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The National Football League has almost become more American than the 4th of July and a hot dog and hamburger. Yes, the gridiron’s effect on the American public is almost religious like and the NFL shows no sign of slowing down its meteoric rise as it becomes a part of the core of US culture.

As a Pittsburgh, PA native, I’ve been rather spoiled when it comes to football. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the most storied franchise in the history of football with a recording holding six Super Bowl Championships. My interest in the game was immediate and when I found out you could bet on the outcome – I was hooked.

Before continuing, let me rank the best NFL sportsbooks in my order of preference. While all of the online sportsbooks listed below are very good and reputable, I have ranked them based on my history and experience of betting NFL.

The Best Football Betting Sites

Rank Site Name Rating Bonus Review Site Play
1 Bovada Sportsbook 50% up to $250 Play Now
2 Sportsbook $5,000 in NFL Bonuses Play Now
3 BetDSI Sportsbook 15% up to $2500 Play Now
4 5Dimes Sportsbook $520 Free Play Bonus - 10x rollover Play Now
5 GTBets Sportsbook 50% up to $500 Play Now

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How I Started Betting the NFL

At first, I had no idea what I was doing, but then I begin to develop my own handicapping methods, slowly built a bankroll and learned more about betting markets and pricing. Soon enough, I was a profitable NFL bettor.

My path to online betting the NFL is probably much like other bettors. I bet with a local that my friends set me up with before I realized I could take my action online. There, I discovered deposit bonuses, live betting, and much more competitive odds and a massive list of markets. It was a whole different world from the betting experience I was most familiar with in young betting career.

While the first online sports bet was placed in January of 1996, the online betting industry took several years to become a powerhouse. But, within a few years, bettors could instantly deposit into an online sportsbook and place a wager within seconds. This changed everything instantly across a global scale and affected bettors and bookmakers from all over the world.

Even today, the packed Las Vegas sportsbooks that are filled every Sunday and Monday Night are a fraction of the amount wagered across internet sportsbooks. For instance, the amount wagered at Las Vegas Sportsbooks on the Super Bowl in 2012 was just under $93.9 million. An impressive sum, right? To most, certainly. To those that understand NFL betting markets? Not so much.

While that sum of money is impressive for a state with a resident population of just over 2.6 million people, it is a paltry sum compared to the amount wagered on the game by the thousands of sportsbook operating across the world. We can even go further and count all bookies outside of Nevada which operate illegally. These numbers add up at least several billion.

While Nevada is key to help set the lines each week for the NFL’s biggest games, the amount wagered is actually quite small compared to the global market.


When I realized the staggering selection of bets and offers I had available to me online, I immediately wondered about the legality of wagering on the internet, and if it was safe. I knew that betting with my local bookie certainly was not illegal under Pennsylvania law as long as I did not accept bets myself.

It turns out the same is true in most states for betting online. There is no Federal law that outlaws placing a bet online, whether that is a casino wager, sports bet or online poker hand. Some states, such as Washington State and Utah have outlawed online gambling expressly, but there is no record of them enforcing their laws on players.

In summary, there is no Federal law against betting online, the activity is legal in almost every state and is not even enforced in states that outlaw the activity. In other words, bettors have nothing to worry about.

To me, it’s crazy that betting online is even considered something taboo and I find it weird that the activity is not regulated. After all, Americans should be able to do what they want with their hard earned money, money that they paid taxes on. There’s nothing more American than the freedom of choice to do what you want with your own money.

The offshore betting industry has its fair share of unscrupulous characters just like every type of industry. However, it is crucial to remember that just because these companies are not regulated by US law, but they do have to adhere to their licensing requirements (in most cases) of their home countries and are regulated, legal business in many of the jurisdictions they operate in.

The sportsbooks I will recommend to players on this site for NFL betting are not fly by night operations but instead the cream of the crop. There are plenty of safe and reputable options for US based bettors. Bettors should not be scared off by the ones that give the industry a bad name.

Deposit Bonuses

One of the main reasons I was so enthralled with online football betting compared to my regular bookie was the incredible amount of betting markets available. Most locals only offer sides, totals, parlays and teasers to players, whereas online sportsbook offer those markets at better odds plus much more.

Not only that, but I received a deposit bonus. These bonuses aren’t offered by Vegas sportsbooks or local neighborhood bookies but instead are a is solely unique part of the online betting experience. If you’re a bit of a larger bettor like myself, these don’t matter as much as they used to, but to some – these bonuses are critical.

Everyone has to start somewhere and getting that extra kick start from a deposit bonus should not be taken for granted. However, there is one catch. Bettors must bet through or “rollover” their deposit bonus before they can withdraw. The books can’t give away free money that easily and not make bettors work for it. Still, it’s better to have a chance to get some free cash for your bankroll rather than to have no chance at all.

Competitive Pricing & Lots of Markets

Without online betting, bettors are forced to use lines from their local bookies and don’t have much of a chance to line shop, unless they know another bookie across town. Not getting the best price and number on a game in the NFL is immense when a half point here and there can be the difference between winning and losing your bet on key numbers.

Also, let’s note the difference in convenience, along with the availability of a much larger list of markets. Bettors won’t have to call their local bookie, but instead can place a bet within a few clicks while sitting at home or on their mobile phone.

Parlay and teasers odds, something that is a favorite of many bettors during the NFL season are also better at online sportsbooks rather than local bookies. Bettors will also be able to bet a vast number of different wagering options, including futures, player props, team props and other markets many of which are not available for bettors who wager offline.

Our Goal

Our goal is to give bettors the best chance to beat the online books through a variety of handicapping strategies, picks and our top picks for the best sportsbooks. I’m a tremendous time NFL bettor myself, and I would not recommend a sportsbook to players if I didn’t bet there myself. I hope this site becomes the number one resource for NFL betting information and online football betting online.