How To Bet On The NFL In Michigan

Given how popular the NFL is in our sports culture, it’s no surprise that it also reigns supreme when it comes to sports betting. On a per-game basis, no sport in the U.S. regularly generates the type of action that football does.

In this guide we’ll focus on legal Michigan sportsbooks, popular NFL bets and terms, explain the ins and outs of the market and what Michigan bettors can expect to see once the NFL gets rolling. We’ll also touch on the Detroit Lions, previewing what is ahead for them and some changes they’ve made via free agency and the draft, in addition to providing some general betting tips to get you off on the right foot. 

Popular NFL Betting markets and formats

  • Futures: Bettors can place futures bets on various team and individual player outcomes. The most common NFL futures bets are on the eventual Super Bowl champion individual teams’ season win totals (over/under). It’s also possible to make futures bets on player props such as award winners and season-long player stats. 
  • Point spread: The most popular form of betting in the NFL is spread betting. In order to attempt to “even the playing field,” books will handicap the game to try to get even betting on both sides of the number. If the Lions are three-point favorites, -3, they’d need to win by more than three points in order to “cover the spread.” If they win by exactly three points, the bet is a “push” and is essentially a tie — the bettor gets his wager amount back. Let’s say the Lions were considered six-point underdogs. In order to cover the spread, they’d need to either win the game or lose by five or less. 
  • Moneyline: This is another popular form of NFL betting and instead of factoring in any sort of point spread, moneyline bets simply require the team you wagered on to win in order to cash the ticket. It’s not as easy as it sounds, though. If you’re betting on a large favorite, such as a team listed at -250, you’d have to risk $250 in order to turn a $100 profit. It’s generally not advised to regularly bet large moneyline favorites — you only need to lose one in a handful of bets to end up in the red. 
  • Player props: Covered in more detail below, it’s basically betting on player on-field production, which could be passing yards, touchdowns, receptions, you name it. Finding an accurate projection system is integral for success in prop betting. RotoGrinders.com provides daily player projections for the NFL, which can help considerably when looking at the prop board to find value. 
  • Totals (Over/Under): Totals betting is based on the score of an individual game. By betting the over, you’ll be rooting for lots of scoring and, most importantly, for the game to go over the posted total. Those with under tickets will want to see lots of punts and field goals. Here’s an example: If the Lions/Packers game has a total of 44.5 points, the over hits if 45 or more points or scored. If the total finishes at 44 or less, under bettors rejoice! 
  • Parlays: Grouping together multiple bets on one ticket, all of which need to win in order for the ticket to cash, is referred to as a parlay. A bettor could place a 10-team parlay and have the first nine legs win, but if the 10th loses, the parlay is a loser. The industry standard for two-team parlay payouts is 2.6-to-1, with three-team parlays paying out at 6-1, four-team at 11-1, and five-team at 22-1. It’s worth noting that parlays are not generally considered “good value” among seasoned bettors, but they are quite fun and popular.
  • Teasers: This type of bet combines more than one bet into a single ticket, and allows the bettor to adjust the point spread in their favor for both games, usually six points in either direction. The return on the bet, however, is lower in the event of a win than it would be on a straight bet. These are most common in the NFL and are used by some to get past (or get to) “key” gambling numbers — more on that later. 
  • Live betting: Want to wait to see how a team looks out of the gate before deciding to wager? Maybe you know a particular team struggles early and you may be able to get a better number after kickoff? Live betting can scratch that itch. There is usually a higher rake or vig attached to in-game betting. 

Key numbers in NFL betting

Numbers known as “key” numbers represent the most common margin of victory in NFL games, but they apply to totals as well. In spread betting, the key numbers are 3 and 7, because the margin of victory in an NFL game lands on those two numbers more than any other. It’s not as straightforward in totals, but we’ll cover the key numbers there as well. 

