Sports betting in the US alone is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Most bettors probably think of Las Vegas and more recently Atlantic City when it comes to betting on sports at land-based sportsbooks as part of the casino gambling industry. In reality, online sportsbooks operating offshore in countries such as Costa Rico and Antigua still handle the bulk of the sports betting action across the country.
Online sportsbooks remain the best betting venue for every major sports league highlighted by the NFL. When it comes to betting NFL games at your favorite online sportsbook, one of the most heavily searched topics is sportsbook rules.
While every online sportsbook may have some specific NFL betting rules that are unique to their site, most of the rules remain uniform across the entire online sports betting industry. The best place to search sportsbook rules for NFL games is your top book’s website. Most of the biggest online sportsbooks will have a dedicated section filled with general betting rules that is also broken down by individual sports.
Some of the topics covered in the general rules section include:
- Wager limits for minimum and maximum bets
- Confirming phone bets verses internet bets
- Bonus offers with free play rewards
- Exotic bets such as parlays, teasers and if-bets
- Banking options for deposits and withdrawals
When it comes to individual rules for specific sports such as football, all the different leagues tend to be grouped together (NFL, NCAAF, CFL and Arena). Most online sportsbooks will consider a football game to be official after 55 minutes of play have been completed.
The official time of any scoring play for grading purposes is the time on the official game clock after the score has been confirmed by the referees on the field or by outside booth review.
Any scores in overtime will be included in the graded total for that game. Overtime scores will also be included in the second-half totals for the game.
Adding the same game betting the side and the total into a parlay play is allowed with certain restrictions. This rule can vary from book to book, so it is always best to consult the rules where the actual parlay will be placed.
Any NCAAF prop bets on the final AP Top 25, USA Today Coaches Poll of College Football Playoff rankings will be based on each one’s final rankings following the College Football Playoff Championship Game. This includes each team’s final point total even beyond the top 25 teams on the list.
Any NFL prop bets will be graded on the official game-ending NFL statistics. Certain props outside the realm of these official game results are at the sole discretion of the online sportsbook itself. You should always make a point to fully understand how a prop bet will be graded that falls outside the realm of a statistical measure.
For example, betting on the over or under of how many times a head coach yells at an official during the course of a game will be graded completely at the discretion of the sportsbook.
Free bet plays on football games and more specifically on the NFL are normally limited to straight bets on the pointspread or total line. Free bets will be graded as a losing wager if the game ends as a PUSH (tie) on the pointspread or total line at the time the bet was placed. Free plays normally expire after 30 days from when they were first issued.
As mentioned, most of the rules for betting on the NFL do remain consistent from one online sportsbook to the next. However, the best course of action is to always consult the official rules at the online book where the actual bet will be placed.