Connect with us

Legal NFL Betting Guide

NFL-logo-smallNFL football is by far the most bet upon sport in the United States each year, and the 2020 season will be no different. Betting on the Super Bowl routinely attracts more wagers than any other single event annually and follows three weeks of NFL playoff betting action. Our legal NFL betting guide is intended to assist prospective football bettors in the USA and around the world, and help them get in on the action with the best information available.

But what is the best online sportsbook to bet on professional football games? And is it legal to wager real money on the NFL? Below you’ll find information regarding all vital aspects of legal NFL betting as well as our recommended list of online sportsbooks.

Our guide to betting on NFL games includes reviews for the top sportsbook sites offering pro football betting lines. In addition, we’ve also provided a guide that defines each type of bet that can be made, reveals tips and strategies, and numerous statistical resources to help fans make an informed wager on the 2020 NFL season and earn a cash payout.

Is It Legal To Bet On NFL Games?

Yes, placing bets on NFL games is legal, and bettors in the USA have two options to do so:

  1. Gamblers living within a region that allows for state-regulated sportsbooks can simply visit one of these locations and place a bet on an NFL game.
  2. Football fans can legally place bets on NFL teams and games through reputable NFL betting sites operating legally outside of the United States, such as the ones listed on this page.

Placing a wager with an offshore betting site operating outside the jurisdiction of the United States is not prohibited in 48 states or by federal gambling laws, so bettors inside the USA can do so without fear of penalty from any US authority. Connecticut and Washington have enacted laws that prohibit all online gambling, but we've yet to hear of any investigations or arrests being made in those states.

That's because gambling laws target illegal bookies and not the bettors. Furthermore, the offshore sportsbooks that we recommend in this guide allow for CT and WA members to join and place bets. That's why it is vital to familiarize yourself with regional laws, and the conditions of membership at an offshore betting site, prior to placing a wager.

Best NFL Betting Sites for 2020

 Site NameCurrent BonusU.S.Visit Site
Top Rated #1 IconBovada Sportsbook50% Max $250USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
2MyBookie Sportsbook50% Max $1,000USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
3Betonline Sportsbook50% Max $1,000USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
4xbet logo50% Max $300USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site

How We Determine the Top NFL Betting Sites

We've gone through the trouble of putting together a list of top betting sites for NFL games so you won't have to. We have very high standards and require that betting sites are legitimate, secure and that their performance truly delivers the action that NFL fans deserve.

  1. Legitimacy - Before placing bets at or even browsing a sportsbook's website very deep, we first and foremost validate that they are operating legally within the industry, either through individual licensing or through the credentials of their parent company.
  2. Reputation - Examining the reputation of a sportsbook is also a vital part of verifying their validity in the betting market. Longevity in the industry and a history of accurate and timely payouts is non-negotiable. Though a few of our recommended NFL betting sites are newer, their parent companies have a long-standing presence in the industry.
  3. The Lines and Odds - We look for robust selections of NFL betting lines and wagering options that are easy to navigate to with odds that are competitive with the Vegas sportsbooks.
  4. Security - When wagering online, security is paramount, so we only recommend sites that offer the latest in cybersecurity and encryption technologies that will provide for premium data protection and secure financial transactions.
  5. Funding Options - Each bettor has a different preference for deposit and withdrawal options, so we make sure that each site has multiple US friendly options, and must include cryptocurrency, most notably, Bitcoin (BTC) along with same-day Bitcoin payouts.
  6. Bonus Offers - Incentivizing bettors to try them out is expected at all prominent NFL betting sites, but the offers need to be legit and carry reasonable and attainable wagering requirements. Phony offers are a strategy used by illegitimate bookmakers to draw in bettors.
  7. Customer Support - When betting on football online, or processing a financial transaction over the web, bettors need the assurance that the sportsbook has their back when it comes to customer service. That's why we require 24/7 access to support via text chat, email, or telephone so that NFL bettors are assured a top-rated experience that rivals the finest Las Vegas establishments.

Where Can I Bet on NFL Games Legally?

Thanks to the repeal of PASPA in 2018, sports fans have more options than ever for betting on NFL games, teams, and players. Primarily, there are two legal options for betting on football without violating federal and state gambling laws:

States With Legal NFL Betting

Since the 2018 repeal of PASPA, nearly half of all US states have passed legislation authorizing state-regulated sportsbook gambling through one or more of these formats: brick and mortar, online, and/or mobile.

The following states allow state-regulated football betting on NFL games. States with an asterisk next to their name have not actually launched any type of sportsbook yet, but are expected to in the near future. 

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina*
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee*
  • Virginia*
  • West Virginia
  • Washington*
  • Washington D.C.

