A Beginner's Guide to Football Betting Online


Millions of people across the globe tune in to watch football, whether it's the regular season, playoffs or even the biggest sporting event of the year – The Super Bowl.  The popularity of this sport has forced sportsbooks to offer a huge amount of betting markets for us to take advantage of. Throughout this article, we will highlight a number of these markets available for novice bettors.

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Fundamentals of Football

The aim of football is to win by outscoring your opponent. A football team is made up of Offence, Defence and Special Teams.

The offence tries to score a touchdown by running or passing the football in to the endzone, or by kicking the football through the posts to score a field goal. The offence can try 4 times (otherwise known as downs), to try and move at least 10 yards. If they can get the ball past the 10 yards in this time, they can keep advancing the ball down the field until they hit the endzone.  The defence tries to stop the offence from progressing down field, whether it is by tackling, forcing the quarterback to throw an incomplete pass or even by a turnover. 

With the number of varied betting markets on offer, each down can be important for you to either win or lose your bet.

Football Leagues Across the Globe

The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the pinnacle of football in Canada. A total of 9 teams across Canada compete against each other to be crowned champions and win the coveted Grey Cup.

There are also numerous leagues across the world that you can place bets on, these include:

  1. National Football League (NFL) – the NFL is based in the United States and attracts audiences from all over the world. 32 teams compete to win the Superbowl and lift the Lombardi Trophy. 
  2. National Collegiate Athletic Association of Football (NCAAF) – this league is also based in the US where colleges across all states compete to win their respective leagues. A number of these players aim to excel during their time at college and be drafted to the NFL, and many also come to play in the CFL.
  3. European Leagues – Football is becoming more and more popular outside of North America, shown by the number of leagues that have been set up in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Austria, Poland and many more.

Football Betting Online

Football is an extremely popular sport for online betting, with some of the best sportsbooks offering up to 200 different markets. It can be difficult and time consuming trying to work your way through all of these markets, so it is recommended for beginners to concentrate on the following 3 markets:

  • Moneyline (ML) – this market allows you to bet on the final outcome of a game. Here you choose whether one of the two teams playing in a game will win. 
  • Handicap – Football games usually consist of a favourite and an underdog. When the gap between both teams is big, it becomes less valuable to place bets on the moneyline market because the odds are too low. Therefore, the handicap market is your next best bet. Your sportsbook will offer a set number of points for the favourite to win by, for example, the Philadelphia Eagles -7 against the Dallas Cowboys. This means that the Eagles have to win by at least 8 points for your bet to be successful. The Cowboys will have a handicap of +7, meaning they can either lose the game by 6 points or less and even win the game, and your bet will win!
  • Totals – this market relates to the total number of points scored in a game. Your sportsbook will give you a number they believe will be close to the final outcome, for example over / under 49.5 points. You will bet on if the total lands above or below that figure.

When you gain more experience in football betting online, you will be able to focus your research on the other markets available to you which will help find an edge over your sportsbook.

Parlays / Accumulators 

Another betting type that is loved by both recreational and experienced bettors is parlay / accumulator betting.  Here you choose the outcome of 2 or more games and add them to the same betslip. The odds will be higher than betting on a single game, but this is because all of the outcomes must win for your bet to be successful.

Recreational bettors enjoy this because it can increase the pay out, and experienced bettors take advantage of this because there is little to no edge betting on the moneyline market for a strong favourite. You place a bet on two strong favourites that you think will win to increase the odds and your winnings.

Make Sure to Do Your Research

Research is important for every level of bettor and looking deeper into certain statistics and line-ups will help your confidence in choosing a particular bet.  Keep a close eye on a team’s injury list, offensive / defensive statistic and the home / away records for each team. Researching each of these will help you to decide what market to put your money on. All of these are discussed further in the Football Betting Strategies article found on this website. 

What’s Next?

When you are happy with the markets, teams and the research you have carried out, it is now time to find a sportsbook that meets all of your requirements. You can find an article on truenorthcasinos.com detailing the best sportsbooks available to all Canadian bettors. Please read this article and look into each sportsbook that we recommend.

We do highly recommend that you start your betting journey by placing small bets on a small number of markets until you locate the particular niche that your research is most profitable in. 

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