With the NFL draft scheduled for April 26th – 28th, now is the perfect time to start paying attention to this exciting sport. It’s also a great time to brush up on how to bet on the NFL.
The 2018 Super Bowl was one of the greatest Super Bowl events ever played. Perennial underachievers Philadelphia Eagles shocked Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, and ended a 57 year search for the championship.
Such an exciting game will have further enhanced the growing world-wide popularity of a sport which is now said to be enjoyed by 3 million UK viewers.
NFL in the UK
Before we get into the ins and outs of NFL betting, we’ll first give some background on why NFL is growing in the UK.
The interest in NFL in the UK actually isn’t a new thing. In the 1980’s, the Super Bowl attracted 4 million viewers.
But as the 90’s kicked into gear, the Premier League was formed, and Sky Sports begun to rise, the NFL took a big hit. It didn’t completely die out, but popularity definitely took a sharp decline.
However, the NFL have since looked to put that right, and regain the lost viewers in the UK market. The key to this was the NFL International Series. This kicked off in 2007, when the Miami Dolphins faced the New York Giants at Wembley Stadium. The UK market was quick to get back into the swing of things, and the first 40k tickets were sold in under 90 minutes.
Every year since, the NFL has hosted games in the UK, and they’re now at a stage where they host four different regular season fixtures.
We’re at a stage now where there is serious talk that the UK may be home to it’s very own NFL franchise in the coming years. It’s been an open secret that this has been looked at by the NFL bigwigs. The seriousness of the vision became apparent when Premier League Football side Tottenham Hotspur released plans for their new stadium which is currently in development.
The new Tottenham stadium would be the world’s first dual purpose Football and American Football stadium in the world. A dedicated NFL pitch could be installed in just a few hours. Should the stadium’s construction remain on schedule, the Seattle Seahawks vs Oakland Raiders match is scheduled to take place there on October 14th 2018.
The plan to start a full-time London NFL franchise is not without its difficulties. It would be the first major professional sports team in a US or Canadian league to play outside of these two countries.
Could you imagine an English Premier League side playing in America? There would be an uproar. And while the logistics behind the NFL make it slightly easier to plan, it’s still a very progressive move.
However, it is rumoured that 2022 is the target date for a London team, as this is when the NFL TV contracts are up for renewal. So UK NFL fans and those who like NFL betting, watch this space…
How the league structure works
Before you bet on NFL, it’s important to know how the league is structured, as it’s a little bit different to what you’re used to with UK sports.
There are 32 teams in the NFL, but because of the distance between teams and the number of teams, they’re not just placed into one big league and made to play each other like Football. As an example, the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins are 2,723 miles apart.
It can be a little bit complicated, which is why it’s important to know before you get into NFL betting. But we’ll do our best to explain. Here it goes…
Firstly, the 32 teams in the NFL are split into two conferences of 16 teams. These conferences are then split into four divisions with four teams each. The conferences and divisions are rotated so that every team plays each other at least once every four years.
During the regular season, each team plays a total of six regular season games against the 3 other teams in their division. Just like in UK Football, that is one home game and one away game.
Every team also plays one game against each of the four teams from another division in the same conference. For fairness, two of these games are played at home, and two away.
Teams also play one game against each of the four teams from a division in the other conference each year. They each have to play two games at home and two away.
Finally, every team plays two games against teams from the remaining divisions in its own conference. Again, these are split so one is at home, and one away.
There are lots of factors that go into deciding these match ups, such as where the teams finished the year before. It can make for some great angles to spot value when you bet on NFL.
The goal of the regular season is to qualify for the playoffs, which is a knock-out tournament. The qualifiers from the regular season matches face off to get a chance to play in the season defining match – The Super Bowl.
Hopefully you’re up to speed, so we’ll get onto how you can bet on NFL next.
Betting on NFL draft
One thing that we didn’t mention, is that before you get to work with NFL betting in the regular season, there is also a great opportunity before the season starts.
The development of NFL players doesn’t work in the same way as you’re used to with UK Football. The most talented players will play for US Colleges, and when they’re ready to turn pro they enter the NFL draft.
The draft is a way of keeping the NFL a level playing field, and is why you have different Super Bowl winners from one season to the next.
Each team is given a place in the draft which is relative to it’s record the previous year. The team that has the best record receives the last draft pick, and the team with the worst record has the first pick.
There are 7 rounds of draft picks which take place over two days. It’s a very strategy driven event, which is why betting on NFL draft rounds can be extremely fun.
If you want to bet on NFL draft rounds, there are markets available such as ‘To Be Drafted First’ where you bet on which college player you think will be picked first.
It may not be for the beginner, but betting on the NFL draft event can result in spotting some great value if you pay attention to the college leagues and the rising stars.
Bet on NFL regular season
With the growing popularity in NFL betting in the UK, you will notice a massive increase in the availability of NFL betting odds.
However, an increase in choice isn’t always a good thing, especially if you’re new to NFL betting. You see, the setup of the markets are slightly different to UK sports. So it leaves a lot for you to learn.
We’ll give you an overview of the types of bets you can place in regular season matches.
If you want to bet on NFL teams to either win or lose, this is the market you choose. You will be given odds for either team to win the game.
Sometimes known as the spread, this is one of the most interesting NFL betting markets. Teams vary in strength, and there is the potential for large winning margins. So to level the playing field, a bookmaker will add a points handicap to the market. One team will be starting with an imaginary head start.
This market does what it says on the tin. The bookmaker will offer a total points line, and you’re betting on whether you feel the total number of points in the match will be higher or lower than this number.
Perhaps you like a more patient approach with NFL betting, in which case, there are also numerous long term or ‘futures’ markets available.
These range from outright winner of the Super Bowl to Conference winner and season specials.
How to place an NFL bet
As we mentioned, if you want to place a bet on NFL, then there numerous places for you to get NFL betting odds in the UK. Most online bookmakers now offer markets.
However, at OddsMonkey we’re passionate about turning the odds in your favour and we actually advise against placing straight bets.
The way we turn the odds in your favour is by suggesting you take advantage of bookmaker welcome offers and promotions. So if you’re looking for NFL bet tips, this is the best tip we can give you…
When the big NFL events take place, the bookmakers will use the heightened interest to try and tempt a new range of customers into betting with them. This gives you a great opportunity to make some extra cash.
We have numerous tools and guides which will direct you to the best offers and then walk you through the process and show you how you can dramatically increase your chances when you bet on NFL.