When there’s an NFL game on, you can rest assured that plenty of action will come in for legal and regulated sportsbooks. From the first game straight through to the final tilt of the regular season, each NFL game on the docket will be heavily bet. Come playoff time, the already massive level of interest will rise even further.
For the NFL Playoffs, even the casual fans who don’t pay much attention during the year get involved. Each game on the playoff menu is must-see TV, and tons of wagers will come in for all bet types. Betting on the NFL Playoffs can be highly entertaining and potentially rewarding. We’re going to cover everything you need to know about betting on the NFL Playoffs here.
The first legal and regulated NY sportsbooks opened up in the summer of 2019. Today, there are multiple shops sprinkled across the upstate region. The hope is that an online and mobile sportsbooks rollout won’t be too far out in the future, but NY residents have perfectly safe options to explore in neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Here’s how to get involved.
For your bets to go through, you’ll need to be within the borders of a legal state. Sites and mobile apps from the top shops are required to verify user location, and they do so with the assistance of geolocation tracking software. Once you’ve placed your bets, you don’t have to stick around unless you want to so you can head back home and enjoy the NFL Playoffs.
Beginning with the 2020 regular season, the NFL tweaked the structure of the postseason. Since 1990, 12 teams made it to the dance, six each from the AFC and NFC. For 2020 and moving forward, now 14 teams qualify for the NFL Playoffs, seven from each of the two conferences.
The seven playoff teams from the two conferences are seeded 1-7. It’s essentially two brackets with the winners on each side facing off in the Super Bowl. In the prior format, two teams from each conference received a first-round bye. Under the new format, just one team from each conference receives a bye, which makes the battle for the top spot all the more intriguing.
The two conferences are broken down into four divisions each: East, North, South, and West. The teams that win their division receive an automatic berth in the postseason for a total of eight spots. The remaining six slots are Wild Card berths, which are the top three non-division winners from each conference.
To determine the Wild Card spots, teams are ranked by the record, and tiebreakers are implemented as needed, such as when two teams finish up with matching records of 10-6. The first tiebreaker is the head-to-head record, as in which side won if the teams squared off during the year, followed by things like conference winning percentage, record against common opponents, etc.
After the regular season, the field for the NFL Playoffs is finally set. Once the matchups are official, the time slots for the opening round of games are unveiled. The winners from those contests advance to play the following week, and so on. All told, there are three weekends of NFL Playoff games, followed by the Super Bowl.
Due to the expansion of the regular season from 16 to 17 games, the NFL Playoffs will now begin in mid January and be wrapped up at the middle of February.
All of the same bet types that are available during the NFL regular season are offered in the postseason. The NFL playoff betting lines and odds work the same, as do the individual game listings. Once the matchups are announced, you’ll see contests listed out like this.
For each game, odds for the big three-bet types — point spread, moneyline, and totals — will be front and center. To place the bet, you simply compare the odds and select your bet. It’ll be added to the bet slip where you can plug in a bet amount, verify all is correct, and click submit. The bets work like this.
All three of these bet types will generate tons of volume during the postseason, but you don’t have to limit your action here. Here are two other popular ways to wager on the NFL Playoffs.
Who will have more passing yards in the game?
Total points scored in the second quarter will be:
Between the big three and these two, that’s plenty to keep you occupied, but there’s more to see. You can place a parlay bet on multiple games, or go with a teaser or pleaser that lets you move the spread on two or more games. The NFL Playoffs are lots of fun and exciting as it is, and you’ll have plenty of different ways to wager to boot.
You don’t have to wait for the postseason to roll around to make your picks for the NFL Playoffs. There’s a very active futures market for pro football which has many different bet types to consider. Odds for many of the wagers come out in the offseason and remain active all season long. Here are some of the more popular NFL futures.
For futures with multiple choices, such as teams to make the playoffs, there will be odds for all squads in the field. They’ll be listed out in descending order with favorites up top, longshots on the bottom, and all other teams in between. The basic idea is to find the choices you want at the best possible prices.
As such, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best prices. Known as line shopping, this is a practice in which you compare the odds at multiple sportsbooks. When you find an appealing price, you strike and place the bet. A well-timed futures bet can pay off handsomely, so this is absolutely a market that’s worth exploring.
It’s challenging to make it to the NFL postseason. For confirmation, consider the teams that come up just short season after season, as well as the teams which are battling through lengthy playoff droughts. Here’s a look at the cumulative record in postseason games for all 32 NFL teams.
|Green Bay Packers||60||36-24||2020|
|Kansas City Chiefs||34||15-19||2020|
|Las Vegas Raiders||44||25-19||2016|
|Los Angeles Chargers||30||12-18||2018|
|Los Angeles Rams||49||22-27||2020|
|New England Patriots||58||37-21||2019|
|New Orleans Saints||23||10-13||2020|
|New York Giants||49||24-25||2016|
|New York Jets||25||12-13||2010|
|San Francisco 49ers||53||32-21||2019|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||18||9-9||2020|
|Washington Football Team||43||23-20||2020|
While it’s not automatic for top-seeded teams to make it to the Big Game, they have a good track record of pulling it off. The NFL first introduced a seeding system for the playoffs in 1975. Since that point, 74 teams who were seeded first or second in their conference made it to the Super Bowl, while all other seeds have pulled it off a total of 18 times.
It’s important to keep in mind that there was a change in first-round byes starting with the 2020 campaign. In years past, the top two seeds in each conference received a bye, but the new format calls for just the top seed to receive the honor moving forward. It’ll be interesting to see if more lower-seeded teams begin breaking through as a result.
The Super Bowl is the biggest betting event of the year. You’ll be able to place all of the normal bet types, and sportsbooks will also go the extra mile with props. Super Bowl props are a huge attraction, and operators will respond by offering up hundreds of different wagers. You’ll find all of the basic props like yardage and scores, as well as many of the unusual variety.
All of the different prop opportunities open up the possibilities for betting on the Big Game. While there’s plenty to consider in this area, all of the main bet types will bring in tons of action as well. When you get set to bet on the Super Bowl, it can be helpful to set a budget, such as 80% for game wagers, 10% for props, and 10% for live betting.
The ultimate goal for each NFL team is championships. Some teams have been much more successful than others on that front, while a handful of teams are still searching for their first Super Bowl rings. Here are the teams with the most wins in the Big Game.
Four teams have won a pair of Super Bowls, seven have one Big Game victory under their belts, while 12 have never captured the ultimate prize. In terms of Super Bowl appearances, there are five teams at the top of the charts.
The Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings are tied for most Super Bowl appearances without a win. Both teams are 0-4 in the Big Game. The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars are the only four teams that have never made it to the Super Bowl.
When the postseason rolls around, the same general sports betting NFL handicapping principles apply. You’ll want to study the odds and shop around for the best prices, and take the time to assess strengths and weaknesses for all teams, for example. Beyond the basics, some points deserve extra emphasis for this time of year.
The NFL postseason is a big highlight of the year for fans in general, as well as incredibly popular from a betting perspective. From Wild Card weekend to the Super Bowl, there are 13 games to look forward to, each of which will attract tons of betting volume. Here in NY, we can all get ready to experience the thrill of the NFL Playoffs like never before.