Apart from the well-known hunch bet, in which your intuition determines how you will wager, there are several ways of betting in football. Here are four.

Futures bets.

As the name suggests, a futures bet is a wager on which team will win in a future event. A forthcoming Super Bowl is one such example.

Parlay bets.

This is a single bet on two or more events. In order to win, every team you choose must cover the point spread. The UK word for parlay is accumulator.

Over-under bets.

Also known as a “totals” bet, an over-under bet is one in which the combined scores of the two opposing teams will be either over or under a specified number.


Sports books sometimes manipulate point spreads to equalize betting. When changes are made in the point spreads and the difference in score falls in between, the oddsmaker is said to be “middle,” with a resulting loss both ways.

There are three possible outcomes when you bet on both teams at different point spreads: you can win one and lose one, you can win one and tie one, or you can win both bets. You have to win both sides about 5 per cent of the time in order to make a profit when betting middles.

You may have heard of the term “Hail Mary,” football jargon for that last-ditch effort to score when a game is close to the end. Think of one other way to wager as a “Hail Mary bet.” Don’t do it! The experts will tell you, again and again, that the only way to win consistently is to thoroughly study the game and the teams and let your findings be your best guide.