NFL betting explained: NFL odds, point spreads, and more

NFL betting
Play responsibly, 21+, NJ only

Are you ready for some football? The NFL season is underway and there is no better time than now to prepare yourself for betting on the NFL.

If you are a person looking for the top NFL picks each week for betting on the NFL, it makes sense to know where you can turn to find football betting tips as well as other valuable information that can assist you to have greater success. 

Whether it is the NFL latest lines, NFL best bets, or football betting tips, you want to ensure that you are going to the best football betting sites to get your information. It is your money, after all, and you don’t want to throw it away on bad NFL picks.

While there are a lot of seasoned veterans out there who understand all the intricacies on how to bet, there are still those who are looking to get their feet wet. Maybe they know how online sports betting works, but haven’t had much success in the past. A little bit of knowledge can take you a long way, and that is what you will find here.

Free NFL picks from nj.com/betting

Understand the basics of NFL betting

If you are new to betting on sports, understanding the terminology is a good place to begin. While you may have had a lot of success betting on the NFL at work or with friends, your move to real NFL betting probably means that you want to have more fun on your own. This is where knowledge is power. The more you know and understand about NFL betting, the more likely you are to be able to win.

There are several different types of bets that you can place on any game. These include:

  • Moneyline bets
  • Betting on the point spread
  • Prop bets
  • Performance betting
  • Futures betting

While there are other kinds of bets you could make out there, these five categories cover most of the types of football wagers you can make. So, here’s a brief look at each way you can make your NFL picks.

Moneyline

Moneyline is the simplest type of bet for you to make. These bets are nothing more than the NFL odds on who will win the game. The margin of victory is not included in these types of bets.

The moneyline will also include the NFL over/under picks. This gives you the expected total of the game and allows you to bet on whether you believe the total number of points scored will go over or under.

Point spread

NFL point spreads are set by oddsmakers. This is the final outcome they expect one team to have over the other. For example, if the New England Patriots are squaring off against the Miami Dolphins, you may find that the spread for this game is set with New England at -4. 

What this means is that oddsmakers expect New England to win by four. If you choose Miami, you are actually getting four points, meaning that if the Patriots win 27-24, you are a winner. This is another way you can win with NFL betting lines.

You can bet on the quarter and first half lines as well, which will have a spread and an over/under. If you know that a team is much better in the first half or you expect them to keep it a tight contest, choosing the halftime lines may be the way to go.

NFL betting
T&Cs apply, 21+ NJ residents only – Play responsibly

Prop bets

These are unusual kinds of bets that often have very little to do with the final score. During the Super Bowl, you will see countless numbers of these bets, including anything from how long the national anthem will last to what television commercial will air first.

There will be prop bets related to the game as well. This includes such things as who will score the first touchdown, will a field-goal kicker make an attempt longer than 50 yards, or who will be called for the first penalty?

Performance betting

These types of bets are focused around specific categories by individual players or teams for performances. You can bet on how many touchdowns a quarterback will throw, how many rushing yards a player will have, or how many total sacks the team may have. These kinds of wagers give you a lot of options for your NFL picks.

Futures betting

Futures betting allows you to make choices about events that will happen as the season goes along. For example, you can place a bet on who will likely win the Super Bowl, be named the NFL MVP, or how many regular season wins a particular team will have. You can use the betting odds to make wagers during the NFL playoffs as well.

Parlays and teasers

Before leaving this area, we did want to provide one additional type of wager that combines several kinds of bets in one, including NFL lines, the spread, and totals. In the parlay, a person bets on a few different combinations, but can only win if all of their choices are correct. The teaser is very much like the parlay, except for the fact that you can increase your odds by putting points down to help see your bet come to fruition.

For example, in the parlay, if the line was -13 and you took the favorite, you would lose if your team was victorious by 12. However, you can decrease that amount in the teaser by putting six points down, creating a new line of -7. While it decreases the risk and increases your chances of being right with your NFL picks, you still need all of your bets to be correct to win.

