Starting in early September and lasting until February, every Sunday attracts a crowd of NFL bettors. However, this crowd does not always appear in person, as they can go on NFL betting sites to place their wagers.
The NFL is the most popular sport to bet on in the US, and that is why it is crucial to pick the best sportsbooks. It is important to find legal sportsbooks that have good welcome offers, easy to use interfaces, and good odds. Below, I will discuss how to pick the best football sites for online betting.
Benefits of Betting on Football Online
The biggest benefit that comes from betting on football is that it is a lot of fun. Football is a great sport and having a team to root for makes it that much better. When you have skin in the game, the football game that you are watching becomes much more compelling.
For betting online rather than betting in person, there are several benefits. The biggest one is the convenience as you can bet at any time of the day and anywhere that sports betting is legal. You can bet in bed at 3am, at your nephew’s school play, or you can even bet at the game itself.
Other benefits of betting on football online include access to promotions, a larger selection of bet types, and live streaming of games.
Best NFL Betting Sites
One of the best and most popular NFL betting sites is DraftKings. Started primarily as a daily fantasy sports site, DraftKings has a wide range of betting options available. In fact, a typical NFL game will have hundreds of bets available.
As a well-known company that wants to be the most widely used sports betting site, DraftKings offers its new and current users’ incentives for using their book, which is important when consider NFL betting apps. This can include free bets, odds boosts, deposit bonuses, and loyalty bonuses.
Like DraftKings, BetMGM is a well-known company that is trying to be the most popular sports betting site. In the last year because of receiving significant investment, BetMGM has increased its offering to its new and existing users.
BetMGM has great features such as being able to use the search bar in their menu to find the game that you are looking for. Additionally, they have an easy to navigate betting menu for each game.
One feature that I like using on the BetMGM is being able to live stream international basketball games. In addition to international basketball, users can also live stream other sports for free on BetMGM including Tennis, Table Tennis, and Soccer.
In addition to the great features on BetMGM, they also offer generous bonuses. Frequently they offer personally tailored deposit bonuses and free bets. Additionally, they offer other bonuses to regular users such as a free $10 bet each week if you bet $50, and promotions for major games.
I remember the Superbowl in 2020 when I bet $25 on the coin flip because they offered a promotion that you get your bet back as a free bet up to $25 if you lose your coin flip bet.
In my opinion, the best new user offer is from BetRivers. What makes BetRivers new user offer the best is that it is the most generous with the easiest terms to understand.
If you are a new user, BetRivers will match 100% of your deposit up to $250 with the requirement that you only bet your initial deposit amount once on odds of -200 or better. That means with $250, you can have a sports betting bankroll of $500 if you make $250 in sports bets on BetRivers.
For NFL specifically, BetRivers frequently offers pick ’em contests where you can compete against other users and win generous prizes. Additionally in 2020, BetRivers offered one 50% odds boost each week for NFL that can be used on any bet up to $50.
If you live in a legal sports betting state like I do, then chances are that you have seen the tv ad featuring Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame mentioning that bet365 is the world’s most popular sportsbook. Not only is Jesse Pinkman right about bet365, but bet365 deserves to be the most popular sportsbook.
bet365 has one of the most intuitive interfaces around as it is easy to find whatever NFL game that you are trying to bet on. You will not be besieged with ads and promos when you log in, all you will see is a green screen of the most popular games and if you cannot find what you are looking for then you can simply find it in their easy to navigate menu. Additionally, bet365 has arguably the most extensive bet selection available.
If your most important criteria in selecting a sportsbook is finding one with the most generous promos, then PointsBet should be on your list. In fact, when I signed up for a PointsBet account, I used so many of their promos that they limited the number of promos that I could take advantage of.
That is why it is important that you make sure that most of your betting activity on PointsBet is not promo related.
My favorite PointsBet promo that I ever took advantage of was an NBA promo where if you bet $100 on an NBA spread, you got $3 in free bets for every three-pointer that your team made. For the NFL, PointsBet has several generous promos and plenty of unique betting options.
How To Pick the Best NFL Betting Sites
Here are some of the criteria you should consider when choosing the best betting sites for the NFL:
One of the most important things to look for in an NFL betting site is a strong user interface. The most important key to finding a good interface is making sure that the site does not have frequent technical issues. Nothing is worse than being unable to log into the site before kickoff or being unable to find the bet type that you are looking for.
Odds are no pun intended, that in the long run you will not be a winning NFL bettor. However, as an NFL bettor you want to have the best chance of winning or at least limiting your losses.
