Betting Football in the United States Means NCAA and NFL Action

Football in some countries means the European version, what we Americans call soccer. But when millions of Americans begin thinking football in the US in July and August, thoughts invariably turn to the National Football League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NFL is the premier professional American-style football league in the world, and the NCAA is home to Division I College Football, easily the best that amateur college football has to offer. Let's take a closer look at the football wagering options offered at various online sportsbooks. You might consider reading our article on "Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The United States" if you have any questions about the legality of betting football.

Top 5 USA Football Betting Sites

Sportsbook Site Bonus Rating Visit
Bovada Sportsbook 50% Max $250 5 Star Rating Visit Site
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Bookmaker 15% Max $2500 5 Star Rating Visit Site

USA Online Sports Betting Sites for NFL Action

Right now US-based companies are not legally allowed to offer Internet sports wagering. This is due to both federal and state laws. When that changes in the future, and it inevitably will, we will keep you posted as to your options. But US gamblers have no fear. An individual US citizen can legally place an online sports wager, since there is no specific law in the books aimed at the people who make the bets. Current restrictions are put in place to keep American companies from offering sports betting, or processing online sports wagers. That means as long as you find a site which is legally licensed and certified for Internet sportsbook action in some international locale, like the ones we recommend here, you are good to go. Then you can start betting the NFL preseason games in August, the regular season schedule in September, and the playoffs beginning in January.

Betting the NFL Playoffs for US Gamblers

Speaking of NFL playoffs, (or as Jim Mora would say, "Playoffs?! Playoffs? You're talking about playoffs?! You kidding me? Playoffs!?") The postseason National Football League annual lineup of games is a must-play list of betting opportunities for the American football lover. Home dogs in the NFL playoffs who also played their previous game at home are always a good bet, and road teams favored by less than a touchdown playing against teams that "backed into" the playoffs usually do well also. Whatever your betting strategy, the NFL playoffs each year have the four division winners of both the AFC and NFC joining two wild-card teams from each conference in a march to the Super Bowl. Legitimate USA online sports betting sites, like the ones shown here, offer pregame and live in-game NFL playoff betting, as well as prognosticating opportunities in the form of futures and props bets. Spread, money line and totals real money sports wagering is also allowed. All US residents are legally supported.

NCAA Football Betting Online

The National Collegiate Athletic Association regulates the athletics programs of 1,281 conferences, institutions and office-holding individuals. Legitimately licensed offshore web sportsbooks offer action to US football fans on all three NCAA divisions, but Division I gambling is where all the action is at. This is where the big teams like Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and Florida State University play their ball on Saturdays. NCAA football betting is so popular, because sports fans fall in love with the team, not individual players. The four year university program means that your favorite football team is constantly moving new and old talent in and out. This allows you to fall head over heels in love with your college alma mater, backing up your affection with wagers, for 40, 50 or 60 years. NCAA football betting online includes parlays and teasers, money line, spread and totals bets, as well as props and futures wagering.

Betting the NCAA Division I College Football Playoff (CFP), formerly Bowl Championship Series (BCS)

The culmination of the NCAA Division I college football season is the College Football Playoff or CFP. Formally the BCS from 1998 to 2013, the new CFP format begins with the 2014 college season. Gambling on the NCAA Division I college football championship every year is an activity which registers hundreds of millions of dollars of wagers. And now you can legally bet on the new CFP postseason format from anywhere in the United States through legitimately licensed and reputable online sports betting sites. You can also bet months in advance who you believe will hoist the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy through convenient college football futures betting options.

The 2016 NCAA CFB Season

If you think the NFL is exciting because things change and rearrange every season, then you might not be able to even contain your excitement about NCAA football. Every single season teams lose dozens of their players. Many players transfer to different schools. Many players enter the NFL Draft and become ineligible for NCAA ball whether they make it to the pros or not. And many players simply graduate and age out of football. Any way you slice it, it's always very exciting in the realm of college football because you never know what sort of team a school is going to put out there on the field. Ever since the College Football Playoff (CFP) started, things are even more exciting now, as teams are trying harder than ever to compete and win in their own divisions in order to receive one of those four coveted playoff spots. So, how will the 2016/17 NCAA season shape up this year? There are always tons of different variables and such to consider, but we can start out by looking at the power five conferences and what they're expected to show this season.

It's not everyone's favorite fact about the CFP, but more than likely is the case that all four playoff spots will come from power five schools, meaning that the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and ACC will be the ones filling up the playoff spots, and the group of five who fall outside of those big conferences. So if you want to know how the season will shape up, you really have to start by looking at the biggest conferences in college.

How the Power Five Will Play Out

Let's start out by looking at the ACC. Last year, the Clemson Tigers went undefeated during the regular season and were the 1 seed in the CFP bracket. And while the ACC does have a couple of contending teams, like the Florida State Seminoles and Notre Dame Fighting Irish (by default), Clemson is the conference's best bet. So outside of an undefeated Clemson, likely is the case that any one-loss ACC champion will be passed over for a one-loss champion from another school, especially the SEC. The Southeastern Conference is equivalent of an NFL division during the regular season. Around 80% of the teams end up in highly-ranked bowl games, and the SEC champion, even with a two-loss record, will likely earn a playoff spot. So if Alabama, LSU, Auburn or any other school comes out of the SEC with anything but 3 or more losses, that's automatically one of your CFP teams.

For the Pac 12, they have as much respect on the west coast as the SEC has in the south. However, the Pac 12 champion needs a one-loss record or better because the amount of competition isn't as great. In other words, with only Stanford, USC and Oregon competing for a top-10 slot, the Pac 12 champ with a one-loss record of better makes a CFP spot. The exact same holds true with the Big Ten. Any Big Ten champ, one loss or better, earns a CFP spot, whether it's OSU, MSU, MS or even a school like Iowa. If the champion can get out of that conference with only a single loss, they have a top four spot in CFP. Last on the list for the power five would be the Big 12. No bias or anything; it's simply objective that the Big 12 doesn't have a championship game and therefore they don't carry as much weight. For a Big 12 school to get into the CFP, you'll have to see a scenario like last season, where the Pac 12's champion was a two-loss team and the Big 12 “champion” had one decent loss. Here's how we expect the power five to shake out:

• SEC – Alabama (1 loss)
• ACC – Clemson (2 losses)
• Big 12 – Baylor (1 loss)
• Big Ten – Ohio State (1 loss)
• Pac 12 – Oregon (1 loss)

Which Teams In, Which Teams Out

If we were to also get into the group of five, outside of the power five, this would take up a few more pages. So let's just stick with a very simplistic overview of who's in and who's out for this season's playoff.


On the outside looking in, we're likely to see TCU and Oklahoma in the Big 12; Michigan and Michigan State in the Big Ten; Auburn and LSU and Georgia in the SEC; Notre Dame and Florida State in the ACC; and Stanford and USC in the Pac 12. Although we do expect every single one of these teams to have a solid record and earn a top-25 bowl game, the fact is that there's only going to be one champion in each conference, and the CFP is only going to take champions. The days of the Alabama vs. LSU SEC National Championship match-up is over with and done. You will likely never see two schools from the same conference again.


To see who's in, just refer to our power five predictions above. We like OSU out of the Big Ten, Alabama out of the SEC, Oregon out of the Pac 12, and Baylor out of the Big 12. We can't see Clemson going undefeated again, and likely is the case that a one-loss ACC champion doesn't look as good as a high-scoring, back-loaded Baylor team out of the Big 12.

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