How to Win at Betting on Football: Step-by-Step Guide

Most people would agree that sports betting is a great way to fill in some extra time while also having some fun with a few dollars. The problem is, not everyone knows how to place a bet or where to find the odds, making it more difficult to win. Luckily, this is something that many bookmakers take care of for you. In this article, we will discuss five steps to taking advantage of NFL betting and how to place winning bets. Let’s get to it.

Step #1: Research The Game

The first step in successfully placing a wager on sports is learning as much as you can about the game you are betting on. Every sport has its unique set of rules and regulations that you have to learn and understand if you are going to place profitable wagers. For example, in the NFL, the rules of engagement are quite different from baseball or basketball. You need to know how and when to engage with the opposing team, as well as how to read the game situation and weather conditions. There are dozens of resources online that can help you learn the ropes of betting on sports. A few good options include:

  • NerdWallet
  • Bookmaker
  • Betting Form
  • Bovada
  • Sporting News
  • RacingForm

Step #2: Place Your Bets

Now that you are familiar with the basic rules and regulations of the game, it’s time to put them into practice. One of the best places to do this is with professional sports books like Bookmaker or Bovada, which will happily accept your bets once you have earned enough credits. Remember: betting with bookmakers is not illegal, but it is certainly not recommended by the government. The best thing you can do for your wallet is to bet small sums of money on games you already know much about. The key to making these bets work in your favor is taking into consideration three things: the over/under total, the spread, and the weather condition. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Over/Under Total

The first and most important thing to consider when placing a wager on sports is the over/under total. This is the basic concept of betting on sports: how much is the total amount of runs (over) or yards (under) that will be scored by both teams? In order to get an idea of how much one team is favored to win a particular game, you can check out their playoff odds from the bookmaker’s website. These odds will typically range between 0 and 100; a zero here would mean the teams are even money, and a 100 would mean the favored team is going to win by a large margin.

It is also very important to note that these odds change frequently, and for good reason: once the games begin, the odds will settle into a range that is more accurate and fair to both sides. This is because the lines move according to the betting market and will thus represent what people think is going to happen.


You might be familiar with the term “spread” in relation to sporting events, as in “the spread is five points”, or “the over/under total is 10 points” (that is, there is a 5-point difference between the two teams’ scores). The spread is the amount of points that the bettor is willing to wager on the game, depending on how much they know about the teams and the predicted outcome. Stated differently, the spread is the maximum amount of points you would need to wager in order to win the bet.

For example, if you think that the Atlanta Falcons are going to beat the New England Patriots by five points, you can put down a five-point bet and walk away a winner. This is because the five-point spread (minus the over/under total) favors you, the bettor, as it is in your favor by five points.

As in the case of the over/under total, the spread will change frequently, as detailed above, and eventually settle into a number that is more accurate and reflective of what is actually going to happen. In general, smaller spreads and more accurate over/under totals are preferred by most bettors, which is why you will usually see them in conjunction with one another.


Another important consideration when placing a wager on sports is the weather condition. When playing a game outdoors, the weather conditions can have a significant impact on the outcome of the game. For example, if it is raining or cold, then there is typically less chance that the game will end in a tie or in favor of the team that is playing in worse weather. If the game is canceled due to bad weather, then you will likely get your money back (minus a small amount for handling fees) from the bookmaker.

As with the other factors discussed above, the weather condition can change frequently and be difficult to predict with any degree of accuracy. If you are planning on placing a wager on a game that is affected by the weather condition, then you should do your best to determine how the weather is impacting the outcome of the game and select your wager accordingly.

Step #3: Stay Active

One of the great things about sports betting is that it is a constantly evolving sphere. Even now, as we speak, the lines are changing due to various factors, such as injuries, ejections, or suspensions. In addition, many bookmakers will honor withdrawals, so you never know when a game you have placed a wager on may end in a tie or in favor of the team you originally backed. In these situations, it is important to be patient and stay active.

Step #4: Read The Book

Once you have mastered the art of placing bets, the next step is to read the rules and regulations of the bookmakers you are using. This is extremely important, as there are several situations where people have won large sums of money because they followed the correct procedures and knew how and when to wager, as described in the bookmaker’s terms and conditions. The best thing you can do for your wallet is to take the time to familiarize yourself with these documents. With some of the larger bookmakers, these documents can be a little difficult to find, so having a digital copy stored in Google Drive or your phone’s digital library is highly recommended.

Step #5: Check Out Charts

Another important step for any serious bettor is to examine the implied odds, or the likelihood of one team winning a game, from various angles. This can be easily accomplished with the use of software such as Charting, which can be found at many sports books, or in the app store for your phone. One of the best things about this step is that it allows you to examine odds from different vantage points and compare them to determine which is more favorable. For example, say that you believe that the Cincinnati Bengals are going to beat the Baltimore Ravens by five points. You can look at the spread, the over/under total, the team’s records, and their current form (which, in this case, is bad) to determine that the five-point spread is the most favorable betting option. Another great thing about this step is that you can compare the various odds and choose whichever one you deem most beneficial at any given time. In the event of a tie, or in the case of a game that is not yet played, then you can use various metrics to choose a winner (most notably, the spread and your assessment of team performance thus far).

This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to placing bets on sports, as there are many other variables that you need to consider before placing a wager. However, these five steps should get you started on the right foot and help you win more often than you lose.