  • Spread key numbers: 3 and 7. We’ll see a margin of victory of three points roughly 14% of the time and a margin of seven roughly 9% of the time. When betting around the number of three, you’d be aiming to get an underdog at +3.5 as opposed to +3, which has a higher chance of a push rather than a win. On the flip side, you’d prefer to get a favorite at -2.5 rather than -3, as you’d be more likely to walk away a winner.
  • Total key numbers: 43, 41, 44, and 37. To go another level, 51, 47, 40, and 33 could also be considered key numbers. 
  • Impact of extra points: The NFL moving the extra point back to the 33-yard line beginning in 2015 has had a larger impact on key numbers as far as totals than most would have expected. It is no longer the layup it used to be — the success rate dropped from 99% to 94.9% in the first year it was implemented. The rate of two-point attempts also nearly doubled, leading to some variance from typical final scores. 

As with almost everything in life, it’s important to get the best price. That also translates to betting — those who can find the best number have the best chance of winning. Betting around these key numbers is important, but it’s also important to try to strike early in the week.

NFL lines are often released late on Sundays or Mondays, and while betting limits are lower at this time, early betting can move lines a handful of points or beyond key numbers within a day. Because the NFL betting market is very efficient, it gets harder to find value in betting lines as the week progresses. Injury news and weather can have major impacts on the line as kickoff approaches, so it’s integral to monitor news throughout the week. 

Other key NFL betting terms

  • Opening lines vs. closing lines: Seasoned bettors know that “getting the best number” is paramount. Handicapping is a skill that is honed with lots of experience and doesn’t come easy, but the skill to be able to determine the best time to buy in on a particular bet is crucial to sustained success. The opening line doesn’t usually end up matching up with the closing line (at kickoff), and the opening line changes based on betting that occurs after the opening. If one side is getting more action, the spread will typically move to reflect that. 
  • Steam: Those with access to information regarding the number of tickets vs. money on a particular bet can generally get some insight into which side is considered the “sharp” side. When lines move in unusual ways — a reverse-line movement — it’s usually a result of professional action. “Steam” moves can also help identify pro action. However, “chasing” steam is a losing strategy — you’ll be getting inferior prices or lines compared to what the people causing a shift in odds are getting. 

What’s the “vig” in NFL betting?

The “vig” or “juice” in betting refers to the book’s take — the “fee” the book charges for taking the wager. This is identifiable in spread or total (over/under) bets — regardless of which side you play, you are generally playing it at -110. What that means is that $110 would have to be wagered in order to profit $100. In other words, the book is taking a 10% fee, which is the industry standard rake/vig.  Having -110 on both sides may also be referred to as “20 cents,” since it’s “10 cents” vig on each side.

It’s very common to see spread and total bets priced at -110, but player props are a little different. They tend to be priced a little higher, around -115 to -120 depending on the book. Juice can also be considerably higher on certain bets; for example, you may see an under priced at -180 with the over bet priced at +140 or +150. These prices can differ significantly from book to book, unlike typical spread or total numbers. Some books will have slightly different totals for players than competitors. Professional bettors with access to accurate player projections tend to love betting props, as they find more pricing errors there than in a more efficient market like NFL spreads or totals. 

Live betting or in-game markets also tend to come with higher vig, around -115. For those unfamiliar, live betting refers to in-game wagers placed while the game is already in action. 

In general, when making spread or total bets, you should aim to pay the industry standard 10% vig. With player props or live wagering, -115 is standard but can vary depending on the bet and the situation. You may see a prop “juiced up” to -150 or -200, which does not necessarily mean you should run away. The right pick priced at the right number might still profile as positive expected value, depending on projections and expectations. 

Michigan’s NFL team: the Detroit Lions

The NFL is so much more than just a sport in modern society. It’s ingrained so heavily into the fabric of our lives that the public has an unwavering loyalty to the league and its teams that can pass on from generation to generation. If that weren’t the case, how could a strong, sports-centric city keep showing up for a team year after year without ever seeing a Super Bowl? I promise that wasn’t a dig at the Lions, but rather a hat tip to the state of Michigan for continuing to rally behind them: It’s gotta happen sometime! Right?!

