Betting on Football

Betting on Football

Whether you like to bet on the NFL, CFL, or the college level, football is one of the most popular sports to place bets on. It’s far and wide the most popular in the United States, and while hockey is the obvious most popular sport to bet on in Canada, football is up there.

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Money Line

In the money line bet, you can be paid out substantially for betting on the underdog, because it’s a straight up bet on which team you think will win. The number of points does not matter. Instead, the minus symbol (-) is next to the favoured team’s payout number, and the plus (+) symbol is next to the underdog team. Those numbers represent how much you stand to win with a $100 bet. To find out how much the payout will be, the bettor need only click the team they want to bet on and type in an amount before they have to actually place the bet to see what the payout would be.

Here is an example of what it might look like:

New England Patriots (-150)

Buffalo Bills (+116)

Point Spread

Unlike in the money line, where the bet is straight up and it’s win or lose, the point spread leans the odds in favour of the underdog team, which means that you are more likely to receive a payout by betting on the underdog, but the payout is almost always smaller. With the point spread, the bookmaker will set a certain number of points the favoured team has to win by in order to receive a payout, and if they do not win by that much, the payout goes to the underdog team. Therefore, an underdog team need only lose by less than the point spread in order to pay out. The underdog team could also win for there to be a payout. For example, if the Patriots were favoured to beat the Bills by 6½, they would need to win by at least 7 points for there to be a payout, and the Bills need only lose by 6 points or less for there to be a payout for them.

Quarter, First Half, and Halftime Lines

Set up the same way as either the point spread of the money line bets, you can bet on who will be up in specific quarters with the quarter bet, or who will be up at halftime with the first half bet. If you understand the previous two bets, you will be able to grasp these two. During halftime, you can also bet on who will win, and the payouts are going to be changing rapidly, so if you have a good feeling, go with it before other gamblers realize the same thing.


Sometimes shortened to O/U or titled “Totals,” the over/under bet is where the bookmaker will guess how many points will be scored in total by both teams combined over the course of the game, and you can either bet that fewer points will be scored or more points will be scored, which are known as the under or over bet, respectively. The payout will be determined based on which of the two options are most likely to happen, though as is the case with most sports, the over and the under bets payout pretty equally.


With props bets, you can bet on specific outcomes in the game and on specific players. For example, you can bet over/under on total number of field goals, fumbles, sacks, etc. You can also bet on how many touchdowns a certain player will score, how many sacks a specific player is going to get, and other, related aspects to the game. Prop bets are normally either yes or no or over/under, and the payout is decided by their likelihood as determined by the bookmaker.


Futures are bets you can place on events that happen in the future, as the name suggests. You can bet on which team will win the upcoming Grey Cup, which team will win the Super Bowl, the college player that will win the Heisman Trophy, which college team will win the National Championship, and so on. Future bets normally have the highest payout, and the lower the likelihood, the higher the payout.