Football Betting Types Explained

by Rae Dover | 10/09/2020
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Whether you are a beginner, experienced or even a professional bettor, sportsbooks offer a wide variety of markets for you to take advantage of.  With 200+ markets for each game, coupled with the fact a football season usually spans 5-6 months, it gives bettors a lot of time to beat the bookie and earn money from online football betting

Futures and Outright Betting

At the beginning of every football season, sportsbooks offer select markets that cover the entire regular season, playoffs and championship games. 

A number of future and outright bets are listed below:

  1. Regular season win totals - the sportsbook will offer an over / under total for the amount of wins a team will get during the regular season. You decide if they will win more of less games than the given number. 
  2. Most Valuable Player (MVP) - which player will perform the best during the course of a season. 
  3. Grey Cup - which team in the CFL will win the final game of the season and win the Grey Cup. 
  4. Super Bowl - the Grey Cup equivalent in the NFL. 

You will need to place these bets prior to the season because this is the time that you will be offered the best odds. If you think a team can win the Super Bowl, the more wins they get during the regular season will reduce the odds of them winning the Super Bowl, so it is beneficial to place these bets prior to the start. If you are at all unsure about some of these betting types or markets, maybe you should take a few moments and read through our beginner's guide to football betting.

Popular Football Betting Markets

Although there are 200+ markets available, the majority of bettors focus on a select few, these are explained below:

Moneyline - you choose who will win the upcoming game. 

Point Spread - a very popular betting market, as the odds for these bets are favourable to the bettor. Moneyline bets can have very low odds for the team that is favoured, so instead, you can bet on how many points they will actually win by. Your sportsbook will offer a set number of points the team has to win by for your bet to be successful. Conversely, you can also use this point spread to your advantage for the less favoured team. This point spread means the underdog team can either lose by a set number of points or win the game and your bet will win. 

An example of this market is highlighted below:

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (-4.5) v Hamilton Tiger-Cats (+4.5). 

In this example, Winnipeg are the favourites and will have to win the game by 5 or more points for your bet to win. Hamilton can actually lose the game by 4 points or fewer (and also win the game) for your bet to win. The odds on this market are much more favourable to the bettor, but it’s also riskier than moneyline betting. 

Game Totals - this market allows betting on the total number of points scored by both teams in a game. Your sportsbook will always offer an over / under points total, and you choose whether the game goes over or stays under this total. 

Parlays - parlays are favoured by all bettors as it allows you to increase the odds of your bet and potentially increasing your pay-out. A parlay bet is where you add 2 or more selections to the same bet slip. Please be aware that all of your selections in a parlay bet have to win for your bet to be successful. 

Other Betting Markets

We have highlighted extra markets for you to look into when betting on football below:

  • Quarter Moneyline / Spread / Total – you are able to bet on the most popular markets for each individual quarter. This is especially useful for teams who are quick starters and like to get ahead.
  • Double Chance – you can choose to back a team to be winning at half time and at full time, to help secure better odds. There are also a number of other scenarios within this market, and we suggest researching this in your sportsbook of choice (please read our article detailing the best sportsbooks in Canada if you need help finding the right sportsbook). 

Proposition Betting

Prop betting involves placing a bet on a specific event occurring for a team or one of its players. It is a fun market for beginners and also a profitable market for more experienced bettors who have conducted a lot of research. Prop betting is usually split into Team and Player.

Team Props

The markets included here are the team’s total points scored, number of touchdowns / field goals they score and whether the defence / special teams will score a touchdown. 

Player Props

With 46 players on a CFL roster (or 53 in the NFL), sportsbooks now offer specific bets for the majority of these players. For example, passing yards / touchdowns for a quarterback, interceptions made by a cornerback, number of sacks by a defensive lineman and receptions / receiving yards for a wide receiver. There are many more markets like these to look into when betting on football online. 

In-play Betting

Betting on games whilst they are underway has become very popular with bettors and also creates a lot of opportunity to profit. Watching a game live allows you to judge how each team is playing and what could occur during the remainder of the game. 

For example, if a wide receiver is playing well and being targeted a lot by the quarterback, then betting on the number of receptions / yards for this player would be a good market to look at. This would be the same if the whole offense is in sync, then you should look at the team’s total points or touchdown markets. 

Make sure you look into each market available.  Your research will allow you to carefully predict certain outcomes and to place value bets. This allows you to maximize your profits from betting on football online.

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