The Lions actually started off the 2019 season on the right foot, going 2-0-1 to open the season before losing all but one of their remaining games. Injuries to quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Kerryon Johnson led to some rough mid- and late-season performances from the offense. While its final record was terrible (3-12-1), Detroit lost eight games by one score, so luck wasn’t on the side of the Lions late in games. On the bright side, Detroit will select third overall in this year’s draft, able to choose from among a plethora of impact players who could help on Day 1 in 2020.

Lions defense

Detroit brought in some name value on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, adding Marcus Trufant and Jamie Collins, but it traded Darius Slay and won’t have Damon Harrison’s services any longer. A’Shawn Robinson has also departed, leaving the Lions with holes on the defensive line even considering what they added this offseason (Danny Shelton and Nick Williams). They entered free agency with the 19th-most cap space in the league, but did have the most among the NFC North teams and freed some by dealing Darius Slay. The cap hits of Matthew Stafford ($21.3 million) and Trey Flowers ($16.7 million) will be the biggest among Lions this season.

NFC North

Relative to other divisions, the NFC North has been quiet this offseason in terms of big-name moves. Minnesota did deal Stefon Diggs to Buffalo, which removes one of the best receivers in the league from the Lions’ plate at least once a season. The Vikings also lost their offensive coordinator in Kevin Stefanski, who took the Browns’ head coaching vacancy. Green Bay lost one of the best offensive tackles in the league when Bryan Bulaga bolted for the Chargers, even though resigning him should probably have been the Packers’ top offseason priority. The Bears didn’t have much money to play with this offseason, but did bring in plodding veteran TE Jimmy Graham on a two-year deal and also added Robert Quinn to help bolster the pass rush. 

Lions trends (if you’re into that thing)

  • The Lions were 3-12-1 last season, and also subpar against the spread at 6-10.
  • Over the past five seasons, the Lions are 33-45-1 straight up.
  • Over a five-year span, the Lions have gone 38-41-1 against the spread.
  • At home over the last five years, Detroit has gone 19-21. It has been similar on the road, at 19-20-1. 

Detroit’s offense has been average at best since 2015. In the last five years, Detroit has only finished above 18th in offensive points once (7th best in 2017). They’ve failed to finish better than 13th in points allowed in the last five years.

Despite being mediocre, at best, in the recent past, the Lions still have a loyal fan base within the state of Michigan. While they play in Detroit, the Lions are Michigan’s only NFL team and thus a team that the entire state rallies behind. The University of Michigan football team certainly has its following, but the fan bases tend to overlap quite a bit. 

The Lions play their home games at Ford Field, a domed stadium that the fans in Detroit are surely thankful for on Sundays in the late fall and winter. Despite a loyal following within Michigan, the Lions ranked 26th in ticket sales in 2019 — a good deal of that may have to do with the less-than-stellar performance on the field. Ford Field can get loud when the Lions are competitive, and a domed stadium makes it different than most in the league. 

Each and every year, the key games on the Lions schedule are the divisional matchups with Green Bay, Minnesota, and Chicago. Those games always have a rivalry feel to them, and the familiarity within the division tends to lead to competitive games even in seasons in which the talent gap may be wider. The Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field is always a big one for the Lions with the national spotlight on them. 

Looking ahead to the 2020 NFL season

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’re fully aware of the impacts of COVID-19 on the country. Heck, even those residing under rocks probably have noticed a significant dip in foot traffic. The main takeaway is that large crowds are likely to be bad news in the near future, so what does that mean for the NFL?

There hasn’t been any concrete news on whether the season will start on time, but it does seem increasingly likely that we won’t see fans filling stadiums until the fall at the absolute earliest. It seems like a foregone conclusion that there will be some amendments made to the typical workings of the NFL, likely in an effort to try to limit crowds as much as possible. 

Of course, the league will suffer from the lack of in-stadium revenue, but that’s chump change relative to what they’ll gain from TV revenue.

Big-name free agent moves in the 2020 offseason 

While Tom Brady moving to Tampa stole most of the headlines in the 2020 free agency period, there have been tons of transactions this offseason and many could have huge on-field impacts in the upcoming year.