Learn more about sports betting by state here

Online NFL Betting At International Sportsbooks

Online sportsbooks operating legally outside of the USA, such a the ones listed above, have been providing NFL betting lines to American bettors for decades. They offer a wide range of betting lines, including NFL futures, moneyline, point spreads, over/unders, parlays, teasers, prop bets, and live betting. 

Fans can enjoy betting at the best NFL betting sites without worrying about violating any federal gambling laws. Fans in 48 out of 50 states can get in on the action without violating any state gambling laws. 

NFL Betting Odds: Who Will Win Super Bowl 55?

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54 by a score of 31-20, rallying from behind in the 4th quarter via the efforts of their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs signed Mahomes to the largest contract in professional sports history during the off-season, and they are the current favorites to repeat as Super Bowl Champions in 2021. The NFL's new playoff format may also impact the odds this year, so this season will be anything but typical.

Odds To Win Super Bowl LV

NFL Calendar For 2020-2021 Season

  • Aug 6, 2020 - NFL Preseason Starts
  • Sept 10, 2020 - NFL Kickoff Game - Beginning of Regular Season
  • Jan 9, 2021 - NFL Playoffs Begin
  • Jan 31, 2021 - Pro Bowl
  • Feb 7, 2021 - Super Bowl LV

NFL Teams and Divisions

American Football Conference

AFC East

Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots
New York Jets

AFC South

Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC West

Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs
Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers

National Football Conference

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC North

Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks

NFL Betting How To...

How To Bet On NFL Spreads

A spread indicates how many points a team is expected to win or lose by, and the favored team will have a negative number placed by their name. Bets can be won if the favored team wins by more than they are favored by, or the underdog loses by a closer margin than predicted or wins the game outright.

How To Bet on NFL Over/Under Odds

Totals, or the over/under, is a line that is set by oddsmakers for the total points that both teams will score during the game. Bettors can place a wager on whether they think the final total will fall above or below that amount.

How To Make Money Betting on NFL Games

There is no guaranteed way to ensure that a bettor will make money while wagering on the NFL, but research and familiarity with the game goes a long way toward achieving that goal. Review the betting line of interest and dig as deep as possible for key pieces of information that’ll assist in gaining an edge.

How to Read NFL Odds & Betting Lines

So, you’ve signed up and deposited at a sportsbook, and now comes the fun part — but oh, wait… what is a parlay? And what do all these numbers mean? Don’t panic, we’re here to help. Below you’ll find definitions and examples for each type of bet you can make on the NFL. For further information about the different types of wagers that can be placed on football games, visit our guide to NFL bet types page.

Point Spread - a set margin for which a favored NFL team is expected to win over the underdog. (ex. Patriots -5, Patriots must win by 6 or more)

Money Line - a bet solely on which NFL team will win and odds determine the payout amount. (ex. Rams -200, $200 bet wins $100)

Totals (Over/Under) - a number set on the predicted total points scored by both teams in an NFL game and a wager must fall on one of two sides. (ex. Over/Under 49 points, over wins, if 50 or higher and under wins if 48 or lower)

Prop Bets - a bet on anything not directly affecting the outcome of an NFL game. (ex. team/player stats or unique oddities)

Live/In-Play - placing a wager on odds or props while the NFL game is currently being played. (ex. 3-point lead in the 3rd quarter, Saints -150)

Parlays - putting multiple NFL betting lines together to gain better payout but one loss means losing the entire wager (ex. Eagles -7 (-110) + Seahawks +2 (-110) = Two-team parlay +260, $100 wins $260 if both teams cover)

Teasers - a parlay-style wager where you have the ability to shift the lines to your liking. (ex. Shift spread by 6 points in your favor on a two-team teaser: +100)

Futures - a bet on the NFL odds made weeks or months in advance to gain a better payout. (ex. June: Odds the Cowboys win the Super Bowl +1500)

Betting on the NFL Draft

Each April, the NFL Draft occurs, where each team in the league selects collegiate football players to add to their rosters in hopes of future success or continued dominance.

Top-rated sportsbooks feature a large selection of options for betting on the NFL Draft, including where an individual player will be selected, what their statistical output will be during their rookie season, and what position a particular franchise will select with their first pick. The only limit to the variety of NFL Draft betting lines that can be offered is the imagination of the oddsmakers.

NFL Free Agent Betting

After each season concludes, there is often a glut of free agent players on the market that are looking for new teams to bring their talents to. Offshore sportsbooks have taken notice and frequently post prop bets that allow for wagers to be made on various success indicators for the player or team, including stats, win totals, and which team the player will end up signing with.

Mobile NFL Betting

The sportsbooks that we recommend in this guide offer mobile NFL betting through the use of web apps that don't require a download. Simply use a current mobile browser (Chrome, Opera, Safari, Google, Firefox) to access one of the links from the table above, and your iPhone, iPad, or Android device will become an NFL betting station in the palm of your hand.