The best way as a bettor to win is to have the best odds available for betting. If you are betting $100 weekly on a -105 line as opposed to a -110 line, you should only expect to lose $85.86 over the course of a full season as opposed to $171.72.
Based on the odds not being in your favor, as a recreational sports bettor you should look for the best promotions when picking a sportsbook. PointsBet in the past for example has offered +100 lines on NFL Spreads during select time periods meaning that your expected loss as a sports bettor on those spreads is $0.
Other sites offer odds boosts on specific events, or sites like BetRivers will give you custom odds boosts that you can use on any bet of your choosing. The key is picking a site that offers promotions that are favorable to the bettor, and not the sportsbook.
Just like when you go to a casino and they give you free rooms if you play long enough, sports betting sites give away sign-up bonuses just for signing up. These bonuses can range from free bets, matched free bets, matched deposit bonuses, and risk-free bets.
Many sportsbooks offer hundreds of different betting options on each NFL game because their customers love it. As a bettor, you do not have to just bet on the money line, spread, or total. When it comes to betting on the NFL, you will have plenty of wagering options.
You can also bet on a player’s stats, which team scores first, the number of field goals, as well as plenty of other proposition bets. One of your biggest advantages as a sports bettor is that you do not have to bet on everything, but sportsbooks must offer a line on virtually everything.
Why You Should Avoid Illegal Betting Sites
Here are some of the reasons you should avoid offshore or illegal sports betting sites:
Lack of Reliable Banking Options
The best reason to steer clear of illegal betting sites is because it is hard to deposit money and even harder to withdraw.
Due to banking regulations, banks cannot accept money from offshore gaming sites. As a result, bettors must rely on cryptocurrency transactions or getting charged exorbitant fees for using a credit card.
In addition to having a tough time depositing money, it is even harder to withdraw money. Illegal betting sites often have burdensome rollover requirements for bonuses, and they do not always timely process withdrawal requests.
Additionally, if you receive cryptocurrency as payment, you run the risk of losing money just by holding your money due to the volatility of crypto markets.
Lack of Trust
One benefit of regulated sportsbooks is that they must answer to regulatory bodies to keep their license. If a sportsbook stiffs you on payment, you can file a complaint. If an offshore sportsbook stiffs you on payment, then you have no legal recourse.
Poor User Interface
Illegal betting sites often have a poor user interface due to the amount of investment a strong interface requires. As a result, illegal betting sites typically don’t offer mobile betting and as a result you must navigate a webpage that could have a confusing labyrinth of options.
Where Can I Legally Bet on the NFL Online?
Not all states have legal online sports betting. Until PASPA was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 2018, only Nevada had legal online sports betting. Once PASPA was overturned, states outside of Nevada were free to legalize it.
Different states have different rules on online sports betting. In states like New Jersey, there are several sportsbooks, and you can sign up for them anywhere in the state with an internet or data plan connection.
In other states like Illinois, you need to sign up in person at a casino. Regardless, once you are signed up with an account, you can bet on the NFL anywhere in the state.
Current Legal Online Betting Locations
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C
- West Virginia
- New York
- Florida (temporarily suspended)
NFL Betting Site Welcome Offers to Keep in Mind
No Deposit Bonus
A common bonus that sportsbook sites offer new customers is a no deposit bonus. These bonuses typically involve getting a free bet that you can use on anything.
First-Time Deposit Bonus
One of the most common welcome offers are first-time deposit bonuses. The way a first-time deposit bonus works is on your first deposit within seven days of opening an account is matched up to 100% and up to a certain dollar amount. Some sites will match your initial deposit up to $750, while others will match it up to $100 or $250.
The most common welcome offer that sportsbooks give out is the promise of a risk-free bet. The idea behind a risk-free bet is that up to a certain dollar amount which could be up to $1000, the sportsbook will reimburse you with site credit or a free bet if your first bet losses.
What makes a risk-free not completely risk-free is that if your free bet loses, then you are left with nothing in your sportsbook account.
Choose More Than One NFL Betting Site
The best thing that any football bettor can do to limit the sportsbook’s advantage is to use multiple betting sites. Different sites offer different betting odds and as a result you can get the best price by shopping around for the best odds to make football betting picks.
For example, on Sunday January 3, 2021, the Indianapolis Colts were heavily favored against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
On PointsBet, The Colts were favored by 15.5 points, while on BetMGM, the Colts were favored by only 14 points. The final score was Jaguars 14, Colts 28. If you had bet on Indianapolis on PointsBet, then you would have lost. However, if you bet on Indy on BetMGM, then you would have gotten your bet back in a push.