Let’s start with the Lions:

  • Detroit moved on from Pro-Bowl CB Darius Slay, sending him to the Eagles for a third- and fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. 
  • Slay will be replaced by Marcus Trufant, the longtime Falcon who signed a two-year deal with Detroit. Trufant is on the downside of his career as he approaches 30 and shouldn’t be expected to produce at the level of Slay. 
  • The loss of Damon Harrison is a blow to the Detroit defense, but the Lions helped fill the void by signing run-stuffing DT Danny Shelton on a two-year deal. He should play a particularly important role on early downs. 
  • Defensive tackle Nick Williams was also brought in to help shore up the defensive line on a two-year contract. He’ll likely act as more of a rotational interior lineman. 
  • Matt Patricia will reunite with Jamie Collins, the former Patriot and Brown who worked with Patricia during his days as the New England DC. Collins was signed to a three-year deal and should see plenty of time at linebacker in a scheme he’s familiar with.
  • Arguably the most questionable contract of the Lions offseason was the $50 million dollar contract given to OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, the former Eagle who hasn’t been a regular starter in the league to this point. He was a serviceable fill-in for the Eagles whenever Jason Peters was injured or Lane Johnson was suspended, but is not perceived as a player worth a lucrative long-term deal. 
  • Detroit also signed a former division rival in Geronimo Allison. The rangy WR has spent his career in Green Bay. Despite a number of chances to excel in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense, Allison has struggled to produce consistently. 
  • The Lions added some other notable names this offseason: LB Reggie Ragland, QB Chase Daniel, S Jayron Kearse, S Miles Killebrew, OL Oday Aboushi and LB Elijah Lee.

Some of the biggest NFL news outside of Detroit:

  • There was no bigger offseason story than Tom Brady leaving the Patriots to take his talents to Tampa. Especially early in the season, Tampa Bay should generate tons of public interest from both a fan and a betting perspective. Strictly from a weapons perspective, Brady should have all kinds of ammo with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and OJ Howard all under contract.
  • DeAndre Hopkins was traded from Houston to Arizona for David Johnson and a second-round pick, while the two teams also swapped fourth-round selections (Houston moved up 11 spots). This was one of the most head-scratching moves in any recent offseason as far as trades are concerned, considering Hopkins’ absolute dominance at receiver, compared with David Johnson at the devalued running back position. Kyler Murray now has arguably the league’s top receiver to work with in addition to Christian Kirk, who broke out in 2019. 
  • In yet another blockbuster offseason deal, the Bills acquired WR Stefon Diggs from the Vikings for four total draft picks, three of which — including a 1st rounder — come in the 2020 draft. Diggs should work well alongside burner John Brown and slot man Cole Beasley, giving Josh Allen by far the most explosive group of weapons he’s had as a pro. 
  • Former Jets WR Robby Anderson signed a two-year deal with the Panthers, giving Carolina another field-stretcher. He’ll compete with the likes of DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel, and do-it-all back Christian McCaffrey for touches. 

QB carousel

  • Former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was dealt from the Jags to the Bears for a fourth-round selection in this year’s draft. It’s a win-win of sorts here: Jacksonville gets out from under a bad contract it gave to Foles last season, while the Bears bring in some competition for Mitch Trubisky. While Foles’ restructured contract brings a decline in pay for the QB, he’s still being paid like a low-end starter, which could fuel an ongoing QB controversy. It’s being reported that the two will compete for the starting job.
  • Speaking of controversy, we could have a very similar situation in Raider land. Marcus Mariota will join Jon Gruden and compete for the starting job with Derek Carr. It’s looking like Carr will have to lose the job unless Mariota really impresses, but Gruden has spoken highly of Mariota in the past.  
  • The Colts made notable moves both in free agency and in the trade market. Indy added long-time Charger Philip Rivers to the fold to try to spark an offense that lacked much big-play ability in 2019. Rivers should benefit from improved offensive line play in Indianapolis, and the trade for DT DeForest Buckner should improve Indy’s defensive front. 
  • Carolina brought in Teddy Bridgewater to replace Cam Newton and also traded Kyle Allen to the Redskins for a 2020 fifth-rounder. Allen should simply act as insurance in Washington.