The responsive design technology conforms to screen sizes and allows for touch button control, and includes all of the features available from the main website, allowing for betting on the go from anywhere with a solid internet connection. Our top recommended mobile sportsbooks all cover NFL betting lines.

Banking Options for USA NFL Betting

When you place a wager on an NFL game, it is not unreasonable to expect a same day payout. The only method of withdrawal that can provide a payout that quickly at the sportsbooks we recommend is cryptocurrency.

Betting sites prefer cryptocurrency because of its unregulated status and secure transactions. Any other methods of withdrawal will take 24 hours or more to process. Below is a list of common deposit and withdrawal methods that bettors can expect to find at NFL betting sites.

  • Deposit: Debit & Credit Cards, Wire Transfer, Cashier's Check, Money Transfer Services, Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Tether, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin)
  • Withdrawal: Wire Transfer, Cashier's Check by Courier, Vouchers, Cryptocurrency

NFL Betting Tips, Tricks, and Strats

Whether you’re new to betting on the NFL or are already a pro handicapper, here are some football betting strategy tips you should consider employing when Sunday comes around.

Manage bankroll - The first step to having any sort of success with wagering money on football is to treat it like your own personal bank account, and the goal is to not go bankrupt and be responsible. Whatever you deposit, bet only 1-3% (based on confidence) of your total bankroll on any given line. This allows you to have more bets and minimize losses over the long term.

Determine probability - If you have some knowledge of computer programming, then you might consider creating a projection model based on a variety of statistics from the past. With a model, you can spot value much easier and as a result, greatly increase the chances that you win your wager.

Shop odds - The amount of NFL action coming in on a betting line will differ from sportsbook to sportsbook, but you can use this to your advantage. After you determine what betting line has value, you see that Site A has a +120 betting line and Site B has the exact same line at +135. With a $100 bet, you net an additional $15 with Site B even though the lines are identical, which is why once you’ve found value, it’s crucial to shop around.

Hedging Futures - Let’s say you bet $100 on Team A’s +500 odds to win it all before the start of the NFL playoffs and they made it to the Super Bowl. However, why walk away with nothing when you could have guaranteed money.

That’s why you should hedge your bet in this scenario, which essentially means betting on the opposite team to guarantee a profit. If you put $100 on Team A +500 and Team B is favored on the money line at -175, then a $400 bet would give you a guaranteed profit of $118.08 regardless of which team wins

Fading the public - Studies have shown that when 80% of the public money is bet on the favored team in a traditional NFL point spread, then the underdog wins the bet 56% of the time. This means that if you only bet on the underdog when the public has put 4/5th of all action on the favorite, you will see a return on investment (ROI) of around 3% (juice dependent) over an extended period of time.

NFL Betting FAQs

What is the NFL's stance on legal sports betting in the US?

The National Football League is the only major professional sports league in the United States that continues to vehemently oppose sports betting even though the federal ban has been lifted. Despite other league’s flip-flopping following the Supreme Court decision — then partnering with state-regulated sportsbook brands they originally opposed — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not changed his view in regards to placing wagers on professional football games during his tenure, which began in 2006.

While Goodell’s stance on sports betting hasn’t changed, it certainly looks like the NFL is warming up to the idea of gambling and sports betting, eventually. Not only has America’s most popular pro sports league inked a deal with Caesars to become its first official casino sponsor (not a sportsbook sponsorship), but individual teams have even struck sponsorship deals with casinos with sportsbooks after franchise owners voted to lift the self-imposed gambling partnership prohibition.

When the 2020 NFL regular season kicks off, the Raiders — one of the league’s most historic and beloved franchises — will call Las Vegas Stadium their new home, where the official naming rights are expected to go to the highest bidding casino.

Are there bonus offers for NFL betting?

Online sportsbooks are eager for your business and provide bonus cash offers to new members that matches a portion of the initial deposit. A common bonus we often see is a 50% match of the first deposit up to $250, which can increase to $750 if cryptocurrency is the method of payment.

Where can I legally place bets on NFL games?

For American bettors, NFL bets can be placed at domestic sportsbooks or at online betting sites operating legitimately outside of the US.

Online sportsbooks do offer some advantages over state-regulated books, such as 24-hour access, promotional offers that add bonus cash to bettors' bankrolls, and a much wide selection of sports coverage. Check out our list of preferred NFL betting sites for the best options on the web.

Can NFL players bet on football games?

No, NFL players are not allowed to bet on games as long as they are employed by the league. Harsh punishments will be delivered to any player that places a wager on NFL games, including permanent bans.

Pro Football Resources: NFL Stats, Scores, and Streams

Whether you’ve decided to create a projection model or just want to keep track of the NFL action on game day, here are some great resources to help you when analyzing NFL betting trends and place a wager on NFL games, teams, or players.

Video: How to Bet on the Super Bowl Online

NFL News