There’s nothing quite like watching an NFL game. Whether live or at home, American football has a structure unlike any other sport. There are periods of waiting, almost boredom, but those are rewarded with intense combat, dramatic catches, and bone-jarring tackles. The fact that there are so many ways to score, and each with a different value, actually makes for a much more interesting game. Unlike soccer or hockey, where final scores under 3 are common, or basketball, where 100 point games aren’t shocking, football can run the gamut from games that end a team scoring 0, 12, 37, or over 60—and just about anything in between.
What makes an NFL game even more exciting—even during the lulls in action—is to add a wager. The most disinterested viewer becomes a screaming maniac, cheering their team on and riding the wave of exhilaration and despair as the game progresses. It’s no wonder the two go hand in hand so easily, especially when there are different ways to bet and each type of bet is turbocharged with football’s wide variation of scoring. Let’s take a look at different betting options, and the way that sports betting is evolving through blockchain.
Traditional Methods: Fantasy Leagues and Sports Betting
Before we look at what the future holds, it’s important to see what elements of NFL betting are most popular today.
A massive trend that continues to grow is Fantasy Football, especially as technology has made it easier to automatically track and calculate the more and more stats used in the game. For those unfamiliar with the game, here are the basics:
- Find and join a league. This could be a public league where anyone can join or a private league where members are invited.
- Prepare for the draft by researching players and ranking them. It’s important to understand the specific scoring rules of your league so you can select the best team possible.
- During the draft, you will have a chance to select your players, and because you are competing with others, this event is almost as exciting as any of the games. Once your roster is full, you are ready to begin the season.
- Every week your players compete against others in the league, with their stats converting into fantasy points according to rules set by your league.
- At this point, leaving the season to fate would be fun enough, but players are allowed to drop, trade, and select free agents in order to improve the team as the season progresses.
- At the end of the season, top teams play in a tournament-style event to determine the winner.
Many different types of groups participate in the fantasy league, and for many, it is a great introduction to the thrill of sport betting. However, the downside is that there is a lot of work for a potential payoff at the end of the season. For those who want shorter contests with more opportunities to win, sports betting is the best option.
There are many different types of sports betting, but for NFL games there are three primary ways to bet.
- A straight bet for the winner of a game, called a Moneyline, uses a plus and minus setup. In terms of American football, the number denotes how much a bet will pay out if it wins. A plus sign in front of the number (eg. +120) indicates how much a $100 bet will payout if the player wins. A minus sign indicates how much must be staked in order to win $100 (eg., -110). The numbers are based on the organization’s estimates of the winner/loser for a given football game.
- The plus and minus setup is also used within the other types of bets. Players can bet using point spreads, which are set up with the favored team “giving” points and the underdog “receiving” points. For example, betting on a team with a -4 means that they are the favored team, and in order to win the bet the team must win by more than 4 points. For the underdog of the game, who would have a +4, they don’t have to win the game but rather can lose by up to three points for the bet to be a winner.
- The third type of bet is the over/under, or totals bet. This is fairly simple in that the betting organization estimates a single number for a given match, and this is the expected number of total points to be scored in a game. Players can bet that the total number of points will be either over this amount or under it. For each bet, there is a plus/minus to show the potential payout.
Evolving Methods: Blockchain Sports Betting
For sports betting in particular, it’s easy to see how important it is to bet with organizations that have accurate information about the games played, manage the information and bets extremely efficiently, and have a rock-solid reputation for being fair. It’s also easy to see that there are betting organizations that fall short. This downside to sports betting hasn’t gone unnoticed, and some companies are using blockchain technology to improve the sports betting process. By playing at an online crypto sports betting house, users are able to deposit (or purchase) cryptocurrency, then use it to sports bet much in the same way they would at a standard casino. This solves the problem of access and is also a great introduction to cryptocurrency for many people who are intimidated by the more complicated crypto platforms.
Just like the evolving benefits, however, comes evolving risk. One important item to keep in mind with crypto is who you are doing business with. Crypto is incredibly easy to use for many transactions, including placing bets, but it is also difficult to recover if a bad actor takes your money. Further, online casinos (crypto and non-crypto), are able to defraud players much more easily than a physical casino. Does this mean that using crypto sports betting sites is too risky? No, what it means is that you need to do your research and find a reputable site. The biggest asset of an online casino is its reputation. Some sites, like Fortunejack, are actually using blockchain’s ability for absolute transparency and building it into their betting structure. This process is called “provably fair gaming”, and it gives players full control overseeing that their bets are fair. Sites like this have been building a strong reputation for trust and transparency, making sports betting not only accessible but much more enjoyable.
NFL games will continue to be some of the most exciting events to bet on, adding to the thrill of the game and giving us a little extra to cheer for. With reputable blockchain betting sites, sports betting has become more accessible, easier, and more fun for people across the globe.