NFL Betting in Texas
When Texas legalizes sports betting, betting on NFL games online will be massive – especially on Texas’ NFL franchises: the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.
Below we’ll show you the ropes of legal NFL betting. That includes the standard ways to bet on the NFL— moneylines, spreads, and props—and some of the not-so-standard ways to bet on NFL games.
It starts with finding the best NFL betting sites available in Texas.
Top NFL betting sites and apps
Online sportsbooks may look the same, but each “book” has strengths and weaknesses that may or may not align with your NFL betting needs.
Keep in mind that when Texas sports betting rolls out, sportsbooks will roll out major enticements like matched deposit bonuses and bonus bets to get you to open a betting account.
Some can sound too good to be true, but they are legit. Be aware, though, this isn’t just free money: it’s credit for use only at that sportsbook and usually comes with a limited time window for use.
We won’t know exactly which sportsbooks will open in Texas yet but we can review some of the biggest legal online sportsbooks in the US you’ll likely be able to choose from.
DraftKings TX – Details and contests
The beauty of DraftKings Sportsbook is in the details. No other sportsbook gives potential bettors the amount of information on a single contest.
DraftKings is the best sportsbook for NFL daily fantasy contests. Players can win big money by assembling high-scoring teams for that day’s contests. That’s a different variation on traditional fantasy football.
Moreover, DK’s user interface is tremendous, as is its tremendous catalog of betting opportunities. There might even be sports you don’t yet know.
FanDuel TX – Be a smart fan
Different sportsbook, different color scheme. FanDuel Sportsbook uses a blue and white design, but the layout is similar to that of other marquee sportsbooks, with a rail down the left side of the screen denoting the sports and main events in the middle.
The screen isn’t as busy as at DraftKings, so it may take an extra click or two to find specific elements.
FanDuel takes the step of showing you where the money has been bet on NFL games. Just click the “Stats” button, and you’ll see what percent of people have bet on the Cowboys. That is one way to discern whether your thinking is conventional or against the grain.
FanDuel gives easy access to same game NFL parlays, where you combine a bet on multiple outcomes in one NFL game.
Caesars TX – The gold standard
Caesars went all out with its national advertising campaign, signing up just about every living Manning quarterback to pitch its service. The Caesars online platform is simple to navigate but doesn’t have the same depth of offerings as the other major sportsbook entities.
Caesars Sportsbook has the distinction of providing odds that can match any other NFL betting site. Mix that in with the promotions, and it’s a good way to grow your money.
Caesars doesn’t do anything flashy. It has a steady list of offerings each week and then ramps up opportunities for big events – eg. prop bets on the Super Bowl. It’s perfect for beginning bettors trying to learn.
BetRivers – The homefield advantage
BetRivers tailors its main screen to your location, so Texas fans will get easy access to Cowboys and Texans games along the left-side rail. With one click, you instantly get the option of betting on the home team’s futures, like whether or not the Cowboys will make the playoffs.
BetRivers is great for game combos, another word for parlays where you can combine one bet on multiple outcomes, like the point spread and the total. (Of course, you need to get both right to win any money.)
Unique to BetRivers is the constantly updated column on the left side noting all the different casino winners. You’ll want to be in that number.
BetMGM – Infinite combinations
BetMGM has a slightly different look than its fellow sportsbooks, but it functions smoothly. It gives you the easy option to change from full NFL game lines to lines on just first halves.
Another handy feature is the ability to click on the three-day calendar of NFL events. It even lists future CFL (Canadian Football League) games.
BetMGM Sportsbook gives extensive options on each game, mixing markets like the spread with the total points or the moneyline with the number of points each team will score. In this sense, BetMGM is deep and intuitive.
How to bet on the NFL online in Texas
You’re going to see all kinds of different symbols and words on an NFL online sports betting site. You probably already know the three most common bet types: moneylines, spreads and totals.
These aren’t the only ways to bet, but they are the simplest. Let’s look at what each means.
The moneyline is the easiest football wager. It’s a straight bet where you select one team to win the game. The team listed as the favorite (the team most likely to win) is denoted by negative odds. The underdog (the anticipated loser) will have positive odds.
Here’s what a moneyline could look like in a game between the Cowboys and Texans.
- Dallas Cowboys -200
- Houston Texans +150
The bigger the favorite is, the smaller your profit will be. But if you’re a Cowboys fan and believe in your team, you can bet on the favored Cowboys to win. The Cowboys are favored here at -200. This means for every $10 you bet, you’ll get $5 back, plus the $10 you bet. If you took the underdog Texans in the game, you’ll get $15 bucks plus your $10. So more risk, more reward.
Now, point spreads are the sportsbooks’ way of evening up the teams on the field. In an effort to encourage betting on both teams, the sportsbooks spots the underdog a certain number of points. A typical weekly NFL point spread will look like this:
- Dallas Cowboys -6.5 (-110)
- Houston Texans +6.5 (-110)
Here, the Cowboys are expected to win the game by six-and-a-half points. Since there is no half-point in NFL football, bettors have to decide what to do. Do you think the Texans will lose by fewer than six-and-a-half points? Or will the Cowboys “cover” the spread and win by seven or more?
The payout odds are equalized for both teams in a point spread bet. Your $10 on either the Cowboys or Texans will pay out $9.09 if you factor in the point spread, plus your original $10 bet.
Finally, the total, or the over/under, is the combined number of points the sportsbook expects to be scored in the contest. The number can vary based on weather conditions and the strength of each team’s offense and defense. A typical over/under bet looks like this.
- Over 43.5 (-110)
- Under 43.5 (-110)
Here, the sportsbooks are pegging 43.5 points as the expected total in the contest. It’s up to you to bet whether you think the two teams will score more (go over) or less (go under).
