.
What to Look For
As was mentioned above, no two sportsbooks are created equally and each has something unique to bring to the table. With that being said, just because a sportsbook is perfect for one bettor does not mean that it will be perfect for you. For this reason, we have broken down the different things to look for when choosing your preferred place to bet.
Bet Types Available
If a sportsbook offers betting on football-and most do-you will always find some standard betting options, including moneyline, spread, and over/under betting. These are wager types that absolutely must exist and are therefore offered by everyone. Whether you are betting on Heritage Sports, Bovada, or BetNow, you will always find a moneyline bet to be made. Having said that, where solid sportsbooks differentiate themselves from the sportsbooks that may be skimping in their offering of football bets is when it comes to more exotic wagers. When we say this, we are talking about wagers that can be placed on only a segment of the game, or wagers regarding certain, specific outcomes.
For example, Bovada is a site that offers segmented wagers. So while you might be able to place a moneyline wager on the game as a whole, you will also be able to utilize Bovada to place wagers regarding who will win a certain quarter or half. The same goes with over/under and spread betting as well. Not everyone utilizes segmented bets and other special bets regularly, but a majority of bettors will tell you that they would prefer a sportsbook present them as an option.
Other types of bets that stray further away from what can be considered traditional are specific wagers regarding whether certain events will or will not happen during a football game. Wagers combining the performance of a single player and the outcome of the game put an interesting spin on wagers you might be used to. For example, the moneyline odds for the Patriots to win a single game might be -300, but the odds for the Patriots to win and Tom Brady to throw for more than 250 yards might boast odds of -125. There are so many different ways a sportsbook can create an exotic wager like the hypothetical one mentioned here, and it gives bettors more options to choose from.
In-Game Betting Options
In-game, or live betting is something that has surged in popularity in recent years. Prior to a few years ago, if you did not place your wagers prior to a football game kicking off, you were simply out of luck and would have to choose a different, later game upon which to bet. Nowadays, however, you will see some folks opting out of betting before kickoff in order to place in-game wagers. Live betting gives a bettor unique perspective and can afford them more insight than someone might have had when placing a wager prior to kickoff.
In terms of online sportsbooks today, you will notice that most offer some sort of live betting option. Once again, no two sites’ live betting interfaces are the same, and your in-game betting experience can differ drastically from one site to the next. BetOnline is a site that boasts a competent, all-inclusive live betting suite, while BetNow-a more Euro-centric sportsbook-does not offer much in the way of live football betting. This is the same story across the web, too. If a site is heavily focused on European sports and leagues, you are often safe in assuming that their live football betting options will be slim, if they exist at all. To the contrary, if a site is balanced or is heavily focused on popular US sporting leagues, there is a strong chance that live football betting will be an option for just about every NFL and CFL game.
Just as it was in the previous section, live betting can include a number of different betting options. One site, like Bovada, might offer a slew of different propositions for a given football game, while another site, like GT Bets, may keep their live betting options to the bare minimum and only offer moneyline, spread, and over/under wager options.
Props and Futures Betting
Prop bets are wagers placed on players and teams rather than on the game as a whole, although they can cover the entire game too. While the over/under for a given football game is something that requires a bettor to take into consideration the holistic performances of both teams and the players that compromise them, prop bets often segregate a single player or team from the game’s overall outcome. For example, Bovada might offer a team prop regarding how many first downs are achieved during the course of the game. This bet focuses solely on one team and their ability to move the chains, and nothing else. It doesn’t matter if they win or lose, and the margin of victory does not matter either. Another type of prop bet might revolve around the performance of a single player; the options are really endless.
Football futures bets are typically those bets that see a person wagering on the fortunes of a team or player over the course of a season. For example, a site like MyBookie will boast wagering options regarding who the eventual Super Bowl champion will be. This is a single bet, but one that encompasses both the entire regular and post-seasons. Futures bets and prop bets exist at the sportsbooks that really focus on football betting. Sites like Heritage Sports and BetNow do not tend to offer many of these, whereas sites like BetOnline and Bovada do.
Coverage of Leagues
Sports like basketball, soccer, and even baseball boast a wide range of leagues from all over the world. The same, however, cannot be said of football, which is popular primarily in North America. When it comes down to it, there are 2 major professional leagues, the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the United States’ National Football League (NFL). The United States’ also boasts hundreds of collegiate football programs.
