Winning NFL Bets – The 6 Easiest Football Bets to Win

NFL Logo, Guy Holding Money Cheering

NFL betting can be tough to crack into. With so many ways to bet, and so many venues accepting bets on NFL games, it’s a little confusing and a lot intimidating. The league can be difficult to pin down, infamous for wild “worst to first” and “first to worst” swings between seasons.

This post is aimed at people interested in making those NFL bets that are most likely to earn them some cash. I’ve identified six simple forms of NFL betting that are the most likely to result in a win and outlined each of them so that anyone new to football betting can get a basic sense of the hobby.

The NFL Moneyline – Easiest Football Bet to Win

A moneyline bet means picking the NFL team you think will win a game outright. If the Patriots are playing the Jets, a moneyline bettor just has to pick the team he thinks will win.

Sportsbooks offer moneyline odds based on the perceived likelihood of each team winning.

If New England is favored against New York, bets on New England will be represented by a minus number. That number tells bettors how much they’ll need to bet in order to claim a $100 payout. So, if the Patriots are listed as -160, bettors will need to bet $160 to earn a $100 payout.

For the underdog team, the book offers a plus number. The Jets may be listed as something like +140 – that number tells you how much a successful Jets bet would pay out for every $100 wagered.

So why do I say that moneyline bets are the easiest NFL wagers to win? Betting on the moneyline means betting against the sportsbook’s perception of a game. That’s it. You don’t have to consider a point spread or anything else.

Further Info:The NFL is among the leagues with the most parity, meaning that “on any given Sunday,” one NFL team is relatively likely to beat any other NFL team. 70% of NFL teams have multiple division titles to their credit, compared to just 43% of NHL teams that can boast the same.

In short, one NFL team is almost just as good as any other. That makes betting on the moneyline a beatable prospect – research the most up-to-date news and information about both teams, use recent history (sparingly) to make some projections, and put your money on the side where you think you’ll make a little money.

The moneyline is also beatable because the book is setting the line for the general betting public. A bettor with just a little bit of experience and know-how can easily bet against the public, a group not necessarily known for their handicapping acumen.

The NFL Point Spread – Tougher Bet for a Bigger ROI

Point spreads shouldn’t intimidate you, but I know that a lot of beginning sports bettors are frightened of dealing with the confusing symbols and numbers.

A point spread is just a number – it can’t hurt you. It’s a number set by an oddsmaker in a little room somewhere, then debated and discussed and converted into a number a sportsbook agrees with. The point spread is the advantage (or disadvantage) needed by a team to win (or lose) a particular game.

Using a point spread, a favored team must win by a set number of points in order for a bet on that favorite to pay out. Likewise, an underdog team can lose within a narrow window and still producing a winning result for point spread bettors.

Here’s an example of a point spread bet so we can get into the details of why this can be an easy and simple way to bet on the NFL:

  • Dallas Cowboys                 +6.5
  • Atlanta Falcons                 -6.5

This indicates that the Falcons are favored to win – the minus number next to their name means they must win by 7 points or more in order for a bet on the Falcons to pay off. The Cowboys are the underdogs, but if they lose by 6 points or fewer, a bet on Dallas will pay off.

Note:Most point spread bets come with -110 odds, meaning they pay off $100 for every $110 you wager. You’ll occasionally see different odds offered for spread bets, but that’s uncommon.

Why do I say NFL point spread bets are easy? NFL betting trends reveal a few golden rules that point spread bettors live by. In the NFL, underdogs perform very well against the spread, traditionally. Look at the 2019 season, when 18 of the league’s 32 teams beat the spread often enough as an underdog to offer a profitable strategy. The trend continued in the 2020 season, with the exact same result for underdogs ATS.

Studying NFL spread betting trends can reveal lots of consistently profitable systems. Look into these and you’ll have a ready-made way to consistently beat the books.

NFL Game Totals – Easy Way to Practice Fading the Public

A game total is just the projected final score of both teams combined. If a book thinks Team A will score 40 points and Team B will score 30 points, they’ll set the game total number in such a way to balance bets on both sides of that number. The bettor’s job is to decide if the real total will be over or under the line set by the book – hence the alternative name for game totals, over/under bets.

I place game totals bets on the list of easy bets to win because I feel like this is one of the most stat-rich categories for football betting. People who like to bet game totals look at long lists of stats and results and thanks to existing NFL betting trends for game totals (similar to the trends for point spread betting), they can consistently turn a profit.

If you’re looking into placing an NFL game totals bet, consider the following statistics:

  • Offensive and defensive team stat splits
  • Injury reports
  • Recent game logs and matchups
  • League standings
  • Power rankings
  • Consensus/computer picks

Advice aimed directly at game totals bettors is freely-available, as are stats broken down by year and team that allow you to find your own NFL game totals betting trends.

NFL Parlays – Easy and Accessible Form of Connected Betting

Connected bets are complicated and I’d never recommend them to amateur bettors.

NFL parlays, on the other hand, are widely available all over the country, including through the state lottery systems in some lucky states. They’re accessible, easy to understand, and they give bettors a shot at the big rewards available with connected bets without too much of a risk.

An NFL parlay is just a set of multiple picks, combining moneyline, spread, and game totals bets on separate games on a single betting ticket. In order to win your parlay ticket, each of your picks has to come through.

Note:A parlay ticket’s payout is based on the number of picks you made and the odds for those picks. That makes it a risky proposition, but one that tends to come with big payouts.

NFL parlays make my list because they’re easy to buy and easy to play and allow bettors to dip their toes into the more exotic football bets without risking their entire bankroll.

NFL Teasers – Easy Way to Set Your Own Lines

Teaser bets allow bettors to tease the odds in their own favor, in exchange for reduced payouts.

All teaser bets start as parlays – you can’t make an NFL teaser with fewer than two connected bets.

The difference between a teaser and a pure parlay is that bettors get to adjust game odds on teasers, therefore making it more likely that they’ll win.

Tips:If you want to combine two NFL game bets, but you don’t like the odds as listed, you can parlay them together then tease the odds in your favor. Yes, you’ll earn less money than you would without the teaser, but theoretically, you should be able to win more often, thanks to your own adjustments to the odds.

The more you know about a league or a sport, and the more experience you have, the better you’ll be at teasing odds the right way and giving yourself a better chance at winning.

NFL Live Betting – Easy Way to Get Into Football Props

I’m not a huge fan of exotic football bets – I think the returns are too low considering the longshot odds you’re facing. But this is different.

NFL live betting is an easy way to get into some exotic betting without years of experience placing football bets.

Most online sportsbooks now offer live betting options, whereby you can place wagers while a game is underway. The odds shift live, and you can bet on new kinds of propositions not normally available to football bettors.

For example, you can place bets on the outcome of individual drives, or PAT attempts, or special team plays. Again, these are often seen as dangerous or sucker bets, but with live betting options, you can test it out in the short-term without committing to a longer-term prop bet.


If you stick to the six bets I’ve outlined here, and follow solid NFL betting strategy along the way, you’ll have your best chance at winning money.

As with any gambling, there’s a lot of risk built into placing bets on NFL games. But thanks to league parity and some simple tricks to exploit the sportsbook’s lines, football betting can be as profitable as any other form of American sports betting.

Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.