Choosing the right NJ sportsbook for NFL betting

Now that you understand how to play and make the right types of bets, it is important to know where you want to go to place your sports bet. First off, there are several online betting sites that are available to you, but not all will offer the same kinds of promotions and opportunities.

Best N.J. sportsbook sign-up offers
Betting siteT&CsOffer
BetMGMT&Cs apply, 21+,NJ onlyIf first bet loses, get up to $500 in free bets
BorgataT&Cs apply, 21+,NJ onlyRisk-free first bet up to $300
PointsBetT&Cs apply, 21+,NJ onlyDeposit $50, bet with $150
ResortsT&Cs apply, 21+,NJ onlyFirst bet matched up to $250
SugarHouseT&Cs apply, 21+,NJ onlyFirst deposit match bonus up to $250

Understanding the brands legal status

As gambling has become legal across the country, you may also find that there are casinos in your area that are offering the opportunity for you to come in and place a wager there. You no longer have to ask yourself is betting legal in New Jersey, as sports wagers are legal across the entire state now.

We also want to mention to you that when betting it is important that you bet responsibly. You should never be willing to wager money you simply don’t have, especially if you are believing that you are just one big bet away from turning around your fortunes. If you are really in that desperate of a situation, maybe it is time to step back or seek additional help.

There are several sportsbook websites on the Internet, and there are many that will offer gambling in your state. You are legally able to wager on your favorite NFL picks in the state of New Jersey. 

Comparing NJ sportsbook offers

When choosing a good sportsbook, you want to begin by looking at the different betting sites offers that are available. If you are new to that site, it is likely that they will offer you a number of different incentives to entice you to start making wagers with them. Some of these promotions can be quite beneficial to you and may include perks such as:

  • No deposit bonuses
  • First deposit bonuses
  • Risk-free bets
  • Referral bonuses

No deposit bonuses

If you have ever been to a casino to gamble for the first time, you have likely been offered $20 free to gamble for the first time. They want you to start hitting those machines and will pay you to do so. You are likely to find that there are some sportsbooks out there that will allow you to bet on the NFL without having to deposit any money at all. This gives you a chance to get used to their system without spending any of your own money.

First deposit bonuses

Many sites will offer you a one-to-one return on your deposit when betting on the NFL for the first time. This means that for every dollar you deposit into your account they will deposit a dollar up to $250. Some go as high as $500. If you are able to deposit a great deal of money at first, you may want to look at one of these sites.

Risk-free bets

These types of bets are just what they sound like. You are able to make wagers on NFL games without having to put any money into it all. You win if you made the right NFL picks. 

Referral bonuses

Some sites will offer you bonuses for referring customers to them. By providing email addresses or by people signing up and using you as a reference, you can make money.

Promotions are not the only reason to choose a particular website, however. Most of these online betting sites have experienced oddsmakers on hand which can provide you with quality picks. 

They will look at the NFL betting lines, and recommend what they believe to be the best selections of the week based upon the football odds. While you don’t have to go with this, it is always nice to know that you can get some free sports picks from people who are experienced in the industry.

Making progress in NFL betting through practice

We want to leave you with two final tips. Before jumping into online football betting, it is important that you get a little practice in. Just as those amazing athletes need to get themselves ready for the upcoming season, get yourself ready. 

If you are going to bet on NFL games, do a couple of practice weeks. Decide that you will practice with the NFL odds to see how good you are at betting. Choose games that you are sure you would win at, and see how good you do. 

Final advice

In addition, try not to bet with your heart. We all have our favorite teams and our favorite players, but when you decide that this is how you are going to bet, you may lose more than you win. When you are choosing your NFL picks, you want to look at how oddsmakers have determined the odds.

Free NFL picks from nj.com/betting

Note to readers: we may earn a commission from the offers and links on this page.