Other notable moves

  • The Saints brought in Emmanuel Sanders on a two-year deal. Sanders was traded to the 49ers last season and proceeded to help the team earn a Super Bowl ring after productive stints with the Steelers and Broncos to start his career. He figures to work as a nice complement to Michael Thomas. 
  • Melvin Gordon flipped teams in the AFC West, signing with the rival Broncos, and some speculated he may have preferred to stay in the division in order to face the Chargers twice a year. Philip Lindsey’s role should diminish.
  • Gordon wasn’t the only big name RB to flip teams: Todd Gurley is now a Falcon after spending the early part of his career with the Rams. Gurley was only signed to a one-year deal, so it’s somewhat of a make-good deal for him. If he can bounce back, he could get paid next offseason if a team is willing to take a chance on an aging RB.
  • The Steelers signed TE Eric Ebron to a two-year deal, giving Pittsburgh more pass-catching depth at TE and a strong red-zone option to take some pressure off JuJu Smith-Schuster. 

Major coaching changes in 2020

  • We’ll see five teams with new head coaches in 2020: Carolina, Cleveland, Dallas, Washington, and the New York Giants.
  • The Panthers let go of Ron Rivera and brought in Matt Rhule, who was the head coach at Baylor University in 2019. Rhule also coached at Temple University prior to his stint at Baylor. While many of Carolina’s weapons not named Cam Newton will return, Rhule is expected to add some flavor to the Panthers offense. 
  • Ron Rivera wasn’t jobless for long — he’ll join the Washington Redskins as head coach. He’ll inherit second-year QB Dwayne Haskins and will try to turn Washington back into an NFC East contender. 
  • The Browns let go of Freddie Kitchens as head coach after a rough year in what was supposed to be a breakout for Cleveland. He’ll be replaced by former Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski in what was likely fantastic news for Baker Mayfield.
  • The Cowboys brought in former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who was replaced last offseason by Matt LaFleur. The plug was finally pulled on Jason Garrett after the Cowboys failed to win a putrid NFC East. 
  • It’s interesting that three of the five coaching changes occurred in a historically bad NFC East. The Giants brought in former Patriots coordinator Joe Judge to help jump-start Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. 

Advantages of betting the NFL at legal sportsbooks

Sports betting has only recently been legalized in the U.S. outside of Nevada, so many longtime bettors have grown accustomed to betting at illegal offshore sites or with local bookies also operating illegally. While this was just considered the way of life for bettors in the past, the legalization of sports betting in the United States has opened up tons of doors for bettors in states that allow wagering, which Michigan is now a part of.

In Michigan, as in a growing number of other states, there’s a bevy of benefits to placing your action legally, including line shopping, safe and secure funds, quick payouts and a stream of promotions and bonuses.

  • Strong bonus offers: Bettors are more likely to find faulty bonuses or promotions on offshore books. They may have impossible rollover requirements that can lead to a bonus actually being a net negative for the player. 
  • Line/price shopping: The ability to shuffle between legal sportsbooks to find the best line or price on a particular bet is incredibly beneficial to bettors, especially those that wager regularly. If you are consistently getting the best price on bets, it’ll be a plus for your bottom line. There are services such as ScoresAndOdds.com that make line shopping very easy, placing odds for all legal books on one page.
  • Safety and security of funds: Betting legally allows bettors to wager with reputable businesses and brands, ensuring fast payouts and the security of your funds. That is a pipe dream with local bookies or offshore books that may not pay you on time or even at all. 
  • Convenient banking options: If you’ve ever deposited with an offshore book in the past, you may know the unfortunate feeling of heading to a Western Union to (hopefully) get funds in your account. Legal books make it much easier — those with PayPal accounts can usually deposit within minutes Customers also use checking accounts among much simpler, easier and quicker methods than Western Union.
  • Local promotions: Sportsbooks regularly run promotions for local teams that can create very advantageous situations for bettors. For example, a Michigan book may run a promotion where for every 1,000 spread bets placed on the Detroit Lions, the point spread will move one point in the Lions favor (with no cap). This may lead to the Lions being massive spread underdogs in a game where they are actually a favorite, thus providing plenty of betting value. 