The thing about a totals bet is that you don’t have to have a rooting interest in who wins the game. You’re just betting on a low-scoring game or a high-scoring one. Like a point spread, a totals bet is balanced, giving the player the same odds if either side hits.
Betting on NFL quarters and halves
Every NFL football game consists of four quarters unless the game goes into overtime. Bettors have the option at most sportsbooks to bet on the team leading at the end of the first, second and third quarters, plus on the combined point total in each 15-minute quarter.
Other notable NFL bets available
One of the best things about betting on the NFL is how you’re not strictly limited to betting on the winning team. There are dozens of other bets to look at, and these are multiplied by sportsbooks as the season goes on. Here are some more distinct NFL best bets:
- Coin Toss: This one is usually saved for the Super Bowl, but that’s right, you can bet whether the opening coin toss will come up heads or tails. In the first 56 Super Bowls, the flip has come up tails 30 times.
- Number of Made Field Goals: This is an over/under total on how many field goals you think will be converted in the game.
- Best Regular Season: Which NFL team will finish with the best regular season record? You can also bet on the team that will finish with the worst record.
- Regular Season Wins H2H: H2H means “head-to-head.” Here, a sportsbook lists two teams, say the Cowboys and Texans, and you can bet on which one will finish with the most wins. Sportsbooks also like to match the NFL team in the state with one of the premier college teams, so you have the option of also betting the Cowboys versus the Texas Longhorns for who accumulates more victories.
NFL player props
Prop is short for “proposition,” and these bets can concern basically any element of an NFL game. They can hinge on a player’s individual game performance—with over/unders set on how many yards, touchdowns or even penalties a player may receive during a game.
There are many categories of NFL prop bets, including the following:
- Player Performance Markets: Bet on an individual player’s performance. It’s usually a total figure, like the number of yards Dak Prescott will throw (or run) for, and you bet on whether you think he will go over or under that number. Sportsbooks will also set a figure on how many receiving or rushing yards a player will accrue.
- TD scorers: There is nothing more exciting than a big-play touchdown in an NFL game. Sportsbooks will allow you to pick who you think will score the first or last touchdown of an NFL contest. Or you can pick a player you think will cross the goal line in general. That’s called an “anytime touchdown” bet.
- Defensive Performance Markets: While offensive guys get the glory and points, defensive players can make impact plays too. Sportsbooks will set totals on how many sacks or interceptions a player may rack up during a game.
Betting on NFL futures
With futures bets, there’s never a bad time to make an NFL bet. Think your team will win the Super Bowl nine months from now? You can find odds on the Cowboys to win it all. If you’re not as optimistic, you can bet on whether the Cowboys will win the NFC East or just reach the Super Bowl. NFL betting lines will fluctuate as the season and off-season progress.
Another significant set of futures markets is player awards. You can bet on NFL Rookie of the Year odds, NFL MVP odds or the NFL rushing leader. You can even bet on what player will be picked first in the next NFL Draft.
Live NFL betting
When sports betting becomes legal in Texas, live betting is liable to be a huge hit. After all, betting on live lines during NFL contests has become a massive component of online betting around the country.
Undeterred by an early opposing touchdown and still believe in your pregame moneyline bet? Well, you can double down with a live bet on the same team at longer odds. Maybe you see an upset brewing in the first quarter, or the weather has turned and suddenly that over/under total looks enticing. Bet accordingly while the action unfolds.
There are smaller live options as well. You can predict what player will score the first touchdown, how many points will be scored during a certain timeframe and even an over/under on the total number of touchdowns scored in the game.
Are there special NFL overtime betting rules?
Some bets exclude overtime, but you’ll have to go in and check off the box available indicating your desire to do so. Overtime is considered to be part of the game. Some bets, like a double result (a team winning at both halftime and the end), only cover regulation time, so overtime makes you a loser in that one.
Moneyline bets, spreads and totals aren’t impacted if a game goes into overtime. Player props also count. If you still need a few yards from a running back to hit the over, overtime certainly counts.
Game props differ slightly. They still include overtime, which means if you put down a prop bet saying the fourth quarter will be the highest-scoring quarter, or the second half will have more points than the first half, overtime counts there.
When do NFL bets pay out?
Texas sports betting apps and online platforms will pay out at the completion of the time said bet covers. If you bet on who is winning at the end of the first quarter, you get paid as soon as that quarter ends. The majority of U.S. sportsbooks pay out within a few minutes of a settled bet. This includes touchdown scorers and field goal makers since it’s a direct result of a play and not the game.
A wager that hinges on a game’s result or its entirety won’t be paid until the game is complete: for example, a running back’s total yardage or the number of sacks in a game.
Cashing out before the game is over
The sportsbooks also give you the option of cashing out mid-game. If you bet on the underdog on the moneyline and they get off to a fast start and lead 14-0 at halftime, you can cash out, taking slightly less than you would have at the game’s end. Akin to live betting, these odds constantly fluctuate to reflect what is happening in the game.
If you choose to cash out on a moneyline bet early, that bet is paid instantly. Picking a point spread or moneyline bet in-game will see that bet paid out at the end. All winning bets on NFL football games are usually paid out minutes after the conclusion.
Sportsbook-specific rules for NFL betting
Always be aware of your sportsbook’s particular regulations and definitions. There are often rules about games that aren’t played straight through (in case of bad weather) or shorter than the minimum time allowed for a game (like if a game is called). Some bets can be voided if a game is:
- Not finished within 48 hours of the scheduled start date
- Not completed the same NFL week it began
- The venue changes and the home/away teams flip
Specific rules can also apply to kickoffs, extra points, two-point conversions and other scoring plays. The best advice is always to bet with your head, never over it.