If the sportsbook is busy with action, it must be football season. Whether it's the NFL or NCAA, football betting action is fast and furious during the season. For the newbie sports bettor, it can seem a bit confusing, but football bets really come down to two types-straight bets and parlay bets.
Football Betting – Straight Bets
Here's the workhorse for any winning football bettor. A straight bet simply means you're betting on one football game. If you bet on more than one game on the same ticket, it's a parlay, and we'll talk about that in a minute.
When you make a straight football bet, you could be betting on a side or total. Simply put, when you bet a side, you "pick a side" in the game. For instance, let's say the New England Patriots are playing the Seattle Seahawks. If you're going to bet a side, you'd bet on either the Patriots or the Seahawks.
Every game has a point total (except NCAA football, which is most games). This is the amount of points scored between both teams. When you bet a total, you're betting under or over that total. For instance, let's say the total is 47 and you take the over. To win, both teams must combine for 48 or more points (47 would be a push, which means you get your bet back).
Football Betting – Parlays
Okay, so you know about straight bets, which is where you bet on just one thing per ticket. When you want to bet on more than one thing, it's a parlay. You can bet on 2 – 20 things (depends on the sportsbook).
For instance, let's say you bet on the Seahawks and over the total on your ticket. That would be a 2-team parlay (even though technically there's only one team on it).
The more items you put on the ticket, the more money you'll win if they all hit. Naturally, the more items on the ticket, the harder it is to win.
With parlay bets it's an all or nothing thing. If one pick fails, the ticket is dead. Some sportsbooks will run specials for getting close, but that's very rare.
If you get into making football bets via parlay tickets, you might check out "teasers," which are parlay tickets with added points for you. For instance, rather than taking the Packers -10, you might get them at -3. Of course, the payouts are a less since the risk is minimized.
Football betting is a blast and there's nothing better than hitting the sportsbook with a big winning ticket. I hit straight football bets and parlays all season long. I look forward to the NFL and NCAA football seasons.