2020 NFL Schedule: Key dates

  • NFL Free Agency: Officially kicked off on March 18, signaling the new NFL year.
  • NFL Draft: The draft is scheduled to start on Thursday, April 23, and will conclude on Saturday, April 25. 
  • Training Camp: NFL rules state that team’s cannot start training camp with a full roster earlier than 15 days before the start of their first preseason game or July 15, whichever date is later. The 2020 training camp may be impacted by COVID-19 concerns.
  • The NFL Preseason: Scheduled to kick off with the Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Steelers on Aug. 6. 
  • The 2020 NFL Regular Season: Scheduled to start on Sept. 10 and run through Sunday, Jan. 3, of 2021. 
  • Thanksgiving: It’s not completely clear what the schedule will be, but we do know that the Lions and Cowboys will both be hosting games that day. 
  • Wild Card Weekend: The new playoff format for 2020 will feature seven playoff teams instead of six, with one bye being awarded in the Wild Card round instead of two. Only one team from each conference will receive a bye. 
  • Divisional Round: Winners in the Wild Card round plus the top seed in each conference will face off, with the teams receiving first-round byes hosting each contest.
  • Conference Championships: Winners in the Divisional Round will meet in each conference’s final to determine which teams will play in the Super Bowl.
  • Super Bowl LV: This year’s Super Bowl will be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.
  • The league schedule is on track to be released on May 9. Each team will play the other teams in their division twice, while playing one game apiece against another division in and out of conference. 

NFL weather

This may surprise some new bettors, but the weather can have a big impact on the line and particularly on the total in the NFL. Some factors can be blown a little out of proportion, but others aren’t as impactful as you might guess.

  • What matters: Wind impacts the game more than rain, sleet, or snow. 
    • Wind doesn’t tend to have an impact until it approaches 15+ mph. Sustained wind speeds over 25-30 mph can lead to drastic drops in totals as teams tend to struggle more to score in those conditions. 
    • Passing attacks can suffer as a result, leading to more clock-grinding runs and slow drives. 
  • What doesn’t matter: While games in warmer conditions tend to generate slightly more scoring, the temperature impact isn’t significant. Precipitation doesn’t have as clear of an impact on scoring as wind. 
  • Spread and total swings: It’s possible for a total to move as much as six or seven points with severe wind along with other factors. Precipitation doesn’t tend to impact totals as heavily, but poor conditions will still tend to lead to totals dropping modestly, although that’s not always the case. 

Some of the best weather resources in the industry are over at RotoGrinders.com. DFS Weather Wizard Kevin Roth provides daily weather updates that not only inform the decisions of daily fantasy players, but also those betting the NFL.

RotoGrinders also has a specialized NFL Weather page that allows you to quickly cycle through each game on the schedule to get a look at an updated forecast. 

Home field advantage

It’s not a secret that playing at home tends to benefit NFL teams, but the degree of the advantage varies from stadium to stadium. Whether it’s sleeping in their own beds or a lack of travel, or the rush of the home crowd, overall it makes a difference. However, it’s obviously much more complex than that. Home field advantage can mean more for teams in contention than it does for bottom-dwellers or teams without a loyal following. Let’s take a look at a few teams for which home field really pays dividends:

  • New England: Maybe it’s just the talent on the roster, but the Patriots have won a larger percentage of their home games over the last decade than any other team in the league. Cold conditions in Foxboro — especially in the playoffs — have always been perceived as a benefit to Belichick’s bunch.
  • Green Bay: The Packers are right behind the Ravens as the second-winningest team at home over the decade. Lambeau Field and the frozen tundra have such a historic allure. 
  • Kansas City and Seattle: Both the Chiefs and Seahawks play in incredibly loud stadiums and the fan base in each city is rabid. 

