Betting on the NFL became fashionable many years ago. American football is one of the most popular sports in the United States. 


Have you ever seen an NFL match? It shows strategy, tactics, performance, and a lot of willpower. It’s hard not to fall in love with this sport.


If you’re a newbie, we bet you might be having issues understanding NFL odds and how it came to be in this modern age. Worry not because we will share the history of NFL betting odds and how you approach betting on this sport.  


History of the Beginnings of Professional American Football

At the beginning of the 90s, the so-called Gridiron Football surpassed the popularity of baseball in North America (the United States of America and Canada).


In addition to the professional league in the U.S.A., more than 1,066 colleges competed across the country and went through 3 NCAA divisions (a set of divisions that span multiple games or bowls), followed by a final match of college champions called: the College Football Championship Game, the ultimate stadium-filling competition equivalent to the professional football championship. The final games were broadcasted on national television.


In the 1980s, the sport began intensive national and global marketing through the National Football League. These actions revamped the sports and led us to the NFL odds and the sports’ modern popularity. Let’s look at the NFL betting history. 


NFL Betting 

American football is one of the most famous sports in America with a long history. As a beginner, knowing the NFL history might not magically turn your loss into profit, but it helps to improve your bets. 


Knowing how the NFL betting laws developed helps you understand the players and the bookies’ mindset while approaching NFL match odds.  


Below, we will share a brief history of the NFL odds and how you can familiarize yourself with NFL betting so you can make informed bets on FanDuel Sportsbook. 


The Beginning of General Betting in America

Betting has been practiced on American soil long before the NFL came into existence. Lotteries have been used to raise money for communities during a revolt. However, the authorities banned the lottery practice in the 1830s because of corruption. 


Due to that gap, sports betting kickstarted. After the American unrest (civil wars), horse racing started to gain popularity, and in the next century, baseball gained popularity. The rise of baseball led to the popularity of the betting culture. 


The Brief History of NFL Betting

After the Great American Depression, the rise of illegal betting swept across American soil, which pressured the government to legalize the practice. Even with this progress, sports betting remained illegal in some states, including NFL betting.


However, in the 1920s, Ohio started to experience a rise in NFL popularity and betting activity around the sports. The primary stakes were parlays and Moneyline bets, although there were reports of unfair odds in favor of bookies making a profit. 


As the years went by, the $100 betting model to win an amount was introduced, forming the basics of express sportsbooks odds.


Modern NFL Betting

In 2006, online gambling laws were passed and almost deleted the line between sports gambling and fantasy sports. The NFL opposed betting on their sporting events during this period, but things took a nice turn in 2016 when they made some moves that showed a relaxation to their NFL gambling stance. 


Even though NFL members are still not allowed to bet on games (as with most other sports leagues internationally and nationally), the NFL betting industry has been booming.  


We will now look at how you can bet on the NFL as a newbie. 


Betting on NFL Games as a Newbie

As a beginner, betting on the NFL might be challenging. To dig deeper into NFL sports betting, we’ve selected a few tips for you to improve your performance.


Types of NFL Bets

It’s necessary to know the types of bets in the sport. There is a wide variety, and we list some of them:


Point Difference

It’s one of the most common bets. It’s how the bookies balance the two sides of a bet, giving opportunities to both. Here, the bookies define a number that will serve as an advantage for the least favorite and a disadvantage for the favorite.


Let’s look at an example: a game between the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys. At home, New England is -4.5, and the Cowboys are +4.5. The favorite has the “-” sign, with 4.5 of the handicap points. The weakest wins the “+” sign by 4.5 advantage points.


The punter should bet on New England only if he thinks he can win by 5 points or more. If the favorite wins, say, 16-10, the bettor who picked New England wins. Now, if the victory is 16-13, with a difference of only 3 points, which does not cover the 4.5, then whoever chooses the Cowboys wins.


Winner NFL Bets

Bet on the event’s overall winner without considering the handicap or points difference. To choose a favorite, you have to pay more.

For example, the New England Patriots are the favorites to face the New York Giants. The line to the result for this game may be “New England – 150”. What does that mean? The bettor must risk $150 to play the favorite with the possibility of winning $100 if the bet wins. On the “underdog,” you can get $250 on a $100 bet if the Giants win.



The betting site defines the total points of a match. It’s up to you to bet if the game will end with more or fewer points than the total predicted by the “house.”

For example, the bookmaker claims that the game between the Giants and the Cowboys will end with 30 points. If the game ends, for example, 15 to 10, the sum is 25, so whoever bets Under wins. Now, if the game ends from 25 to 10, making 35 – whoever bets Over wins.


Interval/Late Match Bet

It’s when the player bets only on the result of the first or second half. The procedure is very similar to the match result bet. 


Proposition Bets (prop)

Prop bets are generally most common in the NFL final, the Super Bowl. This type of bet ranges from performances of individual players, exact results, the number of team wins, and much more.


NFL Odds History: The Betting Statistics

It’s vital to know some football statistics to bet successfully. While some prefer to focus on touchdowns and the number of points, more adventurous bettors are looking for stats that can yield much greater value.


Score in the First Half

One of the most used movements by professional bettors is studying the team’s game performance. Teams that score well in the first half tend to manage the result in the second half.


Average Yards

Players use this measure to confirm the effectiveness of the best players on a team. It’s also a measure of the overall performance of the attack.


Percentage Of Negative Plays

It analyzes the combination of two movements, interceptions and sacks (when the quarterback loses the ball). Teams with a higher-than-average number tend to have a more organized and skilled defense.


Turnover (flip)

It’s when the attacking team loses possession of the ball on a play. It’s normal for teams that commit a lot of turnovers to lose the game.


Stay Up to Date on the NFL

One of the great secrets of a good bettor is to be well informed. So, stay up to date. See if the team got the star, who signed for the season, who’s the coach if the team’s star plays in that round, etc. This information can make a difference in your bet.

Another tip is to check stats like the head-to-head and number of home and away wins. 



The NFL is an exciting sport to bet on and watch. It’s rich in history, both in the game and the betting aspect of it. We have briefly shared with you the NFL odds history and things you need to know to get started on NFL betting. We hope you got value from the content; thanks for reading!