The NFL season is just around the corner, and this is just as exciting as the Christmas season for sports bettors. The summer months can feel excruciatingly long with only baseball available for betting. Even with the World Cup distracting us for a few weeks, it has been a pretty dry spell for football lovers since the Eagle upset the Patriots back in February.
With each passing year, it seems like betting on the NFL is getting a little more complicated. With the amount of player movement in the offseason, and the ability for teams to simply cut any player under contract, there always seems to be a lot of arguments about power rankings, players to watch and who the eventual Superbowl champion will be.
This article isn’t about predicting the big winners and losers – you have likely had your fill of those articles already. No, this is a piece dedicated to helping gambler figure out the best places to bet on the NFL. We are going to look at the different sites that are available, and what makes one better than another for football gamblers.
Before we get started on all that, however, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Regulated sports gambling has finally come to several U.S. states, and this has sparked some debate around offshore sites, as well as adding more sites to the rankings coming into the NFL season.
We are going to clear up a few points for you on the topic. First, there are only a handful of states that will have legal sports betting by the time the season’s starts, so many of you reading this can skip over the rest of this section. If you live in one of the lucky states, then you do indeed have the option of betting legally with a land–based operator.
Second, there have been some early indications of issues with these books that may cause some concern. Most notably, the prices of the bets in the regulated market are very high compared to the offshore books and have varied dramatically between the different shops. This is likely to continue as sportsbooks try to determine how to make money when having to pay so much in state tax.
Finally, there is nothing stopping you from creating an account at an offshore sports betting site. Many of these sites have been around for over a decade, and while there are some hurdles with regards to getting money to and from a site, the top sites offer an excellent product to players. No matter what you may have read, it is not illegal for you to make a wager at these sites.
What makes a great book for NFL betting?
Ok, now that we have cleared things up, let’s turn our attention to what makes a great sport betting site in the first place. While our reviewers spend countless hours pouring over every site for our rankings, we can summarize the most important concepts that we look for when you are searching for the perfect site for your needs.
There are a lot of competing sites out there, and to the untrained eye, they call all seem to look the same. Here’s what NFL bettors should be looking for:
Most bet types
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how varied the betting options are for each NFL game. Today, with all the prop betting that takes place, it isn’t difficult to find a site that offers more than 50 different bets on each individual matchup.
This is surely enough to satisfy even the most energetic of gamblers. We review all the sites to determine which ones have the widest array of bets available, including the largest parlay and teaser bets and all other types of exotic bets that can be offered.
These days, the majority of us spend far more time on our phones and tablets than on our PCs, and this includes making our NFL bets. Not every site has a great mobile offering, so we test each site vigorously to find the most intuitive betting platforms for mobile devices.
This includes reviewing the entire user journey, so you don’t find yourself on a site where it takes too long to make bets. We also test the speed of the line refreshing, as we all know how crucial it is to get your bet in at the number you want. Bear in mind that in the United States, there are no approved real money sports betting apps, so all the sites we review and recommend are those that are browser-based.
The best lines
The novice gambler may not realize that there are different betting lines on NFL games at the different sportsbooks, but also that there are different sets of lines WITHIN some books themselves. We review the NFL lines that we find, looking to see if they are meant to appeal to a more general (amateur) audience. We tend not to recommend sites that have split lines available, as they are punishing you for being a good player.
In-game betting options
Long gone are the days of betting on a game before kickoff and then waiting for the end result. Today, there are tons of options for in-game betting, including everything from the odds of one team or another winning at any point in the game to betting on the result of each individual play.
These types of bets totally change the viewing experience, but can also be somewhat overwhelming. We review what in-game options are available, as well as how quickly bets are closed after the result so you can get your winnings back into your account and out for another bet if you so wish.
As with most things in life, everyone likes to get a deal! When you are playing at a sportsbook for real money, you should be taking advantage of every bonus and promotion offered to you. These promotions are most likely going to come in the form of deposit bonuses. You may find yourself with a free match bet, or some bonus dollars that you can earn by making a certain amount of wagers.
You can also look for loyalty programs that reward you for every dollar you bet, and even find some places that offer special NFL handicapping contests which cost little to no money to enter but have lots of prizes. Any way you slice it, you want to get the most out of your money since being a winning player is difficult enough as it is.
The top NFL betting sites
With the NFL season right around the corner, you may not want to invest the time to research the dozens of sites you will find at the click of a mouse, so we are here to take the guesswork out of the process for you. From our comprehensive reviews, we have selected the following three sports betting sites that we feel do a great job meeting all our standards on the attributes listed above and even more.
No matter who your favorite team is or what you like to bet on, the NFL season is an exciting time in the sports betting world. These sites all give you the best chance to get your money down on the bets you like and hopefully walk away from a winner!
If you want to check out some of our other site reviews, we encourage you to check out our Review section on this site.