Some teams can struggle in their own stadiums. It might be roster related, maybe it’s a coaching problem, maybe the fans don’t get loud enough. Whatever it is, some teams may not mind the road as much…

  • Los Angeles: The Rams and Chargers are prime examples. If a team with a loyal fan base comes into town, games in LA can look like road games for the Rams and Chargers, given that the Los Angeles population is new to these teams and they both left fan bases in St Louis and San Diego. 
  • Cleveland: Despite how badly Browns fans want the team to be successful, the organization can’t get out of its own way. The Browns have been by far the worst NFL team at home over their time in the league.
TEAMSU HOME RECORD 2015-19ATS HOME RECORD 2015-19*
Arizona Cardinals18-20-2 (.475)17-22-1 (.438)
Atlanta Falcons21-19-0 (.525)18-22-0 (.450)
Baltimore Ravens27-13-0 (.675)16-23-1 (.413)
Buffalo Bills23-17-0 (.575)19-20-1 (.488)
Carolina Panthers25-15-0 (.625)20-19-1 (.513)
Chicago Bears18-22-0 (.450)22-17-1 (.563)
Cincinnati Bengals20-19-1 (.513)17-22-1 (.438) – a
Cleveland Browns12-27-1 (.313)14-25-1 (.363) – a
Dallas Cowboys23-17-0 (.575)19-20-1 (.488)
Denver Broncos23-17-0 (.575)18-20-2 (.475)
Detroit Lions19-21-0 (.475)19-21-0 (.475)
Green Bay Packers27-12-1 (.688)21-18-1 (.538)
Houston Texans26-14-0 (.650)18-21-1 (.463)
Indianapolis Colts22-18-0 (.550)19-20-1 (.488)
Jacksonville Jaguars18-22-0 (.450)18-21-1 (.463) – f
Kansas City Chiefs30-10-0 (.750)20-19-1 (.513) – a
Las Vegas Raiders21-19-0 (.525)17-22-1 (.438) – e
Los Angeles Chargers18-22-0 (.450)12-27-1 (.313) – b
Los Angeles Rams22-18-0 (.550)17-20-3 (.463) – d
Miami Dolphins22-18-0 (.550)19-19-2 (.500) – c
Minnesota Vikings29-11-0 (.725)27-12-1 (.688)
New England Patriots33-7-0 (.825)24-13-3 (.638)
New Orleans Saints27-13-0 (.675)21-18-1 (.538)
New York Giants16-24-0 (.400)15-24-1 (.388)
New York Jets19-21-0 (.475)21-18-1 (.538)
Philadelphia Eagles26-14-0 (.650)20-20-0 (.500)
Pittsburgh Steelers28-12-0 (.700)20-18-2 (.525)
San Francisco 49ers18-22-0 (.450)16-23-1 (.413)
Seattle Seahawks26-14-0 (.650)18-21-1 (.463)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers17-23-0 (.425)14-24-2 (.375) – a
Tennessee Titans22-18-0 (.550)18-19-3 (.488)
Washington Redskins19-21-0 (.475)19-21-0 (.475)

Watching NFL games 

In 1939, NBC was the first network to air a professional football game, using two cameras and about eight staffers, according to the NFL. The game was broadcast to about 1,000 televisions in New York, and that’s grown to roughly 16 million viewers per game in this day and age. The current TV rights deal runs through 2021 for Monday Night Football and through 2022 for the other packages, and it’s no surprise that the league figures to earn even more when negotiating the next deal.

