America’s big professional gridiron league, the National Football League, (NFL) is the most grandiose of all the football codes, provided punters are willing to overlook the fact that foot seldom touches ball in this code.
Betting on the NFL is popular in Australia and Australian spectators are surprisingly astute about the game, perhaps because one of the few players on a NFL team whose foot touches the ball is the punter.
The NFL cannot be accused of not having marketing acumen. Regular season games were once limited to Sunday afternoon in the U.S., until Monday Night Football found a huge television audience in 1970 and since. Now there are games on Sunday and Thursday evenings.
Click on any of the Australian corporate bookmakers’ NFL link and gaze in wonder at copious numbers of markets. Like Australian Rules or rugby fixtures, the number of markets increase during the lead-up, as such things as injuries to key players shift the odds.
With free agency and salary caps, the NFL has evolved to where it is no longer a proposition on the winner being known at the outset. The great teams lose great players to lower echelon clubs that have the money and cap room to make multimillionaires out of players at every position.
Head to Head Betting
Head-to-head betting is by far the easiest, as there is almost always a winner and a loser. The NFL hates draws and does everything possible to eliminate them from the betting equation. Since 1974, there have been only 17 games that resulted in a drawn outcome. It is as though the casinos were told they could no longer have zeros on their roulette wheels.
The league is comprised of 32 teams aligned in two conferences, the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The two conferences are subdivided into divisions, eight of them, so it is instantly obvious that betting on futures offers plenty of markets, throughout the 16-game regular season.
Playoffs at the end of the season admit 12 teams and the final weeks of the regular season are absolutely rotten (in a good way) with all manner of scenarios for which teams will qualify for the post season.
Betting frenzy rises to a fever pitch when the playoffs come around and Aussie punters will see markets of every description, very similar to the number found for AFL and NRL fixtures.
Line betting is particularly popular for NFL fixtures and with the way the league has focused on producing parity to maintain interest in the smaller-market clubs, spreads of above 10 points are uncommon. Punters do need to watch out for the dreaded bookmaker half point spreads and many a punter has fallen on that sword, seeing a winning team fail to cover a spread by that half point.
Team Total markets are popular with Australian bettors. There are several choices, such as one team to score under or over a certain number of points. Many fixtures will have several such markets, with different point totals for each over/under, with odds increasing with the number of points.
Season-long promotions are abundant, but watch what happens when the playoffs come around and when it is time for the Super Bowl, the game to decide the league champion between the AFC and the NFC, promotions will absolutely explode for the NFL Game That Stops A Nation And A Good Portion Of The World.