Even though college teams are not considered to be professional, college football is bet on just as much, or perhaps even more, than the NFL. If a sportsbook regularly offers football betting options, you can rest assured that all 3 of the aforementioned “leagues” will be included. Heritage Sports, 5Dimes, Bovada, BetOnline, GT Bets, and just about every other sportsbook offer to bet on all 3 of these leagues.
A mistake many potential football bettors, and bettors in general, make is thinking that the odds for one game will be the same across different sportsbooks. In other words, many people errantly think that if a favored team is listed at -205 moneyline odds at Bovada, it will also be listed at -205 moneyline odds at 5Dimes. This could not be further from the truth, and the fact of the matter is that lines can sometimes differ dramatically at different sportsbooks.
As a rule of thumb, Bovada and BetOnline tend to offer worse odds than sites like 5Dimes and Heritage Sports. If Bovada has a favored team listed at -210, you might find that a competing sportsbook offers -180 odds for the same wager. This is something that you must research fully, but there are plenty of sites out there that offer worse odds than the competition time and time again. After a while, the otherwise small differences in winning payouts can begin to add up, so that is why this is something that is important to pay attention to.
Whether you are a high-roller wishing to know just how much they can bet on a single football game or are a recreational bettor who is looking for the way to place wagers with as little money as possible, betting limits are another aspect of a sportsbook that you should know a little about. Once again, the betting minimums and maximums change with different sites. In fact, the limits for football bets on one site can change by the day.
BetNow, for example, will not allow parlay bets on football games to exceed $1,000 on any day other than gameday, when the limit is raised to a whopping $5,000. Bovada, on the other hand, allows maximum wagers that remain constant every day of the week, but vary by bet type. At Bovada, football player prop bets cannot exceed $500, but moneyline bets can reach up to $2,500. Sticking with Bovada, they have different limits for NFL and NCAA football bets. A moneyline NFL wager can be up to $2,500, however, the same wager type for an NCAA football game cannot exceed $1,000.
On the other end of the spectrum is 5Dimes, which consistently offers some of the lowest betting minimums around. On certain wagers, 5Dimes affords a better the opportunity to place wagers with as little as $0.50 (hence the name, 5Dimes). No matter what type of bettor you consider yourself to be, it is imperative that betting limits be researched prior to signing up and making a deposit.
Mobile Football Betting
If you look around today, it does not take all that long to determine that we live in a society that refuses to be disconnected. Everyone has a smartphone and tablet on them at all times and, as such, most every online sportsbook boasts mobile betting options. In most cases, the betting options you see on a sportsbook’s desktop site will be identical to the ones offered on their mobile site. In other instances, the mobile-facing sportsbook will be a more simplistic version of the traditional desktop site, sacrificing some features and wagering options in the essence of mobile functionality.
Despite the fact that most mobile-facing sportsbooks look and feel like mobile applications, an overwhelming majority of them cannot be downloaded from an app store. Instead, they will function within your device’s web browser. By simply navigating to the site in question, you will be able to quickly and easily place bets at any time, anywhere. Making this even better is the fact that an increasing number of sportsbooks are offering live mobile betting as well. As the years pass, the differences between mobile and desktop sportsbook sites are disappearing such that the experience you attain when sitting in front of a computer is identical to the one attained from placing wagers on a smartphone.
If you would like to place wagers on football games, depositing real money into an online sportsbook account is necessary. There are a plethora of options available to you in order to execute a deposit, including e-wallets, credit cards, bank transfers, and cryptocurrency deposits. By and large, the most popular deposit method is by way of a credit card. This is so due to the fact that credit card deposits take only a matter of seconds and are no different than the process of paying for an online shopping purchase.
With that being said, credit card deposit fees are on the rise and seem to be getting higher and higher all the time. Thanks to this, making deposits via cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin is a practice that is growing increasingly mainstream.
Cryptocurrency deposits, like deposits made with credit cards, are instantaneous and often carry minimal to no fees at all.
If you are wishing to cash out winnings, you will be happy to know that many of the aforementioned options are also supported. Once again, however, cryptocurrency deposits often carry minuscule fees, if they carry fees at all.