NBC, CBS, and FOX air most NFL games with ESPN/ABC holding onto the Monday game. It’s also now becoming even easier to watch, with services like Amazon Prime offering the ability to stream certain prime-time games. Besides the main offerings, it’s also possible to catch NFL games and content in other ways:

  • NFL Network: While it doesn’t air games on Sundays or Mondays, the NFL Network channel covers the league around the clock and is a great place to stay up on NFL news and notes 24/7. 
  • NFL Red Zone: There is no better place for fantasy football players or high-volume NFL bettors to watch games than NFL Red Zone. From kickoff of the early games to the final snap of the late-afternoon contests, Red Zone covers all scoring plays and has live action at all times, focusing on games where points are about to be scored — teams in the red zone. It’s a simple add-on to your cable package or online TV subscription. 
  • DirecTV Sunday Ticket: Want to be able to flip to any NFL game on a Sunday afternoon as you wish? DirecTV Sunday Ticket provides viewing access to the full slate of games so you can toggle freely. 

Regular fans usually have NFL announcers that they either love or can’t stand to listen to. There are some well-known booth pairings in the NFL, and recently retired players like Tony Romo are exhibiting that they can make as much in the booth as they could in the league. Romo signed an $18 million dollar deal to remain an NFL analyst for CBS. While teamed with Jim Nantz, CBS’ favorite pairing has garnered plenty of public affection.

The Sunday night NBC pairing of Al Michaels and former NFL receiver Cris Collinsworth and FOX’s No. 1 duo of Troy Aikman and Joe Buck round out the most notable pairings among NFL announcers. 

NFL betting resources

Because of how popular betting on the NFL has become, there are a myriad of resources available online that can aid you in your quest to become a profitable bettor. It’s important to be able to stay up-to-date on injury/starting lineup news and be informed quickly on those matters to ensure you are getting the best number possible.

Setting up notifications for news alerts with a service like RotoGrinders helps to keep you in the loop all week long. Regardless of your process, try to gather as much information as possible without having to commit too much time to the process. There are plenty of options out there to make this easier:

  • RotoGrinders.com
  • SharpSide.com
  • Football Outsiders
  • Establish the Run
  • Sharp Football Analysis

Sites that easily consolidate NFL information aren’t the only possible resource, and they all don’t require reading! Podcasts have become a great medium for NFL analysis. All of the above sites have podcast offerings of their own, and networks like VSiN also put out quality podcast content.

Twitter is the most valuable source for NFL news, and regular bettors should familiarize themselves with the platform. When it comes to NFL news, Twitter gets it first. Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport have a long-standing rivalry in the breaking news game and the race to tweet news first is a very real one.

Twitter isn’t only for breaking news — there are a number of quality follows that range from betting experts to film-room analysts, draft reporters, and all sorts of different niches within NFL twitter.

Bankroll management

There is no more important factor for sports betting than bankroll management. It’s something every bettor should be very conscious of, because those who are reckless tend to run out of money lightning quick. This isn’t limited to big bettors either — even those shelling out some spending money should bet based on bankroll. 

To start, bettors usually want to figure out what their starting bankroll will be. This obviously depends on the bettor’s personal financial situation and comfort level, but it should be an amount you can afford to lose or “spend” for the entertainment. From that point, establishing a “unit size” comes into a play. Most bettors place one unit on a particular bet, although some may wager more on games they are more confident in. For some it may be $5, others $500.

It’s usually recommended to bet a certain percentage of your bankroll as your unit size. That number can range from 1-5% or perhaps more, depending on your personal situation. Unit sizes can also change based on the ebbs and flows of your bankroll. If you’re consistently winning, you may be comfortable upping your unit size to reflect your current bankroll. Someone on a losing streak may want to cut back on their unit size to ensure they can continue on through the down swing. 

Big dates for NFL bettors in the 2020 season

  • Week 1: For NFL bettors, the Sunday of Week 1 is like Christmas morning. Sportsbooks tend to get loads of action on opening weekend as football re-enters the lives of Americans. 
  • Thanksgiving Day: What better way to complement some turkey and mashed potatoes than a Lions spread bet? The NFL steals the show on Thanksgiving as far as sports as concerned.
  • Playoffs! Every playoff weekend generates lots of betting interest. The games have more meaning and there are fewer of them, placing more eyeballs on the marquee matchups. 
  • Super Bowl LV: The Super Bowl generates more action than any other sporting event, and who doesn’t love sweating out the National Anthem hoping Lady Gaga can prolong a few notes to hit the over!