With just the Super Bowl left to play, the season of American football is nearly over.  Ever wonder why Americans go so crazy over our football?

I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret:  it’s because tons of money gets bet on American football every year.

Whether it’s office pools, online betting, buy-in fantasy leagues or just a good old fashion teaser from your friendly neighborhood bookie, Americans spend millions betting on football.  And the NFL knows it (even though they pretend they don’t).

Now I know what you’re thinking.  In the UK, fans go crazy for football (ahem, REAL football, not American football) without any added monetary incentive.

That may be true, but why not combine the best of both worlds and get to know some more about football betting.  It’s easy, and it’s fun.

Betting on football (or soccer, as fans in the US call it) is not like betting on American football or basketball where there’s a point spread.  It’s more like betting on baseball, where there’s a money line.  And the unique thing about football betting is that there’s outcomes to ponder.

A typical money line will look like this:

Home Team     -150

Away Team    +180

Draw        +120

The plus means that’s how much you win for a bet, the minus means that’s how much you have to bet to win.  So a $150 bet on the Home Team wins $100.  A $100 bet on the Away Team wins $180.  A $100 bet on a draw wins $120.  Obviously you can do the math for a $50 bet or a $10 bet, whatever sort of funds you’re talking about.  Oh, and you’ll probably be betting Euros or Pounds or something besides dollars, right?

In any case, this means that both teams can be underdogs in certain cases.  Since you can bet on a draw, there are no ties.

And always remember to bet within your budget.  I always like to think of any money I bet as money I spent on entertainment for the evening, and if I win something back, so much the better.